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The Runback: No Hugging, No Learning
One local political group hasn't learned a thing
Welcome to another week of The Runback. Have you been enjoying The Duckpin? Do you have comments or suggestions? Do you want to write for us? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Thanks in advance.
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The Monday Thought
When Larry David created Seinfeld, the show had a credo: “No Hugging, No Learning.” The idea is the characters should not develop or improve throughout the series.
This relates to this, which happened on Saturday.
On Saturday morning, at most a dozen members of the Frederick County Conservative Club gathered outside the house of Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner to protest pandemic-related restrictions in Frederick County.
(Think about where your life went wrong, by the way, when you think that Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to blow off your family and join a political protest. Only a loser does that.)
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that these folks have protested outside of Gardner’s house. They did it the weekend prior as well.
The turnouts aren’t even that great. This group found more people to come out to protest me at a Frederick County Republican Club meeting than they got for either of these protests.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but protesting outside of a politician’s house is a morally reprehensible and repulsive thing to do. You aren’t changing anybody’s mind. You aren’t making any sort of political point. You’re resorting to the same Jacobin style politics that conservatives accuse the left of having a monopoly on. And you’re also involving civilians in your political problems. Gardner’s family doesn’t deserve to put up with this nonsense. Neither do Gardner’s neighbors. What moral right do you have to raise hell outside somebody’s house at 8:30 on a Saturday morning on a Holiday Weekend? Do you think the uninvolved neighbors want to listen to your rants on a megaphone while they’re drinking their coffee? Of course not. It’s an easy way to make more political enemies.
This isn’t even the first time this outfit has engaged in this kind of behavior. The Frederick County Conservative Club’s sister organization, The Patriot Picket, has often engaged in the obnoxious and morally juvenile practice of banging pots and pans outside of the house of members of Congress who disagree with them on gun issues. No opinions have changed based on these prior protests.
There isn’t a whole lot of daylight between the Frederick County Conservative Club and the left-wing Antifa protestors on their tactics and behavior.
As I said: No Hugging, No Learning.
Groups like the Frederick County Conservative Club continue to claim that they are the vanguard of conservatism in Frederick County and that they alone are the “truuuuue conservatives”. This, of course, despite the fact that they virtually worship the big government, left-wing trainwreck that is Donald Trump.
Regardless of the incorrect nature of their political opinions, their activism like so many Republicans in 2020 focused on nonsense activities. The three protests that seem to generate the most enthusiasm for this group are:
Protesting Outside of Somebody’s House.
At no point does the group actually do the following:
Knock doors for candidates;
Make phone calls for candidates;
Recruit candidates for office.
Case in point: the weekend before the election the Frederick County Conservative Club was involved in a 100-mile car parade. One of the biggest time-wasting activities that one could be involved with. Especially 48 hours prior to the election, in an ostensibly conservative county with a Congressional race and Board of Education races on the ballot this year.
Heck, Conservative Club member Delegate Neil Parrott was running for Congress and they couldn’t even be bothered to help him out, deciding to get in their car and drive around instead.
Joe Biden won Frederick County by nearly 10%;
Neil Parrott trailed David Trone among Frederick County voters by 25%
Parrott’s totals at least can be explained by obscene Democratic gerrymandering. But a Democratic victory in Frederick County at the Presidential level is the canary in the coal mine, moreso than Jan Gardner’s two countywide victories in 2014 and 2018 respectively.
The data clearly shows that all of the Overpass Waving, Car Parading and Politician Neighborhood Invading in the world does not work. Conservatives are losing ground in Frederick County, not gaining it. Yet the Frederick County Conservative Club for years has refused to change their tactics.
The issue for me isn’t even the difference in policy, even though the Trumpian policies they support often lend credence to the widely-held perception that they are conservatives in name only. But for crying out loud, if you are going to continue to invest this much of your time and talents into political activism why would you continue to use the same failed methods year after year after year and wonder why the results have never changed.
But as I said: No Hugging, No Learning.