Well the latest in my semi-annual series of endorsements from Chuck’s Common Sense is likely gong to piss off a lot of people who otherwise hold a good opinion of me. I’ll teach ya! (grin)
Things were anything but normal this election cycle in Virginia’s 5th Congressional district. Two years ago, voters approved a political newcomer, Republican Denver Riggleman, to replace former Congressman Tom Garrett.
Those who know me know that I take a dim view of politicians in general. That’s why I was so surprised when I found myself subconsciously cheering as Riggleman went about his work. He teased us in 2018 that he had a “libertarian streak.” Turns out that was an entire swath! Every position he took seemed to take the position that the smaller government was, the better for the rest of us. He was a tireless supporter of small business and a tireless opponent of those who wanted to use the unchecked power of the federal government to dictate policy that impacted the day-to-day lives of most people.
In short—he was the first bonafide, honest-to-God Free Market libertarian we had seen in some time from this area. He quickly endeared himself to me and other like-minded folks.
The problem with us libertarians is this. We are free thinkers. We do things to maximize individual liberty, and we don’t give a damn what others think. If you like the idea of using the power of government to sanction people who disagree, you will not like us for long.
In 2019, Riggleman officiated a wedding ceremony where two of his campaign officials got married. They were two guys. Of course the legality of gay marriage has long since been settled. But the stubborn Bible-thumping, fire-and-brimstone, hate-fueled subset of the Republican Party could not abide such an affront. They began pushing back against Riggleman and suggesting a primary challenge.
Like I said, free thinkers have a maddening tendency to tell people to self-fornicate when they suggest they are upsetting the status quo. So it was with Riggleman. His naysayers quickly glommed on to the fact that he did NOT kiss President Trump’s pinky ring with *quite* enough gusto. Yes. Riggleman committed the unforgivable sin of pointing out that some of the things Trump did and said were pretty damned stupid. He also praised the President when he did actual *conservative* things; like trim regulations and appoint originalist judges. But no. To the tribalist GOP leaders anything about from 100% acquiescence to the Glory of Trump was viewed as apostasy.
The tribalists were able to cover their opposition with accusations of “not listening to his base.” No. The only reason there was a primary challenge for Riggleman was because he officiated a gay marriage. That is IT. It was not his style, his politics or anything else. It was because he did not share the hatred that far too many Republicans still hold for gay people. To Riggleman’s everlasting credit, he did not try to distance himself from this. He basically said, “Yea…I did it. Your move.”
Acting like you would expect small-minded people to act, the Republicans nominated an empty suit named Bob Good to take up their banner. His Liberty U creds ensured the GOP faithful that they would NEVER have to worry about him doing anything crazy like recognizing the humanity of people with whom he disagreed. No. He checked all of the boxes. Jerry Falwell Jr. would look away from his poolboy long enough to nod his head.
Unfortunately, the Republican nomination process confirmed for the umpteenth time why I do NOT identify as a Republican. There are evidently enough hate-filled people left in the party to carry a nomination battle. Good won. With room to spare. So be it.
Good is going up against Democratic nominee Dr. Cameron Webb. He seems like a swell guy. Seriously. He seems like someone I would like to talk to. Unfortunately he holds most of the main orthodox Democratic views on crucial issues like Gun Rights. He also seems to fall under the predictable Democratic trope that the answer to any and all problems is more government. That makes him 100% unacceptable. Sorry.
Without a candidate to support I will do the only thing I know to do. I will write in Denver Riggleman in this year’s Fifth District Congressional race. He will not win. I know that. I have voted MANY times for candidates I knew had no shot at victory.
My only hope is to send a message. To the Republicans in the fifth district who railroaded someone (unlike your boy) who actually wants to DECREASE the size of the Federal Government and lessen it’s influence in your day-to-day lives. Hopefully this will send a message loud and clear. We are NOT going to vote for any vapid collection of atoms with “R” next to their name. I didn’t do it with Ken Cuccinelli. I didn’t do it with Corey Stewart. And I won’t do it with Bob Good.
It takes quite a bit of effort to turn a reliably red Congressional district blue. But the Republican gentry in the 5th district has parlayed raw hatred and cavalier stances into a formidable witch’s brew this year. At some point you WILL learn the lesson. If not this time, perhaps next time.