Saturday, November 05, 2005

Longing For Old Virginia

I am a Virginian born and bred, well to be more precise I was born in Tennessee but that is only because the nearest hospital was in Tennessee. Let me repeat, I am a Virginian. Both my mother’s and father’s ancestors came to America in the 1600s. They were Virginians too. I love Virginia. When we studied Virginia History in school it was really United States history at least until 1865. We were the first Americans, well discounting the indigenous peoples and a handful of Spaniards. But we won the wars so we got to write the history. Those are the rules. Some of you who have seen my profile may be asking if I love Virginia so much, why I didn’t go to UVA (University of Virginia) instead of the University of Michigan. Suffice it to say that it was partly due to the Bible, Virginia’s revolutionary tradition, and the Port Huron Statement (1), amongst other things.

For the past few years Virginia has been considering changing the official state song, currently, “Carry Me Back to old Virginny.” The reason is that the lyrics are offensive to many people. The state set up a website where you could vote for a new song. I voted for “Longing For Old Virginia”. I voted for it for two reasons; one it is a love song, two it was written by A.P. Carter. Carter started the singing group The Carter Family which is known as "The First Family of Country Music." A.P. Carter is from my home county and I have walked and climbed his beloved Clinch Mountain many many times. It is visible from my back deck. I love it too.

What this is leading up to is that there is a gubernatorial race in Virginia this Tuesday. One of the candidates, Jerry Kilgore, is from my home county also. No, this isn’t to be a ringing endorsement. It is anything but. Though Jerry and I grew up in the same place we learned different values, we must have for his words and actions are not compatible with the Christian values I was taught. I am not saying that Jerry is not a Christian. I can not see in his heart only God can do that. What I am saying is that his words and actions are not reconcilable with the words and actions of Christ.

Jerry, a Republican, is running what has been the quintessential GOP campaign of the last 30 years. It follows the standard Karl Rove handbook. It is a mean-spirited campaign fueled by lies, dirty tricks, and hate. Kilgore’s campaign is being run by one of Rove’s more ‘talented’ protégées, Scott Howell. If you are not familiar with the name then you have been negligent in your civic responsibilities. In 2000 Scott helped derail John McCain’s primary campaign in South Carolina by starting several vicious lies and undermining McCain with various dirty tricks. Other dirty campaigns run by Howell include the Senatorial campaigns of John Thune of South Dakota, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, and Jim Talent of Missouri. But by far the worst, at least to me, was his despicable and traitorous treatment of Senator Max Cleland of Georgia. Howell ran ads comparing Cleland, a Vietnam hero, to Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and bin Laden. Howell did this in support of a cowardly Saxby Chambliss, a draft dodger in the 1960’s. Chambliss was then elected to the Senate, shame on Howell and the people of Georgia for falling for his lies.

Do not misunderstand me Chambliss is not a coward for not wanting to go to Vietnam. He is a coward for attacking the patriotism of a man who did go, a man who sacrificed an arm and both legs to that war. He is a coward for supporting the sending of troops to far off lands to fight in wars when he was unwilling to do that himself. Shame on Scott Howell for supporting such a man.

And now Scott is up to his old habits in Virginia. He has used one of his standard tricks, associating the opponent, Tim Kaine, with Hitler. There are no depths to which Howell and Kilgore are not willing to sink. They have attacked Kaine for his Christian belief in the sanctity of life. They attack him for his personal belief of being against the death penalty. For someone who has never seen the need to risk his own, Jerry sure seems to enjoy the taste of blood(2). Shame on Scott, shame on Jerry, and shame on Virginia if the new Governor is named Kilgore.

1 Port Huron Statement

2 "Hang em High" Jerry

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.

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