If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools. — Plato
On Tuesday, October 4, the Glen Youngkin for Governor campaign swung by the Salem Farmers’ market. An enthusiastic crowd had gathered to welcome Youngkin’s arrival. Much of the crowd was like a Roanoke Valley GOP “Who’s Who.” Some guests included Congressman Morgan Griffith (9th), retired Rep. Bob Goodlatte (6th), Delegates Chris Head and Joe McNamara, candidate for delegate Charlie Nave, state Senator David Suetterlein, Roanoke County Sheriff Eric Orange, former Hollins supervisor Al Bedrosian, activist Dr. Nancy Dye, and others. After shaking some hands and thanking the guests, Youngkin soon took his place and addressed the crowd.
Dubbing the stop part of his “Parents Matter” campaign, Youngkin quickly fired up the already-supportive throng. In his stump speech he declared that he is not running a campaign, but rather “this is a movement.” He quickly ticked off a list of goals and concerns that resonated with many in the audience. Parental rights. Economic growth. Election integrity. Constitutional liberties, and lots more.
Getting specific, he assailed the past eight years of Democrat control of the Virginia Governor’s Mansion–under Governors Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–as a stagnant time for Virginia’s economy. Youngkin cited the recent news that Ford has announced a plan to invest $11 billion in two plants in Kentucky and one in Tennessee to make car batteries and create nearly 11,000 jobs. “They skipped right over Virginia,” Youngkin intoned. “North Carolina has created eight times more jobs than Virginia has in the past eight years,” he added, emphasizing that the Democrats’ high regulation, anti-business policies are choking our economy and killing jobs.
Touting his business acumen and non-politician status, Youngkin promised to bring a businessman’s keen eye to state matters. He promised a full audit of many state bureaucracies, “including the DMV and Virginia Employment Commission” he said over the cheers from the crowd. He also pledged to fire all but one of the current members of the scandal-plagued State Parole Board, that includes beleaguered Roanoke City Mayor Sherman Lea.
Youngkin focused much of his ire against his opponent McAuliffe’s claim in the final debate on September 28 about parental rights and educational reforms. McAuliffe, in his previous term as Virginia Governor (2014-2018), earned notoriety by vetoing a bipartisan bill that would have notified parents and given them an opt-out when their children were exposed to sexually-explicit books in school. In the September 28 debate, McAuliffe again stirred up a hornets’ nest by declaring: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
In an era when many parents are already up in arms about CRT and declining standards in schools, countless moms and dads across the Commonwealth viewed McAuliffe’s recent remark as yet one more slap in the face from an out-of-touch elite.
Youngkin declared McAuliffe’s controversial remark shows he trusts government over families, while Youngkin in contrast trusts parents to know and do what is best for their children.
Youngkin further encouraged the crowd by informing them the respected Cook Political Report recently moved the Virginia Governor’s Race from “Leans Democrat” to “Toss-up,” due to the souring national environment for Democrats.
Since the US had such a high-profile election in 2020, this year is unusual in that only Virginia and New Jersey are having state-wide elections. Since the Old Dominion chooses our governor the year after each presidential election, the rest of the nation looks to us as a kind of bellwether or mandate on how popular or unpopular the new president is, one year in. Therefore, Youngkin claimed our election will not only have huge consequences for us Virginians, but also sends a message to the rest of the nation.
In other words, if we are pleased with the botched job President Biden has done with the Afghanistan exit, the Southern border, gas prices, vaccine mandates, race relations, crime, inflation, etc., then go ahead and vote for Terry McAuliffe so we get more of the same. However, if we do not like the current path our nation is on, then vote for Youngkin and the entire GOP ticket for a change of direction and new leadership.
(To be continued)