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2021 Profiles in Political Courage

Posted on Saturday, January 1, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Eleanor Vaughn

2021

There’s no denying that 2021 has been a particularly tumultuous year. Many days, it seemed as if rage and radicalism dominated our national discourse. However, despite the chaos, many people—both public figures and private citizens—have managed to keep their heads on properly. Across the country and the political spectrum, people have defended their deeply held principles, often risking their careers and facing ridicule and hatred. Standing up to the far left in 2021 took courage. Here are some of the most courageous examples of individuals from the past year who reminded us that all what it takes to defend freedom and liberty.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis is perhaps the most notable of several Republican governors who stood up to the left on the issue of COVID restrictions, especially lockdowns. He and several others kept their states open – for business, for education, and for living – while protecting the vulnerable and ensuring that hospitals were not overrun. They have challenged the idea that lockdowns are a cure-all and recognized that there are real economic, educational, and mental health costs to shutting everything down and that, at some point, these costs outweigh the benefits. This common-sense approach has allowed Florida to thrive and perform well against COVID, while liberal states are still lagging behind in their recovery – both from the virus and the pandemic-induced lockdown.

Despite the liberal media’s best attempts to cancel him, labeling him a “murderer” and “anti-science,” the results in Florida speak for themselves, and the Sunshine State has helped change the national and global conversation about lockdowns.

Virginia Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears

Winsome Sears has been making history her entire political career and continued to do so in 2021 when she became the first black woman to be elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. A Jamaican immigrant, veteran, and small-business owner, Sears ran on the platform that education is the path to opportunity for all Virginians. Despite a slew of vicious attacks hurled at Sears from the liberal media, she remained focused on her goal: helping Virginians live better lives. Her election is truly historic and a good reminder to the rest of the country that demographics don’t determine politics, and common sense still carries the day.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin

It’s not just conservatives who have stood up to the left this year. Among Democrats, Senator Joe Manchin may be the most obvious example of someone displaying some common sense and a clear head. The moderate Democrat has made headlines multiple times this year for objecting to the Biden administration’s more radical proposals, most recently the so-called “Build Back Better Act,” which amounted to little more than a socialist wish list. Manchin has insisted that his colleagues in the Democratic Party find actual sources of funding for their progressive pipe dreams, particularly as spiraling inflation is decimating the finances of hard-working Americans. Despite immense pressure from the media, the White House, and other Congressional Democrats, Manchin has stood firm against the worst inclinations of the radical left.

Education Warrior Asra Nomani

Asra Nomani is a Virginian who took a stand for education and rooting out racist ideologies in school classrooms. As Vice President for Strategy and Investigations at Parents Defending Education and as co-founder of Coalition for TJ, Nomani has spent 2021 advocating for equality in education, especially at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The Northern Virginia school, widely considered among the best in the country, made news this year when administrators announced they were considering a new, race-conscious admission system. This system would actively reduce the number of Asian-American students, who currently make up around 70% of TJ’s student body. Nomani and other Asian parents in Northern Virginia, many of whom moved to this area so their children could attend these highly-ranked schools, protested the change and are fighting to ensure that race plays no role in selecting which students are afforded educational opportunity.

Commentator and Author Bari Weiss

Bari Weiss, who may be best known for her very public resignation from the New York Times last year, spent the year challenging progressivism. Importantly, she didn’t just stand up to the left in one dramatic moment but did so day by day, putting in the hard intellectual work to expose the inherent flaws in the far left’s worldview. Weiss moved over to Substack, an independent platform where readers can subscribe to individual journalists. She is part of a growing crowd of ex-mainstream journalists dissatisfied with editors and publications that prioritize ideology over truth. Weiss helped highlight perspectives and stories that were being ignored or misrepresented by mainstream sources. She often used her platform to exhibit others’ work, letting them speak to her audience in their own words. In doing so, she is helping pave the way for a new model of journalism that cuts out the middleman and more directly democratizes information for all.

Comedian Dave Chapelle (and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos)

The past few years have been difficult for entertainers, as rapidly shifting social rules dictated by progressive internet mobs have seen many of them deemed “problematic” or “canceled.”  Many have had to issue apologies. But this year, stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle refused. His most recent comedy special, “The Closer,” contained jokes about sensitive issues like transgenderism which (naturally) sparked outrage. Despite several transgender entertainers expressing their support for Chappelle, Netflix employees staged a walkout, and several Hollywood news sources derided Chapelle as “transphobic.”

However, Chappelle stood by his comedic remarks, reaffirming his position rather than caving to social pressure. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos did as well, refusing to pull the special off the platform. While neither Chappelle nor Sarandos is likely to be spotted at a local GOP meeting, both men refused to be bullied by the far left.

Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroder

Judge Bruce Schroder was thrust into the spotlight when he presided over the Kyle Rittenhouse trial earlier this year. Despite the enormous media firestorm surrounding the trial, he worked hard to ensure that his courtroom would be a place of justice, not appeasement. He evicted reporters who tried to influence the jury and didn’t allow the prosecution to break legal procedure in order to make Rittenhouse look guilty. He was not intimidated by his role in the center of an explosive national controversy. Instead, he did his job, as it was supposed to be done.

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What these people have done is not always showy. Much of it has involved simply doing their job and staying calm in the face of crisis. But in a crisis, staying calm is more than just remarkable—it is a sign of hope for everybody else. Hope, first of all, that we are not alone. That somebody, anybody, will stand up to the rising tide of radicalism that threatens to sweep away so much of our history and our culture. But also hope that people can change their minds. Not all of the above individuals are conservatives. But they have all in some way recognized the danger of unchecked extremism and decided to take a stand. 

Yes, 2021 has been a year of outrage and upsets. It’s been hard to keep your head. It’s been even harder not to lose heart. But, hidden among the faults and failings have been glimmers of hope and moments of courage. Perhaps in 2022, we will have not just glimmers but lasting victories.

Eleanor Vaughn is a writer living in Virginia.

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Deborah Sullivan
Deborah Sullivan
2 years ago

Excellent article! Standing against the media chosen tide is not easy nor comfortable

Henry Carney
Henry Carney
2 years ago

If Trump really does run in 2024 he’d be a fool not to name DeSantis as his VP. I just can’t wait for Nov 2022
to set the stage. Great article and
Happy New Year to all on AMAC

Nobody
Nobody
2 years ago

Three or four examples? It’s not enough. By any metric we are losing this war and, as Democrats import 100 million new voters, it’s going to get much worse.

R.Thomas Guth
R.Thomas Guth
2 years ago

You should also consider Mark Robinson who is the lieutenant governor in North Carolina. He has been doing a great job despite constant attacks by the left, and absolutely no help from the democratic governor.

Mark L
Mark L
2 years ago

Sorry didn’t read the column but I will say who the heck would want to remember 2021?

Rachel
Rachel
2 years ago

Thanks for sharing this article! We have all suffered for standing up to President Trump’s naysayers.

Denis M. Maxson
Denis M. Maxson
2 years ago

Great article. Thank you.

JohnT Mattison Jr
JohnT Mattison Jr
2 years ago

Good Job on this! Thanks!

Honey
Honey
2 years ago

One big disagreement.

Joe Manchin does not belong in this list. He had no problem voting for other giant spending. And I do believe if Schumer/Pelosi construct an unconstitutional for the people bill, Manchin would vote for it.

Manchin is from West Virginia where Trump won everywhere. Manchin needs to show he is a moderate so he made noise and stopped this bill from going forward – for the time being. He scored points with his less left wing constituents.

But this merely delays BBB. Noise is already bing made that Biden will take parts of this bill and make them law by Presidential fiat.

And Manchin is not voting against BBB because it is a horrible bill with too much government He says it is because there is no way shown to pay for all of this. If it is a bad bill, as any sane person knows it is, as Manchin certainly should recognize, he should vote it down in perpetuity, not because it doesn’t show how it is paid for.

To Manchin, by his own admission, he wants to do damage to the Trump tax cuts and raise taxes on the rich and big corporations to try to get money to “pay” for the huge spending. It isn’t the bill he rejects. It is that the rich aren’t paying their “fair “share.. That is no moderate or even sensible democrat talking.

If Pelosi raises taxes, Manchin will vote for this disgusting bill

And why didn’t Manchin vote against ending the filibuster? We have Sinema to thank for that. I often think Senators and House members talk to each other. It was good for Manchin that Sinema didn’t give Schumer her vote so that anti filibuster bill could not pass. That freed Manchin not be forced to vote that way. What kind of moderate is that? A hypocritical one.

He gets unearned kudos from gullible people on our side.

Linda
Linda
2 years ago

Great article.
My hat’s off to all those who stood up to the Left’s extreme social agenda especially those who are of the same party.

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

How ’bout “Profiles in Discourage”??? Top Nominees — Joe Hiden’ Biden, Barcrook Obama, Upchuck Shumer, etc.for starters!!!,

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 years ago

to do your job and fulfill your duty to electorate is not courage its whats expected of you unfortunately we accept now spineless gutless slippery politicians as the norm we are in a mess

Carl S Blankemeyer
Carl S Blankemeyer
2 years ago

Great read!

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

In reading the Manchin portion of the story, I still urge great caution about being comfy with Manchin. He is a Democrap in Conservative clothing (at times). If the Democraps get enough propaganda sweetness from the Media, Manchin will hide behind his true Liberal Commie and ride it out. Manchin is like an unmarked two-way highway … better be real careful about judging him according to the lane he drives in. His motto would be whichever lane is best for me is the one I’ll ride in. Remember the witty remark attributed to PT Barnum of Circus fame: You can fool some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time …. but not all of the people all of the time. Be careful with Manchin that he is not following the “all of the people some of the time” or the “some of the people all of the time” modes.

Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
2 years ago

Heavy handed, controlling, tyrannical, arrogant official permanent handlers are running Washington right now. I don’t know who will clear them out. Pharisees and Saducees sullied the temple in Jerusalem before Jesus saw what they were doing. How could we allow such people hold the US checkbook? This will not continue.

PattyRN MA
PattyRN MA
2 years ago

Your picks of the year are wisely and soundly chosen. Manchin, however, remains the weak link. He must not, cannot fold on this bill. It will lead to catastrophic consequences. If you have 3 children you will receive $10,800 monthly. My husband earns in the 6 figures and cannot compete with that. I will not wear a mask. I will not show ID to go to a restaurant or bar. I will stay home. I went for the vax and also had covid but I am done. Also no boosters

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
2 years ago

You should add Mike Lindell, who put his own money into the pot to expose DIMM corruption!

Mim
Mim
2 years ago

Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron should have in this group just look what faced during his time atty gen in Kentucky would list but it better and more rewarding

mjl
mjl
2 years ago

We can’t afford to lose the state of Florida and all DeSantis is accomplishing…I see him as an outstanding choice for President in 2028, following Trump in office…not as a VP. He is a fighter without the negative personality traits of Trump..name calling & constant negative media.. but we are not blind sighted, as some were.. in thinking we are getting a “moderate-Biden”…we know Trump’s faults but we also have seen his ability to do as he promised…we know who he is and who we are getting..and its not the image Biden puts forth. As much as I don’t look forward to another 4 years of media/political negative/fake news..if we all vote in person in the 2022 mid-term elections just maybe we can again get this country on the right path that our forefathers & veterans fought and gave their lives for…no one can sit at home and not vote…and it will be a long difficult job for even Trump to get back to where we were in 2020.

LynnKay
LynnKay
2 years ago

Rand Paul is noteworthy for repeatedly standing up to and outgunning the most arrogant Anthony Fauci who declared “I am science.”

J. Farley
J. Farley
2 years ago

I agree that the people mentioned here showed a lot of political courage in their actions, and standing up and doing the right thing, I would like to cast a vote for congresswomen Lauren Boebert of Colorados 3rd Congressional District, she fights for the people of her district.

HocasPocas
HocasPocas
2 years ago

How about Marjorie Taylor-Green? She is one of two congressmen that actually went to Stockholm, DC jail to actually see how the patriots are being treated. These people’s God given rights have been violated by this regime for close a year now and only two representatives give a hoot about their well-being. I think it’s time this government starts working for the people or we get a new government that will!

Diesel Dave
Diesel Dave
2 years ago

Kudos to all you’ve mentioned in your article. And as noted by the audience, there are many others as well. Together, we can defeat the liberals and communists who are bent on destroying this great nation. God Bless America!

Sean Richman
Sean Richman
2 years ago

Good for AMERICA,we need patriotic AMERICANS like these and many more to beat down the anti everything AMERICAN.These weasels will try to sneak in any and every law and program that will reap them and them only rewards that”we the people”and”we the working taxpayer”will end up paying for.Vote them out,way,way out so far that they will never return and we all know who and what the”THEY”are.Not all are elected polilticians as in soros.

Larry W.
Larry W.
2 years ago

I was hoping a few other democrats would line up with Manchin but alas the democratic party is doomed to follow a radical agenda until they fire Schumer and Pelosi and elect moderate leaders for their party.

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

We have some bright and strong people on the Conservative ranks, America needs them now.
President Trump continues to be a leader for Our Country too and we need him to run again in 2024.
Thanks for an uplifting and informative article!

BAE
BAE
2 years ago

Fauci is the opposite of science; a fool and we are stuck with him. Why is he still with us? He also screwed up AIDs research. Dr. Rand Paul is a hero.

Pianoguy31
Pianoguy31
2 years ago

No honest article about political courage can leave out Liz Cheney. Although I rarely agree with her politics, she is standing up for what she believes in. Defending our constitution against those who would love to tear it to shreds.

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

I’ll nominate Christopher Rufo for exposing CRT and Andy Ngo whose life is under severe threat by Antifa, but hasn’t stopped because of it.

Karen
Karen
2 years ago

Anyway, thanks for all of you listed. Now, if the rest of the panty-waste Reps would work a little harder, we may be in good shape by 2022;

Barb304
Barb304
2 years ago

I am proud to be able to say Sen. Manchin is my state’s senator. Technically he doesn’t only represent WV but, in cases like the BBB bill, he serves the entire country. Thank you, Joe!

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