Why did Virginia turn blue this month?
Fast answer – because it’s choking on government.
Democrats didn’t “sweep” the state; government workers did.
You can’t swing a dead cat in Fairfax or Loudoun county – two of the major population hubs of Northern Virginia – without hitting at least one federal worker. Probably several – because almost everyone who lives in these counties either works directly for the government or for a business dependent on the government.
So it ought not to be surprising that these government workers and government dependents voted for . . . more government.
What’s dishonest is the portrayal of this as something new – and something ideological (and even racial) rather than cynical – i.e., the apparatchiks of government voting for themselves, basically.
Fairfax – closer to Washington than Loudoun – has been a fief of the Democratic party for decades for the same reason that Washington, D.C. has always been. Loudoun was more conservatively inclined until fairly recently because until fairly recently it was predominantly rural and too far out for most government workers to want to live there – because it took to long to get there from their jobs in DC.
No one likes an hour-long commute if they can avoid it. Lampreys like to swim close to their host.
That changed as the ‘90s rolled into the 2000s – to now – because of the spiraling cost of living in Fairfax, which became too high even for a husband and wife pair of well-paid federal workers. The average price paid for a single family home in Fairfax is currently $552,300 – not counting the exorbitant real estate taxes, which are among the highest in the country (to support more government workers – those employed by the government schools of Fairfax County).
Fairfax is also home to the notorious Government Center, which for garish display of government grandiloquence rivals Albert Speer’s New Reich Chancellery. Among its niceties: Brazilian mahogany paneling, granite countertops and private elevators for the . . . government workers housed therein.
In farther-out Loudoun County, a government paycheck (or two) goes a bit farther. The average price paid for a single family home there is currently $489,900 – and taxes are lower because Loudoun’s government workers aren’t yet as numerous (and avaricious) as those in Fairfax, who’ve had decades to insinuate themselves into . . . well, everything.
In most Fairfax communities, you can’t trim a hedge without getting permission from a government worker first.
Plus, the traffic is terrible.
Government workers dislike this as much as anyone else.
But the government workers who’ve made Fairfax almost unlivable don’t understand that the pathology they’re voting for and exporting to Loudoun (and beyond) will inevitably do the same wherever those bad ideas take root – making life as miserable and expensive for them as for everyone else.
Very much of a piece with the cognitive dissonance displayed by those fleeing the ruined state of California – who try to recreate California (the government part) wherever they re-locate.
A New York Times election post-mortem portrays the bluing of Virginia to demographics – to a “tidal wave” of immigrants from countries such as India and Korea – portraying these newcomers as instinctive – even biological – government-snugglers on account of where they came from rather than where their paychecks come from.
The Times quotes several non-native Virginia residents who voted for Democrats, including an unnamed “38-year-old immigrant from India,” for whom the “most pressing issue” in the election was the candidates’ stance on gun control. Breitbart claims the GOP’s electoral prospects will “only worsen” in coming years because of “historically high” immigration.
But there is question-begging here – as well as a lumping-together-ism that might even be characterized as . . . racist.
If the election had turned out other than it did.
It would have been interesting to know whether the “38-year-old immigrant” interviewed by The Times happened to be a. . . . government worker. And it’s interesting to speculate as to the motives of those who seem to believe that all immigrants necessarily want more government.
Didn’t many of them leave their home countries to escape government – and build a better life for themselves and their families?
Bearing on this is the fact that President Trump’s popularity among Hispanics is increasing – an amazing thing given the cauldrons of vitriol directed at the president, accusing him of . . . sigh . . . “racism.”
By the same people who – per The Times and other establishment organs gloating over the bluing of Virginia – almost explicitly claim that newcomers are government-snugglers because they’re newcomers.
Certainly, there are more foreign-born residents in the state than there were 30 years ago. But there is also more government. And the state isn’t even going blue.
The GOP swept the races in rural parts of the state; in almost all of the state.
Take a look at an electoral map. Virginia is still almost entirely red – except for the canker around the federal enclave up north and the symbiotic enclave of statism near Richmond.
The lesson, then, isn’t that liberalism is ascendant.
It is that government has grown.
Perhaps the thing to do is build a wall around that.