Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An Open Letter to VEA Members: Why We Need to Work Hard for Creigh Deeds for Governor

I am writing this entry from out of town, and I am writing regarding a topic that brings me no great pleasure, I assure you.

I feel compelled to share, however, how deeply disturbed I am now that I have read for myself the Bob McDonnell thesis that has been the topic of so much conversation and controversy since Sunday.

I have read it through myself instead of depending on the editorializing of the political pundits. I believe it is worth the time it will take for you to read it yourself.

Please understand. I get it that it was written 20 years ago. I get that it was an academic paper. I get that things change...people change...and perhaps, I could even get that we should give Mr. McDonnell the benefit of the doubt...until I actually read his words for myself.

In my opinion, they are quite chilling in their condemnation of a large portion of our society--working women, those who consider themselves "feminists," members of the GLBT community, heads of single-parent homes, singles who delay or choose not to marry at all, those who believe in and promote public education or government assistance of any sort for families in distress...and the list goes on. Anyone who isn't a conservative Republican interested in the preservation of the family unit as defined by the Christian Bible is subject to criticism and judgment.

His passion is clear. His intention for the Republican Party as a vehicle for social engineering is unmistakable. His longing for the 1950's "Leave It To Beaver" days is palpable.

I, too, remember the 1950's as an idyllic time. I grew up in a traditional two-parent family and had the luxury of a wonderful childhood. I knew I was loved. To this day, I know where my family's roots are. I am one of the lucky ones. In today's world, I may very well be in the minority.

That doesn't make me superior, and it shouldn't make me smug or judgmental of those who have had a different experience...either by choice or by happenstance.

The judgment around the issue of women needing to work outside the home; of women believing that they have equal rights in our society; the condemnation for those who are part of the GLBT community; the clear and unmistakable assessment that the family unit as a traditional mother, father, and one or two children with no's all there.

It isn't a matter of putting words in the man's mouth. It is a matter of reading the man's words for yourselves.

Again, I get that he wrote these words 20 years ago. I get that people change, and certainly, I would hope that we all mellow a little from the rigidity of our youth as we experience life's various challenges.

But I find it very difficult to believe that one's personal, deeply held values and heartfelt beliefs would have changed that much. And frankly, as you read the responses of those who worked with Mr. McDonnell while he was in the House of Delegates, you will see that they believe the thesis does, in fact, portray Mr. McDonnell's personal and political views and gives us a peek at what sort of Governor he would become if elected.

Please don't just take my word or it, however. I am just one individual who has my own biases and filters. I am more than ready to admit that I run the risk of not being totally objective in my reaction to this document.

And please understand. I feel some compassion for Mr. McDonnell given that the firestorm around his words rouses a certain amount of compassion for anyone who finds himself in the midst of a media free-for-all...but in this matter we have too much at stake not to be aware so that we can know what our choices are in November.

It is up to us to be informed.

We have access to the actual document.

I think we should take advantage of the information available to us.

I am including the link to the thesis below so all you have to do is cut and paste into your browser and read.

It took me a little over an hour to read all the way through. You can get the gist of it by skimming it, I think, but like being at the scene of a car wreck, I found myself unable not to read it carefully all the way through, so it took me a little over an hour.

I suggest that you need to read it for yourself, because in my opinion, the pundits don't do it any justice. You have to see it for yourself.

In my opinion, it gives us all motivation to work as hard as we can to elect Creigh Deeds Governor of Virginia in November. We need an inclusive Governor who accepts people from all walks of life and who is looking for solutions to society's problems not for ways to condemn those who don't agree with one particular point of view.

The Bob McDonnell Thesis: