David Levitt and other US Senate candidates for the California primary attended a Get to Know Your Candidates event on May 3rd, hosted by the San Mateo GOP at the American Legion Hall there. The speeches were recorded on video, excerpted below.
Some viewers are taken aback by the unmasked homophobia, Islamophobia, and racism on display in some of the Repubilicans' speeches. "... I AM an Islamophobe, and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9-11! ... I believe in peace and justice for everybody -- but that's not why THEY're here. ... We're getting sucker-punched because we as white -- yes I said it! -- as white, Christian Americans are being taught that somehow WE are to blame for all the problems," shouted Republican candidate Rabbi Shifren.
Equally stunning were the near-universal vicious attacks on teachers and public schools. Teachers and administrators are "leftist radical scum" and "commies" who "bankrupt our children and our future generations" and offer "a side door into the homosexual sodomy movement". One candidate offers autographed copies of his book, "Kill Your Teacher", and most advocate shutting down the federal Department of Education as part of their platform.
In the spirit of this year's all-party "top two" primary, the San Mateo GOP also invited Democrats such as technologist Dr. David Levitt, and third party candidates like Marsha Feinland from the Peace and Freedom party. Cat calls and disruptions from the audience began as soon as Feinland explained that president Obama is not a socialist -- but that she is.
Dr. Levitt quieted the scene by reminding the audience that while campaigning includes arousing passion, governing is about problem solving. He appealed to shared beliefs -- such as rejecting bank bailouts, surveillance, and intrusive government - while directly questioning rhetoric aimed at dividing workers in the shrinking middle class; and by calmly questioning the truth behind other candidates' assumptions and statements. He reminded the crowd that when candidate after candidate praises the Constitution by referring just to the 2nd Amendment "right to bear arms" as if it is the whole Bill of Rights, they're talking down to and perhaps insulting their audience.
After a continuous diet of red meat, the audience wound up eagerly attending to Levitt's approach and greeting it with applause.