In driving around the country, I was struck by how many political signs continue to litter the roadside a month after the primaries. And unless one is blind, it’s fairly obvious whose they are. One would think that their supporters would have enough respect for others to take them down now they’ve served their purpose, as did our two local candidates.
While blaming outsiders and foreigners is something of local pastime around here, this abandoned signage is an indication of a more intractable problem, one which begins with contempt for others. Particularly for those who aren’t members of their “tribe.” And apparently, it’s an attitude which extends to even to tribal members — if the election results weren’t to their liking.
And it’s a type of disrespect which is much harder to define, because of its simplicity, minimalism and lack of substance. A quality some might call willful ignorance. Like Kellyanne Conway’s recent interview on Faux Noise, where she succeeded in making Cliffs Notes look like heavy reading after using flashcards and a red marker to respond to allegations about the Drumpf’s campaign and now administration colluding with the Russians.
Saying, What’s the conclusion? “So just so we’re clear, everyone: four words. Collusion, no. Illusion, delusion, yes,” she said. “I just thought we’d have some fun with words. A Sesame [Street] Grover’s word of the day, perhaps.”
Another example of conservative disdain can be seen on full display in downtown Louisa. Anyone who’s ever driven through town knows there’s a building usually so covered with political signs one would be hard pressed to find an exposed brick. Yet today, there are none.
Since that building belongs to the head of Louisa’s Republican Party, and presumably they are supporting the “only supervisor with an “R” by his name,” along with the fellow who defeated him in the 56th district primary, the absence of any visible support is telling.
And it’s a lack of respect characterized by petty deeds; with actions as trivial as blocking users from commenting on their Facebook pages, as is the case with Dave Brat, Duane Adams, and even our local paper the Central Virginia. To outright lying about issues and smearing others, a “tactic” we’ve seen time and time again from Bryce Reeves, and now Congressman Garrett. These denials, deflections, and distractions are nothing new; we’ve seen them before and apparently they are the only working tools in their authoritarian playbook.
And when it comes to getting the job done, it always helps to know what the right tools are, and especially how to use them. Something that judging from her constituents FB page separates Stephanie Koren from the rest of her fellow supervisors, where she lays out the many issues before Board of Supervisors in clear easy to understand language.
An open and honest approach to informing her constituents which stems from her commitment to implementing “best practices” and using the correct tools for governing responsibly, rather than a nail gun to change a tire so to speak. Along with her ability to recognize that in a complex world, you’re going to need thoughtful solutions, not slogans.
These are some of the reasons why Democrats and progressives in Louisa, and particularly those in the Mineral district should consider supporting her re-election to the Board of Supervisors this November. So for those who would say “but she’s not a Democrat,” I would remind them that coalitions, like politics often make for strange bedfellows.
And just in case anybody has forgotten — what happens at the county level affects us all far more that state and federal actions.
When you consider all the issues and financial pressures the board faces; from high speed internet, to the James River pipeline and the Central Virginia Regional Jail, the last thing we need a board so divided that most if not all of their decisions are split along partisan lines, or becomes so heavily weighted to the free market side, that any decisions would have been settled long before they ever get around to voting on that issue.
Another reminder that if we as Democrats and progressives are serious about taking back control of who represents us at the local and state level, along with Congress in 2018, we should think long and hard about expanding our list of allies beyond the usual suspects. Especially in the case of Ms. Koren, whose opponent is being backed by AFP’s shadowy tentacles, just like state Senator Bryce Reeves.
It’s hardly any coincidence that his son is Reeve’s finance manager, an ideal position to serve as their cut out man, concealing the true sources of his father’s support. All of this is happening, because AFP and their Koch brothers sponsored affiliate ALEC have for all practical purposes taken over much of the General Assemblies legislative agendas, and are determined to consolidate that control downwards to the County and Township level.
So it would be most interesting to hear what Mr. Adams, and some of our current board members have to say as they come up for re-election this year and in 2019 when asked about their relationship with ALEC’s latest spinoff, ACCE, not to be confused with the better known Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
Perhaps all of this clandestine skullduggery will be enough to convince her and other sensible conservatives to go the full Joe Scarborough and switch parties. Because like Mike Silberman who tried to run for Sheriff in 2015 as Republican, it should be clear that the Louisa Republican Party will never give her, or anyone else who doesn’t believe in their ideology — and won’t blindly follow their masters orders the time of day.