2016 was an ugly year for all of us- me included. I think the circus brought out the worst in everybody, so as the days go on in hindsight I tend to be a lot more forgiving to many but still not as forgiving to some.
During the second debate between Clinton and Trump, I went to debate viewing party at Liberty University’s student union. Speaking before the debate started was Corey Stewart, former Trump Virginia Campaign chairman who was fired after holding a protest outside of the RNC HQ. This was ultimately a stump, and I wasn’t having it with him. In August, he had called 3rd party voters “disastrous or traitorous”, seeing this as the golden opportunity, I went over and confronted him. I’m not going to lie, I was not the politest person but when I asked if he was the same Corey Stewart that called 3rd party voters traitors, he said “yes.”
Steward gave his reason, looked me in the eye, and stood his ground. He wasn’t rude and still shook my hand at the end of the conversation. We can come to two completely conclusions and still be civil. I’ve met many politicians, but Corey Stewart wasn’t one who folded when confronted and was firm in his belief.
I ran into Stewart at the University of Virginia campus protest against Congressman Garrett’s townhall months later (Gillespie wasn’t there, but he’s never there to back up conservatives when support is needed), well after the Trump inauguration and well into the Virginia primary season, this time I was reporting on behalf of the Rouser News and RSBN. I caught Stewart leaving the scene after speaking with conservative activists on site, and in the few seconds I got to speak to him, he still looked me in the eye, answered my questions, and like last time shook my hand, even after I had asked what about the liberals at the rally “triggered you?”
I don’t like much of his campaign, but when it comes to gun rights, immigration, life, and law, Stewart is legit. I don’t know him as a person, but unlike Ed Gillespie and Frank Wagner, there’s a “what you see is what you get vibe” from Stewart. I’m not telling you to vote for him, I just wanted my view shared because as someone who was not on the Trump train and not a fan of the alt-right or this new brand of scream-infested populism, I’m getting tired of the people labeling Corey Stewart something he is not- a coward or a flippant individual, and absolutely not a racist (he has a much more diverse staff and volunteers than people give him credit for). Frankly, as a man I do respect confidence and backbone, something I don’t see in the other Republicans.
At UVA Corey Stewart clearly stated “I see an open attack on free speech.” Stewart is the only person who has called out the Democratic party for what it is while Ed Gillespie tries to put on the soft gloves with his Democrat friends. This is the truth, and frankly, I’ve grown a degree of respect for a man a year ago I thought I didn’t have any for.
Take it for what it’s worth, but this is what it is.
On primary day I’m still probably going to write in Denver Riggleman, or I might flip a coin to decide, or maybe go vote in the Democratic primary and write in “Joe Biden” just to see the Democrats’ reactions as I walk away laughing, or I could not show up and just skip voting, we’ll see how I feel…