Why I Voted for Terry McAuliffe (and You Should, Too)

Assuming my turnout model assumptions are correct, over two million Virginians will be voting tomorrow. On the off-chance any of them are persuadable voters who follow this site, I present the reasons why I voted (via mail) for Terry McAuliffe (and thus, why I think my fellow Virginians should, too).

I have already presented many, many reasons why I think voting for Glenn Youngkin would be a terrible mistake. There is one issue in particular that makes this election a binary choice: control of Virginia’s election infrastructure.

Youngkin’s increasingly close ties to Big Lie proponents like Amanda Chase means we simply cannot trust whom he would appoint as Secretary of Administration (of which the Elections Department is a part), let alone the election boards, in which the Governor’s party holds the majority.

Beyond that, there is the question of January 2025, should Trump try once more to overturn a lost election. As Max Boot puts it (emphasis added):

What would happen if Trump again mobilized his fanatical followers to storm the U.S. Capitol? On Jan. 6, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) sent Virginia state troopers and the Virginia National Guard to help save the citadel of democracy. There is no reason to expect that Youngkin would risk Trump’s wrath by acting to stop a future coup attempt.

There’s only one way Virginians can prevent that scenario from happening, and that’s by voting for McAuliffe.

Fortunately, there is more to T-Mac than “not Youngkin.”

When I first became a voter, Republicans were about cutting taxes and Democrats were about raising them. In the 1990s, Republicans George Allen and Jim Gilmore each proposed substantial tax cuts – winning a majority of the voters’ support each time (in Allen’s case, his 1995 popular majority was gerrymandered into a minority in the House of Delegates and a tie in the State Senate).

Since Gilmore left office nearly twenty years ago, only one Governor has proposed a net tax reduction of any kind. Plenty of Governors have campaigned on tax cuts (or against tax hikes) since 2001. Mark Warner insisted that he wouldn’t raise taxes…but he did it. Ditto Bob McDonnell. Ralph Northam ran on a grocery tax cut; after winning in November 2017, no one heard about it again. Kaine proposed numerous tax hikes, but he never said never on that one.

The one Governor who actually proposed a tax cut? That was T-Mac. It wasn’t a politically easy, Keynesian one either; he was willing to cut corporate tax rate, if the Republican-controlled legislature hadn’t turned him down flat.

McAuliffe has also shown he recognizes the need to get Virginia beyond COVID the right way: namely, getting as many Virginians vaccinated as possible. Virginia is ahead of the national average on vaccination, but we can’t afford to rest on those laurels. Vaccine disinformation and outright resistance is still killing too many Virginians.

Of the three on the ballot – yes, I checked Blanding on this – T-Mac is the only candidate who supports vaccine mandates that are needed to put COVID in the rear-view mirror once and for all.

For all of Glenn Youngkin’s many faults – his “Phase 1” China trade debacle, his courtship of Big Lie proponents and blutfahne followers, his refusal to acknowledge threats of violence against school officials – there are three issues that push the minimum requirement for good citizenship beyond merely opposing Youngkin.

Those issues are real election integrity, T-Mac’s record of supporting corporate tax reduction, and his support for vaccine mandates. Those are the reasons why I voted for Terry McAuliffe – and so should you.

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