Illustration above by DonkeyHotey on Flickr Creative Commons License
By Tony Campbell
Chairman, Black Republican Council, MDGOP
Barry Rascovar’s latest opinion piece published on Maryland Reporter, “GOP has a Peroutka problem” is about as accurate as anything else he writes on the Republican Party in Maryland — it’s in the ball park but takes a bad hack at a pitch across the middle of the plate.
For years, both parties in Maryland have seen their share of less than savory candidates and elected officials. Maryland Democrats have seen their share of embarrassing candidates from the downright silly to the indicted and eventually incarcerated office holders in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. Mr. Peroutka is the flavor of the month because Democrats like Rascovar will try to cast the narrative that the entirety of the Republican Party, including its gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan, as turn back the clock racists.
Rascovar misses the mark by highlighting one candidate as being the race issue of the 2014 cycle in Maryland. The problem is more nuanced than one candidate; with the Peroutka candidacy and the events in Missouri, the Republican Party should finally have the guts to have a real conversation on race and the difference between the two visions for American citizens of all races and ethnicities.
The Republican Party has for the past 20 plus years hid its proverbial head in the sand as far as racial issues are concerned. Instead of denying there is a problem, the Republican Party should be leading the way to offer a vision of liberty, self-determination and individual responsibility. Liberals have had the floor all to themselves promoting a system whose outcome has been to keep the status quo in power by limiting people to an existence of subsistence and surviving, not striving and succeeding.
As chairman of the Black Republican Council, I have had the honor of helping over a dozen candidates file for a variety of offices from local county government to state legislative offices across Maryland. These incredibly talented candidates and their supporters prove that Mr. Peroutka’s beliefs are not the view of the rank and file of the Maryland Republican Party.
Peroutka is not the problem of the GOP. Fear IS. I believe we have an opportunity to discuss important issues facing the people of Maryland. Let’s see if the media and the political gurus of both sides will have the guts to have the dialogue.
Tony Campbell ran for Baltimore County executive this year, losing the race by just 20 votes out of 23,000 votes cast.