Virginia’s gubernatorial election is in full-swing right now. Donald Trump’s favored candidate is Republican Ed Gillespie, a corporate lobbyist running an extremely racist campaign. Last week voters were warned against his racist policies by a short commercial with a Confederate flag-bearing pick up truck with an Ed Gillespie bumper sticker menacingly chasing black, Hispanic, and Muslim children through city streets.
While the commercial may be a bit overboard, it depicts a potential future for Virginia if Gillespie is successful in gaining the governorship. Further proof of that comes by way of an audio recording of Gillespie having a conversation with Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain during a private campaign event in Harrisonburg, VA on September 14:
OBENSHAIN: Our guy is out there working the streets, I saw him working the Metro stations just the other day.
GILLESPIE: I do. A bit of enemy territory, but working it.
While Gillespie was laughing slightly when the comment was made, referring to a large portion of your voter pool as “enemy territory” can’t be a good thing. Gillespie has less support in the area and the voters are not swayed by his overtly racist tactics. From Shareblue Media:
Once reliably red, no Republican has won statewide office since 2009. Virginia voted twice for President Barack Obama and for Hillary Clinton; for Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the outgoing governor; for Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, Gillespie’s opponent; and for Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats.
The citizens of Northern Virginia are in a position to change the political landscape of the entire state, and Gillespie considers that populous area “enemy territory.” Northern Virginia is also where Shareblue Media reporter Mike Stark was arrested on Saturday for being “too close” during a public event.
Gillespie was on the wrong side of the recent white supremacist events in Charlottesville, agreeing with Trump that “both sides” were at fault for the violence that erupted. He has called for keeping Confederate statues and memorials, a stance which Trump also favors. He has worked directly with openly racist white supremacist Steve Bannon, seeking endorsements from other racists.
Most of that is standard politics. Name-calling and using offensive language against an opponent is, sadly, just normal behavior. But labeling an entire region as “enemy territory” might be enough to knock Gillespie out of the race, especially when that region contains a huge majority of voting citizens.
It is fairly certain that, if he does manage to win the governor’s seat, he won’t be very responsive to the needs of the people from Northern Virginia as he plays to his racist base further south. And if he plays the vindictive card like Trump has against his “enemies” the people there might suffer worse for having not supported him.
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