You might think I might criticize much of the dialogue of the political campaigns this year. Actually, I find much of the outrageous yapping simply so silly that it is hard to believe that voters take them seriously. In the case of the candidate running to replace retiring Congressman Tom Garrett, first she talked about Bigfoot as if that was a serious issue. Now she is trying to explain that she has more knowledge of issues of war because she was a reporter covering the Middle East, while her opponent was actually involved in the war front.
Much has been said and written about the negative activities of political campaigns in races this year and the recent past. I would remind all that negative activity in politics has been part of the process forever. It did not start this year or last. It did not start with Donald Trump, even though some believe that he was the father of attacks on other candidates in both the primary elections as well as the general election. It did not start with Michael Moore’s libelous movies.
Nor is violence a new phenomenon. We have had several presidential murders and attempted murders throughout our history. In Bedford County, when I was in high school, a Republican was shot for having the audacity to even run against Delegate Lacey Putney. However, in most of those cases in our history, the person attacked was the candidate or officeholder. In most cases, the attacker had either personal animosity or they were simply nut jobs.
It does concern me that too frequently this year, the violence has been not against the candidate but rather against staff and volunteers with the primary purpose of intimidating them, particularly young ladies. An interesting tactic considering their claim to be the party that is looking out for at least some women.
Many of these outrageous mobs are paid by groups that are funded by George Soros. You have to wonder exactly why he is trying to create chaos in our society. It may be simply a way of getting richer in the process. Remember, he made a fortune by crashing the English monetary a generation ago.
What also bothers me is that, when the focus is on the chaos that these trouble makers are creating and the silly issues that grab the headlines, it distracts the public from understanding the policy issues that elections should be focused upon. It is up to each of you to decide for whom you wish to vote, but if the candidates are hiding their true beliefs from you, how can you?
There are major policy issues that will affect your life. If there are no discussions about those issues, it is impossible for you to decide who you support. As examples, when a candidate talks about free health care, you need to understand that they don’t mean free. They mean shifting cost to the taxpayer and paid for by higher taxes. When they talk about doubling the minimum wage, they do not explain that these increased wages will be paid for with higher unemployment, fewer opportunities for young people to learn on the job skills, higher consumer prices, and a loss of small businesses that are anchors in our communities.
It is important that you find out for yourselves in the next few days. It will affect your life.
Frank Ruff Jr. serves as the 15th District senator in Virginia. He can be reached at Sen.Ruff@verizon.net, (434) 374-5129 or P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927.