Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why I voted for a Democrat

At this point, I just wanted some mechanism to serve as a protest vote against the President and his perfect position of being able to pin everything that goes wrong on the last President yet take credit for anything that goes well (which is what exactly?). And this election provided that chance to me - I pretty much would have voted for anyone with an R next to their name - with one exception...

I did vote for Democrat David Englin for my State Delegate.

While I may not be in 100% support of his more progressive agenda - he is a great example of what our elected representatives are supposed to be - committed to their constituents. Though since he is a Southern Democrat and I am a Northern Republican we actually do agree on a lot of things.

His office made me feel like I was his biggest campaign donor, supporter, and volunteer even when I didn’t even vote for him or give him a penny.

See, I had a little issue with the State of VA - they mistakenly suspended my license.

I was under a time constraint because I was flying to Canada for work and needed my license to rent a car that night. I couldn’t get thru to the DMV in time and so I figured I’d call my elected representative and whine.

I called Englin’s Arlington, VA office at 9:30am. An assistant answered. I explained the situation and how this was affecting my ability to do my job. I hung up pretty much expecting nothing to happen.

I was driving to the airport still not sure what I was going to do when less than 90 minutes later I got this phone call:

"Hello, this is the Office of the VA State Commissioner of the DMV. I am his assistant. We got a call from Delegate Englin's office. Your problem has been cleared up - your license is no longer suspended. We are very sorry for the mix-up."

I almost crashed my car in disbelief. (Yes, I was driving with said suspended license...)

This is how local government is supposed to work. I live in the next neighborhood over from this guy. I could probably walk to his office.

See, when you get past all the inflammatory Glenn Becks and social conservative in the Republican Party you get to the core of what I truly think many Republicans believe but whose opinions are not covered by the media because “Federalism” and "States Rights" just aren't as interesting as big, fat, old white men screaming about guns, Bibles and gay marriage.

Here is the core of that belief - let's not grow a huge federal government and let’s leave more important issues to be decided and governed at the state and local level. I believe that’s what those smart guys who founded our country believed too. There has got to be a clearer line of what the Federal Government pokes its nosy, inefficient head into. And we are blurring that more than ever right now.

Obama and especially Reid, Pelosi and Frank scare me because they have put us on the path to a HUGE (well, Huge-er I mean) federal government intruding on almost all aspects of our daily lives. Once you put in these massive federal programs, you can never, ever, reverse them.

In the VA House of Delegates each Delegate represents 63,000 citizens. During the period that the current U.S. Constitution has been in effect, the number of citizens per US Congressional district has risen from an average of 33,000 in 1790 to almost 700,000 in 2008. I don't like being one of 700,000. I am pretty sure I couldn't just walk in and get an appointment with Senator Warner tomorrow if I tried.

So while I may not agree with Delegate Englin's entire agenda I do like how he treats his constituents. Technically, he works for me. And he showed he takes his constituents problems seriously, no matter what their party affiliation or voting or donor record is. And that’s why he got my vote.

And that's why state and local government works better than an out of touch Federal government sitting atop a hill in a swamp many miles removed from the people it's supposed to serve.

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