By Steven Bonini
With skyrocketing gas prices, a failing shipping industry, and the Democrats’ inability to compromise on key issues, Virginians went to the polls on election day and sent a message to President Joe Biden – a message I certainly agree with.
In a closely watched race for the Virginia governorship, GOP newcomer, Glenn Youngkin ousted Biden-backed Democrat, and Virginia’s former Gov. Terry McAuli0e.
Many of my personal friends who align themselves with the Democratic party, were shocked at the Youngkin victory.
Biden won the state back in 2020 by over 10 percentage points, and Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016 by a little over 5 percentage points.
A Republican win, this time around, was all but likely. However, if you ask me, the Democrats should have seen this coming from a mile away.
In 2020, I proudly cast my ballot for then candidate Joe Biden, in hopes that he would serve as a moderate, centrist Democrat, who would put focus on the economy and education – shifting the conversation away from progressive ideologies like big government spending, the legalization of recreational marijuana, and “Medicare for All.”
Instead, what the country received is an incompetent Biden who can’t control his party or what they stand for, allowing progressives to walk all over his agenda, harping on the need to raise the debt ceiling, implementing paid family leave, and spending an astronomical amount of money to combat the climate “crisis,” among other things.
Meanwhile, moderates are attempting to show their constituents they can pass sensible legislation as midterms approach in 2022, and the current scene isn’t going to help them win re-election.
As a Biden voter, this is not the direction I wanted to see the party go in, and I think it’s safe to say Virginia agrees with me.
If voters were enthusiastic about the Biden agenda, and if the ideas progressives are pushing for are as popular as they say they are, McAuliffe would be the next governor of Virginia. But he isn’t now, is he?
That brings me to Glenn Youngkin – a breath of fresh air for Independents like myself.
Listening to Youngkin’s victory speech, just after midnight Wednesday morning, I was moved by some of the issues he addressed, giving me hope that there may be Republicans out there who think with common sense.
Youngkin was virtually unknown to the commonwealth of Virginia when he launched his bid for the governorship, and he won not by riding the coattails of former President Donald Trump – thank God – as many Republicans have done, but by actually, in a way, disassociating himself from the former president, and instead connecting with Virginians in their communities, especially the ones Biden performed well in – emphasizing education and economic issues.
He put focus on opening more charter schools in the state, restoring “excellence” to Virginia’s schools, and stressing the need for involvement and input from parents on key education issues, as well as making it clear he wants to cut taxes, and ensure a well-trained police force.
That agenda alone, sounds to me, like a more solid plan for Virginians, than Biden’s Build, Back, Better plan does for the whole country, and it seems that this is the message Youngkin voters, especially Independents, are trying to send to the Biden administration.
The most touching part about Youngkin’s agenda was his clear emphasis on family, God, and country – all values that resonate with voters like myself.
I can only hope the Biden administration learns from these results and takes a few hints from the agenda Youngkin put forward in his state.
If anything, this should tell President Biden that he needs to leave the progressives on the cutting room floor and begin compromising with congressional Republicans.