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The loss of civility, the attempted rationalization of racism, the specter of sexism are all now so deeply ingrained in the contemporary madness that defines the Trump Era that I fear it will require a massive re-education of societal norms into a generation devoid of values, kindness, and empathy. The latest episode validating that we as a society in America have lost our way is the hateful and disgusting misogyny on display by the pathetic United States Congressman representing the 3rd District of Florida, Mr. Ted Yoho.

My blood boils when I see such atrocious disrespect and cannot help but feel it is driven by a primeval urge to intimidate and physically accost what Yoho likely considers to be a person of the fairer sex.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also serves in the United States Congress and while it may upset many white males who lack respect for the truly laudatory achievements and accomplishments of females in general or young, attractive females in particular, she is a Congresswoman. AOC does not need me or any other person, male or female, to rise to her defense, however my blood boils when I see such atrocious disrespect and cannot help but feel it is driven by a primeval urge to intimidate and physically accost what Yoho likely considers to be a person of the fairer sex.

When I decided to devote my professional life to public service and aligned myself with traditional liberal and progressive ideals that naturally were in tune with the Democratic Party almost a half century ago I made my way to Washington, DC to work in the United States Senate. Immediately I marveled at the degree of civility that marked partisan squabbles. Oh it certainly was not perfect as we are still talking about human beings, but the processes of Congressional courtesy were largely followed and allowed for at least a grudging civility that paved the way for compromise in the name of what was good for the society at large. Compromise is the lifeblood that sustains and defines our democracy.

The year was 1978 and I would end up spending over 22 years in the nation’s capital. Over the intervening decades I have watched the almost complete disintegration of civil disagreement and respectful debate. I wrote a book on public policy several years ago in which I argued that respecting the notion that public service was a noble vocation is the first step towards saving this grand experiment in democracy.

Rep. Ted Yoho

Rep. Ted Yoho

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If the voters in Gainesville and Ocala desire to have this cretinous blob of wasted semi-human matter representing their interests in the nation’s Capitol that is their prerogative and right, however, his callous disrespect is a direct affront to the norms of collegiality that have historically defined our democratic process and it is critically important for members of the Grand Old Party to censure his actions at the very least or strip him of any party functions such as Committee assignments or other positions within the United States House of Representatives. That he displays an absolutely horrendous disregard for women should in and of itself be a disqualifying factor for many activities, it certainly is monumentally problematic when he is in a position to cast votes on issues of public policy.

He is a disgrace to the human race, and as a male it is embarrassing that such neanderthals still roam the Earth. That he is married and the father of two daughters raises other red flags that can only be addressed in private. I implore colleagues and friends of Mr. Yoho voice disapproval of this behavior. It is simply unacceptable for him to hide behind his wife and daughters, aunts, mother and grandmothers, as if such inheritance automatically qualifies him as an honorable, decent and caring person.

I suffer from no delusions that a wild outcropping of kindness and empathy will spring from Republican ranks while they are currently toying with the prospect of denying an extension of unemployment benefits to the millions who are facing the choice of returning to work and putting in jeopardy their health or taking care of their families and placing their health benefits and general welfare at risk. Worse yet millions will soon be facing the prospect of either sending their children to school or keeping them at home.

I have little faith in those that are members of a party that is supportive of a President who has led America into the depths of depression and despair vis-a-vis the rest of the world in the current Pandemic. I sincerely doubt that many, if any, of those who fear Trump worse than they do the plague he has botched will step forward and criticize Mr. Yoho. And the representative had the gall, the audacity to invoke his faith in God as a redeeming value. Sorry to inform you sir, but if your God is a rationale for your behavior, your God is a phony and your religion is as disingenuously pathetic as your non apology.

This tragic and sorry episode only reinforces the need to reject any further support for a man who has no respect for his country and the citizens he supposedly represents. Mr. Yoho, you must hate yourself, but leave your hate for your tortured mind, be a decent human being and admit to your fears and failures. Redemption may set you free from the demons which possess your soul. Regardless, there is no room for you in your current state in the fellowship of man. Get help.


 Lance Simmens

Lance Simmens, an author of two books on public policy and innumerable opinion pieces in major newspapers who served in senior level political positions for over four decades at the Federal, State and local levels of government.