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Understanding the Virginia Way

(Editor’s Note: David is on personal leave this week. This is a reprint of one of his first articles written for The Journal in 2003.)

Being a Virginian is probably one of my greatest sources of pride.  And yet, when asked why I have such enthusiasm and why I carry on so about being a Virginian, I sometimes have trouble explaining myself. What is it about being from the Commonwealth that evokes such a response? It is, after all, just one of fifty states, and by no means is it the largest, the most prosperous, or even the most well known.

Read more: Understanding the Virginia Way

Mark Warner for President in 2016?

I am sure if you asked Mark Warner what his political ambitions are he would say, simply, getting reelected to the U.S. Senate and to continue representing the Commonwealth.

Read more: Mark Warner for President in 2016?

The first day of the 20th century

Is it possible to define the beginning and end of a century by something other than the calendar? The immediate answer is no. But, one history professor I remember tried anyway. His view was that centuries could be defined in terms of eras and events.

Read more: The first day of the 20th century

Is democracy a thing of the past in the General Assembly?

Most of us think we live in a representative democracy, but in Virginia, when it comes to the General Assembly, that’s not necessarily so. Thanks to legislative districts drawn with the sole aim of achieving a desired result, most voters don’t have much of a choice. Democracy has been sacrificed to preserve the party in power. And lest you think I am just picking on Republicans, I’m not. In days gone by the Democrats abused the system just as readily as the Republicans do now. But that doesn’t make it right.

Read more: Is democracy a thing of the past in the General Assembly?

Does Gillespie have a chance against Warner

Is Mark Warner vulnerable this year? Most political observers assume that he’s not, but that doesn’t mean that this fall’s contest between Warner and his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, isn’t going to be lively. Warner clearly, at this point, has a massive advantage going into the election. According to a Washington Post poll, he leads Gillespie by 56% to 37%. That’s an almost insurmountable edge. However, off-year elections, when voter turnout is low and often anti-administration feeling at its highest, have had their share of surprise results.

Read more: Does Gillespie have a chance against Warner

Gone Fishing

There are sorts of bumper stickers, quotes and little sayings that capture the spirit of fishing. One of my favorites is “a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” And of course, one I can relate to, “this vehicle stops at all fishing holes.” People all over the world fish. Some fish to survive, others for profit, and many like myself, fish because we love it. But, trying to identify the reason why we like it so much can be a bit challenging.

Read more: Gone Fishing

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