RACE GAMES

Rockland Democratic chairwoman maligns American icon John Wayne as a “racist” and “white supremacist” in effort to score cheap political points

Stavisky (l) fancies herself morally superior to the great Duke (r)
Stavisky (l) fancies herself morally superior to the great Duke (r)

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ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES COMMENTARY

Do the leaders of the Rockland County Democratic Party really believe that their voting base will get turned on by hearing an American icon like John Wayne maligned as a lousy “racist?”

This week Rockland County Democratic Chair Kristin Stavisky, the daughter of the venerable late Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowksi, sent out a vitriolic, borderline hate-filled letter to fellow Democrats, aimed at portraying Republican county executive candidate Ed Day as a right wing radical and archetypal evil white male.

The Democratic chair objected to the fact that Day’s wife Jean, in a recent letter directed to Rockland women, mentioned that the great Hollywood icon John Wayne is one of her husband’s heros. Stavisky seemed to indicate Wayne should have no standing in American history due to now politically incorrect views he held during his life about race relations.

Stavisky also attacked the Days for supposedly patronizing women, taking issue with the design of Day’s mailer. Specifically, Stavisky said she was mad that the mailer had pink borders. Day’s campaign pointed out to the Rockland County Times that the piece was created and designed by women and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, during which even NFL players wear pink.

Stavisky decided to repeat President Obama’s 2012 meme that Republicans are anti-women because of the party’s pro-life stance, even though the party is about 50 percent female and, historically speaking, it is the party that helped found women’s suffrage. The Democratic chair further wailed in the letter to her fellow party members, “It’s insulting that Ed Day thinks he can court women by sending a pretty pink mailer. This is sexism at its worst. I can’t wait to see his mailer pandering towards men, talking about his favorite sports teams and his beer preferences…Across America, Republicans are waging a war on women – trying to criminalize choice and making government just small enough to fit inside a woman’s doctor’s office. Ed Day is no different – and a pretty pink mailer isn’t going to change anything.”

It’s ironic that a lot of conservative Rocklanders wish Ed Day was as far to the “right” on social issues as Stavisky portrays him. In fact, Day is not even a pro-lifer, does not oppose gay marriage and is not aggressive when defending gun rights. Where Stavisky’s characterization of Day as a hardcore social conservative comes from, aside from the political gutter, is anybody’s guess.

The chairwoman and others like her also seem to have failed to make some semblance of peace with American history. The fact is the great country we live in was founded primarily by white men of a previous era, and most of those men carried some social attitudes the vast majority of today’s society consider retrograde or repugnant. If the Democratic Party does not cease using the social wrongs of yesterday as the political battering rams of today, they will create a toxic environment in which happiness and prosperity is impossible for all.

Even more frustrating is the fact that persons like Mrs. Stavisky want to have their cake and eat it too. The Democratic Party has no unique claim to superiority when it comes to racial attitudes, yet its leaders hold themselves up as social saints.

In reality, the Democratic Party, yes Roosevelt’s Democratic Party, was the party of segregation and it continued to shelter segregation-era racists even into the new millennia. This goes unmentioned in the revisionist histories proferred by persons like Stavisky. Senator Robert Byrd, one of the most powerful Democrats in the United States Senate for over five decades, also was the same man who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The late Senator Byrd also was a former grand wizard of the KKK.

Yup, career political operatives like Stavisky love to have their cake and eat it too, and think nothing of sliming the whole country with their vitriol. A wise word to the women (and men) of Rockland County: vote for who you think would be the better county executive and ignore Mrs. Stavisky’s hateful lectures.