How and Why Youngkin Won in Virginia
By Cliff Kincaid
Stat, a health-oriented news website, ran an article before the November 2 election in Virginia that asked, “Can a pro-Covid vaccine, anti-mandate position help a Republican win in a Democratic state?” We know the answer to that. The Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin, knew that Trump was radioactive in Virginia but he followed Trump’s lead by strongly endorsing the Trump “Warp Speed” vaccines.
Youngkin, a successful businessman, and his family are all vaccinated.
The evidence shows that majorities of Democrats and Republicans now support the vaccines. Opposing them is a political loser in Virginia and nationally. Youngkin didn’t fall into the anti-vaccine trap. That was a big factor in his victory.
Other issues, especially parental control of education and rising crime, were also major factors.
The Stat article noted that the Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, was trying to focus the race on Covid-19 and had announced a policy initiative entitled “Virginia is for Vaccine Lovers.” He had called Youngkin an “anti-vaxxer” during a television interview with WJLA in Arlington, Va. But that was a blatant lie.
I had warned that if Republicans pandered to the anti-vaccine crowd, they would go down to a crushing defeat, like Larry Elder did in the California recall election.
True conservatives like Youngkin recognized the vaccines are giving people back the freedom they once took for granted and returning America’s economy to normalcy. They don’t believe the “Mark of the Beast” nonsense being peddled by the hucksters on Mike Lindell’s “Frank Speech” channel.
The message nationally from Virginia is that the Republicans have to follow Youngkin’s lead.
Republican politicians like Glenn Youngkin oppose vaccine mandates in general. But he was smart enough to couple his opposition to mandates with enthusiasm for the vaccines. That turned out to be a winning strategy which enabled him to take the issue of vaccines off the table and focus on education, crime, and the economy.
The University of Virginia Center for Politics notes that Republicans swept Virginia on Tuesday night, “winning statewide for the first time in a dozen years and running much better than they did in the Trump years.”
Regarding Trump’s future as a candidate, he could shout it to the rooftops that he was the American president behind the Warp Speed vaccines that have saved millions of lives and can possibly re-establish his authority as a credible figure on science and health matters. After all, he got COVID, survived, and took the vaccine. He has repeatedly advised his followers to take them, too.
But Trump has too much baggage on other issues and can play a constructive role, like he did in Virginia, by operating behind-the-scenes and mobilizing his supporters on behalf of legitimate conservative causes. His “Truth Social” media platform represents putting some of his money where his mouth is. He has to do more of this.
This time around, he has to avoid fringe characters like Alex Jones, Mike Lindell, and Steve Bannon and make his new platform into an authentic conservative voice.
Bannon, who is now on Mike Lindell’s payroll, has been held in in criminal contempt for defying a Congressional subpoena for documents relating to January 6. The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page notes that “he doesn’t have the right to defy a subpoena with impunity” and Republican Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina voted to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress by saying, “Congress is an important check on the other branches of government. One critical function for the U.S. Congress to carry out this important check and balance is its ability to provide broad oversight, conduct investigations, and make use of its subpoena power.”
Let’s face it: Trump will never be able to run for president again. He is embroiled in too many lawsuits over January 6 and his personal life and business dealings.
Republicans have got to move beyond Donald J. Trump and disavow the QAnon crazies and New Age weirdos that showed up as Capitol trespassers on his behalf on January 6.
By taking this approach, the Republicans can focus on the communists and socialists operating openly in the Democratic Party.
This means that taxes and economic conditions are now on the front burner. “Virginians were overtaxed by $2.6 billion last fiscal year alone,” noted Youngkin, in a reference to the state budget surplus. He proposed eliminating the grocery tax and suspending the most recent gas tax hike for a year.
Most importantly, Youngkin said in a column, “I’ve spent my career leading teams, creating jobs and building businesses.” This was a reference to the fact that he ran the high finance firm the Carlyle Group. Youngkin understood basic economics and appealed to people by opposing Democrat tax-and-spend schemes in Virginia.
It’s clear that political races can be won but also that America on a global stage can win by utilizing the expertise of smart capitalists like Youngkin.
As a result of his win, he is now in a position of being able to explain to a national audience the meaning of such esoteric terms as the flattening of the yield curve and the dangers of a recession caused by reckless congressional tax-and-spending measures. He is a national figure who must be considered a presidential candidate in 2024.
He can turn back the socialist tide.