In Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning book The Color Purple, Celie refers to her abusive husband as Mr.______. He doesn’t have a name because he beats, abuses and neglects her. He treats her like a piece of chattel property. To him, she isn’t a human being. She’s subhuman. The Mr.______ name is one way of fighting back.
My legislators are like Celie’s husband. Politically, they beat, abuse, and neglect me and thousands of other citizens. I’ll be parsing the words beat, abuse and neglect in future posts to show these behaviors in the public square. This post is an introduction.
My legislators beat by attacking their opponents’ motivations. Ralph Buona demonstrates in his very public attack on the Loudoun Democrats for opposing a miniscule $3.2M bond referendum. The referendum language never explained just what was to be done with the funds. Instead of addressing the pertinent question about the referendum, Supervisor Buona beat his opponents with a completely unsubstantiated assertion.
“It is both irresponsible and indefensible for the LCDC to not care about our citizen’s quality of life and safety.”
Abuse is when the elected officials enlist citizen supporters, or paid County aides in this case, to deflect attention away from legitimate concerns. In most cases, the supporters turn criticism into a personal attack. “How can you say such a horrible thing about Mr.______, and by extension, to everybody, because everybody supports Mr.______?”
In a letter to the editor to the Purcellville Gazette, Callie Chaplow, Supervisor Higgin’s aide, addresses criticism to Dave LaRock’s support for life begins at fertilization legislation by attacking critics.
“Her attacks – and those of her supporters – are a cynical attempt to manipulate the very women and families that she claims to want to protect. A lie is an attack, and by making false statements, Mary Daniel and her supporters have gone on the attack against every voter who is seeking the truth, especially women.”
Sorry, Callie, but if a fertilized egg is a human life, that “life” deserves all the legal protections of a living, breathing person. If that fertilized egg expires, even by miscarriage, the death must be investigated. That’s the purpose of the legislation, to define when human life begins.
Neglect is simple disenfranchisement, to deny opponents a voice, to ignore them, and if they get out of line, to resort to beatings and abuse. Scott York demonstrates in his U.S. News op-ed on the racist “Redskins” name. Instead of addressing Ray Halbritter’s argument that if “you are not the target of a racial slur, it is easy to wonder why that slur is a problem.” York defers to Dan Snyder who can’t be a racist because he’s a Jew. Neglect is the most cowardly of the behaviors.
So, in response, here are the new names of my representatives.
Geary Higgins, your new name is Supervisor_____ (Catoctin, Loudoun,VA)
Scott York, your new name is Chairman_____ (At-large, Loudoun, VA)
Dave LaRock, your new name is Delegate______ (House 33, VA)
Dick Black, your new name is Senator______ (Senate 13, VA)
Frank Wolf, your new name is Congressman______ (VA House 10, USA)
Congratulations representatives, you’ve earned the new designation through your concerted, conscientious, malicious, repetitive beating, abuse and neglect of your constituents.