I don’t usually take Tom Mountain too seriously but, perhaps given our overall political climate, his latest TAB column got under my skin.
Mountain’s column begins, earnestly enough, reminding us that Newton is indeed home to many Republicans and that the rest of us in our little bubble have not necessarily been welcoming to neighbors or our kids’ classmates whose parents enjoy Rush Linbaugh, Howie Carr and Sean Hannity.
She’s in the political closet because she’s learned that Newton is not inclusive to her kind. She believes that the PTO is not welcoming to someone of her political persuasion. She feels threatened by the lack of political diversity in the city. She’s fearful that her children will be targeted by the PC thought police. And she’s spent many a sleepless night worried that she’ll lose her job if word of her Republican status gets out.
But Mountain has never been able to avoid the same smug name-calling he always feints to be so sad about. He lambasts Newton’s “white liberal privilege” and Newton “teachers who dress like Hillary and preach like Obama,” a statement that’s both sexist and racist. (Really Tom, how should female teachers dress?)
He’s right when he writes about the need for more political tolerance and less hypocrisy in our community. We need that now more than ever. And as chair of Newton’s Republican party, he’s in the perfect job to set the right tone and example. (Although, ironically, did you notice how Mountain never mentions all the Charlie Baker Republicans who live in Newton? I suspect that’s because Tom doesn’t genuinely tolerate those sorts of Republicans.)
But mostly Mountain blows his argument when he suggests following his advice would allow “liberals [to] truly feel good about themselves, which, after all, is really what matters to them anyway.”
It would be great to have leaders in Newton that could steer us from mimicking the vitriol that divides our nation. But this chair of Newton’s Republican Party will never be one of those leaders.