November 6 of this year was not a day of surprise as the election results for Alexandria came out to the political world. Delegate David Englin, the progressive Democrat, defeated his opposition with 61 percent of the vote, delivering another decisive victory. On the same day that Englin gained a second term, Patricia Ticer, another Democrat with strong liberal values, carried the 30th district with only write-ins to stand against her.
A couple months earlier, Democrat Justin Wilson won a referendum against veteran politician Bill Cleveland. Lets not also forget the swift victories of Brian Moran and Adam Ebbin, both affiliated with the Democratic Party.
Although the reader has most certainly noticed the pattern, it shall be acknowledged: the common thread for all of these victorious candidates is that they adhere to the Democrat Party platform, with most of them leaning towards progressive or as it is often named, liberal persuasions. For reasons that only an extensive sociology essay could adequately explain, Alexandria has become a one-party system. Like all one-party systems, be them fascist Italy or communist Cuba, this phenomenon is not healthy.
Although crucial to our representation in the House of Delegates, only 20 percent of Alexandria voted on Nov. 6. That means 80 percent of the entire city did not bother to get involved. Why is this so? Most likely because they felt no need to get involved when they already knew that whomever was the Democrat was going to win anyway. Issues mean little to nothing, credentials mean virtually nothing. Just so long as there is a D next to a persons name they are guaranteed to get elected. Unless of course, they are running against another D, then and only then do issues matter to some extent. Yet even there the end result is always the same: whichever candidate is the more progressive that is to say, liberal gets the win every time.
Mark Allen never stood a chance because he had that scarlet letter attached to his name: the dreaded R. Being a Republican meant his destiny was predetermined. A valid point Mark Allen made on his doomed campaign was that he should get in because Alexandria was outside of the mainstream of Virginia, guaranteeing only future alienation from the rest of the Commonwealth, especially Southern Virginia.
Official positions aside, an example of even mentioning debates serves as an indication. While the rest of Virginia, including even most of Northern Virginia, is concerned about illegal immigration and enacting measures to start to confront the growing problem, Englin does not even mention a position one way or the other on his campaign handouts. While Allen outlined a decently-argued policy on his leaflets, the issue gets no coverage on Englins; its almost as though seeing the world through Englin-colored glasses we have no such problem as illegal immigration. It isnt throwing the border into chaos, increasing worker exploitation, or in places like California resulting in the closing down of several hospitals. Apparently its not a problem after all.
Problems that are not seen as major issues or issues at all are pushed to the wayside, or simplified to the point of absurdity. With a liberal Democrat-monopoly on our institutes we get only liberal Democrat policy, which would be as dangerous as only getting conservative Republican policy. We need both in some ways and neither in other ways. Of the many lessons social psychology teaches us it is that uniform entities free from dissent always resort to groupthink, and gradually form an increasingly distorted perception of both the world around them and whatever opposition they may encounter. Take into consideration how everyone who disagrees with Englin is identified on his website as Radical Republicans, Right-wing zealots, and so forth, even though poll after poll has shown a lot of people from without such proper classification may take issue with the world view of Englin. Further, it is interesting to know if Republican delegates noted for their strong conservative politics but also happen to vote for the legislation Englin has gotten passed qualify for such ideologically-charged labels.
As Ticer, Moran, Ebbin, and Englin go off to Richmond, they will most likely act according to their beliefs. They shall profess Democrat and progressive ideology, as shall be seen in their legislation and their opposition to other legislation. With only liberal Democrats as most of Alexandrias source for what is happening in this Commonwealth, most of Alexandria shall form their world views off of this evidence, and vote accordingly.
Its sort of a vicious cycle, firmly ingrained in our society, leaving many crucial problems ignored if they contradict the agenda of the one-party city and marginalizing the rest of the Commonwealth because of our refusal to join the mainstream. Welcome one, welcome all, to the Peoples Republic of Alexandria.
Michael Gryboski is a resident of Alexandria.