Commentary

 By Jack Gist  January 27, 2022 at 2:24pm

For all of you who have almost given up on the primacy of reason in the realm of democratic debate, there is hope. In Virginia, reason is no longer a voice crying out in the wilderness. It is standing front and center on the political stage.

Republican Nicholas J. Freitas has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2015. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he became a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He served two tours in Iraq. He is a living, breathing hero, and he’s not done fighting for the American people. Unlike the Green Berets, who are trained in unconventional warfare and often work behind enemy lines, this time Freitas is battling in plain sight and using direct means — reason.

Freitas has grown tired of politicians acting like kindergartners on a playground. Haven’t we all? He’s sick of being called names by political opponents. Nick Freitas is not taking it anymore.

When asked if he was going to be “nice” during a recent session of the House of Delegates, Freitas took pause. In a point of personal privilege, Freitas said he didn’t think of himself as “un-nice” but understood how others might seem him that way at times. I imagine, for Democrats, this was one of those times. If there is anything a leftist politician can’t stand, it is facing the truth point-blank.

Freitas continued, “I’ve never gone on this floor and I’ve challenged the faith of an elected official because I disagreed with them on policy.” He went on to say that he had never called an elected official on the other side of the aisle a racist, sexist or bigot because they didn’t agree with him on a particular policy.

“Almost everyday,” stated Freitas, who is of Portuguese descent, “someone on the other side of the aisle either gets up and either subtly or comes right out and suggests that if you don’t agree with them on policy, well, then you’re not a Christian, you’re a sexist, you’re a bigot, you’re a racist.”

It is like a schoolyard playground back in the day when playground teachers acted as referees. They stood on the sidelines until things started to get out of hand. Then they’d step in and calm the kids down. The teachers knew name-calling was a childish expression of emotion and saw such moments as an opportunity to instill reason into the kids.

In politics, there are no referees. Republicans often just sit back and take it. Either they don’t know how to deal rationally with what they see as emotional outbursts, or they want to be seen as being above the fray to save them from embarrassment. Neither strategy is sound.

Do Democrats fear reason?

The name-calling is not an emotional outburst by the leftists. They see words like “racist,” “sexist,” and “bigot” as tools to gin up emotion in voters who they view as immature schoolchildren that can be manipulated most easily through emotion.

The silent treatment won’t help either. Sitting there and taking it can make Republicans appear guilty, as if they are ashamed of their dirty deeds — or at least that’s what the name-callers hope. The battle must be joined, but not with the leftists tactics.

Over 74 million people voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Democrats are doing their best to paint every last one of them as some sort of banal beast of seething hatred, white supremacists who are subhuman sexist bigots that claim a mythical God is on their side — or whatever other nonsense name they think will stick. This, of course, doesn’t stand up to reason. In fact, it is absurd.

This is why reason must be the premier weapon in the fight against the left.

Freitas gets it. “But the moment someone actually stands up and says, ‘Wait a second. No. I’m not going to accept that. If you want to debate me on the merits of our particular policies, I am happy to have that discussion,’” Freitas said. “‘But the moment you claim with no evidence other than we don’t agree on a particular policy position, the moment you claim that that makes us racist or sexist or bigoted, Mr. Speaker, I’ve got news.”

And it’s good news — “Not this time.”

After the speech, Freitas tweeted, “Enough. I have had it, my constituents have had it, and I am no longer going to sit here while a member of this body accuses us of being bigots simply because we disagree on policy.”

Freitas isn’t alone. Freshly elected Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin joined the fray and won his battle against longtime Clinton toady Terry McAuliffe by means of reason.

A key issue to Youngkin’s triumph was critical race theory and the outrage it caused among parents in Loudoun County. Freitas used this example to show how reason works as a vaccine against Marxist ideologies that have been spreading like a virus through the Western world.

The bedrock of Western civilization is the concept of logos. It can be translated from the Greek as “meaning” or “reason” or “word.” Logos gives meaning to the word by holding up reality by way of reason. In religious terms, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John 1:1.

Reason is the nemesis of the Devil. Conservatives can no longer be silent. Join the fray and don’t back down.

Reason will set you free.

Jack Gist is an award-winning writer who has published essays, poetry and fiction in Catholic World Report, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review and others.

Jack Gist is an award-winning writer who has published essays, poetry and fiction in Catholic World Report, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review and others.

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