Reviews | Dan Cox’s now-deleted Gab-fest shows why he’s unfit to lead Maryland

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State of Maryland Del. Dan Cox, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, has been an active poster boy for Gab, one of the internet’s most notorious and nauseating cesspools of conspiracies, flowery anti-Semitism and white supremacist hate speech. What did Mr. Cox post there? We can’t tell, and voters in Maryland have no way of knowing, because he recently deleted his account, along with over 1,000 posts on the harmful site.

There is already plenty of evidence that Mr. Cox is unfit to lead the state. Gov. Larry Hogan, a fellow Republican, called him a “QAnon whack job,” a “nut” and, this month, mentally unstable. In April, Mr. Cox was a speaker at a gathering populated by QAnon crackpots.

He recently called the FBI’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home “nothing less than communist Stasi police state tactics.”

This is not the first time that Mr. Cox has apparently tried to erase the evidence of his radical views; he deleted a tweet, posted as police were swarmed during the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol, calling then-Vice President Mike Pence a “traitor” for refusing to block certification of Joe Biden’s election victory in 2020.

Gab, founded in 2016, is primarily known as one of the most prominent online forums for hate speech so vile it’s banned on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and elsewhere. The sources of his notoriety are numerous; among other weak spots, Gab is where mass murderer Robert Bowers posted his anti-Semitic rants before he burst into a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 worshipers in 2018. Neo-Nazi screeds are Gab’s popular fodder.

Of all the social media forums to post to 1,000 times, Mr. Cox chose Gab. Why – and what did he have to say before having the file erased? The people of Maryland deserve answers. Unfortunately, Mr. Cox generally avoids questions from the mainstream media, preferring to primarily address his Republican base.

As to what he believes or what policies he would pursue as governor, that too is shrouded in mystery. Its website lists a few positions: it would “end unconstitutional mask, vaccine and health mandates”; “end the divisive CRT [critical race theory] and liberate our schools from political or ideological gender indoctrination”; and empowering law enforcement “to remove criminal illegal aliens from our communities.” He “promises to protect all life by conception” and to defend gun rights.

On the pressing issues that most Marylanders care about — improving transportation infrastructure, protecting the Chesapeake Bay, reducing Baltimore’s homicide rate, ensuring quality schools with adequate funding — he is silent. The people of Maryland deserve better choice and more transparency than Mr. Cox seems willing to offer.

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