Northam vic­tory based on dis­hon­esty

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY CHARLES HURT

Yes, Vir­ginia, there is still a Jim Crow. And his name is Ralph Northam, who de­ployed the most racially charged, dis­hon­est, di­vi­sive and in­cen­di­ary cam­paign in decades to get elected gov­er­nor of the Com­mon­wealth of Vir­ginia.

Mr. Northam, nee Crow, won the must-win race Tues­day in which his­tory and decades­long po­lit­i­cal trends were so heav­ily in his fa­vor that it should have been im­pos­si­ble for him to lose.

In ad­di­tion, he en­tered the race as a mod­er­ate, widely re­spected and se­ri­ous per­son who eas­ily ap­pealed to the pro-gov­ern­ment Repub­li­cans in the pop­u­lous re­gion of North­ern Vir­ginia that thrives around the fed­eral gov­ern­ment swamp in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Over the past 40 years, only once has Vir­ginia elected a gov­er­nor from the same party that won the White House the pre­vi­ous year. With Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump in the White House, Mr. Northam, nee Crow, was all but guar­an­teed to win this off-year elec­tion in a walk.

This trend has only in­ten­si­fied in the fa­vor of Democrats in re­cent elec­tions as the state turns bluer and bluer be­cause of pop­u­la­tion in the swampy north­ern part of the state. Add to that the unique dis­taste for the gov­ern­ment-bash­ing Mr. Trump, an out­sider who is loathed by all the swamp crea­tures who com­mute into the District from North­ern Vir­ginia.

The state, af­ter all, is the only South­ern state that did not sup­port Mr. Trump in last year’s elec­tion. Mr. Trump lost Vir­ginia by 5 per­cent­age points. (News­flash: He won any­way, thank you very much.)

Ed Gille­spie, hardly a D.C. out­sider in the man­ner of Mr. Trump, none­the­less ran a smart cam­paign fo­cus­ing on many of the is­sues that won Mr. Trump the White House with­out try­ing to ride on the pres­i­dent’s dou­ble-sided coat­tails.

Prov­ing just how po­tent those pop­ulist, non­po­lit­i­cally cor­rect is­sues are — even in Vir­ginia — Mr. Gille­spie closed the gap. Mr. Northam’s walk be­came a jog. Then a race. But no one ex­pected what hap­pened next. Be­cause they thought they know Mr. Northam. And they re­spected him. They thought he was a de­cent, hon­or­able guy. Un­der pres­sure, he turned. Mr. Northam ac­cused Mr. Gille­spie of “fear-mon­ger­ing” for high­light­ing the grow­ing threat from the Sal­vado­ran mafia MS-13, which has metas­ta­sized in the county’s un­con­trolled il­le­gal pop­u­la­tion.

Then Mr. Northam seemed to em­brace the con­cept of sanc­tu­ary cities — il­le­gal en­claves where ju­ris­dic­tions would al­low il­le­gal aliens to live il­le­gally — in Vir­ginia. Over the course of the cam­paign, he even­tu­ally flip-flopped back against al­low­ing sanc­tu­ary cities.

But it was in the fi­nal weeks of the cam­paign when Mr. Gille­spie be­gan clos­ing strong that Mr. Northam, nee Crow, truly re­vealed him­self.

In co­or­di­na­tion with his cam­paign, Northam sup­port­ers re­leased an ad try­ing to score po­lit­i­cal points off the hor­rid tragedy over the sum­mer in Char­lottesville, where a lu­natic from out of state ran down and killed a woman protest­ing neo-Nazis from out of state.

The ad de­picted a white man in a ball cap driv­ing a pickup truck driv­ing around in search of lit­tle mi­nor­ity chil­dren to run down and kill with his pickup truck — the ve­hi­cle of choice, ob­vi­ously, for all those racist white red­necks who live out­side North­ern Vir­ginia.

On the back of the truck: an Ed Gille­spie bumper sticker.

In other words, if you sup­port Mr. Gille­spie, you are a racist mur­derer. Even more po­lit­i­cally pow­er­ful, if Mr. Gille­spie wins, the Vir­gini­ans all across the com­mon­wealth who sup­ported him will prowl the streets to run down and kill mi­nor­ity chil­dren.

The sin­gle most dis­gust­ing, racist, dis­hon­est ad in mod­ern po­lit­i­cal his­tory.

But, hey, it worked. Right, Mr. Crow? Er, I mean Mr. Northam?

Charles Hurt can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com and on Twit­ter @charleshurt.

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