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One Virginia (for Obama)

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Today’s Washington Post qoutes Sarah Palin as talking – yet again – about the “Real Virginia.”  This is the same kind of Atwater/Rove/Wedge Issue/win elections by dividing people approach that Republicans try time and time again.  Barack Obama is the only candidate who talks about what unites us more than what divides us and that is one reason why he should be our next President.

As we are all Americans, we are also all Virgnians.  I grew up and live in Northern Virginia, but have lived in Charlottesville and Richmond and travelled to every corner of the Commonwealth.  What unites us is far greater than what divides us, as the following Virgnia Pilot editorial said so well


October 28, 2008

Virginian Pilot Editorial

Dear Presidential Candidate and/or Surrogate:

Greetings from Real Virginia! We’re doing great; hope you are. New polls say you’re almost even, so things are looking up, at least down here.

Since y’all are spending so much time in the Old Dominion – and thanks for that – we thought you might want to know a few things about us. We heard, for example, that John McCain’s brother calls Northern Virginia “communist country.” Sometimes, we think the same thing.

Down here in what Sarah Palin calls “The Hampton Roads” – and what one starchy writer at The Washington Post called RoVa, for “the Rest of Virginia” – we know how some folks might could assume Northern Virginia isn’t really part of this commonwealth.

They grow hardly any peanuts in Fairfax, or cotton. Their houses are just too close together. So are the cars. Have you been on The Beltway lately?

There’s no beach in Alexandria, unless you count the shore of the Potomac. We hear they never hunt in Arlington. Down here, we cling to our rifles and our religion, especially on Sundays during hunting season.

So we understand if you want to think we’re different places. NoVa and RoVa, and all that.

“But the rest of the state – real Virginia, if you will – I think will be very responsive to Senator [John] McCain’s message,” said a spokeswoman. “The real Virginia I take to be part of the state that is more Southern in nature, if you will.”

We’re sorry to say this, but no, we won’t. We may be hospitable, but Virginians can be an ornery lot, especially when guests call us names. We can argue like the dickens with each other – just look at our feud over the roads – but that’s a fight in the family, among real Virginians, from the Maryland line to Carolina, from the Atlantic Ocean to Tennessee.

People in Danville know that their future depends on the success of Northern Virginia, which depends on the Pentagon, which depends on us. We know that Hampton Roads leans on the coalfields, the same way the Valley needs stuff from our ports to stock its distribution centers.

We’re all connected. On our better days, we know it. Sometimes, we even act like it. When you politicians insult one of us, you insult us all. The fact that you think it’ll help you win votes doesn’t make it any better. In fact, it makes it worse, and it won’t work besides.

Trying to divide us makes us stick together. It’s always been that way, back before there was a United States. Before there was a White House or even a president. Most of us hope it’ll always be this way. We’d appreciate it if you’d all keep that in mind while you’re visiting.


A Virginian