NOT THE WAY TO GO, GOP! ‘Shushing’ Fellow Repubs Who Disagree with You

Written by Michael Cummings on August 14, 2015

I spent most of yesterday with my family at a local water park. Toward the end of the day, I let my girls go on a particular ride without me since the last time I went, I walked out a tad green.

As I waited, I took in some good people watching. Young kids assisted by their parents, teens clearly glad to be without parents, the middle aged and beyond. Everyone in swimsuits — some covering, some barely held together by floss (just because you can, doesn’t mean you should). Smiles and laughter, carnival screams, wet footprints that dry within a few strides, picnics, pizza, wave pools, snores emitting from cabanas, zinc oxide, funnel cakes, Dippin Dots. You could copy/paste this glorious scene in various ways across America.

Alongside the joyful sights, sounds, and smells stood a feeling of sadness and dread. If we were to copy/paste these scenes anywhere in the Middle East, who could doubt what would happen? Given the chance, Muslim monsters who don’t like the fact that we’re not Muslim would torture, rape, dismember, and decapitate every one of us. I sat at this park fully appreciating how great we have it, and at the same time appreciating how horrible so many others have it.

Not that we live in perpetual bliss. We are over $18 TRILLION in annual operating debt and over $200 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Want a sign our culture is rotting? Google “hookups” or read this. Our most important freedoms, speech and religion, are gone.

So I’m given heart when I see all these solid Republican candidates stepping up and opening themselves and their families to the bitter scrutiny of the media for the chance to save our country.

On the other hand, it ticks me off when I see people on our own side attacking one another -– condescending, shushing and telling us to “chill” — because we don’t support their candidate.

This has, of course, been going on for years. In 2004, Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter, author, and Wall Street Journal columnist, wrote a piece about a time she appeared before a county GOP group to give a speech. The noise from the standing crowd was apparently too much, even after Noonan began to speak, so the man Noonan was to introduce after she spoke, Senator Arlen Spector, stood up, went before the mike, and shushed the crowd into silence.

[Spector’s wife] said she thought [shushing] might be something in the human brain that responds, even in adulthood, to the first sound your mother made to you when you were an infant and fussing.

Noonan’s column went on to talk about the continued frenzy after the November 2004 Bush victory and Condoleeza Rice’s nomination to Secretary of State, and how we all needed to calm down about the whole thing. In her column, she actually shushed her audience.

Shortly after the first debate, Erick Erickson, head of RedState, disinvited Donald Trump from his RedState Gathering in Atlanta because Trump wasn’t as nice to Megyn Kelly as Erickson thought he should be – piling on the absurd notion that Trump was talking about Kelly’s menstrual cycle (project much?). Most likely, you’ve see countless other examples.

Tell me, when you shush Americans who are happy about a victory, or tell fed-up conservatives and independents how stupid they are because they agree with what Trump is saying on a particular issue, how effective do you think your argument is? Do you think you’re helping your cause? Express your support for Trump on Twitter and Facebook, and watch as the insults come pouring in, including how similar you are to Barack Obama’s cult of personality.

Guess what? I don’t know about Trump yet. I have a hard time believing he is a conservative because of his financial support for many Democrat candidates and his unclear view of federal funding for Planned Parenthood for their alleged “other” services. Once we’ve had time to dig deep and get to know the candidates better, however, perhaps we’ll learn about Trump’s transformation to the conservative cause. Or not. But can we at least get through 2015 before blood comes out of your “whatevers”?

Peggy Noonans, Erick Ericksons, AnyoneButTrump supporters, and Trump supporters, when you rip your own people beyond the topic, are you helping to build up the best candidate or just trying to win a fleeting argument? I’m not going to ask you to stop calling names. I’m not going to ask you to stop shushing people or telling them to chill. Go ahead. But if you do, don’t expect me to Follow, Retweet, Favorite, Share, or Like it.

Average Americans– conservatives in particular — are wise enough to be patient with the political process so they can learn about the candidates to make an educated decision.


Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.