I attended the Culpeper Board of Supervisors meeting this past Tuesday evening, where the annual budget for 2019 was submitted to the public. There were modest increases in several areas, but tax rates remained unchanged, and we have the lowest tax rate, at 67 cents per one hundred dollars, among all our surrounding counties. It was well thought out and professionally presented. John Egertson, the County Administrator, and the Board deserve our thanks for their stewardship of our collective well-being.
What astonished me was the number of mostly old white people who came to the podium to speak out against a referendum proposed for the November election to provide a YMCA for our young people, for goodness’ sake. One speaker quoted the Declaration of Independence concerning our “unalienable rights” to keep the government out of our pockets, and that the American Way was to let people fend for themselves. Another actually said if people want a swimming pool, they should dig a hole and fill it with water. Another superfluously voiced his support for the Sheriff’s 287(g) program to help ICE make life miserable for our Hispanic friends and neighbors.
Health care? Roads? Infrastructure? Not important to these people, apparently. These mean-spirited and selfish people have apparently chosen to forget or ignore the Preamble to our Constitution, the very foundation of our democratic Republic, so let me remind everyone:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
This means ALL the people, not some of the people, not just those better off, not just those with wealth, property, and European ancestry. Every single day, we witness the gross lack of justice and the evaporation of domestic tranquility exemplified by the resurgence of racists and white supremacists, like in Charlottesville, the serial incarceration of the young and disadvantaged for nonviolent crimes, the unjustified shootings of the innocent, and the lack of real intentions and programs to solve the opioid crisis that is ravaging our communities. Promote the general welfare, it says.
We the People have been ill-served by our elected politicians in the General Assembly and the United States Congress. Dave Brat has shamelessly embraced Donald Trump’s destruction of the rule of law, while fleeing from his constituents and accomplishing nothing. Meanwhile, Nick Freitas, Corey Stewart, and E.W. Jackson are duking it out for the privilege of being the most reactionary opponent to incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine.
If we want to make America great again and return it to the rule of law, then we must motivate every citizen to participate, including those voters marginalized by society or circumstances who’ve sat out recent elections. We must all make our voices heard in supporting progressive candidates like Abigail Spanberger and Dan Ward, patriots who have served their country well and who are fine examples of the new wave of grass roots activists who want to make our country better.
Find out for yourselves at the Culpeper Democratic Congressional Candidates Forum at the Library at 1:30 pm on May 12th. Remember May 21st is the last day to register to vote in the June 12th Primary. Once registered, you can obtain an absentee ballot by mail up to June 5th or vote absentee in person at 151 N. Main St., Suite 301 up to June 9th.
We have the power to change our country. At the ballot box.
Editor’s Note: This commentary has been re-posted here on Blue Louisa with the author’s permission, and originally appeared in the April 19th printed edition of the Culpeper Star Exponent.