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Michael Peroutka, in his own words [Editorial]

In a recent op-ed in the Annapolis Capital, Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka wrote that "you can vote for me with the confidence that I mean what I say." Very well, then. What does he say?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. The Institute on the Constitution founder is a prolific writer and commentator, and before residents of Anne Arundel's 5th District go to the polls, they would do well to brush up on his views. Here are a few recent examples:

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•At a debate last week : "I don't know if you realize, but free public education, again, we have a long habit of not realizing it's wrong, free public education is the 10th plank in the Communist Manifesto. We've accepted a system that is socialist in its nature."

•On January 14, he wrote on theamericanview.com, a website of the Institute on the Constitution, that public schools are an instrument to foster tyranny: "You must concentrate on the children. You must take them away from their parents and every day, day by day, indoctrinate them to reject and forget the Christian ideas and habits of their fathers and their mothers, their grandfathers and their grandmothers. This is precisely what government schools were designed to do. This is what they have done and continue to do."

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•At the debate, he condemned the teaching of evolution in schools, according to the Capital: "Our children are taught that their great-great-granddaddy was a hunk of primordial ooze in a pond somewhere and that their granddaddy was a slimy, eely thing that finally grew legs after a million years and their daddy was a monkey. Then they try to teach the kids self-esteem, but they just taught the kid [they were] a massive mutations of mistakes."

•On July 29, Mr. Peroutka responded to criticism from Democrats and Republicans about his long-time affiliation with the League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled as a hate group. He declined at the time to disavow his association with the organization, which advocates for southern states to secede from the Union. When asked about a video from the league's 2012 national convention in which he asks the audience to "stand for the national anthem" and proceeded to sing "Dixie," he said, "No, I don't think that was a mistake." At the debate last week, he acknowledged that "Dixie" is not, in fact, the national anthem, "but I don't disavow the song. I love the song." "But you called it the national anthem," his questioner replied. "Sure I did," he answered.

•At the July 29 news conference, Mr. Peroutka said that "I have gone out of my way to repudiate racism, and if there are any racists in the League of the South, I repudiate and will pray for them." He said this week that he had cut ties with the group in September because he learned of statements by some league members in opposition to interracial marriage.

Among the "frequently asked questions" on the league's website is, "What is the LS position regarding blacks in the South?" The answer: "The LS disavows a spirit of malice and extends an offer of good will and cooperation to Southern blacks in areas where we can work together as Christians to make life better for all people in the South. We affirm that, while historically the interests of Southern blacks and whites have been in part antagonistic, true Constitutional government would provide protection to all law-abiding citizens — not just to government-sponsored victim groups." It goes on to say, "We believe that the advancement of Anglo-Celtic culture and civilisation is vital in order to preserve our region as we know it. ... We, as Anglo-Celtic Southerners, have a duty to protect that which our ancestors bequeathed to us. If we do not promote our interests then no one will do it for us."

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(Incidentally, the league also rejects the tyranny of conventional spelling as "nothing more than a bastardisation of the proper and correct English language by New England busybodies.")

•On Aug. 26, he wrote, "As I watch the unfolding chaos and destruction in Ferguson, Missouri, I can't help but think that this is the result of man's sinful desire to make up his own moral laws" as when "government tramples our God-given rights and now pretends to issue what it calls 'civil rights.'"

•On Oct. 7, he wrote that Franklin Roosevelt "set the nation on a path that would destroy America as the founders envisioned it."

•On Oct. 7 on the Steve Deace show, he said in regard to homosexuality, "Perversion has to be validated because recruitment is necessary. Because recruitment has to happen in the schools and where people gather. So it's got to be valid in the schools so we can recruit in the schools. Because his 'deathstyle,' I don't call it a lifestyle, this 'deathstyle' does not reproduce, so it's got to recruit your children."

We understand that Mr. Peroutka's call to defy the federal and state mandates that led to Anne Arundel County's enactment of a stormwater management fee might be appealing to many in his district. But voters should recognize that if they elect him, they're getting a lot more than that.

To respond to this editorial, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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