I am writing to alert readers to a billboard that lurks by Twentynine Palms Highway here in California’s 8th Congressional District. This billboard basically amounts to hate speech from a candidate for U.S. Congress who is running against the Republican incumbent, Paul Cook. Challenger Tim Donnelly is a founder of the Minutemen at the California-Mexico border. He is also clearly a bigot. We don’t need any more of those in Washington.
The text on the billboard is as follows: “Ask Paul Cook why he voted to allow our military funds to be used for sex change surgeries!” The accompanying photo is of a sailor with long hair whose gender is indeterminate. Their facial expression is one of slight shame or embarrassment. Not pride, anyway.
The billboard promotes hate against transgender people, and transgender U.S. military service members in particular.
Things are not at all harmonious out here in the Mojave Desert communities. Joshua Tree is quaint and all, but Twentynine Palms is another story. Despite its diversity at first glance, it is truly Trumpland, where fringe hate groups fester and anger at the establishment seethes, all of it barely under wraps while citizens go about their daily lives, some of them in not-so-quiet desperation.
But this billboard is like a sore that has burst open. Anyone who cares about humanity will have to make a stark choice between two “Republicans” come November. Vote for the ultra-conservative incumbent Paul Cook or send the neo-fascist nativist Tim Donnelly to our nation’s capital.