Some Thoughts on Bill Bolling’s Final Thoughts
Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling has always been the kind of Virginian Republican I could admire. Intellectual, principled, and devoted to our Commonwealth above partisan interests, he evokes the true spirit of conservatism, the spirit that first drew me away from the politics of the Southern Democrats as a young man, and why I became a Reagan Democrat over forty years ago.
But like the cartoon character who finds himself stretched over the water while trying to board a boat drifting away from the dock, he is suspended in midair between fealty to the party he has served with distinction and the ugly reality of Trumpism in the GOP.
If Terry McAuliffe and the Democrats lose this abominable off-year election tomorrow, an election whose very timing in the Virginia Constitution is politically engineered to suppress voter turnout and thereby enhance the power and sway of the professional political class over the prerogatives of Everyman to whom the Bosses give only lip service commitment, it will not be a failure of T-Mac and the Clintonista Democrats.
It will be a triumph of Trumpism over democracy, a victory of the Machine over the People. Like the election of Donald Trump, it will
be the objective end state of the Gingrich Revolution, the Divine-ordained vanquishing of not our fellow Americans in political opposition but the damnation of Evil Liberals who are an existential Anti-American sub-human class.
With all due respect, Mr. Bolling, Trump is very much on the ballot tomorrow.
Voter turn-out is a proverbial two-edged sword. It demands the civic responsibility of all citizens to voluntarily meet their obligation of suffrage, in the positive sense. However, in the negative sense it is a less-than-rational goading and exhorting of those expected to bolster the current position of their political faction regardless of each individual’s critical evaluation of the alternatives, especially when voters are urged to support an option based on emotional and even contrived circumstances rather than reality.
All political parties indulge in the negative usage of “get out the vote (GOTV).” None will admit to less than honorable intentions in GOTV messaging towards their own faithful; all routinely accuse the opposition of false and baseless behavior. Thus, Bill Bolling skirts the issue of racism with his not-very-oblique reference to Black voters’ preference for Democratic candidates while neatly ignoring the parallel phenomenon of white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic voters’ normal alignment with Republican candidates in Virginia.
Yes, Terry McAuliffe is an older, white male. So is Glenn Youngkin. Terry McAuliffe is a moderate, but no one really knows what Glenn Youngkin is, based on his lack of any background in public office, either elected or appointed. We do know that he was a beneficiary
of Donald Trump’s endorsement during the run-up to the Republican nomination convention, a not insignificant advantage in his competition with state Sen. Amanda Chase. He now avoids any Trump correlation the way an anti-vaxxer avoids hypodermic needles.
Mr. Bolling is correct in that McAuliffe committed a major error in his final campaign debate when he [gasp!] told the truth and declared that “parents should not (and have never been allowed) to tell schools what to teach.” The context of that hoof-in-mouth fault was the fabricated Republican event of this electoral cycle pertaining to local school boards who, in the telling of it by Youngkin and the GOP, are irresponsible and unrestrained purveyors of Hate America subversive indoctrination and pornography in libraries. That has been the lynchpin of the Republican GOTV message, without apology and without factual substantiation. As ubiquitous as Trump’s Big Lie, any Democratic candidate who disputes this ingrained-through-repetition propaganda does so at his own peril. Why should any thoughtful citizen vote for a candidate who tells the truth at the risk of losing marginal, undecided votes?
If (and I emphasize if) it is true that Terry McAuliffe has not given us a compelling reason for returning to the Governor’s office, I am at a loss to know what reason Glenn Youngkin has provided to the voters. His singular issue has emerged late in the campaign and propelled him closer to the competitive position that is historically a given in Virginia for the candidate whose party has just lost the White House. But to accept his position on education and school boards we must accept his conspiratorial explanations of Critical Race Theory and other subliminal attempts at brainwashing of our children.
Further, we must agree that our local school boards, which are largely elected rather than appointed, have been insidiously taken over by manipulation of the citizens and the popular vote. Shame on us all if that were to be the case.
What is at stake tomorrow is not Democratic versus Republican control of the Commonwealth’s executive branch. If the Republicans do win then it will validate the Trumpian premise that a big lie can suffice where the truth is found wanting.