MATTHEWS: Virginia Republican sets standard for how to respond to Democrat smears

Virginia Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, gestures during the House session at the Capitol Monday Jan. 31, 2022, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

There is not a day that goes by where a Republican politician, commentator, writer, etc. isn’t accused of “racism,” “sexism,” and/or being a “fake Christian” by a Democrat. Usually, the basis for these claims has nothing to do with actual racism or sexism or faux Christianity. Almost invariably these accusations start flying once Republicans have the nerve to openly express that they disagree with a Democrat on policy. 

Since Republican Glenn Youngkin was sworn in as Virginia’s 74th governor last month, the claims have been tossed around with wild abandon considering his ban on teaching Critical Race Theory in public school classrooms and his reversal on mask mandates in schools. 

One such instance came last week during a House of Delegates session. Democrat Delegate Don L. Scott, Jr. told his colleagues that he didn’t believe Youngkin was a genuine man of faith. 

“The governor-elect at the time, he came in this chamber with the freshmen who were being trained and taught, and talked about how we do things on the floor,” Scott stated. “And the first thing that I recall him saying was that he had a strong prayer life and that he was praying for everybody.” 

“And so far what I’ve seen from his day-one activities is not someone who is a man of faith, not a Christian, but someone who wants to divide the commonwealth. Someone that wants to cause division,” Scott continued even as audible groans could be heard in the background from presumably Republican colleagues. 

In response, Scott told his fellow House of Delegate members, “I know the truth hurts. I don’t want to make you cry, like saying critical race theory, ’cause I know it hurts your feelings.” 

Some time later, a Republican Delegate stood to speak, and though no names were mentioned, it appeared his comments were in direct response to Scott’s. 

Nick Freitas said that though he had often disagreed with Democrats on policy, he had “never challenged the faith of an elected official” because of it. 

“I’ve never gone on this floor and suggested that the other side of the aisle were racists because they didn’t agree with my particular policy positions,” Freitas said. “I’ve never suggested they were sexists because they disagreed with a particular policy position.” 

He told his fellow Delegates that he and other Republicans had heard the accusations often from the other side of the aisle in the Virginia House, but “a lot of times we sat here politely and just took it.” 

“Mr. Speaker, not this time,” Freitas vowed. “I’m tired of it, my constituents are tired of it.” 

He went on to note that the attacks weren’t just on Republicans in the House of Delegates, but were also against the people who elected them to office. 

“I am not about to sit here and listen to that, Mr. Speaker,” Freitas remarked, “and then go home to my constituents and have them ask me, ‘Why didn’t you stand up and defend us?’” 

“So let’s have a robust policy discussion,” Freitas told Democrats as he wrapped up his speech. “But if you’re going to question the faith and the intentions of anybody who happens to disagree with you on policy, then you don’t get to lecture us on compassion and tolerance or an open debate.” 

That, folks, is the way it’s done. 

Freitas’ speech should be a blueprint for other Republicans across the country who are similarly accused for no real reason other than those Democrats wanting to scare them into shutting up once the debate gets started. 

No more. 

Media analyst Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.