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.