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Republicans Aren’t 'Neanderthals' But Too Often We Are Woefully Bad Communicators

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Joe Biden recently criticized two Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi for their decisions to lift mask mandates in their respective states, accusing them of “neanderthal thinking.” Conservatives understandably responded with outrage.

The overwhelming response from our side has been to point the finger at Democrats, whose thinking effectively makes Neanderthals look like Albert Einstein. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick rightly asserted, “I would call ‘Neanderthal thinking’ the Democrat Governor Cuomo of New York sending patients with COVID to nursing homes.”

Many of us, including myself, struggled to refrain from shouting obscenities after witnessing yet another obvious display of hypocrisy, a noun that is synonymous with the Democrat Party. “How dare Biden attack policies in Texas, Mississippi, and elsewhere while he allows COVID-positive illegal immigrants to pour into our country” is more or less what many of us thought or said.

While these points are valid, they fail to address the more important underlying meaning behind Biden’s comments. Our finger-pointing may have been deserved and resonated amongst conservatives, but it failed to move the needle, which is moving rapidly toward totalitarianism and away from conservatism, sanity, and freedom.

We conservatives know that we are not Neanderthal thinkers. But too often we are woefully bad communicators. Look no further than Mitch McConnell for proof. Does anyone believe that Mitch McConnell has ever made an effective case against the Democrat Party and changed the mind of a single Democrat voter? How about John Boehner?

Biden accuses us of “Neanderthal thinking” and we instinctively react, saying, “No, you’re a Neanderthal thinker.” While true, this response fails to adequately explain the intellectual and moral fallacies of the mask mandates. It fails to expose the tyranny that guides the left. It also fails to capitalize on an opportunity to teach the American people important lessons about the unique American ideals of freedom, our Constitution, and self-governance, which have been concealed from them by activist teachers, professors, the Democrat Party, and Hollywood.

Some of you may think I am making a mountain out of a molehill. But Lt. Governor Dan Patrick made a grave mistake when he offered a defense of Texas’ decision to lift mask mandates. He said, “We’re not telling people not to wear masks. We’re just removing a mandate.” Many of us argued the same, ceding ground to the left.

But the Lt. Governor (and many of us) ought to have taken the opportunity instead to explain that the mask mandates were unconstitutional in the first place and used the precious air time to celebrate the right of the American citizen to think for themselves and educate indoctrinated Democrat voters.

Each time we accept the left’s premise, the pendulum swings further and further toward totalitarianism. We must abandon this playbook and unequivocally embrace our belief that men have the capability to govern themselves. Otherwise, it will be as Abraham Lincoln said, “thus it goes on, step by step, till all the walls erected for the defense of the persons and property of individuals, are trodden down, and disregarded.”

When Biden accused the two governors of “Neanderthal thinking,” he was attacking tens of millions of Americans who embrace freedom. Barack Obama made similar demeaning comments in 2008 when he said that small-town Americans “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

The important underlying message of Biden’s comment was that Biden, like Obama, views himself a godless god amongst men. When Jen Psaki defended Biden’s offensive remarks by saying they were an expression of “frustration and exasperation,” she admitted that, like Obama, Biden is frustrated by any American who dares to exert their right to freedom and self-governance. This would have been a much more prescient response to Biden’s “Neanderthal thinking” comment and struck a chord with many more Americans, who are beginning to open their eyes to the Democrat Party’s increasingly brazen abandonment of the American citizen.

This latest episode reveals the fundamentally un-American nature of the Democrat Party. Like tyrants, they attack and demean anyone who dares to disagree with them or resists their royal edicts. Like King George III, the Democrat Party sees the relationship between themselves and “we the people” as that of a parent and a disobedient child, who must be punished.

Biden’s comments also expose the Democrat Party’s troubling and perennial embrace of the plantation mentality of their 19th-century predecessors. Slave owners believed the slave was better off and happier in a system in which the slaves’ lives were run by others. Sound familiar? The plantations may be closed but they have only been relocated to Washington, D.C. 

The Democrat Party playbook has never changed. They attack, we instinctively defend ourselves, and in doing so accept their false premise. But our playbook must change if we hope to move the pendulum back away from tyranny and toward liberty.

Ronald Reagan was “The Great Communicator” because he dismantled the arguments of the left and exposed the underlying moral and intellectual fallacies. Like Rush Limbaugh, he made the complex simple. Both are lauded as successful advocates of conservatism because both stood their ground.

As the left continues to censor our voices and attacks our First Amendment right to free speech, our opportunity to reach many of our fellow citizens diminishes. While we must resist this effort, we must also take advantage of every opportunity to educate our fellow citizens, not just react with finger-pointing.

Reagan said, “if we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.” We must all become better communicators, plant our feet firmly, and make our stand. There can be no compromise between liberty and tyranny.

The Biden administration’s next push will be gun-control legislation. Underlying the Democrat effort to legislate away our constitutional right is the premise that Americans can’t be trusted with their 2nd Amendment right. Any legislation intended to prevent any law-abiding American citizen from exercising their 2nd Amendment right is unconstitutional. But many Republicans in recent years have pledged to support “sensible” gun control legislation.

We must be brave, bold, unyielding, and stop reacting to Democrat attacks with ineffective finger-pointing and defensive posturing. Let us settle ourselves and all strive to be like Reagan and Limbaugh — confident and unmovable, not fearful, defensive, and malleable. We are right and they are wrong but we must all embrace our roles as teachers and use every opportunity to articulate why—even if our audience is only a neighbor or family member.