The Turn-Virginia-Blue Movement

Robert Baratheon

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All indications are that shady businessman Terry McAuliffe (D) will win the Virginia governorship today, and with his incoming administration's tie-breaking vote, swing the 50-50 Virginia Senate under the control of the Democratic Party.

Here's what a CNN contributor found so noxious about Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli:

"Tea party favorite and self-described "Second Amendment-supporting Christian right-to-life home-school dad," Cuccinelli has built a political career on a foundation of strident social conservatism. Proclaiming "homosexuality is wrong," supporting abstinence-only sex education and devoting himself to abortion restrictions as a matter of faith and law, Cuccinelli has been eager to use political office to advance an ideological agenda."

These words could just as well have been written by several of our resident Virginian commenters who regularly warn about the imminent tyrannical theocracy waiting to be unleashed. Some of them may be out at the polls voting for McAuliffe at this moment, nodding approvingly as they witness their state making the historic transition from red to blue.

I'll sum up in one word why I feel their laser-like focus on trending social issues is destructive: prioritization.

I disagree with every one of Cuccinelli's social positions grieved about in the CNN passage above. So, not being a partisan voter, why do I feel the Turn-Virginia-Blue movement is so fundamentally misguided? Not coincidentally, the social issues that are getting the most attention are the lowest practical priority issues in the election. This is exactly what progressives want to drown out the debate: feel-good, quick-fix social causes that make next to no practical difference in real quality of life. Cuccinelli can't overturn Roe v. Wade or impose harsh new abortion restrictions, so why is it even part of the discussion? Abstinence-only sex education - who cares? Parents should be educating their children about sex, not the schools, in any event. And with apologies to my gay friends, though I support gay marriage, it is not even close to being the overriding social issue of our time. Only economic policies can account for the dramatic swings in living quality that we see from state to state.

Nobody I've encountered disputes that Republican-controlled Virginia is a lovely, thriving place in which to live, which unfortunately, is part of the problem. The state has enviable jobs creation, relatively low taxes, tolerant people, and low levels of corruption. This has attracted an influx in progressive/liberal migration from the Northeast United States and nearby DC and Maryland, where taxes are high, jobs are fewer, and the cost-of-living is perpetually skyrocketing. These progressive migrants choose to live in Virginia, then vote to recreate it in the progressive image, furiously voting out every "Tea Bagger Republican" that appears on their radar. Like a swarm of locusts moving from field to field, they reflexively rage and rally against the political traditions that made their destination states so successful in the first place.

Why let the perfect be the enemy of the good? If it isn't broken, don't fix it.

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My beef is that liberal Democrats already have two nearby states in which to live and experiment with their brand of governance. If they want to live in an aspiring socialist paradise, it's not like they can't do that already in Maryland or Washington, DC (okay, not technically a state). They don't want to do this because those areas have high taxes, burdensome regulations, corrupt politics, and cultural problems that make life unpleasant, so they choose to live in idyllic Virginia instead. Once they move, instead of reflecting on why Virginia is a superior place to live in the first place, they robotically set about trying to "turn the state blue" and replace its existing government with the social democracies they left behind.

If somebody is voting for political upheaval, shouldn't they at least be able to point to some substantive grievances with how the state is being governed? In my experience, Virginia progressives can't do this. They *like* the way Virginia is, but incomprehensibly, they don't connect what they like about the state with the existing structure they are itching to reform.

I don't think priorities are hopelessly subjective. There are rational priorities and irrational priorities. There are priorities that serve as distractions, and priorities that address compelling real-world issues. There are priorities that raise quality of life, priorities that lower it, and priorities that don't affect it at all. I don't demand that people's priorities exactly align with my own, but I do ask that they explain themselves if their priorities demand a major political shift in a state that by all indications is doing perfectly well without it.

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Those on the left are motivated by jealousy. They resent those that have done better than them and they bring that resentment with them. They are impenetrable to logic because theirs is a visceral, emotional reaction. The only way to way to get to them is to point out their true motivations to them. But, expect a nasty, ugly reaction as such is the nature of their emotional reaction to politics.

I agree that the phenomenon that you describe is unfortunate. I've noticed the same thing myself. The wealthiest, most productive, freest states are eventually overrun by leftists that want their slice of the pie to be handed to them on the silver platter and bring their ugly politics with them wherever they go.

BTW, I don't entirely agree with the views of those on the right on social issues, but at least they're mostly willing to stay out of other people's pocketbooks.


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Exit polls are suggesting that Cuccinelli's statements on abortion cost him the election, with unmarried women overwhelmingly voting for McAuliffe and giving abortion rights as the reason. This is why education in law and government is so important - when people mistakenly believe the governor can unilaterally revoke their abortion rights over established case law, they make poor and emotionally driven voting decisions that impact issues that actually matter, like the economy.

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