Submitted to the AFRO by Larry S. Gibson

This election is not mainly about Larry Hogan, or even Ben Jealous. It is about which political party will control Maryland’s state government for the next four years. The Republican Party is led and controlled by an openly racist president, a hostile and backward attorney general, and an indifferent congress. The Democratic Party is not perfect; but at least it welcomes diversity and tries to protect our democracy and decency. This election will determine whether Maryland government will continue to enable Donald Trump or join other progressive states in resisting Trumpism.

The issue isn’t whether Hogan is like Trump. Gov. Larry Hogan is a decent and honorable man. But, Hogan believes in and supports the right-wing Republican philosophy and agenda that most Marylanders reject. He just does it softly.

Hogan has been passive, and often supportive, as Trump has damaged our state. Trump’s immigration policies have harmed our agricultural and sea food processing industries. Trump has caused deep cuts to EPA programs protecting the Chesapeake Bay, reduced grants for redeveloping low-income housing in Baltimore, compromised our health care, and harmed our schools.

Hogan has remained silent as his Republican Party has passed trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthy, while cutting support for education, health, housing, environmental protection and other programs important to the people of Maryland. Hogan has not challenged his party on these issues. He has embraced his Republican Party, while occasionally offering a few words of mild objection from time to time.

Hogan may seem mild, compared to the extremists of his party, but mildness is not enough. Maryland needs a progressive governor who will forcefully resist the harm that Trump and the Republicans are doing to our state and nation.

This is why I say that a vote for Hogan is a vote for Trump.

Larry S. Gibson is professor of Law at the University of Maryland and the author of Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice.

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