Memo to Congresman Walker: Walk your talk

CN+R EDITORIAL
Posted 12/6/19

He may not be our Congressman in a year’s time — whether by defeat in election or redistricting — but Mark Walker is giving Chatham County residents a reason to be wary of his claims of …

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Memo to Congresman Walker: Walk your talk

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Posted

He may not be our Congressman in a year’s time — whether by defeat in election or redistricting — but Mark Walker is giving Chatham County residents a reason to be wary of his claims of “people over politics.”

Jumping on the anti-impeachment bandwagon in a big way, Walker and his re-election campaign have created a donation drive whereby lumps of coal will be delivered to Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat who is leading the Trump impeachment inquiry, in return for financial support for Walker. The North Carolina Congressman, who represents Chatham County in D.C., has made the Fox News rounds in recent weeks criticizing the proceedings and backing his man Trump in an unorthodox — and unfortunate — fashion.

The latest effort is this fundraising pledge. For a donation to Walker4NC of any amount, a lump of coal will be delivered to Schiff in the person’s name. If you donate $30 or more, the campaign will send you a T-shirt with Schiff’s face imposed on a cartoon Grinch with the words “You’re a mean one, Mr. Schiff” emblazoned below.

In his official House biography, discussing his 2014 run for office, Walker is introduced thus: “With no political pedigree or capital, he built a grassroots campaign that centered on a simple idea: PEOPLE OVER POLITICS … he refused to engage in mudslinging politics and chose to lead a positive campaign, focusing on hope, opportunity and solutions.”

It’s clear that Walker has ditched that motto and that approach.

We see the merits in building a factual and respectful disagreement to policy or procedure. Without that, government can run amok and do all sorts of foul things. But what we’re seeing from Walker with this new anti-Schiff coal drive is the opposite of that.

Really, it’s reflective of the political season we’re in. Desperate to support Trump — the man who wanted him to run against Thom Tillis for Senate, according to media reports — Walker has started to play the President’s game. The Christian minister has gone rogue. Maybe it’s a good time to ask — “What would Jesus do?”

No doubt Walker has read these words: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” (Matthew 5:43-47)

What Jesus says here is that only loving your own kind, only treating your own kind or those who you agree with well, is easy. Everyone does that, even the outsiders and those society frowns upon. The real faithful person, the good man, loves his enemies and those that speak unwell of him.

Whether you believe Jesus was the Christ, a good moral teacher or a myth, the message rings as a strong reminder for these divided, deeply political times. We’re not asking Mark Walker to agree with Adam Schiff all of the time or even one time. The Congressman, of course, is entitled to his opinions.

We just simply ask that the former preacher live up to his own campaign motto and his self-professed faith. Because sending lumps of coal to someone you disagree with, and raising money for a campaign off of it, is not people over politics. It’s quite the opposite.

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