Sperryville, VA – Pundits describe Virginia as a reliably Republican state that is in play this year. When they say that, they are referring primarily to the Northern Virginia area, that slice of the Old Dominion just south of our capital, where all sorts of smart people come to do good, and stay to do well. Demographically and politically it is more like New York than other parts of Virginia. This is a very large state, a small sliver of which actually stretches just to the west of Detroit, encompassing rich farm land and a chunk of the Appalachian coal fields. But the locus of power has, over the last two decades, begun to concentrate itself in Northern Virginia, and to a lesser extent in the Tidewater area around Norfolk and Newport News, where much of the population fancies itself much more advanced thinkers than the old line “southern” Virginians.
Then there is one other Virginia, out here on what one might call “the near Piedmont,” where the well to do who still require access to Washington can live in rural peace, while retaining all the conveniences associated with living much nearer to the over crowded conditions, and perpetual traffic jam that is Washington, DC and its environs. An actual working farmer out here, with a few hundred acres that have been in the family for hundreds of years, is no match for the pocket books of these high powered lawyers, lobbyists, and many of the construction moguls who, having paved the quality of life right out of the Washington suburbs, want a gentler experience for themselves and their families.
Out here, high speed Internet isn’t as high as it is in the big city, but it still supports community conversation, and in this very political year, the net waves are burning up with partisan chatter, much of it full of hate and invective reminiscent of the Republican hate for Bill and Hillary Clinton. In this once very military and agriculturally oriented state, much of that hate and invective is reserved for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Here in Rappahannock County, a remarkably well heeled domain of newly minted manor houses and horse farms, there are less than half a dozen McCain supporters on the local Internet chat list, and all but two keep their heads down, as the Obama supporters accuse the Republicans of every crime and sin except cannibalism. Given the generally held opinion that Obama and his Congressional allies will prevail in a pretty convincing way on election day, one might suppose that supporters of “The Chosen One,” as right wing pundits have taken to calling Barak Obama, would spend their days gloating, but they are obsessed with the sins, suspected or otherwise, of McCain and Palin, some going back to McCain’s early Navy career, when rumor has it that he had a DUI, that daddy the admiral got covered up.
However, their most recurrent mantra is Republican voter suppression. In fact, this is a nationwide Democratic mantra, and while 2008 looks to be a big winning year for them, it’s becoming clearer with every campaign since the bizarre 2000 presidential one, that any Democratic defeat is now assumed to be due to Republican shenanigans, for which their handy code words are “voter suppression”.
Perhaps they’re right. Perhaps little Karl Rove clones are crawling over every freedom loving, Democratic leaning precinct, ensuring that the Dem’s favorite shibboleths, the poor and people of color, are being deprived of their right to vote for a living. Next to Dick Cheney, who in fact may be the most anti-democratic, anti-freedom office holder since Stalin, Rove is their favorite bogey man. He may not be working on a campaign this year, but the very savvy and advanced thinkers of this area are certain that those working on the McCain campaign were Rove’s apprentices. Perhaps they were, but let’s not worry about evidence. After all, these locals’ patron Saint, John F. Kennedy, was most likely elected not by the populace, but by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s ward healer shenanigans.
The Internet wasn’t here in much force back in the 1990’s, but I’m willing to bet that the antics of James Carville and partners, which often amounted to repeating enormous lies at the tops of their voices until questioners were tired of asking embarrassing questions about the Clintons, were not bothersome to these genteel folk who are the new country squires and their vassals.
The disaster that is the George W. Bush administration has helped make these horse farm liberals into political nut cases. When their lunacy is amplified by that emboldening, impersonal megaphone that is the Internet, an observer must remind one’s self that we are not living in a banana republic, but in a country where over 100 million people will vote in what is a political process, supervised not by wise men, but politicians and their chosen cronies. It always has been, in both Democratic and Republican jurisdictions. In spite of all that, it’s worked pretty well until now. In fact, back when the Democrats appeared to be the county’s permanent majority, most citizens seemed happy with the electoral process. Now, though, a local genius opines that Republicans demonstrating at an Obama rally may be violating the Voting Rights Act of 1964.
I won’t dwell on the army of lawyers that the Democrats have positioned to contest any important jurisdiction that has the unmitigated gall to vote Republican, but I will end with this plea. In the unlikely event that McCain and Palin should win election, it is requested that all available psychiatrists and psychologists in the National Capital Region, report to the Rappahannock County Public Library, where local EMTs will be performing triage on of our brilliant political thinkers, whose nervous breakdowns are the result of “their” election being stolen.