We Irish know in our genetic sinews, no scholarship need be considered, that Halloween, or all Hallows’ Eve, springs from the medieval Gaelic Samhain, marking the end of harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year.
It is little wonder then that we have most of our elections as the natural light dims and darkness grows.
In one tradition of All Hallows’ Eve, souls wander the earth until this evening for their one last chance to gain vengeance.
This election season we have the feeling our candidates are making the holy day’s danse macabre their inspiring motivator, calculating a revenge comprised of how they may get theirs — at our expense.
The right to vote that we “enjoy” is a forced choice made before the primary or caucus is held, the product of back room paper and power shuffling that pre-selected whom we may consider.
The districts themselves are drawn not rationally but by the force of numbers in the line-drawing state legislature with one clear purpose – to pre-determine each election’s outcome.
Our voting discretion is “informed” by tall yarns, name calling and distracting issues that make the blood boil.
One clamoring voice outshouts another with high cost hard copy and electronic propaganda that muddle or drown out any contrary fact or opinion.
The election “trick” is the threat of how bad it will be if you don’t choose the imperious “me.”
The “treat” is to choose the candidate less dangerous to our Commonwealth – if not voting autonomically, that is, some reflexive genuflection to ideology or party.
We are suffering a vengeful spirit abroad this election year that claims, among other things, that gays corrupt heterosexual marriages, Virginia will confiscate guns ever, and condemns free health care for the ill poor.
So how is one to decide to vote if our voting rights and electoral choices are so fatally compromised, if the dialogue toxic, the character of the candidates flawed?
We have to look to organizing themes that favor one set of candidates over another.
Some voters are looking to the libertarian candidates this year but more as a protest as the libertarians have little or no experience legislating or governing, and some don’t believe in governance at all.
We can’t really justify electing those who want to sit in one corner of the state legislator like children and hold their breath, embracing irresponsibility and anarchy like it’s a program for the Commonwealth’s success.
I have seen more Republicans this year talk about the Virginia Democrats for their moderate political approach about what really matters, including, getting us around, educating our children, growing jobs, and presenting plans to do so.
Terry McCauliffe for Governor is a businessman, a latter day (but more colorful) Mark Warner. What he shares with our former Governor is a concern for the general welfare and wellbeing of the Commonwealth.
Mark Herring has been a friend, neighbor and elected representative for Loudoun County, as well as a terrific lawyer, and we have to give him every vote we can for Attorney General.
Can there really be a dispute about choosing Senator Ralph Northam over not-ready-for-prime-time, E. W. “Shoot from the lip” Jackson.
Closer to home we have a former Asst. Commonwealth Attorney, local officeholder, and lawyer Mary Lou Costello Daniel over “Brave Sir” Dave LaRock who runs from public debates like his pants are on fire.
For Republicans, it is time for a course correction, at least for this election – and “caveat voter,”don’t let them trick you this election!