Finally! After far too many years, the state of Mississippi has decided to change its flag. This is all good news save for the fact that it took so long and that there were so many in the legislature who voted against the change.
Those who know me, know that I hate very few things worse than intellectual dishonesty, and intellectual dishonesty has been running rampant in Mississippi government for quite some time. These are the politicians who think they are smarter than everyone else so they present completely illogical arguments to justify their racism, egotism, and ignorance.
While there are several who I could point out, today it has to Senator Chris McDaniel from Laurel. He was a conservative talk show host who also ran (and lost) for the US Senate (twice). His behavior in that election was less than ideal.
He latest show of his ignorance, and how stupid he thinks we are, is his nay vote to change the flag. He may not be the brightest light in the legislature, but he was smart enough to not just come right out and say what he likely thinks—the flag should not be changed. No, he argues that something of such importance deserves to be voted on by the citizens of the state. What utter hogwash! What he is really saying, my friends, is I want the prestige and power of holding public office but I absolutely do not want to make any tough decisions that might possibly be ones I do not agree with.
So, let’s parse out the ignorance of this argument and show how Senator McDaniel is lying to us. First, the vote on the flag is important and I in no way want to downplay that importance. However, the legislature has passed law dealing with abortion clinics in the state which are clearly a divisive topic with citizens on both sides. When did Senator McDaniel call for a referendum on that? The rights of LGBTQ people are important too but where is Senator McDaniel’s call for a state referendum on that issue? The public education in this state is woefully underfunded and the legislature has failed to adequately fund it for many years. Where was Senator McDaniel’s call for a referendum on that? Oh, never mind, his thoughtful solution was to take public money from the public schools and offer scholarships to students in certain low-achieving areas of the state to pay tuition at a private school. Well if that is not a way to make the public school system better, then I don’t what is. I have to ask myself, is he really that dumb? I don’t want to think he is, he seems somewhat intelligent when he speaks, but the he supports legislation like that which not only does not solve the problem, it actually makes it worse.
It seems that Senator McDaniel, like so many politicians these days, think first personal ideology, second re-electability, and seldom, if ever, with a critical mind. That is okay for them personally. What is not okay is for them to confuse their ill-informed opinions as fact, or to make up excuses that simply do not hold water in an attempt to justify their unjustifiable opinions.
But here is the epitome of intellectual dishonesty. In 2018, McDaniel made the preservation of the flag a part of his campaign and the flag was pretty visible on his signs. I would have disagreed with him, but it would have been better had he just voted against the flag rather hide behind the excuse that the citizens should have a say. Fortunately, there were more people in the legislature who thought differently and Mississippi can now move forward.
On the floor of the Senate today, he said this not about the flag, this about the process. What nonsense. He cites the controversy over the flag as being too important for the legislature to make this decision but he had no such comments over abortion or LGBTQ rights which were also controversial. And then he proceeded down the logical fallacy of the slippery slope. He is also flat out wrong about the people not having a voice, to him the only way we can have a voice is to vote but we can and we have had our voice by contacting our elected officials, as disingenuous as many of them are.
Here is an article on McDaniel from 2018 https://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2018/sep/14/mcdaniel-black-mississippians-begged-government-sc/. In this article he makes the mistake so many politicians have made over the referendum of the flag vote in 2001. He says Mississippians voted to keep the flag, but that was not the issue on the ballot and he knows it. At the time of that referendum I had hoped the choice would be to keep the current flag or get a new one, but the politicians were too scared of that. The referendum was on keeping the current flag or choosing one that was so ugly I had a hard time finding anyone who liked it. As I recall, I voted for the ugly flag just to get a new flag. Some have argued, and I tend to agree with them, the flag choice presented on that referendum was specifically selected to ensure the old flag remained.