Michael Montagano’s latest commercial is calling attention to the notion of a “typical” Democrat. So I got to thinking – just what is a typical Democrat? He notes that he is being called a typical Democrat but then states he is “pro-life”, “pro-gun”, “pro-farm”, and “pro-prayer.”

Somehow I get the feeling he is trying to distance himself from the “typical” Democrat who is, according to the commercial’s implications, “anti-life”, “anti-gun”, “anti-farm”, and “anti-prayer.” Well, let me see, where do I – as a typical Democrat – fall in the scheme of things.

Let’s start with pro-life. Just exactly what is “pro-life?” In its simplest and most widely understood meaning, the term has been co-opted by the Right to mean anti-abortion – a very narrow view of “pro-life.” Those who are not anti-abortion are, of course, pro-death. But pro-life should mean more than simply opposing abortion; it should include positions about life after the birth of a child. But strangely, that is where the pro-lifers smack into a wall. They aren’t much interested in being pro-life after the child is born.

Typically, it is those same individuals who want to cut social programs that would help benefit an unwed mother who decided to keep her child.

And pro-life should mean opposing the death penalty, but I can almost guarantee you that many pro-lifers favor the death penalty. At least the Catholic Church is consistent and opposes the death penalty as well as abortion.

The next category is “pro-gun.” Again, what does pro-gun actually mean? I support the right to own a gun. I just don’t believe weapons should go unregulated. The recent Supreme Court decision in Heller found an individual right to own and possess guns, but it also held that restrictions on gun ownership were perfectly acceptable. I wonder how many “typical” Democrats have no problem with gun ownership as long as restrictions are put in place?

The next one, pro-farm, puzzles me. How have “typical” Democrats acted in an anti-farm way? We have a Democrat running for governor who grew up on a family farm. Indiana’s economy relies heavily on farms. I know of no one who is anti-farm – unless of course we are talking about the industrial sized confined animal feeding operations. But those aren’t farms; they are operations. Calling these operations “farms” is a slap in the face to true farmers and their hard work.

Finally, pro-prayer. Heavens sake, pray all you want. I am pro prayer. People are free to pray any time and any where they want. Just don’t mix it with government or force it into the schools by establishing a set time to pray. I am always amused by those who argue that prayer has been taken out of the schools. Or who become fanatical about not having a prayer in state legislatures. Just pray. You are free do so any time you want to.

This type of commercial does great harm to the unity of the party and raises concerns among Democrats themselves. I consider myself a typical Democrat. I am pro-life but that doesn’t mean I think I should impose my views on a pregnant mother so, instead of being considered pro-life, I get slapped with a pro-choice or pro-abortion label. I am pro-gun but that doesn’t mean I support the unfettered right of the individual to own a gun. I am pro-prayer but that doesn’t mean shoving formal prayers into the schools or into state run entities. And finally, I am absolutely pro-farm but that doesn’t mean I support every form of farming that exists, for example, CAFOs.

So I disagree with Montagano’s most recent commercial. It seems to imply that the typical Democrat is anti-everything. And that simply isn’t true.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. Pete C says:

    A typical Democrat is pro- equal rights and protections under the law, equal opportunity, social security, and separation of church and state. If I’ve met pro-prayer Democrats I wasn’t aware of their position and wouldn’t have thought to ask.I wanted to be wrong about the significance of Montagano’s dollar-thirteen giveaway gimmick earlier in his campaign. I saw it as the same signal as Matt Kelty’s oversized campaign sign downtown: it’s just a little infraction, and the publicity is well worth whatever minor consequence. In other words, the end justifies the means.So, this ad is saying to me that he is not a typical Democrat. He’s a Republican.

  2. Pete:

    Good points. In addition to the items Montagano mentioned, those you mentioned are central to the Democratic philosophy.

    I think this ad was a big mistake. I am not sure if he is really assuming Democrats will overlook the implications in order to put a Democrat in Congress.

    I have met Michael a number of times, and I am truly disappointed in this ad.

  3. kent strock says:

    Sorry, You don’t say? Pro-farm means pro CAFOs. When is Jill gonna raise CAFOS as an issue?

  4. clint jenkins says:

    I think if you went out to the family farm you would actually see what you term “industrial”. I would have you go back to south whitley and look around. On 205 before you get into town there is a family farm you would consider industrial because they use cafo. But, I assure you they sit around the dinner table with 6 children. They talk about bills, school, the garden, what they want to do this fall, etc. Times are changing and so is the family farm. The key word is FAMILY

    I guess the pro prayer thing gets me when a muslim child need to pray to mecca at 1:00pm do the schools allow this? Or any religion for that matter. Seems sometimes we want to give others a little more wiggle room than the Christians

  5. Pete C says:

    I think a lot of the Christian students would pray at lunch time. That’s simply (or maybe complicatedly, depending on the mix of kids) an issue of scheduling. I know for sure, all hell would break loose if a public school teacher instructed those Christian kids to unroll their prayer rugs.

  6. kent strock says:


    I wish you had posted something to address rationally but again we get propaganda “hypotheticals” and red herring issues. Rather than have to address any issues and think we get….”GAwd awful Muslims” that you claim are asking for something that they haven’t asked for and has NOTHING to do with important issues. Seriously, if you want to be taken seriously address some issues and post some arguments rather than red herring fear crap that plays on ignorance.

  7. clint jenkins says:

    Kent did you know Germany has schools that wont allow jews to enter a section dedicated to muslims? Why is Germany important–because you on the left love to pattern the US after europe. Wont be long if it was up to you guys.
    I dont care what the religion is- but Christianity is under attack while other religions use lawyers to sue if you get in their way.

    By the way Kent, I posted something on family farms, was that hypothetical red hering stuff, or do you only deal with religion?

    Nice to have you back Kent, are you going to be man enough to discuss calling me a redneck/racist in person or are you going to just keep running.

  8. kent strock says:


    You keep saying stuff that well… ever heard the saying of “giving enough rope…”. If you want to start family farming stories I can match you…

  9. The issue of prayer and Bible teaching in schools has been violated ever since the decision came down in 1963. I have students right now who went to public schools and indicate prayer is still allowed in some of the schools.

    Obviously, when the Supreme Court renders a decision, the only thing that makes the public follow it, is the legitimacy that has been accorded to the Court. Congress controls the purse strings and can make states fall in line – i.e 55 mph speed limit; .08 bac level – by withholding funds. The President has the power to enforce laws through the use of force – calling out the National Guard as was done to ensure desegregation in the South in the 1960s.

    But what power does the Supreme Court have? It can’t put anyone in jail, it can’t withhold funds. So when the Supreme Court makes a decision, it assumes the public will listen.

    If schools decide to have prayer, the only tool to stop it is to file a lawsuit based on a constitutional violation.

    Do I agree with adjusting schedules to accommodate Muslims? Absolutely not. And I can assure you that someone in the near future will challenge the practice. But just as I don’t believe Muslims should be accommodated in their religious practices, I don’t believe Christians should turn their heads when schools violate the restrictions by allowing Christian prayer. If it is a violation for one faith, then it is a violation for all faiths.

  10. Judith says:

    Neither the Constitution nor the Supreme Court in its decision banning prayer place a prohibition on praying in our schools. Just how many prayers do you imagine are given during exams?

    The prohibition is that prayers are to be private, just as the Bible suggests. Prayers are not to be public proclamations of Christianity or other religions, for that matter. But prayers in public arenas are to be between a person and the God to whom she/he prays. Prayers are not to be a command to recite a given prayer, or even to participate in a ceremony of a prayer session.

  11. kent strock says:


    Sorry, but I have no idea what you mean by this comment, “By the way Kent, I posted something on family farms, was that hypothetical red hering stuff, or do you only deal with religion?”

    I never bring up religion. You keep bringing up the bogeyman of Islam even when it has nothing to do the US. hoiw old are you..seiously?

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