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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Virginia gubernatorial election could determine the future of history

A day short of the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s epic victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election voters go to the polls today in Virginia and New Jersey to choose new governors.

While the two states vary widely in their political makeups and electoral dynamics, it can be said they share one thing in common: many of the same issues and themes that were hotly debated in the 2016 national Robert E. Lee Statuecampaign are on the ballot again this year in both locations.

And in Virginia at least, racial identity politics is at the forefront, just as it was in the contest between Trump and Crooked Hillary Clinton a year ago. The Old Dominion is still buzzing over a controversial ad introduced last week by a leftist Hispanic group supporting Democrat Ralph Northam. Its overtly racial content was revolting and insulting, causing many to predict a backlash will ensue in favor of Republican Ed Gillespie at the ballot box.

Jeffrey Lord wrote at The American Spectator, “What you actually see in that commercial is the Democratic Party’s past of racial politics chasing its present of racial politics, all presented by a group that is itself based entirely on race. In terms of Virginia’s current politics it is creating for Ralph Northam a legacy of hate.

“The good news here is that the commercial has stirred a backlash of Virginians and others who simply are not willing to put up with a potential Virginia governor and his allies who make it plain that if elected he will govern by race.”

In one sense you could hardly blame the desperate-to-win Democrats for so blatantly playing the race card because it’s really all they’ve got these days. Democrats can’t credibly claim they’re for creating jobs (other than in the government sector, maybe) because they’re strongly opposed to any type of meaningful tax reductions; they also aren’t for common sense industry-workable environmental regulation because they’re being watched by the wacko green fringe and there’s only so many times you can tout how wonderful public education is without people starting to tune you out.

Similarly, the historical monument issue favors the traditionalists who want to preserve the past, warts and all. If the leftists wouldn’t push so hard for expunging – like taking down plaques dedicated to George Washington – people might begin to empathize with those arguing the monuments should be relocated to private land; but it’s not in a liberal’s makeup to let sleeping dogs lie. They have to kick the dang mutt and then beat it to death.

There’s little doubt the Democrats’ racist political ad has indeed caused a stir in Virginia. It’s all talk radio has been discussing since the spot first appeared. Northam maintains a lead in the Real Clear Politics average (polls have been widely skewed) but the only results that matter will come tonight after all the votes have been tallied. It’s always dangerous to suggest a single ad or issue will be enough to swing the election one way or the other but it also seems apparent all the positive momentum is in Gillespie’s favor going into Election Day.

Northam and his allies made a calculated error in trying to depict the mild-mannered Republican candidate as a rabid racist because Gillespie has gone out of his way to be very un-Trump-like in his campaign when addressing sensitive topics. Trump doesn’t care a lick about stepping on toes – Gillespie definitely does.

It’s more than a little ironic that the ad in question features four unmistakably minority children (including a Muslim girl in a hajib) running for their lives from a scary sounding diesel pickup truck as the same type of incident happened in real life in New York City on Halloween where an ISIS-inspired Muslim terrorist utilized a rented Home Depot flatbed delivery truck to mow down innocents on a bike path within sight of the reconstructed World Trade Center.

Subsequent statements by the terrorist himself left little doubt that killing as many civilians as possible was his unambiguous intention – this wasn’t some stupid political stunt meant to scare people. Still, the press didn’t acknowledge the real message involved.

Erick Erickson wrote at The Resurgent, “The top three best-selling vehicles in America are pickup trucks. And Democrats view pickup trucks as proxies for simple-minded bigots. Add in an Ed Gillespie bumper sticker and a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ license plate and suddenly those simple-minded bigots are willing to hoist a Confederate flag and kill Muslim kids.

“The press reaction, naturally, was predictable. Those political reporters who know no one who drives a pickup truck were perfectly fine with the Democrats’ ad. They excused it as best they could. Then when a Muslim did what they thought only a Trump voter was capable of, the left and its political reporters immediately wondered when the backlash against Muslims would happen.”

Indeed, the press coverage following the Big Apple murders was primarily concerned with limiting damage to the political leadership of the Empire State whose naïve beliefs and policies contributed to the dangerous immigration conditions we now have in America. All of them staunchly defended the “diversity lottery” program which was responsible for bringing the terrorist to the United States in the first place. When President Trump indicated he was planning to cancel the program liberals went nuts.

The post-attack commentary was far too slanted towards “this is the new normal.” But why does it have to be? Can’t Americans be safe in the belief they can go for a bike ride or a walk on a nice day and not risk death at the hands of a person let into the country by politically correct politicians who champion “diversity” over common sense?

What does “diversity” truly accomplish anyway? Answer: nothing, except for perhaps providing more fodder for Democrat groups and politicians to label conservatives who might object to their nonsensical policies as “racists.”

How stupid can they go? Seeing as a pickup truck was the terrorist’s weapon of choice in the attack, and, as Erickson pointed out, was also symbolic of Trump voters, will Democrats move to outlaw them now?

They might. It could come through absurd gas mileage mandates or crushing emissions regulations. One way or another, those statists are coming for you if they regain power at the federal level.

Instead of focusing on the very real Muslim ideology behind the latest attack media liberals were more intent on knocking Trump chief of staff General John Kelly for suggesting in an interview that long-dead Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. In essence, Kelly was right.

Yankee civil war author Ralph Peters wrote in the New York Post, “Robert E. Lee was, in fact, a man of flawless honor in his times. He abhorred secession and viewed slavery as doomed. But when Virginia seceded from the Union, this hero of multiple wars felt compelled — as Kelly honestly noted — to defend his state, his family and friends. It was, for him and others, an anguished choice.

“Nor was Lee alone in detesting secession. Many of the West Point-trained officers who became Confederate generals strongly opposed it. Jubal Early argued bravely against it. Thomas J. Jackson, soon to be known as ‘Stonewall,’ preferred continued unity and peace.”

Such historic facts matter little to the leftist revisionists and “diversity” apologists of the present. Together with a complicit media Democrats insinuate the torch-bearing human filth that gathered around the Lee statue in Charlottesville is characteristic of all conservatives and Republicans.

Far from it; many Virginians, including myself, came to the state from other places, both domestic and foreign. The history of the state, particularly its connection to the civil war and to the ideological birthplace of the American Revolution – Williamsburg, Virginia – was a major reason for wanting to relocate here. In the course of my extensive tours of Virginia I have visited most of the places and historic sites that are now so much at risk because of the Democrats’ desire to obliterate unpleasant aspects of our collective history.

I have visited Lee’s final resting place in Lexington, Virginia; I have similarly been to see the graves of ‘Stonewall’ Jackson (also in Lexington) and president Jefferson Davis (at Hollywood cemetery in Richmond) and many other notable civil war figures, union and confederate. Further, I have had the occasion to view Thomas Jefferson’s and George Washington’s burial sites as well.

Monuments to these men are thought provoking and to some extent, educational. Only through understanding history’s lessons can we appreciate and interpret the present. Making the statues go away isn’t going to cleanse the past, nor should it. Would Ralph Northam acknowledge that there’s at least some merit to preserving Virginia’s irreplaceable antiquity?

Strangely enough Lee’s legacy – or at least the statuary part of it – could be at stake in today’s gubernatorial election. If the left has its way, everything historic is in danger.

And the odious ads will keep on coming, too.

Ben Shapiro wrote last week at National Review, “The larger question still looms: Can the country survive such ongoing, bipartisan hatred? [Alexander] Hamilton thought not. And indeed, history shows that America can survive any internal strife so long as we see each other as friends rather than enemies. Hence Lincoln’s lament in his first inaugural: ‘We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.’ Despite his best efforts, the bonds of affection were broken — and civil war ensued.

“Either we will remember that we have something in common, or we will not. If we do not, we’re bound for something much uglier than a rash of inflammatory, dishonest attack ads.”

It’s hard to see how that commonality will prevail without political leadership determined to protect it. Virginia may survive should Democrats succeed in scaring enough people into voting for Ralph Northam today; but the question then becomes how long do any of us have before political correctness rules the entire country?

I say bring on Ed Gillespie.

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