ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, JAN. 6 - A ray of sunlight in cast across a door handle on the Senate Floor of the Georgia State Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, in Atlanta. A more Republican General Assembly will convene in mid-January facing a familiar challenge: How to absorb increasing health care costs in a state budget continually short on revenue. Medicaid questions, specifically the renewal of an expiring tax on hospitals' patient revenue, will dominate the session. But there's no shortage of intrigue on education policy, gun laws in the wake of a Connecticut shooting, and the political structure of a state Senate that looks to emerge from dysfunction. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Michael Williams, This is Profoundly, Morally Wrong

Michael Williams is a friend and state senator in Georgia. He is a profoundly good person. And I am loathe to write this, but this must be said. He is about to do something that is profoundly, morally wrong.

A teacher in Cherokee County, Georgia, a very Republican area of the state, got angry with a student wearing a Make America Great Again shirt the week after Charlottesville. She declared it something from white nationalist culture and said she was barring students from wearing that sort of stuff to school.

The county went for Trump and the teacher had no right to do that. The school system had to issue an apology to students, tell them that wearing Make America Great Again clothing was just fine, and they disciplined the teacher publicly.

Michael Williams has no child in this school. He does not even live in the county. Nor does he represent that area in the State Senate. But he is running for Governor and is trying to build name recognition. Michael was the first elected official in Georgia to endorse Donald Trump and has decided to run as the Trump candidate. As best I can figure, he has interpreted running as the Trump candidate as just being a general ass, which he really is not.

He has already cavorted with a dubious group and tried to get attention through an embarrassing press conference that made him look bad instead of his target. Now he is demanding the teacher, who was publicly disciplined, be fired or else he will lead a protest at the high school where she works. In an email from his campaign:

I will cancel Wednesday’s protest of the teacher who kicked out students for wearing Make American Great Again shirts – IF the school board calls a special meeting prior and fire her.

They refused to terminate her at the previous meeting, forcing us to call attention now. If the school is so concerned by our protest, do the right thing and we’ll stay home.

Otherwise, the protest will go on as planned.

Republicans must stop giving in to the far left and defend our 1st Amendment rights!

What the teacher did was wrong. But she was disciplined and an appropriate apology was issued. Williams has no business trying to run for governor at the head of a lynch mob going after anyone he thinks can advance his career. And that is exactly what is happening. He is using someone else’s screw up to advance his agenda through that other person’s personal destruction.

The school system already defended the First Amendment. They disciplined the teacher. They told the kids they could wear those shirts. This isn’t about the first amendment, but about extortionist behavior by someone running for office trying to get attention.

I realize there is a movement on the right that has decided it must behave as terribly as the other side, but Michael Williams is not, ort at least should not be, one of those people. Saul Alinsky dedicated his book to Satan and when a man of faith like Williams embraces those tactics, he is embracing tactics dedicated to Satan — tactics Alinsky thought Satan, not Jesus, would actually embrace and appreciate as, in Alinsky’s words, “the first community organizer.”

But more importantly, Williams is exerting himself into an employment matter he has no business being involved in. It sets a dangerous precedent. Shall each side running for Governor now rally outside businesses demanding the heads of people they don’t like? Parts of the left already are doing that and the data shows it is actually turning people off to them. So why the hell is Williams embracing a leftwing tactic that more and more polling shows is causing the average person to hate the left?

This past Monday, at Georgia Tech, outside protestors connected to the “Church of Satan” and Antifa showed up on campus and turned a peaceful vigil violent. They burned a police car and rioted to protest a police officer’s justifiable shooting of a student. The actual students at Georgia Tech were horrified and stood with Georgia Tech’s police force. They organized a campus clean up and set up a GoFundMe account for the police officer who killed the student. The Tech students made it clear that these Church of Satan and Antifa activists were not them and did not represent them.

Michael Williams is going into Cherokee County behaving exactly like the Church of Satan and Antifa members. He has no business doing it and is only doing it for political aggitation to advance his career. One might hope that the students in Cherokee County would respond as the Tech students did.

This is wrong at a moral level. Elevating the bad behavior of a private citizen in order to destroy that person so that Williams can advance his own political career is immoral. And he should be ashamed of himself for doing it.

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Erick Erickson

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