Just about a year ago I wrote about some refreshing honesty coming from Delegate Nick Freitas in the Virginia Statehouse. It appears that he is still pulling no punches but in stark contrast to other thought-leaders in the GOP he’s not doing it with bombast or asinine comments. And guess what…the left finds it just a offensive.

Many Democrats even left the room because of Freitas honest expression of historical facts. In response to the familiar histrionic litany of accusations against Republicans including association with Nazism and segregationism—calumnies now amplified by the present gun control fever—Freitas corrected the historical inaccuracies and it was too much for Democrats to bear. They needed a recess to calm down.

Why do Republicans resist debating a ban on bump stocks? “Because quite frankly, I don’t think any of us on this side of the aisle believe you when you say that’s all you want to do,” Freitas said.

Instead, Democrats just want to demonize their opponents, “comparing members on this side of the aisle to Nazis,” he said, referring to an email Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) sent out to supporters last month that slammed Republicans for supporting assault weapons similar to those “created by Nazi Germany.”

Freitas criticized a letter from a 24-year-old teacher, which Del. Dawn Adams (D-Richmond) read a few days ago, in which the teacher said she worried that politicians were debating between the Second Amendment and her life. And Freitas was especially upset, he said, by a recent comment from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) comparing the gun rights issue to segregation.

“I just want to remind everyone of something very quickly. It was not our party that supported slavery, that fought women’s suffrage, that rounded up tens of thousands of Asian Americans and put them in concentration camps, that supported Jim Crow, that supported segregation or supported mass resistance. That wasn’t our party. That was the Democrat party,” he said.

At this point large numbers of Democrats, including most of the Black Caucus, got up and left the chamber. Even a few Republicans slipped out.

So far, I like what I see from Freitas who is now running for the Republican nomination to challenge Tim Kaine’s U.S. Senate seat. However I’m reluctant to go further than that because so many politicians who once appeared reasonable to me have disappointed me greatly.

Freitas said that if Democrats want to have an honest debate on gun issues, it should “start with a certain degree of mutual respect.” They shouldn’t assume he has been bought off by the NRA, he said, and he wouldn’t assume Democrats were paid off by Planned Parenthood.

I made a very similar comparison while writing about Connecticut’s worm-like Senator Chris Murphy accusing Republicans of being “cowards” who are afraid of the NRA and the gun industry.

I would never say that Senator Murphy was so afraid of the abortion lobby that he pretends that the “epidemic” of butchering unborn children under the guise of healthcare doesn’t deserve a public policy response. I take him at his word that he actually believes that as part of his personal moral philosophy. I don’t assume that he is afraid of Planned Parenthood or NARAL. He believes what they believe. The people who voted for Murphy believe it as well, or are at least willing to tolerate it in exchange for some other item on their left wing wish list.

I think Murphy’s positions are abominable but I will grant him the respect that he actually believes what he believes and that he’s not supporting policies he knows are wrong under duress. I think that (and not being called Nazis) is the “certain degree of mutual respect” that Freitas called for. If Democrats are afraid of anything it is open and honest debate about gun policy based on data, logic, and reason. Some of them are also evidently threatened by historical realities that run counter to revisionist narratives.

After Democrats settled down, Del. Joseph Lindsey (D-Norfolk) told the House that “today, I have been offended as I can never recall since being a part of this body. And I have seen many of my colleagues emotionally shaken and bothered by either a lack of concern for facts or just simply playing to the cameras, I don’t know which.”

Delegate Lindsey appears to think that simple denial is sufficient to refute an argument based on verifiable data. Feelings over facts is business as usual for Democrats. More and more, it’s also becoming the standard used by Republicans. It’s the tribalism, many of us are already tired of writing about.

Freitas’ campaign website certainly portrays him as someone who might break out of that rut.

Nick Freitas lives in Culpeper, Virginia with his high school sweetheart and wife, Tina, along with their three children. Nick is serving in his second term in the House of Delegates for Virginia’s 30th District. After his high school graduation, Nick joined the Army. Following 9/11, he volunteered for the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), and served 2 tours in Iraq. Following his honorable discharge in 2009, Nick became the Director of Operations for a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned company. During his first term as delegate, Nick proudly patroned legislation which reduced onerous regulations, improved government transparency and drastically increased local control of education curriculum. Some of Nick’s most recents achievements include pushing for one of the nation’s strictest civil asset forfeiture reform bills and taking a strong stand for occupational licensing reform on behalf of Virginia’s working professionals.

As I’ve said many times though, I don’t trust any politicians anymore. You won’t see me on anyone’s bandwagon, but Freitas is definitely someone to keep an eye on.