Guest Editorial: Mastriano exercises horrible judgment

Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, posed in a Confederate uniform for a faculty photo at the Army War College, according to a photo obtained by Reuters last week.

Reuters reported the photo was taken three years before Mastriano retired from the U.S. Army.

Reuters said it was told that faculty at the time were given the option of dressing as a historical figure, and while a few did so, only Mastriano is shown wearing a Confederate uniform.

Mastriano has not commented on the photo but retweeted a comment by Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to his campaign, who said “Media MELT DOWN that Mastriano apparently once posed as a civil war historical figure for a photo. And? He has a Ph.D in HISTORY

“The left wants to erase history. Doug Mastriano wants us to learn from it,” Ellis tweeted.

The “erase history” remarks from the Mastriano campaign are ironic. For more than a year conservatives have engaged in race-baiting accusations that Critical Race Theory is being taught in K-12 schools.

If Mastriano wanted to pose as a historical figure, why would he choose to pose as a traitor who fought to defend slavery?

As someone with a doctorate, Mastriano should be aware that Confederate flags and statues are symbols representing the struggle to retain slavery.

While Mastriano does not see an offense, the Army War College, not known for being woke, clearly sees the insensitivity of the photo.

The Army War College said in a statement that a team in 2020 had reviewed all art, text and images displayed at the Carlisle barracks for alignment with Army values and the college’s educational philosophies, but it missed the faculty photo, which “has since been removed because it does not meet AWC values.”

This is not the first time that Mastriano has shown seriously bad judgment.

Mastriano came under fire earlier in the summer from critics for ties to a right-wing social media platform whose founder has said there is no room for Jews, atheists and others in the conservative movement.

Mastriano paid Gab $5,000 in April for “advertising consulting,” state campaign finance records showed.

Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized Mastriano for his association with Gab, the social media platform on which a gunman who killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 posted his anti-Semitic rants.

In response to the criticism, Mastriano removed his profile from Gab, and released a statement distancing himself from the racist and bigoted statements of its users and founder.

Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator, has also spread former president Donald Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election and was a leading proponent in Pennsylvania of Trump’s drive to overturn the results of a fair and democratic election.

(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune)

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