One might think from media reports concerning Virginia’s 2023 elections that Democrats swept the whole state legislature, leaving Virginia resoundingly blue. Those are gross exaggerations, missing a dynamic political movement in the state favoring individualism over collectivism, a movement that bodes well for Republican prospects in 2024.
The 2023 election results are far more nuanced than most liberal pundits admit. After all, in the Virginia House of Delegates, Republicans ended up with 49 seats and Democrats 51, a modest 3-seat gain for the Democrats, not a Republican rout by any means. In the Senate, the Democrats lost a seat, and Republicans gained one, although it was not enough to win a majority. The Democrats now have a 21 to 19 majority in the state Senate; before the election, they held a 22 to 18 majority.
It is, therefore, inaccurate to say that Democrats swept anything in Virginia’s 2023 off-year elections. Their modest victory establishes neither a statewide repudiation of the pro-life agenda nor a repudiation of Governor Youngkin. Instead, the election suggests neither party effectively persuaded the electorate.
But the modest numerical election victory for Democrats belies a major political realignment happening in Virginia outside of Richmond and outside the purview of many candidates and pundits, and it does not bode well for Democrats. It is a mighty call for protecting individual liberty that resonates across Virginia, even in Northern Virginia. It is the by-product of a grassroots revolution largely missed and unaddressed. There is a burgeoning body of politically active people, many active for the first time, who resent government action that intrudes upon or deprives them of their rights, freedoms, and safety. They call for the protection of individualism and condemn coercive state action.
This is a logical outgrowth of government COVID mandates and defunding the police, anti-incarceration, and open border actions. Regardless of political stripe, a very large number of Virginians (1) do not want government compelling them or their children to be vaccinated, particularly with COVID-19 shots; (2) do not want schools allowing biological males to enter girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports; (3) do not want schools to promote sexualization of youth, the falsehood that children’s genders are fluid, and the disincentivizing propaganda that fate is determined not by academic achievement and ability but by race; and (4) do not want local, state, and national governments depriving them of their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Those four points form a spring of individualism and a rejection of collectivism. They are primary motivating issues for a majority of Virginians. Soon, a representative sampling of this new political majority will become apparent. On January 15, in Richmond, variously in hotels like the Marriott Richmond and on the grounds of the Virginia State Capitol before the Bell Tower, hundreds of supporters of the Virginia Medical Freedom Alliance, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, and Stand for Health Freedom, among others, will fill the Capitol grounds and buildings. Those assembling are intellectually aligned with individualism and freedom of choice.
Those who will descend on the Virginia state Capitol on January 15 include people who oppose being forced to be vaccinated or to wear cloth masks. They include people who want government and schools to leave girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports alone because they do not want girls humiliated, embarrassed, denied privacy, threatened with sexual assault and rape, and denied fair opportunities to excel in sports. They include people who oppose cultural Marxism in the schools and who want instead the teaching of the 3 R's in an environment that emphasizes academic achievement without regard to race. They include people who have lost faith in the criminal justice system (who oppose Soros-backed prosecutors who will not prosecute, oppose Soros-driven defunding of police, and Soros-supported open borders) and who demand respect for their right to self-defense, to keep and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment.
These seemingly disparate advocates for freedom are, in fact, strongly united behind a profound desire to protect their rights and be free of government coercion, cajolery, and abuse. They want schools to get out of the business of building Marxist revolutionaries and back into teaching children to excel academically in an unbiased, reasonably disciplined environment conducive to learning. They want children to be taught how to reason on their own, not misled and bullied into accepting ultimate conclusions imposed upon them by bent leftists.
Those who share these sentiments will assemble in Richmond on January 15. Their numbers and interests will reconfirm no mandate for far-left politics in Richmond despite the slight Democratic majorities in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. They will be proof positive of a new political alignment that strongly favors individualism and opposes collectivism. Formidable in number now, they will likely grow over the next several months and significantly impact the 2024 elections.
This article was written on Dec 8, 2023, and published on Townhall.