The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Optimistic Virginian Democrats are Sadly Mistaken

4 min read

The following letter was written in response to both “Precious Moderate Steps Down” (September 6th, 2007, The Bullet) and “Richmond Due for a Change” (September 13th, 2007, The Bullet).

Dear Editor:

In just two issues of this year’s paper, James Martin has subjected this University to inaccuracy and dishonesty in his two opinion pieces.

While the author is entitled to his opinion, what he has said is extremely offensive and blatantly wrong.

I have been personally insulted as it has been implied or stated that I, because of my beliefs, am a “religious reactionary extremists,” an intolerant homophobe, and let us not forget a racist who seemingly sought out Klu Klux Klan support.

In his most recent article, Martin has assumed ignorance is prevalent on this campus.  Playing by page one of the Democratic playbook—frankly any campaign’s strategy, regardless of affiliation, Martin resorted to slander when the truth would not benefit the Democratic cause in November’s election.

Apparently, at least in Mr. Martin’s view, mud matters more than issues this November.

While attacking disgraced Republicans, Martin conveniently forgot to mention that his fellow Democrats have a tendency to pick fights with airport security, hide $90,000 in their freezers—corruption amounting to a possible 235 years in jail, and best of all carry concealed firearms with them to work.

Despite that, I fail to see how poor individual judgment by national politicians will affect local races in a state that cares more about issues.

Both sides make mistakes, but at least Republicans resign when they do wrong.

Now let us focus on Virginia.

While Martin was slandering General Assembly Republicans with his NOVA-centric blogisphere rhetoric, he missed the truly front page news, an article detailing Gov. Kaine’s (D) 7.5% budget cut to our university; a cut coming after our tuition was already raised.

Oh, those tricky abuser fees: yes, they were passed by a Republican majority in Richmond, but the truth Martin left out intentionally  is that the very provision that the fees only apply to in-state drivers is the responsibility of Gov. Kaine, not the GOP led legislators.

I also believe that the $65 million dollars in revenue that repeating reckless and drunk drivers will be adding to the state is a significant boost.  That $65 million may not seem like much, but it will help improve our roads. I can think of more than a few ways to spend it, perhaps funding the state’s public universities?

Obviously in politics there are diverging views, but consider for a moment that there are also options with any issue.

Now if Martin is right, there will be sweeping change and Virginia will become blue. That certainly is a stretch.

Every Republican politician I have worked with this year is a good and honest person; I have knocked doors with them, met neighbors with them, shared meals with them, I go to church with them.  They are great Americans and they possess strong beliefs, convictions, and values that they share with the majority of people in this state.

Is it gay bashing when the majority of Virginians’ voted to amend the constitution?  This is democracy, whether you like it or not.

UMW, take with a grain of salt what you read.  I will stay above the fray and the name calling as best I can.

James Martin claims that because I am a Republican I hate gays, welcome the Klan, and belong to a party built on ethnic lines, those who know me know it is not true.

Dr. Framar would differ with Martin’s assessment of Republicans, he was one.  I think Abe Lincoln would differ as well.  I think George W. Bush, who has the most ethnically diverse cabinet in history, would differ too.

When I look to the Democrats I see Americans that I might disagree with, but hope that I can work with to move forward to an even better life.  I think of the inspiration of John F. Kennedy and not the hate of George Wallace.

The Democratic Party won a politically significant election last year, but they have failed in Washington and may very well lose steam in Virginia. Congress has a lower approval rating than  the current President of the United States.

I invite James Martin and others to talk about issues, but I also stress to be careful of what you say.

Calls of discrimination, racism, and hate are backwards, cheap, and ineffective.  Talk about issues and leave the low blows and name calling behind. Despite your so-called “journalism,” all your have done is discriminate against my views, morals, and intellect.

Oh, and I should mention to Mr. Martin that the speed limit on most of Virginia’s interstates is 65 mph. Maybe sticking to 84 mph wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Brian Cooney is a sophomore and president of UMW College Republicans.