Mississippi voters made history this week when, in a dramatic run-off, they elected Cindy Hyde-Smith as the state’s first woman in Congress. Hyde-Smith was appointed as Mississippi’s junior senator back in April, but her election makes it official. It also leaves ultra-liberal Vermont as the only state never to send a woman to Capitol Hill.
Hyde-Smith’s campaign was strongly supported by President Trump, who made several appearances in Mississippi to energize the Republican vote and help push her to victory over Democrat, Mike Espy. She came first in the first round of voting but failed to get the 50% required for outright victory; on Tuesday night she turned that around, beating Espy by 53.85% to 46.15%.
While Hyde-Smith’s election is good news for the Republican Party and for Mississippi, she’s had to put up with some controversy along the way. As usual, the mainstream media have raked through her past and jumped on every little thing they can to throw her and her party in a bad light. Some of the smears thrown at her include:
• Hyde-Smith went to a segregated school. This is true; She was schooled at Lawrence County Academy, a private segregated PK-12 school. Like most kids in that age group she went to the school her parents sent her to, and who attacks someone for decisions their parents made when they were a child?
• When a same-sex marriage ceremony at a Mississippi museum was going to be performed, she was opposed, but allowed it to go ahead anyway. It seems some people have a problem with the idea that you can disapprove of something but respect other people’s right to do it.
• Hyde-Smith also proposed renaming a state highway after Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Davis is a controversial figure for some people, but he also had a distinguished career as a US congressman and senator, as well as being Secretary of War for four years in the 1850s. He’s a significant historical figure from Mississippi, and naming a highway after him shouldn’t be that much of an issue.
• When the resolution that praised a Confederate soldier for defending his homeland, Hyde-Smith voted for it. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Civil War, the Confederate Army fought bravely and well, and its soldiers were fellow Americans. What’s wrong with showing them some respect?
• Funnily enough, none of this was a problem from 1999 to 2010, when Hyde-Smith sat in the Mississippi State Senate as a Democrat. It’s only when she moved to the GOP that her actions and opinions became controversial. It’s almost like there’s some media bias at work here…