I was just made aware of a campaign mailer by my opponent for the Virginia House of Delegates 33rd District seat, incumbent Dave LaRock. The outside of the envelope features the following attention getters: “They’ll rip up your bible...They’ll burn your flag…They’ll even turn your children and grandchildren against you.”

Is this what we’ve become? Are we now so tribal that Christianity is an us or them proposition? Is our nation’s flag now the rightful property of only some Americans? Have we become so delusional that we perceive children and grandchildren are being manipulated in some grand Orwellian scheme?

I’m happy to report that in the recent past there have been exactly zero bible rippings — anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For that matter, there haven’t been any flag burnings either. And, please — anyone — show me children or grandchildren who have been turned against parents or grandparents.

What are we to make of Dave LaRock’s motivations for serving up this nonsense? Simple. He wants to stoke fear within anyone who will listen to him. He is counting on people to be gullible, to be naïve, and to perceive a threat that doesn’t exist. He is shamelessly pandering to people’s worst instincts because Dave LaRock lives in a world of fear.

I don’t. My outlook is optimistic and hopeful. I readily acknowledge that our country has a variety of challenges to address. But, given the choice between hiding in the shadows and living in fear (poor, timid Dave is afraid to debate me by the way), or working with others (regardless of party affiliation) to get meaningful things done for everyone in the 33rd District — that’s the path that I will choose — every single day.

The choice before voters is remarkably simple: Do you want a representative who will earnestly work to get things done for you in Richmond, or do you want to hide in the corner with “Do-Nothing Dave” LaRock who has a career legislative batting average of .096. Incapable of getting things done, he’s now desperate enough to tell you that people are coming to rip your bible, burn your flag, and subvert your children. For an elected official to promote these ideas is ridiculous. To expect that you will believe them is downright shameful.

FDR was right — “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

Paul Siker is a resident of Waterford. He is running as a Democrat for the 33rd District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

(9) comments


I certainly wouldn't vote for a candidate that views our elected officials in Richmond as "tyrants." I would never hire an employee who can't work in a spirit of compromise team work. I also hate lying and dirty tricks That's why I'm voting for Siker.


You forget, Mr. Western, even the Devil quoted Scripture. Any liar, traitor, or conspiracy theorist can blab about faith, country, and family.

That doesn’t make them any less liars, traitors, or conspiracy theorists. Quoting Scripture doesn’t make the Devil any less evil.

Catherine Giovannoni

This letter does a good job of highlighting the difference between Mr. Siker and Mr. LaRock. Mr. Siker is confident, optimistic, and competent. Mr. LaRock deals in lies and fear. He's relying on the now-common Republican tactic of trying to "rile up the rubes" over silly culture-war issues that have zero impact on their lives. No wonder -- Mr. LaRock has no actual achievements to point to for his constituents. He hasn't passed any legislation; indeed he can't even participate, having been thrown off his committees. That leaves his constituents without any real representation in Richmond. It's time for us to retire this embarrassment and replace him with Paul Siker.

Old Western Man

[lol] You mean like when Biden speaking to an audience with a number of Black Americans said of Republican policies, "They're going to put y'all back in chains."

Yeah that might be my all-time favorite "rile up the rubes" comment, but it is a rather close call with feeble Biden occupying so many of the top 10 spots. [lol]


Democrats aren’t dumb enough to believe it.

Republicans? They believe every lie or conspiracy that comes down the pike to fill their empty fantasy filled lives. How sad.

Old Western Man

[lol][lol] the propaganda masters complaining about political rhetoric is comical. Clearly Mr. LaRock is referring to faith, country, and family; and yes, all three are under assault by the Bolsheviks who walk among us. Spare us the feigned indignation.


It appears s the only thing we have to fear is the lies spewed by Republicans.

Vote Democrat and we’ll have integrity and decency serving the people of Virginia.


First of all, Bibles should have much less presence in our elections than they do now. We are a secular country and keep religion out of our government. It is a personal matter and should stay that way. Secondly, flag burning is a right of a free people. Flag burning is a symbol of our freedom. Sometimes our country is wrong and there is nothing wrong in saying that - even by burning a flag here or there. (Al least it is not like attacking the Capitol and threatening our legislators with bodily harm! That is what conservative Republicans seem to want to allow). Thirdly, it is still possible to love your grandparents, or your parents even if you vote differently than they do. Even if you disagree with them, say about racism, or gay people, or abortion rights, etc. If you haven’t yet decided that you don’t agree with your parents about something very important, you really haven’t grown up. There would never be any progress if every generation didn’t disagree with some of the ideas of their parents and grandparents.


Your desire for a secular one party rule nation may happen. There are other such countries on the other side of the world. However, where our flag still protects your freedom to desecrate it, I wouldn't try it in those other places. Another effort to achieve one party rule is allowing hundreds of thousands of illeg, er, migrants, er, future voters who won't have to identify themselves pour across the border. I'm sure many of you agree the biggest threat is from within, exemplified by followers of one particular religion and skin color. Feels good doesn't it? Also the thrill of using as much vitriol as you like against those with whom you disagree who dare to express their opinions.

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