By Joan Albion
Not long ago I posted a comment on the edhat board about some headlines the local GOP party was putting out to its members. An especially quarrelsome frequent commenter said I was making those headlines up and I responded with links and said I’ll put together an opinion piece on what I’ve seen lately. So, here it is.
A little about me: I’m a registered Independent. In years past I’ve voted for Republicans, I’ve voted for Democrats, I’ve voted for Libertarians, heck I even voted for Ross Perot once. I like to watch/listen to MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, and conservative leaning podcasts to see what all sides are saying. I’ll do my own research and then make up my own mind. Both major parties are quite skilled at twisting narratives and pushing their agendas, it’s politics baby!
But we can’t deny in the last 5 years or so things have taken an aggressive turn for the worse. Misinformation and fear is running rampant and people are more obstinate than ever. I subscribe to both the Santa Barbara County GOP and Santa Barbara Democrats email newsletters and here is what both sides have been sending out this past month.
For the local Republican Party, I’ve gotten various emails from “Take Back Our Schools,” “Santa Barbara Republicans,” and “Santa Barbara County GOP.” I only signed up for one of these so it seems I was added to all of them, but they are all signed by the SB Republican Party chairwoman Bobbi McGinnis.
1. August 7, 2022, the top image has a headline from Fox News that reads “Hormone Blockers and Trans Surgery for minors is the Biden admin’s version of “normal.” Bobbi then writes, “the Biden administration is promoting dangerous hormone blockers and life-altering surgeries for minors… the Left has declared an all-out war on the basic biology of helpless children!”
These and similar sentiments have been swirling in right-leaning circles this summer as the education system has been targeted. It’s a pretty obvious attack on the LGBTQ+ community as a slew of anti-trans bills have been passed in varying states. Also of note, when clicking on the image it links to a fundraiser page for the local GOP party that reads “Support Conservatives Who Will Oppose The Left’s Racist, Transgender Agenda in Our Schools!”
FACTS: Biden signed a bill this summer that protects transgender children to seek medical care in states that are now attempting to charge parents with abuse for their child simply identifying as trans. Gender-affirming care is recommended by all major medical associations and can range from social transition — changing pronouns or dressing differently — to medical transition, including reversible puberty blockers and hormone therapy. For pre-pubertal transgender children diagnosed with gender dysphoria, doctors recommend avoiding gender-affirming medications, according to the Endocrine Society’s Clinical Practice Guideline, which sets standards of care for transgender people. Read more facts on this topic here.
Conclusion: Misleading, Misinformed, Transphobic, Discriminatory.
2. August 9, 2022: Bobbi sends out another email titled “Take Politics out of school” seemingly contradicting the above message just two days prior. She further states, “We must put education over politics — the future of our kids and Santa Barbara County depends on it!” Can’t make this stuff up, the email goes on to bullet point the following in bold.
- Parents have a right to be involved in their child’s education;
- Racist propaganda is banned from the classroom;
- Our schools are safe learning environments!
FACTS: The hypocrisy is astounding but let’s break it down. True, parents do have a right to be involved in their child’s education, but it seems like both sides are frustated with the other. Although, when books are being banned and historical facts and events are questioned it makes one wonder.
Racist propaganda. This one is interesting because it seems to touch on Critical Race Theory, which has been proven numerous times is not taught in public school and is ONLY a graduate level law school course. However the talking points on this one seem to suggest that basic American history should be excluded from children’s learning as it doesn’t paint white people in a good light.
Schools are safe learning environments. Hmm.. well based on the previous email it appears it’s not safe for transgender or non-binary children.
Conclusion: More Misinformation and Contradictory Statements
3. August 9, 2022: Title reads “FBI Raids Trump” then goes on to further state, “If we let the Radical Left get away with attacking the 45th President of the United States like this, just think what they will do to you!!!” … Just think… if a judge also thinks you broke the law and you fail to respond to numerous requests from the court to answer, and your lawyer signs off on it, they’ll do the same to you!
FACTS: The investigation is still in its early stages but some of the facts are, a federal judge magistrate signed the warrant after “finding probable cause that evidence of multiple federal crimes would be found” at Trump’s property. A property receipt of the items taken from Mar-a-Lago listed 11 sets of classified records, including four sets labeled “Miscellaneous Top Secret Documents” and one marked as “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which stands for “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information.”
Conclusion: While all the evidence thus far points to either ignorance, guilt, or both, rhetoric like this continues to call the rule of law and our justice system into question, rattling the core of our democracy. If everything is an attack, everything is political, no one or anything can be trusted but one man, where does that leave us as a nation?
Now, let’s compare with the emails from the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party within the same time frame.
- August 12: Save the Date! Labor Day Picnic and November Election Filing Deadline. Literally that’s all. Reminders for upcoming events.
- August 16: “Help us kick off our campaign in Goleta! Join us Sunday, August 28th at 1pm at Stow Grove Park for a fun afternoon with Democratic candidates and door knocking!” and Labor Day Picnic Reminders
- August 22: Tickets now on sale for Labor Day Picnic, canvassing reminder, and list of potential local endorsements
- August 29: Final endorsement list
- August 31: Labor Day Picnic reminder
It’s important to call out lies and stick to the facts, now more than ever. So after all of that, which local party seems unhinged to you? The answer is obvious to me.
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