With a wannabe Trumpie becoming governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia this weekend, we continue to see endless signs of spread of misinformation, concocted claims, and outright lies from those who promise to spread the manure of Glenn Youngkin.
The latest example: New delegate Wren Williams, a loud Trumper who promoted the “big lie” that claims the corrupt TV reality star and failed real estate developer who has driven too many projects to bankruptcies “won” the re-election he lost, legally, in the 2020 presidential election.
Now Williams, who represents the delegate seat in Stuart and Patrick County, compounded his lies and stupidity in a bill he introduced, then quickly withdrew, that attacked “critical race theory,” among other things while claiming Abraham Lincoln debated Frederick Douglass.
Section B3 of the bill, sponsored by Williams, defined “the founding documents,” like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, excerpts from the Federalist Papers, the writings of the Founding Fathers, and Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic “Democracy in America.” and “the first debate between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.”
Perhaps Williams slept through history classes in school. Lincoln debated Sen Stephen Douglas and one of those debates was in Alton, Illinois, in 1858. I passed by that debate site many times during my 12 years as a newspaperman for the daily in Alton from the late 1960s to 1981.
Frederick Douglass was a social reformer, abolitionist, and statement in Massachusetts and New York and has no involvement in Illinois or its politics. He did meet with President Lincoln to discuss equality and social issues, but no one ever called that meeting a debate.
Simple mistake? More like typical for Williams, who put his law practice on hold to become part of Donald Trump’s legal team to challenge the presidential vote count in Wisconsin, a challenge rejected by courts, judges, and just about everyone else with an IQ above that of an average plant. Even right-wing delegate Charles Pondexter said he didn’t see any evidence of voter fraud.
“It’s harder to get further to the right of Charlie Poindexter,” said fellow Republican Terry Kilgore. Williams, however, claimed Poindexter was “soft” on support for Trump because he didn’t buy into the Big Lie, and he found enough ignorance among Patrick County voters to buy into it. He beat Poindexter in the GOP primary and then won a run-off against a Black small business owner who organized Black Lives Matter rallies in an area where any color besides white is suspect.
“The general feeling in Patrick County is that Trump won the race, but they stole it from him,” Stuart Town Council member Harold Dean Goad, 79, told The Washington Post.
“Although court after court has found no evidence of significant fraud in the election, the accusation fits a local sense of political and economic betrayal,” wrote Gregory S. Schneider of the Post:
Now Williams is showing his white supremacist leanings with House Bill 781, which wants to “ban divisive concepts” like Critical Race Theory, which examines the systematic racism that exists in more than a few places in the Old Dominion and elsewhere in the south. It also wants teachers fired, fined, and prosecuted if they even mention the “banned” notions.
Williams has corrected the bill, without comment. Perhaps he is busy boning up on history before making a fool of himself again. Of course, his statements are too often riddled with misinformation and outright lies.
New Governor Youngkin is promising to “remove all mandates” that require the teaching of critical race theory. Education and government experts say doing so is near impossible because few, including Youngkin, can even define what it is.
“If you’re going to say I can’t do it, then define it for me,” Virginia professor M. David Alexander has noted in interviews. “Tell me what it is, and be specific. And if you take two people of reasonable intelligence and neither of us understands what you’re saying, then you’ve got a problem.”
Therein lies the problem. If extremists, be they from the right or the left, don’t understand the concept, they immediately presume it is bad when the real concern is their ignorance that leads to bias, not truth or understanding.