Watch GOP Candidate Burn Books in Campaign Ad
An actual candidate for Missouri Secretary of State, running in part on a platform of ‘protecting children,’ thought an appropriate use of a flamethrower would be to burn books.
And, if elected, she promises to burn even more
This is what we're up against!
Book burning is now an actual political platform for far right candidates!
When I’m Secretary of State, I will 🔥BURN🔥all books that are grooming, indoctrinating, and sexualizing our children. MAGA. America First🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/m8waKi3yhP— Valentina Gomez (@ValentinaForSOS) February 6, 2024
The post on X (formerly Twitter) where she burns the books is actually so egregious that even Elon Musk’s mercurial platform saw fit to label it as ‘hateful content.’
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Gomez is leaning on the current radical, far-right talking point that libraries are spaces where children are being groomed. Nothing could be further from the truth. We’ve written extensively about this, and it should not need to be repeated.
What might be even more absurd, or perhaps frightening, about Gomez’s display is the underlying motivation. She burned books with a flamethrower on social media while running for a public office.
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That inherently suggests she thinks that burning books will help her win the election.
Why else would she do it?
The thing is, though, she may have (and probably did) miscalculate. To begin with, book bans on their own are wildly unpopular. 92% of parents believe that they should have the final say in what their students learn—NOT politicians or an extreme minority of parents.
The fact that book bans are on the rise in the United States is already troubling enough.
It cannot be overstated the impact censorship like this will have on free speech, and further how it rips educational opportunities away from students. Reading has been shown to increase empathy and decrease crime. Communities with libraries have lower overall crime rates, and one of the most consistent predictors of a person’s likelihood to end up incarcerated is their literacy.
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Books, libraries, help communities. They make them stronger. Radicals like Gomez tear communities apart. They are the real danger. And they should be stopped.
Banning books is bad enough. Burning them is an entirely different kind of extreme that needs to be loudly, consistently, and forcefully condemned.