After careful consideration over the course of several months, Chattanooga Tea Party Founder and President Mark West decided to endorse Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06) in her bid for governor, as The Tennessee Star reported on Wednesday.
An experienced activist, West was an early organizer of the Tea Party rallies in 2009 with his founding of the Chattanooga Tea Party. For nearly a decade, he has poured his time, talent and personal resources into critical efforts to promote politicians and policies that live up to his high standard of constitutional muster.
West has won more political battles than he’s lost and along the way, has emerged as one of Tennessee’s most respected leaders of the Liberty movement. He expected some pushback from factions among his friends and allies in Tennessee’s conservative grassroots community for his endorsement of Rep. Black. But when some strident “keyboard warriors” began to attack Rep. Black’s stance on the sanctity of life, West decided to respond via a semi-private Facebook channel.
With his permission, we publish his full remarks, here:
Following my endorsement of Diane Black for Governor, there has been a harsh response from some. The personal attacks are fine. Sadly, I’ve come to realize that’s the norm from many “friends” in the tea party/liberty movement.
However, what I must set straight is one particular line of attack from those who hate anyone who they do not support. It’s a malicious attack. It’s a false attack. It’s absolute deception at it’s worst. And to use a term from their favorite politician, it’s the worst kind of #fakenews.
And here is an example of what is being deployed. They claim that Diane Black supports Planned Parenthood. The first time that was thrown at me yesterday, I actually laughed and responded with “LOL” to the comment.
I laughed because I knew that Diane Black has been a stalwart supporter of life for decades. When she was in the Tennessee legislature, her record was clear and unblemished. She was named the Right to Life legislator of the year. She supported the Tennessee Yes on 1 pro-life Constitutional Amendment with hundreds of thousands of dollars of her own personal resources. (Without her financial support, I am told the Amendment would likely not have passed. That Amendment is saving unborn lives today.)
More recently, Diane Black was the Author and Sponsor in Congress in 2015 & 2017 of the “Defund Planned Parenthood Act.” This bill would do exactly what its title implies. Sadly, Congress has not yet passed it.
So, with the above facts as a backdrop, those asserting Diane Black supports Planned Parenthood provided me with a link to a blurb on a website entitled “Volunteer State.” I had never heard of this site, but that’s not unusual. I try to stay clear of sites which don’t appear to have any semblance of credibility. Volunteer State is one such gutter based, pseudo-news political website.
Volunteer State trumpeted their headline: “TN Republican Governor Candidate Blasted for Planned Parenthood Funding.” I’m not going to rehash their distorted reasons for arriving at such a nonsensical and deceptive headline. If you want to read it, you can go find it yourself. But I’m not going to help promote such a shadowy and deceptive site.
As mentioned above, Representative Diane Black has been the author and Sponsor of the legislation in Congress entitled “Defund Planned Parenthood.” (Google “Defund Planned Parenthood Act Diane Black” to get the truth.) It’s deceptive and completely dishonest for anyone to suggest Black is a supporter of Planned Parenthood. Yet, Volunteer State makes such a ludicrous claim, and sadly low information voters parrot the claim, and spread malicious lies.
It’s clear that Volunteer State is simply a mud-slinging #fakenews website that was set up just a few months ago (June 2017) to target and attack certain politicians and candidates. But unlike other #fakenews sites like CNN and MSNBC, Volunteer State hides who they really are by registering their website privately, so no one can know who the individuals behind these deceptive attacks are. I have a suspicion who it might be but given it’s purely speculative, I won’t name such. But suffice it to say, if a person relies on a website that employs deceptive tactics and then hides who they are, they deserve to be fooled and misled. Sadly though, they deceive many others when they share lies. By the way, here’s the link to the registration info for Volunteer State reflecting the private registration option they used, so as to disguise who is behind their deceptive “news” articles: https://whois.icann.
I have long spoken out against websites that trumpet extraordinary headlines with half-truths (which are better called full-lies). They exploit the fears of people and use them to advance their agenda. The tea party/liberty movement relies heavily on such garbage to advance their beliefs and when they do, they do themselves, the movement and their community a great disservice.
Truth does not need lies to advance its cause. Truth can always withstand the light of penetrating examination. And Truth will win in the end.
So why do those who have the Truth resort to lies, deception and #fakenews? It may be because we are lazy. Or because we are uncertain of ultimate victory. Or we have lost our faith in the Author of Truth. Either or any of those reasons merely reveal we are human. They reveal that we all grow weary in well doing. And that when we are weak, we must look to Him who is strong. And we must also accept the admonition of others who can see the lies we are dabbling in.
So my encouragement to all those who are willing to blow up friendships over something as small as an endorsement, or are willing to resort to gutter tactics or gutter websites to destroy a person, let’s back up. Let’s take a few moments and consider this word from Scripture:
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8