A View From the Back

I approached the Rennick Park Pavilion with a heavy heart for three reasons.  At least three.

First, it was yet another night that I would not be home. And tomorrow’s first day of school.  The last first day of school for my son, Patrick. I can’t think of that without thinking about his first day of kindergarten—which seems like yesterday—when he insisted on riding the bus.  With his little backpack overflowing with supplies listed on a green sheet of paper (Rockwood-Green Pines-K), he stepped onto that bus in August of 1998.

Second, being totally selfish and shallow, I was late.  The service started at 6:00, but I was rolling in during the invocation by Pastor Curtman.  Nothing makes you stand out like walking in the middle of prayers.

Third, the very need for this event is disturbing.  A man and his family are targets of political hit job. Brian Nieves’s only crime it appears was winning an election that men of power and money had reserved for someone else. 

I was surprised when Brian Nieves took the podium to speak. He was both humble and determined. The ridiculous accusations by a political opponent would not end his fight, he told us, but it had rattled him. He said he understands, now, why his candidate recruitment efforts were so difficult. 

“I won’t put my family through that,” they told Brian. 

He assured us knows why.

Republican party power brokers wanted another candidate to win the primary for Missouri Senate District 26, which covers parts of Franklin, St. Louis, and Warren Counties.  Nieves won a tough four-way race in which he was attacked and lied about by opposing candidates, their supporters and staffers, and Republican power brokers.

Brian wanted to tell the story, but he’s under lawyer orders not to discuss the incident. He did let us know that his accuser—for whom he asked us to pray—was comfortable enough at Nieves’s office to return for his sunglasses and enjoy a soda. Less than twenty-four hours later, that accuser would swear in a police report that he was so traumatized by a visit to Nieves’s campaign office that he was rendered a quivering mass of humanity, curled in a fetal position on the floor, begging for mercy.  Mercy and a nice refreshment, that is.  “Could I get a lemon wedge?”

Sorry. The accuser seems to have demons of his own.  He must be under incredible pressure.

The 200 or so people who came out on an evening designed by God, to stand and sit, cheer and prayer by the banks of the Missouri River left certain about two things:

1.  This episode will end someone careers, and

2.  Brian will come out standing.

I wish I could report how exciting it was. I can’t.  I was thrilled to see the response to Annette Read’s and Cindy McGee’s call for a prayer vigil for the Nieves family. But need for this—when we should be out fighting the disassembly of America—just pisses me off. The abuse of this man and his family pisses me off.  The abuse of the system, from the police to the courts to the political process, pisses me off.

While I should have left that ceremony full of love and hope, as I was told, in the end, I did not. I am not angry, not spitting nails, not enraged.  I’m just disgusted that human beings are using good people as pawns.

I understand that the Nieves family will face monstrous legal bills.  To defray those expenses, they have established an emergency legal defense fund.  To contribute, to help push back the ridiculous attack on Brian and his family, please contact his campaign office at 636-432-1776.

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.

4 Comments on “A View From the Back

  1. I wonder if you will feel the same way when the truth comes out and you find out what a snake in the apple tree B.N really is. You can’t see why he has come up with all this stuff about a conspiracy? It deflects what he did that day off of himself. Ask him if he he or Dave has agreed to take a lie detector test or are you afraid of the truth?

  2. I agree with Mr. Hennessy. The Republican power brokers also picked Roy Blunt, but Mr. Blunt carries a lot of baggage and is not the best candidate. I like Mr. Nieves’ views and I am pleased that he won the nomination. We need people to represent us who are not tied to establishment politics. The Republicans rightfully lost the last several elections, but the down-side is that we got something worse. People are tired of these polititians who have entrenched themselves in office and then pass legislation to repay the monied organizations/people who got them there, instead of representing their constituency.

  3. Bill, your story of this evening was very telling. I to was late for the prayers, yet the fellowship continued. Brian and Julia are truely remarkable people. We don’t know where God will put us in our lives to make differences and we don’t question either.

    Brian assured me that even though I missed the prayers, prayers can still be made for protection and healing. This is the first primary election we Tea Partiers have gone through and we have learned lots. It will take time to heal from a brutal campaign from many fronts. We have seen how the beast works. We will learn how to protect ourselves from that beast. We must now prepare for November. We now know who our enemy is. Now we pick up each other as we go and prepare for the fight.

    Kathy Henry

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