August 8, 2019 | Reading Time: 4 minutes
Joaquin Castro’s Righteous Norm-Busting
A norm preventing you from fighting fascist terrorism is no norm at all.
Joaquin Castro is a US congressman from San Antonio, Texas. He’s the twin brother of Julián Castro, who’s running for the presidency. On Tuesday, Joaquin Castro did something his fellow Democrats tend to be uncomfortable with, but I think is right and necessary in order to beat back a resurging tide of homegrown fascism.
What did Joaquin Castro do? He broke a norm.
Hiya! Today’s edition goes out to everyone. But please, pretty please, if you can afford to, subscribe ($5/mo.) and support my work! Just click on the red button. Many thanks! —JS
Normally, members of Congress would not seek to publicly shame local private citizens for donating the maximum allowable amount of money to the reelection campaigns of presidents from the opposing party. There are good and healthy reasons for this norm, including basic respect for institutional integrity, etiquette and decorum as well as the self-regulating fear of chilling donor enthusiasm for your own party.
But on Tuesday, Joaquin Castro decided that this norm was no longer sustainable. Action in the face of homegrown fascism outweighed deference to it. Indeed, busting the norm was a constructive way of responding to an accelerating menace.
The need for action stemmed directly from the slaughter of innocents in El Paso, a massacre that punctuated the president’s three-year effort to ostracize or outlaw immigrants and people of color for the crime of existing. If donors are free to fund a president able to inspire murder, the public has the right to know who they are.