Editor’s Notebook: Backing Bice, Michigan race, a hero of non-violence, and the Virus

Oklahoma City – From an Editor’s Notebook: Backing Bice, a Michigan Senate race worth noting, non-violent advocacy, the awful pace of a pandemic, and lessons from the past.  

State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, said she was “honored to receive the support and endorsement of Senator Rick Santorum. He is one of our nation’s strongest voices for American families. He’s led the way on policies that put American workers first, including prioritizing US manufacturing. Sen. Santorum has fought to address the challenges confronting American workers and I am grateful for his support.”

Santorum ran first in the 2012 Oklahoma Republican presidential primary. He described Sen. Bice as “a proven conservative who is committed to defending our Second Amendment rights, protecting the unborn, and standing up for Oklahoma¹s taxpayers. He praised Bice for leading at the state Legislature “on conservative free-market principles,” saying he was “confident she will take these values to Washington.”
“Stephanie will be a strong voice for Oklahoma¹s conservative values in Congress,” Santorum said, “and I look forward to working with her campaign in the coming weeks to help her become the Republican nominee in Oklahoma¹s 5th Congressional District.” 

A  former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, Satorum is the author of “Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.”

Describing herself as a “pro-life conservative,” Bice says she wants secure borders and reforms to America’s “broken immigration system.” Bice faces Terry Neese in the August 25 Republican primary. The victor will face incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn. Bice’s state Senate District 22 includes Yukon, Piedmont, much of northwest Oklahoma City and Edmond. She is the assistant majority floor leader in the upper chamber at the state Captiol, and runs the Finance Committee. 

Keep an Eye on the Michigan U.S. Senate Race  

In a race to watch, John James is the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Michigan challenging incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Gary Peters.
Michigan is one of two states with a 2020 Senate election that features a Democratic incumbent seeking reelection in a state which Donald Trump carried in November 2016. 
In 2018, James garnered 45.8 percent of the vote, running a competitive but losing race against the incumbent Debbie Stabenow, who secured a 52.3 percent majority. 
While James had to get past two primary opponents in 2018, the GOP appears united around James this year. Of note, he has outraised Sen. Peters several quarters in a row. 
Sen. Peters has served in several lower offices , and held a U.S. House seat when he sought the Senate post in 2014, long-time incumbent Carl Levin lost office. Peters is a proven campaigner –- the only non-incumbent Democrat to win a Senate race in 2014. He is a multi-issue liberal, including close ties to the “Occupy” movement in its hey-day.   
For his part, the Republican James is a West Point graduate, a combat veteran (Army Ranger/Apache pilot who served in Iraq), a respected Detroit businessman and a multi-issue conservative.  

C.T. Vivian walked the walk in every moment, to peacefully confront a nation’s conscience  

Dr. C.T. Vivian, who died in July,  was perhaps underappreciated as a leader of the civil rights movement during and after the time of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. His book “Black Power and the American Myth” is an internal critique of the civil rights movement of the MLK era. (https://www.ajc.com/news/ct-vivian-civil-rights-hero-and-intellectual-dead-at-95/2GOB7SU7MZDHJADH63LIKYHK6M/)
Across 70 years of activism, Vivian stressed the spiritual and moral appeal of Dr. King’s message: “It was Martin Luther King who removed the Black struggle from the economic realm and placed it in a moral and spiritual context. It was on this plane that The Movement first confronted the conscience of the nation.” 
The ‘Black Power’ book might be his most enduring intellectual contribution to America. 

In terms of hands-on activism, his labor in Nashville (Tennessee) initially and later in Atlanta (Georgia) – and his lifelong steady, principled insistence on non-violent action – might be compared to the similar efforts of the late Clara Luper of Oklahoma City. 

His legacy was restored to broader public consciousness in 2013, when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony. 
I do not read the New York Times as much as I used to, but in a recent editorial the newspaper of record reflected: “In a nation trying to come to grips with racial inequality in the 1960s, Mr. Vivian was a paladin of nonviolence on the front lines of bloody confrontations. …”

Watching the Virus 

Jim Geraghty of National Review has been a steady monitor of the rise and fall and rise again of the virus pandemic since early this year. His regular presentation of data and information in this area is commended to readers. 
He reflected, in a July 17 commentary, on the frustration felt because of frequent accusations that he has written “panic porn.” 

Well, there’s panic, and then there is measured reflection. 

In last month’s commentary, he observed “the conclusions are very rarely absolute or simple. Masks help, but they’re not a guarantee. The George Floyd protests were not super-spreader events, but they did spread the virus in some cases. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine may be useful for coronavirus patients experiencing cytokine storms, but probably not useful in other situations. The threat to children is very small, but not nonexistent.” Here and there across the country, including Oklahoman, childhood deaths have been attributed to COVID. 

Geraghty observed the present virus is “the most serious contagious threat to our health that we have seen since the influenza pandemic of 1918. That’s scary! That pandemic was so bad, people didn’t want to talk about it afterwards, and more or less chose to forget.”

In that NR article, he wrote, “I get that a lot of people are sick — no pun intended — of hearing about the coronavirus, sick of reading about it, and sick of living with it and its consequences. But sometimes life doesn’t give you much of a choice about what you face. After about two months of reports from China that were more ominous than John Williams’s theme to Jaws, this pandemic hit us full-force in mid March. We’re four months into what I suspect will be at least a year-long ordeal.”

IN a recent editorial, The Oklahoman called attention to one of Geraghty’s columns.

Steve Fair, a frequent contributor to CapitolBeatOK, took a measured approach to the ongoing toll of the virus, writing, “Wearing a mask or not wearing a mask may or may not stop the spread of COVID-19 – only God knows – but wearing or not wearing a mask will not be the instrument that destroys America. Not recognizing that others have a right to disagree impedes liberty more and is far more destructive.” (https://capitolbeatok.worldsecuresystems.com/reports/mask-or-no-mask-a-commentary)

NOTE: Pat McGuigan is founder of CapitolBeatOK, an independent news website based in Oklahoma City, and publisher of The City Sentinel newspaper.