Vote on November 7

By Stan Scott

Now that we’re well into the age of Trumpism, elections take on more importance.  This isn’t because electing Democrats sends a message to President* Trump or Congress – it’s a simple matter of arresting a dangerous trend in American politics and policy.  Simply put, the forces of extremism have taken over the Republican Party. If we don’t elect Democrats to public office, “conservatives” like Ed Gillespie will turn Virginia into another example of how their policies create division, destroy communities, and damage the economy.

I could ramble on about how every vote counts, and cite examples of very close elections where only a handful of votes made the difference.  Fewer than a hundred thousand votes spread across four states put Trump in office, for example.  Right here in Virginia we all remember how close Ed Gillespie came to unseating Mark Warner to become a Senator – and that Mark Herring defeated Mark Obenshain by a mere 155 votes.  But anyone reading this already knows these stories.

Instead I’ll point out that Democrats simply must to get to the polls on Tuesday to make sure Mr. Gillespie does not become our Governor, and to elect Democrats to the General Assembly in order to stop this extremist Republican agenda.  Gillespie is a good lobbyist for corporations like Enron, and we need to send him back to that life while giving him some former GOP Delegates and Senators to take with him to K Street.  If he, Adams, and Vogel win, and hold a Republican General Assembly, we can expect them to move Virginia far to the right of where it’s people want to be. 

They’ll destroy the Virginia economy by cutting taxes on the wealthy, for example, just as Brownback and the GOP did in Kansas.  They’ll continue disrespecting women and their agency by making it more difficult for them to control their own bodies.  Gillespie et al would divide Virginians further by protecting monuments – erected more to intimidate minorities than celebrate heritage - to the men who committed treason in defense of slavery. They would make our streets less safe by helping terrorists, abusive spouses, and the mentally unstable purchase firearms more easily and carry them in grocery stores.  They would take away the health insurance that many or our neighbors have today only because Democrats changed the rules, and they would continue to reject billions in Federal money for Medicaid.  And they would further gerrymander and suppress voting to keep themselves in power.

Make no mistake: Trumpism isn’t about draining the swamp or challenging elites.  Trump himself is a New York billionaire who happily appointed Goldman Sachs executives to positions of power, and a Republican Party that nominates former lobbyists like Ed Gillespie to run for Governor is no kind of populist party. It’s about achieving every extreme fiscal, religious, and white supremacist goal the GOP has salivated to make real since Nixon won in 1968. 

In 2009, more than 26,000 people in Hanover County voted Democratic in a losing effort to elect Creigh Deeds Governor.  By 2013, this turnout among Democrats in the County fell to less than 11,000 as Terry McAuliffe defeated Ken Cuccinelli by fewer than 60,000 votes.  This year Hanover County Democrats can make a statement by giving Ralph Northam, Mark Herring, and Justin Fairfax more than 30,000 votes.  We have many more than that in the County.  Let’s all show up and let Donald Trump and his sidekick Ed Gillespie know how we feel.

Please vote on November 7th.  And take a friend – or ten – along when you go to the polls.