Dear Virginia, The Nation is Counting on Us. Let’s Not Blow It.

Dear Virginia-

It’s almost here: election day. On Tuesday we’ll be picking city officials and all state officers. Most eyes, however, are on a single race: Governor. Democrat Ralph Northam v. Republican Ed Gillespie. The last polls have the race tied. But this election is about more than Virginia.

Ralph Northam is the best candidate to lead the state. He is a soft-spoken pediatric neurologist, Army veteran, and supremely decent human being. He will act fairly and hold the high tide of crazy at bay.

But the results will ripple beyond state borders. They’ll echo across the country and may affect every aspect of policy and politics in the United States.

Here’s why:

  1. This VA governor’s race is the first major election in a “purple” place where a moderate is facing a candidate who has gone full-on Trump.
  2. It will be considered the barometer of the political value of embracing the president’s rhetoric. Will following along with Trump help you or hurt you politically as a Republican?
  3. The group of people who can stop the current national madness are reasonable Republican members of Congress. (We can’t do anything about the lunatics right now).
  4. Those moderate Rs will decide the fate of the tax bill, healthcare, court appointments, and responses to anything that the Mueller investigation uncovers.
  5. When casting votes, they won’t make their decision with brave, moral clarity. They will base it on how it affects their prospect at re-election.
  6. If the political winds suggest that you can embrace Trumpism and win, even in a balanced place like Virginia…then they will be far more likely to embrace it. They will avoid rocking the boat and let the madness play on.
  7. BUT, if the winds suggest otherwise—that the fever is beginning to break and moderate fairness is back in style—then they may find stiffness in their spines to say NO to the crazier developments that are undoubtedly down the pike.

This is a very long way of saying: For the Love of God, if You Live in Virginia, Please Please Please Vote on Tuesday.  

The two sides are not persuading each other right now, they are simply trying to out-hustle each other. It is all about turnout. We cannot let crazy out-maneuver reasonableness.

Tell yourself, tell your spouse, tell your roommate, your co-workers, your parents, and anyone else who is not under the spell. Please tell them that this is not a time to sit out and see what happens. It’s a time to push back.

Photo Credit: Ania Mendrek Flickr via Compfight cc

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