This morning I read an article about Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who recently came outside their mansion to brandish loaded guns at peacefully demonstrating Black Lives Matter activists who were marching by on a public street. They claim they needed to do this; they were defending their house. The current Republican Party leadership has elevated the McCloskeys to the status of martyrs. The couple spoke at the National Republican Party Convention broadcast on Monday night. Full disclosure: I did not watch their speech.
The article I read about them noted that their house is right next door to a Jewish synagogue, The Jewish Central Reform Congregation. Rabbi Susan Talve told reporters that the synagogue has a large community garden where they raise a few thousand pounds of food every year, which they donate to local food banks. In 2013, they decided to construct bee hives so they might have honey for their annual Rosh Hashanah celebration. Unfortunately and inadvertently, the bee hives were placed over the property line onto the McCloskeys’ property. So Mr. McCloskey took a sledge hammer to the hives one night, killing all the bees and smashing their dwellings to bits. Rabbi Talve said, “He could have called us. We would have moved the hives.” Then Mr. McCloskey (who is a lawyer) issued a notice to the synagogue that they needed to clean up the mess he’d made or he would sue them. What a swell guy.
I decided to share this here today because I feel this incident serves as a microcosm of something larger that has been touted by the Republican Party for decades: a fundamental misunderstanding of compromise and negotiation, a promotion of the zero sum game as the only way to govern. It didn’t start with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell but they are the apex we have reached. Mitch McConnell, in particular, has made it clear that he will destroy democracy to get his way. He refused to allow the Senate to hear bills he didn’t want passed. He refused to allow the Senate to fill appointments for years–years!–until he had a president from his own party making those appointments. Our democracy is our metaphorical bee hive, and the Republican Party has gleefully taken a sledge hammer to it. They are in the process of destroying our democratic institutions because–well, actually, I don’t know why. Maybe because they want the money and the power. Maybe because it gives them a thrill to humiliate (HUMILIATE) their opponents. Maybe because they are so emotionally stunted they don’t have the skills to govern any other way. I don’t know. What I am sure of is that they are dangerous people and they must be removed from office. As Michelle Obama warned, don’t think it can’t get worse. It can and it will. Maybe they haven’t killed YOUR bees yet, but they will. Eventually they will. Don’t wait and see. #VOTE
Thank you for reading.
I pray and affirm that our community, our nation, and our planet are safe places, where all creatures feel loved and supported, where our differences in perspective are respected, disagreements negotiated amicably, and peaceful resolution is the norm.
Here is a link to the article about the McCloskeys: https://www.insider.com/st-louis-couple-threatened-protesters-with-guns-made-children-cry-2020-7
Photo by Ilana Grostern