Nebraska Republican state Sen. John McCollister condemned his own party on Sunday in a now-viral series of tweets, prompting a swift backlash from the state GOP.
“The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country,” McCollister tweeted. “As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s the truth.”
The lawmaker elaborated on his remarks in the tweet thread.
“I of course am not suggesting that all Republicans are white supremacists nor am I saying that the average Republican is even racist,” he wrote.
“What I am saying though is that the Republican Party is COMPLICIT to obvious racist and immoral activity inside our party.”
The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country. As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s the truth.
I of course am not suggesting that all Republicans are white supremacists nor am I saying that the average Republican is even racist.
— Senator McCollister (@SenMcCollister) August 5, 2019
In a statement released by the Nebraska GOP on Twitter, Nebraska Republican Party Executive Director Ryan Hamilton not only called out McCollister for his history of liberal policy positions but also suggested the lawmaker change his party registration.
— NEGOP (@NEGOP) August 5, 2019
“John McCollister has been telegraphing for years that he has little if nothing in common with the Republican voters in his district by consistently advocating for higher taxes, restrictions on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, and the pro-abortion lobby,” Hamilton said in the statement.
“His latest false statement about Republicans should come as no surprise to anyone who is paying attention, and we’re happy he has finally shed all pretense of being a conservative.”
Hamilton then offered McCollister a dramatic course of action.
“I am happy to send a change of voter registration form along to his office so he can make the switch officially and start, for once, telling the truth to voters in his district.”
A cursory scroll through McCollister’s Twitter supports Hamilton’s claim: The disgruntled state senator doesn’t sound like a typical Republican.
Climate change is the central issue of our time and as we approach the 2020 election, we MUST elect politicians that take it seriously.
— Senator McCollister (@SenMcCollister) July 6, 2019
“Climate change is the central issue of our time,” McCollister wrote in a July tweet.
In June, McCollister wished his “LGBTQ friends and constituents a Happy Pride” and noted that he was “grateful to all the activists and community leaders who’ve fought for equality for so many years.”
I’d like to wish my LGBTQ friends and constituents a Happy Pride today! 🏳️🌈
We as Nebraskans are a kind, neighborly people. That means embracing and loving ALL people.
— Senator McCollister (@SenMcCollister) June 29, 2019
On abortion, McCollister tweeted that “the best policy moving forward is to simply retain Roe,” referencing the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that ruled the Constitution protected the “right” to an abortion.
From environmental issues like climate change to cultural issues like abortion, McCollister finds himself outside the mainstream of Republican thought.
Hamilton may be right: McCollister doesn’t seem to fit in the GOP and may find a more comfortable political home on the other side of the aisle.
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