Politicians running for elected office in Virginia should look like the Virginians they represent. Right? So, the Republican Party should have more ‘diversity’ among candidates to win – right?[read_more]
It depends on whether we look at the hearts and minds of Virginians — or their skin.
As more and more of the 8.4 million Virginians don’t fit into the former white-black paradigm of a Southern state, shouldn’t that force the Republican Party to start recruiting Hispanic, Korean, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Christian, Muslim and other Minority candidates, simply for their hyphen or their skin?
The Republican Party of Virginia should never engage in the identity politics of race, gender, class or sexual behavior. Leave that to the Democrats to divide, label, pander and polarize people. The only identity that should matter – and it should really matter greatly – to the Republicans, is the identity as a “Virginian.”
Virginian as an identity has been an ascending idea for 400 years. It’s ascending still. It’s who we are – not how we look. It’s shared ideas held by people who live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It’s the common experiences of people who live, work, raise families, play and do their duties in our Commonwealth. It’s one consensus culture and one common history – even if you are new Virginian by choice. A melting pot. E Pluribus Unum.
The legacy of the English-Speaking People started a new branch here. Representative democracy in America began here. The fundamental trust in education for all citizens and the service obligations for college graduates is Virginian. The ideas written into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution flowed from the minds of Virginians. And our Revolutionary battle for separation was lead by a Virginian.
Believe it or not, on issue after issue – if the questions are asked without political labels – 60% of Virginians agree, over and over, about what is right and wrong. Republicans need to run candidates who share that distinct identity. Not professional politicians.
For a Republican candidate to look like Virginia their allegiance must be to our ideas of lower taxes, less government, live and let live, personal privacy, clean water and air, better education, marriage between one man and one woman, strong families, personal safety with the right to keep and bear arms and profound individual freedom of thought and words. A great place to start would be the Republican Creed found here. Not politics as a business, a career and crony, corrupt business as usual.
A Republican candidate who looks like Virginia should have many shared experiences. No one can have them all. Shared experiences like military service stand out. And volunteering – really volunteering – in community service. Contributing with sleeves rolled up in a giving and working church family. Virginian’s own real businesses, not consulting firms. They farm the land, help our government work smoothly, take risks and want to be rewarded for the value they bring to others.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would remind us, Virginians should strive to focus on content of character, not color of skin.
The only color that counts in looking like Virginia is the red blood of every Virginian. Republicans need candidates who give their blood, as well as their sweat and tears for their fellow Virginians.