A new day in Virginia: The next 20 years should be interesting


Photo Credit: niroworld

I woke up today in a Virginia that won’t again drag out a debate on extending healthcare coverage to poor Virginians for years on end so that white guys in cheap suits can score political points.

A Virginia that values public education, the environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant rights.

A Virginia that won’t cave to the NRA.

Our General Assembly won’t waste its time and your money on requiring transvaginal ultrasounds.

Or pretending that road improvements just magically happen without somebody having to actually pay for them.

And the Democrats who are ushering in this new era of common sense did it playing a game that Republicans made the rules for.

The last two redistrictings – in 2000 and 2010 – created political battlefields meant to build and perpetuate Republican majorities.

Credit to the people who drew the lines: worked for more than two decades.

That’s about how long you can expect it to be before your side has a chance to reverse what happened last night.

Elections, we have been so casually reminded by the MAGAs, have consequences.

Election Day 2019 has consequences.

And actually, they’re going to be pretty good, even for the MAGAs.

Funny how many of them get monthly Social Security checks, have Medicare, or have kids in public school.

By definition, socialist programs.

Hell, roads are socialist programs. Built by the state for the collective good, right?

More people with access to health insurance makes us all better off.

Common-sense gun laws make us all safer.

Public education makes us smarter, gets today’s kids better ready to work tomorrow’s jobs, which helps keep the bills paid.

A clean environment clearly benefits us all.

Equal treatment of women, minorities, LGBTQ+, immigrants … hey, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

It’s not all good news.

I also woke up today in a Shenandoah Valley that is the same as it’s ever been.

My voting precinct in Waynesboro voted to give a majority to a House candidate who barely campaigned entirely because he’s a Republican.

Who didn’t want your vote enough to ask for it, and who will go to Richmond and spend the next two years trying to stop progress from happening.

That’s all Republicans have at this point. The outgoing House Majority Leader made it clear in a statement after last night’s historic losses for his side.

“We will fight that agenda at every turn, but with unchecked control of both Houses and a governor still desperately seeking rehabilitation, we will have our work cut out for us.”

This is Todd Gilbert, from Shenandoah County, about an hour up the road.

One of those anti-government guys who made his living working a government job for 15 years because, you know, government is bad, but kids gotta eat.

It’s a game for those folks.

For people who have to wonder if a health scare is going to bankrupt them, it’s not a game.

For people who have been victims of gun violence, it’s not a game.

For women, minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ+s, it’s not a game.

Cutting spending on education to give deeper tax breaks to billionaires is not a game.

Allowing big business and public utilities to write their own regulations that pass the costs of them making money off our natural resources and leave us with the bill is no game that anybody should be playing.

That’s changing, starting today.

It’s a new day in Virginia.

Take a deep breath. The next 20 years should be grand.

Column by Chris Graham

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