Former Lincoln Project advisor Tom Nichol, who is a current contributing writer for The Atlantic, was blasted online after he sent a patronizing tweet mocking Edward Durr, a New Jersey truck driver who upset the state’s long-serving Democratic Senate president on Tuesday.
Durr, who ran as a Republican, had a lead of more than 2,000 votes over state Sen. Steve Sweeney on Thursday when The Associated Press called the race. Sweeney has served in the New Jersey Senate for more than 20 years and was one of the state’s most prominent Democrats; he has been president of the chamber since 2010.
Durr said the one motivating factor that led him to get into politics was the state’s refusal to grant him a concealed carry permit for a firearm.
“So, the guy who defeated the NJ Senate president ran because he was denied a concealed carry permit. I’m sure this will all go very well and produce a fine, informed legislator,” Nichols noted on Twitter.
So, the guy who defeated the NJ Senate president ran because he was denied a concealed carry permit.
I'm sure this will all go very well and produce a fine, informed legislator.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) November 4, 2021
Several people ripped Nichols in response, with some social media users noting that someone’s constitutional rights being “infringed” upon is more than enough reason to run for office, while others said they would like to see more Americans make similar decisions.
“When some people have issues with existing laws they take their vexations to Twitter, others run for office to try to actually do something,” noted journalist Harry Khachatrian.
When some people have issues with existing laws they take their vexations to Twitter, others run for office to try to actually do something https://t.co/v5WFWQZPBL
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) November 4, 2021
Others joined in as well.
You backed Biden who claimed he ran for President because of a fake remark about neo-Nazis that Trump never even said, so sit this one out, Thomas.
— AdamInHTownTX (Let’s Go Brandon!) (@AdamInHTownTX) November 4, 2021
I think the better question is to ponder how this thing happened.
— Mike Glenn (@mrglenn) November 4, 2021
there isn’t a well informed decent human being in the entire government but sure let’s concentrate on this guy
— SG (@itsgood333) November 5, 2021
Tommy boy… pic.twitter.com/4Glvn5BGuU
— IowaGma2 (@Gma2Iowa) November 5, 2021
Everyone is beneath you. Got it.
— Defiant L’s (@DefiantLs) November 4, 2021
i agree! electing people who are tired of tyranny and now have a position to fix it is absolutely ideal
— Jessica O’Donnell (@heckyessica) November 5, 2021
Government infringed on his constitutional right. That seems like a good reason to get in the game.
— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) November 4, 2021
If more people did this because their rights are being violated, we would live in a much freer world. https://t.co/5Hzy92nfUW
— Libertarian Party NH (@LPNH) November 5, 2021
Regular people entering government service to right a wrong enacted on them by the previous government …
Now, where have I heard that before? https://t.co/tq66CPP7vi
— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) November 5, 2021
Tom: “How DARE a man run for office to protect his constitutional rights!”https://t.co/FRWitaBQB8
— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) November 4, 2021
He believed he was wronged by his government. He believed his rights were denied. No matter your stance on concealed carry, that seems like a damn good reason to run for office. https://t.co/Pby4h8QBa6
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) November 4, 2021
The dude from the Atlantic thinks institutional politicians are more impressive people than the citizens they’re supposed to represent. It’s good to know how people like these view the world when you read their work. https://t.co/JWTiZNRck6
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) November 5, 2021
He has every right to carry a concealed weapon. All Americans do. Soon SCOTUS will confirm this. https://t.co/3vZGHBlLWt
— Preston Byrne (@prestonjbyrne) November 5, 2021
What if nobody was allowed to vote… except for Tom Nichols? Ya know, to save democracy? https://t.co/sOuA3VgwPr
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 (@ChristinaPushaw) November 5, 2021
In an interview with Fox News this week, Durr credited the people of New Jersey for his victory.
“I didn’t beat him. We beat him,” Durr said.
“The state of New Jersey, the people of New Jersey beat him. They listened to what I had to say and I listened to what they had to say, and it’s a repudiation of Governor Murphy [who] went and locked us down and ignored the people’s voice and senator Sweeney chose to do nothing for those 18 months,” the trucker added.
“You cannot tell people they can’t have a job. You can’t tell people they can’t go to church, and that’s what was done. And there was nothing done by the legislature, so this was the people’s voice being made heard clear.”
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