As election-deniers become more involved in local politics, they are bringing with them the propaganda and conspiracies of national politics.
As the elderly woman hesitated at the top of the auditorium steps, a college student in a blue suit and pink tie materialized, lending his arm and guiding her to a seat. The woman’s slightly less hobbled friend beamed at the display of youthful gallantry. It was not the only Norman Rockwell moment I observed at a debate earlier this month in Gettysburg, Pa., that great rampart of American republicanism.
Three candidates for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives — an incumbent Republican, a Democratic challenger and a libertarian outsider — responded to questions posed by a local worthy. The politicians were mostly polite. The crowd of about 200, largely older and overwhelmingly White, was mostly respectful. The evening seemed to provide a respite from the tortured politics of 2022.