Lack of Northam response on Jefferson statue tarp: Political impact?

Some Democrats expressed private worry over the zeal of candidates on the Virginia state ticket to jump out on the Confederate monuments issue in the aftermath of Aug. 12.

ralph northamThe concern: that Democrats would risk further alienating middle-class white voters who formed the backbone of the Donald Trump electoral base.

The sickening display in Charlottesville Tuesday night, a month out from the horror of Aug. 12, involving the draping of the Thomas Jefferson statue on the UVA Grounds, with banners and speeches decrying Jefferson as a “racist” and “rapist,” then, would seem an opportunity.

Here was your chance, Ralph Northam, Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee, to condemn what is obviously hate speech emanating from the fringes of the political left, with … what exactly in the manner of political repercussions?

Seriously, this is a layup, a gimme, manna from heaven. Only those in the furthest extremes of the Democratic Party base hold the utter contempt for our nation’s historical underpinnings demonstrated in the race-baiting rally on Grounds.

Put out a statement condemning the nonsense, and in the process reassure any among the sensible in the middle of the political spectrum that you side with them, not with the extremists.

The sound you hear is radio silence.

I communicated with a Northam campaign spokesperson to find out if the campaign would be putting out any statements on the Sept. 12 rally.

The answer back: “I’ll make sure to send your way if we do.”

That hasn’t happened, and clearly isn’t going to happen.

Silence can speak volumes, a wink and nod to the narrow view that Jefferson, the founder of the University of Virginia and a catalyst in the development of public education, in addition to being the third president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence, is deserving not of a memorial but everlasting scorn.

That assent on the part of Democrats will no doubt play well with rank-and-file voters.



Column by Chris Graham

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