Carter Elliott, Staff Columnist~
On Nov. 7, the Commonwealth and its voters stood strong and showed the country that Virginia remains for lovers.
The New York Times, on Oct. 10, 2017, published an op-ed by macro-economist Paul Krugman titled “Virginia Is for Haters.” Krugman wrote, “Virginia is now the most important place on the U.S. political landscape” and noted that the Commonwealth’s Election Day is often a referendum on the president’s first year in office. This election night, Virginia responded and elected Ralph Northam as our next governor.
The past four out of five governors elected in Virginia have been in the opposing party of the president elected in the previous election year. The only exception is Terry McAuliffe, the current governor who was elected in 2013, the year after President Obama’s historic 2012 win. Not only did Northam triumph, but he won by nearly nine percent – a landslide victory.
It is apparent that a clear majority of Virginians are frustrated and angry with the current administration. Virginians are tired of lies, alternate facts and half-truths. Sadly, this campaign cycle was filled with nasty rhetoric and misleading claims, using scare tactics to claim candidates directly enable gang violence and child pornographers. On August 15, we witnessed our president claim that we “had some very fine people on both sides” of the white supremacist’s march in Charlottesville and on the sacred lawn at UVA, and he never fully denounced their actions without backtracking.
Educated voters saw through these misleading ads and elected a completely democratic ticket with Northam, Fairfax and Herring, and possibly flipped the House of Delegates with some of the most diverse candidates our state has seen.
Over the next four years our government has much work to accomplish; however, we must continue to encourage real Virginia values like love, not hate. We should all be proud to be Virginians because we sent a clear message to the United States: Virginia is not for haters.