Last Friday I started to write an editorial about Dan Cox, Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidate for governor of Maryland. The more I read, the clearer it became that Cox is 100 percent likely to lose in November. He is, as Governor Hogan called him, a “conspiracy-theory-believing QAnon whack-job.” And he is running against Democrat, Wes Moore, who embraces Maryland values.
Much of what I read about Cox focused on his relationship with Donald Trump and his solid history of embracing conspiracy theories. I also read that Cox is attempting to cover up evidence of his right-wing extremism. The Washington Post, for example, reports that he posted more than 1,000 times on Gab, a social media platform catering to antisemites, racists, and the QAnon crowd. Cox decided to cancel his account and remove his postings.
Cox’s troubled history by itself is enough to reject him, but where is he on issues important to the Eastern Shore?
At the top of the list is climate change. Cox is a climate change denier. He disagrees with scientists. As a state delegate, he voted against the Climate Solutions Now Act.
Abortion rights? Cox praised the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, overturning Roe v. Wade. He was the prime sponsor of two bills to restrict abortion in Maryland.
Increase the minimum wage? Cox is against it. As a State delegate, he has opposed it on the grounds that it is inflationary.
Obamacare? Cox has said he would like to see it repealed. He has not told us how low-wage earners will access basic healthcare.
Education? Cox sees Critical Race Theory as a big problem: “CRT is Marxist propaganda, and it has no place in our civil and free society. I will also fight to restore local control of education and curriculum and will support parental rights in education.”
LGBQT rights? Dan Cox is outspoken on the subject. He supports legislation to ban transgender girls from competing with males in sports, and wants to end “transgender indoctrination in schools.”
Second amendment? Dan Cox has your back if you are against gun control and would like to see more firearms on the streets.
Taxes? Cox is among those who would abolish the Internal Revenue Service, a pledge he made as a candidate for Congress. He supports lowering tax revenues and reducing social services to make up the difference. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.” For Cox, the price is not right.
“Election integrity” (a.k.a. election denial)? Cox chartered buses to help “patriots” attend the January 6, 2021, Trump insurrection. He also opposes counting mail-in ballots before polls close on election day. Trump lost Maryland in 2020 by 65.4 to 32.2 percent. Expect Trump to do better in 2024 should Dan Cox be elected governor and implement “election integrity.”
The list of far-right policy positions goes on but do not expect Cox to highlight them as he campaigns this fall. Instead, expect aggressive attacks on Wes Moore. Last month, Cox called Wes Moore “a communist.” Expect worse going forward.
It does not take much imagination to envision what a Cox administration would look like. Maryland would be subject to a legislative stalemate on important legislation, but even worse, could be Cox’s use of executive authority. Did you see Cox’s reaction to the FBI search for misappropriated classified documents at Mar-a-Lago? Cox called the search, “nothing short of communist stasi police state tactics.” He promises to use the Maryland National Guard and police to oppose President Biden. Cox’s own words: “As governor I will use the 9th and 10th Amendments, the Maryland Constitution and Declaration of Rights, the MSP and Maryland Guard to stand against all rogue actions of this out-of-control tyrannical Biden administration with fierce tenacity.”
Have you heard enough? I have.
And one last thing. Did you watch Trump’s rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, last Saturday? I did not, but I was curious whether Dan Cox was in attendance. He was. Trump even mentioned him in his two-hour speech.
Let’s just hope that the sorry lot of Trump-endorsed candidates fare as poorly as I predict Cox will come November.
J.E. Dean is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, and, when the Constitution is not under attack, other subjects.