Virginia’s State Legislature, both houses, flipped to a Democratic majority on Tuesday. This completed a trend that began over a decade ago when the State gave Barack Obama the nod. It has given the Democratic presidential candidate that same approval in the two subsequent elections. Meanwhile, Democrats have made gains in the State Legislature before finally realizing a majority this cycle. In national congressional races, Democrats have made gains since Eric Cantor was ousted in 2014 by a far-right candidate. In the 2018 midterms, Democrats gained 3 more seats in the House of Representatives and for several years now, both of Virginia’s Senators are Democrats.
This is no fluke but Republicans haven’t helped themselves on the policy side or their candidates over the past decade. Republicans have increasingly nominated candidates that are so far to the fringe of the political spectrum that they don’t have a chance in the general election. Meanwhile, Virginia’s increasingly diverse demographics have found that the majority of them approve more of the Democrats policies than the GOP. Policies like common sense gun legislation, increased access to healthcare, and being more inclusive of their LGBTQ citizens. All policies the GOP, especially their radical right wing, have adamantly fought against.
Meanwhile, Laura Ingraham, the Fox News Host, is convinced that it is all because of George Soros, suburban women, and foreigners.
“The undeniable fact is that demographic changes throughout the state, but especially in northern Virginia, have altered what was once a moderate to right-to-center state,” Ingraham said. “Virginia’s foreign-born population nearly doubled from 2000 to 2017 and these immigrants are mostly concentrated in northern Virginia: Fairfax County, Loudon County, Prince William County, outside of D.C., and they are altering the demographic makeup of the state.”
“And since immigrants are more likely to vote Democrat, well, this, of course drags the electorate to the left, that is just a fact of life,” Ingraham added. “But the shift to the left is aided by women, especially in the suburbs, who tend also to vote Democrat. This is something Trump absolutely needs to pay attention to and not just wave it away, it’s impossible to do that.”
Did George Soros and other wealthy people contribute to Democratic candidates? Yes, they did. But again, it wasn’t people saying “George Soros is giving money, I will vote for the candidate George Soros is donating to.”
It is the policies.
One of the main policies Soros was a fan of is one that many Virginians and Americans are big fans of — criminal justice reform. He supported candidates that were pushing for more of that in Virginia. But it is the policy, not the person donating to get that word out to the citizens. If Soros was pushing unpopular policies, like taking away people’s healthcare or leaving the criminal justice system as-is … no amount of money would help that.
Then there are suburban women. Yes, they have gone for Democrats more and more in Virginia — expect that to carry over nationally in 2020 — IF the Democrats policies are on point both nationally and locally. Yes, they are more diverse and not just white women as it may have been 20 or 30 years ago. Ms. Ingraham might want to face that as a reality and not some sinister conspiracy. It is something that should be celebrated, not insulted.
Finally, there’s those “foreigners.” Ingraham sounds more like Pat Buchanan than Ronald Reagan in addressing this. It is obvious this leg of her stool is all about fear and hints that there is something nefarious going on. She doesn’t acknowledge the “foreign born” as citizens, just as foreigners. It is gaslighting in the classic sense. There is no evidence that there was any fraudulent voting in Virginia. The Democrats won fair and square as they have increasingly done for the past decade.
And it is all because of the policies. Democrats are on the side of the people while Republicans isolate themselves with good-ole-boy policies and demeanor. The folks who still embrace outdated policies while clinging to their confederate flag are shrinking in numbers as a more enlightened Virginia is emerging.
Ingraham is trying to sell the notion that Virginia is now home to “radically left ideas” but that just isn’t the case. Virginia is doing what America is doing — progressing. Things like access to decent healthcare, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights, and common sense gun legislation aren’t radically left. They are beliefs held by an increasing majority in the United States. Virginia just reflects that rather than reject it like Ingraham and that shrinking number of good-ole-boys (and girls).
It also can be said that Trump, in the midst of an impeachment scandal, is costing Virginia candidates votes as more and more evidence against the president piles up daily.
And if Ingraham really wants to be honest, the only reason it has taken so long in Virginia is because of GOP gerrymandering which kept the Republican grip on Virginia’s legislature and congressional representation longer than it should have been. Now that gerrymandering was found out and eliminated, Virginia, like America, is trying to move forward.