I believe that virtually everyone would say that they are not happy with the state of our country. Consider these feelings: afraid, anxious, worried, discouraged, depressed, alienated, shocked, embarrassed, appalled, terrified. Which of those emotions have you -- or someone you know --been experiencing? All of them (at one time or another)?
Every one of those emotions, in fact, can express itself as some level of anger. An entire society full of angry people? Not good.
What happened to our country? Everyone can acknowledge that, as a society, we are sharply -- even dangerously -- divided. Could we also agree that the current occupant of the White House has promoted division as a personal strategy?
The opposite of a division is a bringing together (or, "healing", "fixing", "joining"). Using the image of a bridge is easy and helpful. Sometimes the space between two pieces of land is a chasm. Sometimes the gap between two people or two groups of people can feel the same. Bridges can join together the two opposing sides.
There is a bumper sticker seen in this area which reads: "Building Bridges; Uniting Us All." I am convinced that most people would prefer to get along, rather than fight. Choosing to get along and to find ways to work with those who are different is more healthy, personally, and it makes for a better community and a better country. We all know that is true.
So, we need "bridge-builders". Who would they be? Well, we all know of people in this community who give of themselves to help others -- who work for the common good, and not just for their own profit and gain. These kind of people merit our admiration and deserve our support.
Can we find "bridge-builders" from among our elected leaders? Because of the fact that power can corrupt, this can be trickier. A good standard for evaluating our leaders is to notice which leaders work to bring the most good to the greatest number of people. And don't we want leaders who will seek to do what is "right" all of the time, including when doing the right thing may be difficult or unpopular?
This November, Virginians -- and residents of Frederick County -- will have candidates seeking their votes. Ask yourself: Are each of these candidates seeking my vote because they want to serve and to do the most good for the most people? Or is it because they want to remain in office?
An illustrative example: In June, the governor called a "Special" Legislative Session to consider some basic gun-safety issues. This session was no sooner begun than the Republican legislators voted unanimously to adjourn. There was no discussion about background checks or "red flag" laws or limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines -- all things the great majority of citizens favor. There was NOTHING from the Republicans. They chose loyalty to party instead of representing their constituents.
Find out more about Ronnie Ross (State Senate), Irina Khanin, Wendy Gooditis, and Mavis Taintor (Delegates). Each one is a good person who will do right and will represent ALL of their constituents. Every one of them will be a "bridge-builder". And in Frederick County, Heidi David-Young, Steve Jennings, and John Lamanna are committed to serving the people, and each one is an experienced builder of bridges.