Right Note: You Do Get What You Vote For

The Right Note is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

The rotating writers of the Progressive Voice often make some interesting claims.

In yesterday’s column, Craig Hines suggested that the results of the past two years in Richmond were “the will of voters.”

While Mr. Hines did point out a handful of Democrats’ wish list item wins, he did leave off a few less popular outcomes.

  • Kids shut out of schools for a year which ignored science and the best interest of children at the behest of special interests.
  • Cities being allowed to burn during riots.
  • A parole board that let convicted murderers with life sentences out of prison without so much as notifying the victims’ families.
  • Energy rules and regulations that will make every good and service more expensive.
  • COVID mandates added on top of tax hikes that are crushing small businesses.

For years, Virginians at large have benefitted from a strong economy fueled by the federal government and a relatively stable regulatory and tax environment. However, Virginia is now ranked 26th for its business tax climate by the Tax Foundation. According to the Chief Executive, Virginia was the 16th best place to do business in 2020, down from 13th in 2019. And according to the Motley Fool, Virginia was the 49th best place to start a small business in 2020.

Mr. Hines’ assertion that the Democrat record is “common-sense” and backed by the public will be put to the test this November across Virginia. There is no question they have more to answer for than liberalizing marijuana possession or eliminating voter ID requirements.

While the assertion that every outcome was the “will of voters” may not hold up, Mr. Hines’ assertion that “elections matter” is spot on. Adopting a total blue state posture will bring blue state results.

In Arlington, after nearly five years of having an independent serve on the County Board, the five member body has snapped back to group think. And, it has been made even worse by a year of virtual meetings.

Contrary to Mr. Hines’ suggestions, John Vihstadt did not lose the 2018 election because an engaged electorate disapproved of the job he was doing. Vihstadt ran more than 30 percentage points better than the Republican on the top of the ticket, and he received over 11,000 more votes than he had four years prior.

Vihstadt’s re-election effort was unsuccessful because Democrats turned out tens of thousands of voters who did not usually vote in non-presidential elections, and who came out to vote the straight party ticket. Anyone who watched closely knows that Matthew de Ferranti’s entire campaign was “I am a Democrat, and John Vihstadt is not.”

It was a prime example of election results in the current age of political tribalism rather than the evaluation of a record or the promise of an agenda. As a result, Arlingtonians are all feeling the loss of Vihstadt’s independent voice which held his colleagues accountable.

Mark Kelly is a long-time Arlington resident, former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.