I concur with the many Democrats who have called for the immediate resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Kamala Harris demanded that Northam step down, saying that “leaders are called to a higher standard.” Nancy Pelosi echoed the resignation demands, urging Northam to “do the right thing” so that Virginians can “heal and move forward.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Northam’s behavior “painful and eroding.” Cory Booker accused Northam of “hurtful” actions, and suggested that he step down and “start his road to redemption.” Almost every prominent Democrat has issued a similar statement. I agree with all of them.
But I felt this way at the beginning of the previous week, when Northam publicly endorsed the killing of infants outside of the womb. I found that to be rather “eroding” and “hurtful” — and certainly beneath the “higher standard” of leadership. Democrats, on the other hand, were perfectly fine with the governor’s infanticide advocacy. That isn’t what provoked their ire. No, after a week spent promoting baby murder, it was a 30-year-old photo of an inappropriate costume that caused Democrats to draw the line.
Northam now claims that he isn’t featured in the infamous blackface yearbook photo (after initially admitting otherwise). He did, however, “darken his face” with shoe polish to portray Michael Jackson in a school talent show. Either way, he committed an unforgivable sin, according to Democrats. The party that lights up skyscrapers in celebration of the mass slaughter of human children can’t stomach an edgy costume worn by a college student three decades ago.
The conversation between Northam and his party over the past week has essentially gone like this:
Northam: “Let’s kill babies in the third trimester.”
Northam: “Matter of fact, let’s deliver babies and leave them to die.”
Northam: “Or resuscitate and kill them.”
Northam: “By the way, I dressed as Michael Jackson once”
Democrats: “DEAR GOD, RESIGN YOU MONSTER!”
All things being equal, I wouldn’t support the political destruction of a guy over insensitive behavior from his college days. It is very bad to wear blackface, of course. And he was old enough, and the incident was recent enough, that the “it was a different time” excuse doesn’t hold up as well. But a man can do stupid, offensive, inappropriate things when he’s young and then grow and change and become a decent, respectable adult. We have to allow people to undergo this kind of growth. We cannot force a person’s younger self onto his older self, as if they are one and the same.
The difference with Northam, though, is that we know he never grew into a decent and respectable adult. Perhaps he stopped moonwalking with shoe polish on his face (but who knows), but he has since graduated to much worse offenses. He has become the sort of man who not only approves of, but advocates for, and would have actively legalized, the murder of fully developed infant children. That is why he, along with every other Democrat on the national stage, is unfit to lead.