On Monday, Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) conceded to Democrat Ben McAdams in the race for her House seat. Though Election Day was 20 days ago, the counting of provisional ballots took the final outcome in her district all the way through last week, and on Monday she offered her remarks.
It was 19 days ago, the day after the vote, that President Trump attacked Love in his own post-election speech, holding her up as an example of Republicans losing because they didn’t give him enough love.
Rep. Love fired back. Watch:
This was a great, conservative speech and told the true story of her campaign and her time in office. The remarks about Trump will make the biggest splash, so we’ll start there. But there is so much more, after that.
“When President Trump took a jab at me because he thought the race was over,” said Rep. Love, “I was somewhat surprised at first.”
In a way, no one should have been surprised, but even so, some of us were taken aback by the pettiness and vainglory in Trump’s comments. Incrementally, he gets worse and worse, and more and more open about his demand for… not loyalty, but lickspittle devotion. You can only half-blame him. After all, it’s the devoted lickspittles all around him and on Fox that make him feel so comfortable with his base desires.
Anyway, those are my words. Here are more of Mia Love’s:
“The president’s behavior towards me made me wonder: What did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican?” Great question. See above about spittles, comma, lick.
“It was not really about asking him to do more, was it? Or was it about something else?” pondered Love. “Well, Mr. President, we’ll have to chat about that.”
America can only hope that chat happens.
Love continued, addressing what she has learned and observed.
“This gave me a clear vision of his world as it is. No real relationships, just convenient transactions. That is an insufficient way to implement sincere service and policy,” she said. A truly sharp and accurate observation. His is an existence of transactions — ones in which he expects and demands that he get the bigger prize.
“Above all, my experience in the last year has provided me a big reminder of who I am, and what my purpose is,” continued Love. “This election experience, and these comments, shine a spotlight on the problems Washington politicians have with minorities and black Americans: It’s transactional. It’s not personal.”
Now I’m going to step away from commentary and stage direction for a blockquote of the remarks, as stated. I think they are critical for Republicans to hear and understand. The simple situational context of a House race concession could let her speech slip under the radar, but I hope not, because this is really very, very good.
This election experience, and these comments, shine a spotlight on the problems Washington politicians have with minorities and black Americans: It’s transactional. It’s not personal. You see, we feel like, politicians claim they know what’s best for us, from a safe distance. Yet they’re never willing to take us home. Because Republicans never take minorities, minority communities into their home and citizens into their homes and into their hearts, they stay with Democrats and bureaucrats in Washington because they do take them home, or at least make them feel like they have a home. I’ve seen the cost to conservatives for not truly taking people into their hearts. Democrats saw newly elected black members and women to Congress in this election. This is a matter of fact that Republicans lost in this regard. However, minority communities need to ask themselves a question also: at what cost? What is the cost of staying with the Democrat Party that perpetually delivers exactly what you need to stay exactly where you are? To make poverty tolerable, instead of temporary. People who judge their success by how many people they can put into poverty programs versus how many they can get out of them.
I am separating that portion out from the next because they are two independently important points.
Above, she’s discussing the failures and moral failings of those in power in the GOP. And she could not be more right. On every point.
Below, it’s about the achievements of the beliefs and policies for which the party once stood and should again. The second part begins with four pretty important words for context: I am a Republican.
I am a Republican. I know conservative policies work. They lift everyone. They lift the poor, the young, the vulnerable, the black, and an the white. Our conservative policies save our young, and unborn children. When the pundits tell us that we’re out of luck, the deck is stacked against us, we say no. No way. Not in this country. Because under conservative policies the deck is not stacked against us and we all have a chance. Conservative policies make it so that no one in this country is predestined to be poor. I know because I’ve lived them. I’ve put them into action. I’ve promoted them throughout our state and across our country. The problem is not the policy. It is that we are never taken into hearts and into homes.
Love then went on to thank those who supported her. “You who believed me, and believed in me,” as she put it. She talked about a great cost she paid in the election, the aggressively unfair and partisan press playing offense and defense for the Democrat. She talked about McAdams himself, a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
“The good news is, I’m not going away. But now, I am unleashed. I am un-tethered, and I am unshackled, and I can say exactly what’s on my mind,” said Love. Then she took questions from the press.
[Can we also take a second to point out what a di*k question the very first reporter asked? Why couldn’t you speak your mind before? Because, right, this is the first time we’ve ever encountered a politician and we need this di*k reporter to flesh out the idea that politicians carefully plan what they say so they aren’t ripped apart by [checks notes] oh right, DI*K REPORTERS. Anyway, aside over.]
It was an excellent speech and, the reason is that she puts into words what is so hard to make people on the MAGA right and the media left understand. That you can believe, understand, and know that the core principles and ideas behind what makes a Republican are not only sound, but beneficial. That there are those who look at the same ills and evils in this world that every do-gooder, virtue signaler, busybody, and SJW see, and hate those evils and ills with equal passion and compassion, but believe (know) that the way to address them and make them better is our way. Not the SJW way or the Democrat way or the bureaucrat way. She gave a validation to the idea that you can be true to that understanding and right ideas, no matter who is wearing the big red hat.
Truth remains true.
Mia Love sees what’s wrong with hardship and poverty and racism and crime and wants to do something to make it better, and she believes these conservative principles, her principles, are the way to do so. To do the most good for the most people with the least harm to others. To embrace freedom over oppression, voice over silence, love over hate. People do still believe those things. I do.
I am a Republican. And I see the things that are wrong within the party, too. But it won’t change what I know to be true about the world, about how it works, or about how to make it better. It hasn’t changed the truth for Mia Love, either. Not even when her own party cast her aside.
It was truly a steadfast speech and defiant stance. A consequential moment for a candidate who deserved to win but didn’t, and deserved to be treated with dignity and respect by the president and by the press, but wasn’t.
Love said she’s not finished. That’s she’s got work to do. Let’s hope so.