David Englin thanks you
Virginia Delegate David Englin (D-45) had the courage — and that rare Dem spine — to speak up for civil equality on the floor of a homophobic legislature that voted in favor of a marriage amendment on the ballot (see my post, Taking a positive stand, one state officeholder at a time).
You might recall that Delegate Englin’s wife Shayna wrote me a couple of weeks ago, noting that there are already challengers prepping to unseat him.
Now that the session is over, the next campaign cycle is beginning. David’s already got challengers for his seat – one, a Democrat, who says that David’s stand on the floor wasn’t “good strategy”, and a Republican who’s convinced that David’s strong progressive voice for equal rights for all Virginians makes him vulnerable – and $30K in campaign debt that makes fighting back very hard.
It wasn’t “good strategy” to give a speech to call out bigotry? You know what? Delegate Englin’s speech wasn’t about strategy or jockeying for political gain, it was about taking a principled stand against the majority that he saw was making a terrible mistake — voting to discriminate because of fear and ignorance.
You know, if we want to talk about strategy, fine. Here’s the DNC’s framing of civil equality issues, right there in its self-labeled “bold new direction” door hanger — a big fat goose egg. There’s no plan to counter the unhinged GOP legislators as they gleefully vote rights and freedoms away. Well, maybe there is a plan, but they can’t talk about it publicly — they just whisper it into the ears of selected activists in private conversations to pacify them and keep the cash flowing in.
Delegate Englin is well-aware of our desire to support those politicians who choose to do the right thing, even at some political risk, rather than to constantly follow the brain-dead, butt-covering, triangulating advice we see in politicians following at the national level (hello, sHillary?). They run from the gay community, holding out the hat as they run by, asking for us to toss the dollars in.
I received an email from Shayna Englin yesterday:
I just wanted to loop back to you and say, again, THANK YOU, for spreading the word about David. The GLBT community backed David up in a big way in the last few weeks – we raised over $7K online alone. He and I both really appreciate your long-distance support.
Based on what is happening at the national level, we have to continue to encourage the fearless people out there willing to put themselves at political risk. They want to be on the right side of history, but there is intense pressure from the deluded political machinery (that wants to court the winger vote) to de-spine themselves. Civil equality-affirming pols, particularly those in Red states, need to be held up as the example of what good, responsible (and responsive) politicians can be — in either party — and that they can still win races.
Those days of wasting hard-earned money, time and votes on the bloviating triangulators in the Democratic party are over. Our dollars and support are going to go to candidates who don’t pander to the bible-beating, womb-controlling, privacy-invading, power-mad homobigots — the real enemies of the principles of freedom upon which this country was founded.
The tired, focus group-blinded, poll-driven career politicians who have little interest in anything other than separating you from your cash with no return on the investment should continue to receive our scorn, as well as the Liberal Failure Support Organizations that enable these spineless individuals time and again.
We need more allies like David Englin in office — people who don’t have to wait for the polls to shift in our direction before they feel safe enough to come out from behind their mother’s apron.