With less than two weeks before the Nov. 6 election, two races key to the nation’s future are too close to call, the Presidential race pitting President Barack Obama against Gov. Mitt Romney, and the U.S. Senate race in Virginia pitting two former governors, Tim Kaine and George Allen.
The turnout and the vote in Northern Virginia – most specifically in the very region of the distribution of the News-Press – will be critical to the outcome of both races. Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and Eastern Fairfax County have been responsible for more than the net margin of victory in more than one statewide election in the last decade, and there is every reason to believe it will be that way again this time for both the presidential and senate races.
The burden, therefore, falls disproportionately heavily on readers of this newspaper to find ways to maximize the voter turnout of among friends, co-workers and community members in these last 10 days.
We strongly recommend that effort be put to getting out the vote for President Obama and Gov. Kaine.
Given the high level of both educational achievement and interest in politics of the residents of this region, it is hard for us to imagine that most people are not familiar with the issues in the presidential race, although there is no limit to which more persuasion can help to swing votes, especially among younger voters. Don’t forget, any registered citizen who turns 18 before Nov. 6 is eligible to vote!
In the presidential race, the choice is crystal clear: Will the nation continue on its tough slog to recovery from the worst financial crisis in its history, save for the Great Depression, or will it turn back to the same policies that created that crisis in the first place solely on the grounds of impatience?
The choice between moving forward or backward extends to more than economic policy, it applies to social values, respect for the equal rights of women and gays, and to wind down the wars that have functioned like tar pits against the U.S. national interest.
It is too bad that, for many people, memories are so short. It is too bad that it is not more keenly recalled that, in our view, the George W. Bush years were just about the worst in the history of the nation, with wanton lack of oversight on the spending for two wars (one completely unnecessary and even criminal) and on Wall Street’s unrestrained excess.
Romney and Allen are both associated with those years and policies. Allen’s personal predisposition was reflected in his discriminatory slander against a young Indian-American in the 2006 election, publicly taunting his as “macaca.” Allen may regret having said that, but there no evidence that, inside, he’s changed.
Obama is not perfect, but he’s bringing the nation back from the terrible Bush years and the damage they caused. Kaine is among the finest public servants we know.