Unless you live in Washington, D.C., it isn't every day that a sitting President graces your city. Tomorrow, October 29, Barak Obama is scheduled to speak at a rally on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville. He will be stumping for the current Virginia 5th District Congressman, Tom Periello.
I have lived in Virginia's 5th District all of my life, despite the fact that my current home is over one-hundred miles from my hometown as the crow flies. For many years the seat was held by long-time Democrat, Virgil Goode from Rocky Mount, VA. Southern Virginia Democrats have been an interesting breed, holding on to their conservative roots until only recently. Goode in fact became a Republican a number of years ago and served under this moniker until his defeat in the last election of 2008.
Early in this race, it seemed certain that Periello would not succeed in the bid for re-election. The voters in this district have voiced major discontent with Periello's vote for the Obama health care plan. Perhaps the most unfair criticism being that he discounted the voice of his constituents. I can't believe that anyone was surprised that he voted for this plan. He is a mostly liberal democrat, and he has most open about his political leanings.
As the race proceeds, it looks more like Periello may have a chance to pull it out. Unfortunately, that means the rhetoric has reached a fever pitch. It troubles me still that good people could believe that a single person or even a single party has so much power that the social, economic, and moral stability of a nation can rest on their shoulders. Things seem to have gotten worse in the last few years. Face it, with the last decade opening with September 11 and ending with economic disaster, we're coming down from a pretty harsh period of history. I can't look to any policy from the last two years that has substantially made life any worse.
I can understand why people may be disatisfied with our current political situation, but I don't understand the anger. Our problems are deeper than party lines. And so far, we've yet to find a viable candidate for any office who seems to be able to rise above this fact, and it seems that even the voters haven't figured this one out yet.