End the gaslighting of Virginia

1

I’ve lived in each of the string of Virginia counties connecting Washington, D.C., to Winchester, Virginia: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Clarke counties. I grew up in what might be called the “Dulles or Reagan?” northern Virginia corridor — please, God, not BWI — a locale emblematic of the American dream, replete with opportunities for people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to raise families in safety and stability. The gem of northern Virginia is idyllic western Loudoun County, where farmland abounds, the Blue Ridge Mountains beckon, and light pollution is held at bay only an hour outside the nation’s capital.

To mention only the suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C., is to overlook the riches of Richmond, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Shenandoah, and Williamsburg. Virginia is the state of statesmen, home of Mount Vernon, Montpelier, and Monticello. You can’t walk through a field without passing a placard about a Civil War battle fought there.

Residents of 20 years or more will recall at least two collective agonies. Virginia was both an origin and a destination on Sept. 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 77 took off from Dulles International Airport and crashed into the Pentagon. In October 2002, terror swept over the routine chore of filling the car with gas as the D.C. sniper attacks claimed lives along Interstate 95. These events challenged the spirit and strength of the commonwealth two decades ago.

Today, there’s a different kind of battle for the soul of Virginia playing out in the schools, in the statehouse, and at the ballot box. Many Virginians won’t cast a vote in a critical gubernatorial election, believing that the game is already rigged against them. They have every reason to think so. The gaslighting of Virginians knows no limits.

Virginia elections are flooded by cash infusions from organizations backed by billionaire financiers including George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety nonprofit organization
poured
$2.5 million into successfully flipping Virginia’s General Assembly from Republican to Democratic control in 2019. Inexperienced prosecutors floated to electoral victory on coffers of Soros cash surpassing what their incumbent opponents raised in total.

The Washington Free Beacon
reported
in 2019 that the Soros-backed Justice and Public Safety PAC had been the largest donor to winning liberal candidates Buta Biberaj and Steve Descano, while Fox News
reported
: “Campaign finance reports show [Parisa] Dehghani-Tafti received $583,000 and Descano received $392,000 just from that PAC. Meanwhile, [opponents Theo] Stamos and [Ray] Morrogh raised $162,000 and $242,000, respectively, for their entire campaigns.” Fox also noted, “While [Deghhani-Tafti and Descano] have never prosecuted a case in a state court, they beat candidates with more than 60 years of experience between them.”

If you want to see what kind of public service these Soros “appointees” are doing, look no further than Biberaj, Loudoun County's commonwealth’s attorney. In spite of historically railing against over-incarceration — it’s too expensive, Biberaj
told
Mother Jones in 2020 — Biberaj
sought
to put Scott Smith, father of the girl raped at a Loudoun County school, in jail for being disorderly at a June school board forum. You know what’s disorderly? A teenage girl being anally raped in the women’s bathroom by a boy in a skirt. It’s a lot for a father to contemplate as he goes to his plumbing job every day.

But in service of
policies
that preserve and advance a liberal sexual agenda for children, the Loudoun County School Board tried to tell parents this predator was simply a figment of their imagination. “The predator transgender student or person simply does not exist,” superintendent Scott Ziegler said at the meeting. When a distraught Smith yelled out, “My child was raped at school, and this is what happens,” and was subsequently
dragged
away by police, Soros's picks
played ball
with the national media to
make
an ordinary Virginian plumber the fall guy.

But this isn’t the first time Virginians have been gaslighted and their concerns erased to fit the political moment. Many will remember that in May 2018, then-President Donald Trump was swiftly denounced by national politicians and media outlets when he
referred
to MS-13 members as “animals.”

Nancy Pelosi
asked
, “Does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?” Chuck Schumer
tweeted
, “When all of our great-great-grandparents came to America they weren’t ‘animals,’ and these people aren’t either.”

“How dangerous is it when Trump calls some immigrants ‘animals?’” the Washington Post
wondered
. Vox
ran
a “science and health” think piece on Trump’s “dehumanizing” and “dangerous” language. Rolling Stone
wailed
, “They are all MS-13 to Trump.”

But Virginia residents knew the remark was true. Police departments, school resource officers, and parents of students in Fairfax, Stafford, Prince George, and Prince William counties (to name only a few) were familiar with the MS-13-linked sex trafficking and gang recruitment going on in public schools. MS-13 and its affiliated cliques were responsible for a litany of horrors throughout the state that included, but were not limited to,
stabbings
,
shootings
,
beheadings
,
amputations
, beatings,
burning
corpses, and
sex
and drug
trafficking
, right in Virginians’ backyards.

In 2006, former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican,
stated
in the House Committee on Government Reform, “Like all of us, I'm tired of seeing headlines about Fairfax youths being attacked by machetes or a 17-year-old Herndon youth being shot to death by MS-13 gunmen on bicycles or a 22-year-old Reston man being beaten to death in a park by MS-13 members or, as most recently, three Prince George's County young men murdered.”

In 2018, an influx of MS-13 inmates in northern Virginia jails
created
a “very logistically challenging” situation in Prince George, Prince William, and Fairfax counties. In Alexandria, Virginia, MS-13 members were repeatedly
sentenced
for child sex trafficking crimes. “No one suffers more at the hands of MS-13 than other individuals of Central American birth or ancestry,”
said
G. Zachary Terwilliger, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force
confirmed
the severity of MS-13-linked crime after Trump made the remarks, but it noted that its biggest challenge was that its budget had been slashed from $3 million to $325,000 in 2012. Nevertheless, such nasty rhetoric about MS-13 was dismissed as a racist, anti-immigrant canard.

In 2019, Gov. Ralph Northam humiliated all Virginians with a conscience by
suggesting
that leaving live infants to die could somehow be part of a coherent policy on abortion, followed by a hapless
apology
days later when it turned out he had posed for a picture in blackface alongside a college classmate in a Ku Klux Klan hood. Politicians made shows of outrage, but nothing happened to Northam, who now
feigns
astonishment for a living as his tenure as governor draws to a close.

Democratic candidate for (repeat) governor Terry McAuliffe first
called
for Northam’s resignation, then
relented
, then
accepted
Northam’s endorsement, billed by the Associated Press as “one of the contest’s most coveted.” That’s the way of the Virginia political machine: gaslight, confound, and embarrass regular people until they hate their state so much that the likes of Soros and Bloomberg can keep playing war games without interference.

Sure, Virginia’s ghosts would be aghast to see how the commonwealth has fallen. But there’s a gigantic caveat. The whole idea behind demoralizing the people of Virginia is that Virginians won’t even participate in state elections, let alone step up as candidates. The only recourse is to participate nonetheless.

Otherwise, you end up with elected officials such as state Del. Ibraheem Samirah, who represents Virginia’s 86th District. You may not have even known the performative young Samirah was a state legislator until he materialized in Jamestown,
shrieking
, “You can’t send us back!” — presumably referring to Chicago, Illinois, where Samirah was born. Samirah’s signature policy positions are support for Palestine and eliminating single-family zoning to combat suburbs that are too “white and wealthy.” In February 2019, Samirah defeated Republican Gregg Nelson in a special election that was only briefly hampered when Samirah’s flirtation — no, full-on love affair — with virulent antisemitism
came to light
. In November 2019, he kept his seat because no one challenged him. A person who had admittedly spouted antisemitic filth in public was the only name on the ticket, so he won. That’s how inaction works.

If you’ve seen any Virginia campaign ads, you might think Trump is personally running for governor. Trump is not on the ballot. Your reservations about the former president or Trumpism don’t oblige you in every election thereafter to vote for a national political machine that wants to prosecute parents who don’t shut up about the school board.

The people of Virginia must decide for Virginia. Do not sit this one out because you fear the game is rigged. Turn out in overwhelming numbers. Neither left-wing billionaires nor failed candidates from other states nor the federal government get to decide who will lead you, but they effectively will if you stay home on Tuesday.

Stand up, Virginia.

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