Commentary, Local Commentary, National Commentary

Editor’s Column: Don’t Let Democracy Slip Away in Critical Elections

My fellow Americans, arise! Don’t forget that as voting is currently underway, November 8 Election Day 2022 is now barely over a week away. It may be the most impactful election in the nation’s history. In Virginia, while in Falls Church there is only one race on the ballot for voters to decide on – with our remarkable Congressman and Falls Church Favorite Son Don Beyer facing two opponents – the biggest races with national import are just to our south and west, and local activists reading this are urged to impact those races as absolutely much as possible,

With the future of women’s reproductive rights and American democracy more generally at stake in these elections, it really, really matters. Give what you can, do what you can! The incumbencies of Elaine Luria, Jennifer Weston and Abigail Spansberger must be upheld as part of a nationwide defense of the most core values that freedom-loving people share.

Since the Civil War a century and a half ago, this nation has never found itself with objective enemies to the republic on the ballot, quite the equivalent of this time. It has been a long time in the making, but the ugly spectors of racism and sexism have eaten through the fabric of our culture to the point where some 300 candidates on the ballot this fall in the country are pledged to the fundamental undoing of our democratic institutions.

Our enemies today remain the kin to those who dared carry the evil pestilence embodied in the flags of two of our nation’s most hateful foes – the debased and pro-slavery racist Confederacy and the genocidal German Nazi horror – through our hallowed halls of government in a rampage of destruction and defilement that day of January 6, 2021. There is no gray in this, there is good and there is evil. We must arise and stand up for the good, even as we are asked to do so little by comparison to those multitudes who sacrificed with their very fortunes and lives to help ensure that this relatively non-violent day of reckoning would be facing you and me.

We, you and I, need to reach back to our roots, to the better days of our youth, when it seemed the options were simpler and more plain, when honesty and fairness seemed so obviously preferable to whatever else, whatever marginal, hateful poison was being spilled in our school halls and yards by menacing elements threatening our free, orderly and democratic way of life. 

 This was an insidious rot that leaked through our unattended morality that we’d come to take too much for granted. It foisted itself in the high-minded name of “postmodernism” upon our values, cynically assailing the very foundations of our thought and purpose with nihilistic alternatives that hit away at our basic commitments to truth, science and fair play in the name of “might makes right” and pleasure for its own sake.

Those were the new mantras of postmodernity, of nihilism, that began polluting our minds in the 1970s, subverting the best sentiments aimed at advancing our ideals of freedom and inclusion of the previous decade that were embodied in the commitments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others.

These were the bearers of the black flags of chaos and extreme selfishness that assailed our democratic impulses with angry and cruel options of instant gratification and lurid extremes. Asleep at the switch, our nation began falling under the sway of these elements in the 1970s and after. Even though there had been pro-Confederacy and pro-Nazi elements here from much earlier, they’d been tamped down by the rising tide of postwar optimism and opportunity after World War 2 until, that is, they weaseled their way back to play bigger roles than every before, bringing us to this defining moment in our history.

These forces of hate and tyranny stand opposed to democratic values, to the nation’s core notion articulated in our Declaration of Independence from 1776, that all persons are created equal, as simple and as profound, and revolutionary, a notion as that. 

  It is not overstating the stakes facing us now that this is what we are called to fight for in this impending election, my friends.