Letter to the Editor: Post-Election Virginia

Virginia Senate election results (including for the 27th District race) are now final.  Reason lost.

But the press confirmed my contentions of an apathetic electorate, a Democratic Party inept, effete and moribund, and a press happy with highfalutin moral positions but averse to coverage, exhortation or the sponsoring or organizing of debates.  Nice to be a prophet in my own lifetime.

So few of you voted this time that perhaps a legal challenge to what makes an election will arise.  If voter registration policy, candidate conduct and special interest influence and money combine to discourage 75% from voting, isn’t that a conspicuous denial of citizenship rights.  But that’s as the minority wants it, however stunningly perverse it is.  Perhaps our elected officials can say why mandatory voting isn’t public policy, and why apathy is OK, and why contorted redistricting not geographic representation should make voting a joke, and why candidates can make claims so utterly baseless that their mere expression signals profound contempt for voters.

Let’s use Mrs. Vogel’s claims as example.  First, she claimed support from local Sheriffs based on a bill (SB329) she didn’t author and which didn’t pass, and claimed to help autistic kids based on a bill (SB1062) she also didn’t sponsor and that McDonnell, Cuccinelli and her party won’t implement.  But there was nothing about guns, god and women’s reproductive rights (anathema to those who want a child delivered only to be poorly educated, obese and unloved thereafter).  Why bother with real purpose when those dogwhistles are well-known to the base (our culture warriors did promise gun, god and more abortion restrictions promptly as soon as results were in) and there’s no point being honest about purpose if it wakes anyone up.  Just ask Scott Walker.

And this election isn’t the conservative mandate Mrs. Vogel claimed.  Fewer people (24,531), and only her base, voted for her this time, yet she spent some $500,000 (VPAP), 35% of what she spent in 2007, on a race where her opponents together spent about $1,000.  Most voters but not this paper sat still for this.  Conservative Republicans were elected when we’re worse off than 2007 because other papers thought more of pontificating than improving democratic processes, and Democrats had such tired leadership and no vision even their Sheriffs felt safe jumping ship.

Now we’ll see what jobs our culture warriors create that aren’t at McDonald’s but making things to compete with China and India.  In the face of less federal spending and a Virginia budget shortfall of $1.5 billion, and with job creators, as Boehner says, “on strike” against Americans.  Scary, but surely patriotic – put Americans to work only when they’re grateful for crumbs.  And maybe more mining disasters, oil spills, Loughners, Madoffs, Abramoffs, and legislators who bring guns to the General Assembly and fire them accidentally are actually good for tourism.

Or do you think our legislature will help people die with dignity, be our brother’s keepers, take the drug franchise from Mexican cartels, prepare kids for work at a time of nanotechnology, gene-sequencing, Watson and commercial space utilization.  In your dreams.  Elected officials can’t get transportation right or vegetables, not tomato paste or ketchup, into school lunches.

Perhaps I’ll write regularly on the absurdities of guns, god and denying abortion as public policy, to do my part in challenging culture warriors that think the earth is 4,500 years old and Frederich Hayek should be worshipped as divinely inspired.  Or maybe just re-read Lord of the Flies.

Thanks to those of you who voted against culture warriors.  What are the rest of you thinking?

Donald C. Marro

Mr. Marro ran as an Independent candidate for Virginia’s 27th District Senate seat in the 2011  


  1. clarke conservative says:

    Mr. Marro wants mandatory voting. Mr. Broy wants mandatory political party allegience. Mr. Obama wants mandatory healthcare.

    Is it just me, or is there a pattern is starting here …

    Mr. Marro decries voter apathy, but in a way isn’t voter apathy a sign of approval and acceptance of the incumbent, and/or disapproval of the challengers presented?

    In 2011 the turnout for the 27th Senate District was 24.85% of the voting-age electorate, and the incumbent won by a landslide. 2007 was a highly contested race with the turnout a much higher 38.33%.

    Why would turnout be so much lower in 2011? It is the same State Senate race. The primary reasons are the electorate had a strong incumbent with a positive record that the great majority of the public felt no need to vote against. The opposition also fielded lackluster candidates who could not even excite their base, no matter about the general public.

    If a voter wants change they will see the cost / benefit ratio of casting one vote out of thousands greater than the time it takes them to get to the voting precinct, stand in line and get a little sticker saying they voted. In turn those voters who take that time to vote are usually better informed and more excited about the individual candidates.

    Mr. Marro’s mandatory voting would lower the quality of those votes that are cast. A total uninformed, but forced to, voter who might vote for someone just because they like the sound of a candidates name would have the same weight as one who studied the candidates issues in great depth.

    • Tom Witmark says:

      Actually, CC, apathy is NOT necessarily the same thing as voter satisfaction. Vogel handily one the district because it is solidly GOP “red.” Thus, the majority ain’t gonna vote against her. Marro makes solme good points but – as always – his arrogance drowns any point he might have made.

  2. Yes CC, your Republican candidate won this time. But will you vote for the best candidate when the time comes that the shoe is on the other foot? I sure hope so!

    • clarke conservative says:

      Yes, if the Democrat were Zell Miller or Mark Stricherz running against Republicans like Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe, absolutely.

  3. CC, bon jour. Mr. Witmark, my compliments on your having a real identity and an interest in examining criticism. Tito, un caro saluto.

    CC, your disingenuous posturing has been disposed of already but approval from only those who voted in support last time is hardly deserving of a characterization of objective “approval of a strong record” (what record, please?), or conclusive in the circumstances. Let’s see if “mindless” fits better. It does! What a surprise. And CC, isn’t it the Republicans who cherish mindless obedience uber alles? It is! Another surprise. We’ll make a thoughtful person of you yet, CC. No one’ll recognize you without that Haldeman scowl.

    Mr. Witmark, I’m sorry you think me arrogant. I do appreciate your assessment of my arguments and regret that my packaging is less toothsome than it should be. Perhaps you’ll forgive me my trespasses.

    Tito, un caro saluto ancora.

  4. Tom Witmark says:

    “Regret”? Sir, I have re-read all of your posts (as I am, embarrassed to say, late to this news feed), and – I don’t really see any “regret” from you re your tone. You might very well be the smartest one posting on here (although, judging by some of the posts, that might just make you the smartest Stooge), but you regularly lob your verbal grenades seemingly without care as to their accuracy or need. I would venture that you’re familiar with the time-honored adage, “You attract more flies with honey than vinegar,” but you seem so reluctant to take your obviously high vocabulary and use it for more than petty name-calling and showing off how smart you are by using words and phrasings most others don’t.

    It’s not up to me to “forgive your trespasses,” as I have not that eternal power, so please don’t patronize me with such fake remorse. However, in my humble opinion, you probably should seriously rethink how you typically phrase things if you do, as you suggest, continue to “write regularly on the absurdities” that you see. Otherwise, you will seem like just another of those the Bard of Avon called a “poor player, who struts and frets his hour upon the stage” telling a tale “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Salut!

  5. Mr. Witmark, you decline to show Christian charity! Could you be a Mohammedan, Sir? Here’s a test: what’s a haboob? Take it slowly…here’s a hint: it doesn’t refer to you, but I suppose it could.

    I think you’ve appeared before, but under a nom de Halloween. Welcome back.

    I seem to have brought out the literary side of you. Thank you for sharing your erudition, it was getting lonely. “The Bard of Avon, the Card of Avon’. Know where that’s from? And you also have delusions of being a crackerbarrel philosopher, so appropriate in this company. Well done, Sir, you are nothing if not well-rounded.

    Well, I tried. Please don’t let this get you down but “using phrasing others don’t” isn’t wicked cruel – perhaps I shouldn’t say this, but it’s more of a compliment than you might imagine, particularly if it allows that my unique phrasing expresses my ideas more exactly, but that’s just going to set you off again, isn’t it.

    Probably. So take a deep cleansing breath and think of a devastating retort – you know, like Stooge. Than go nonnies, little man, you’ve had a busy day.

  6. I like this guy! I think you should move to Clarke County and run for a seat on the almighty Board of Supervisors!

  7. The problem with mandatory voting is you force people to make a decision when they might not be informed. You can force voting but you can’t force people to learn about candidates and what they stand for. I’d rather people not vote than just pick a name because they have to.

  8. That is the intuitive apprehension on mandatory voting but consider that:
    1) you get worse than that now when the name isn’t chosen, or the name chosen by default is “incumbent”
    2) minority elites jacked the process by gerrymandering, red herring allegations of voter fraud and soundbite/attack politics all intended to alienate so there could be and are widespread default elections
    3) mandatory duties are generally taken more seriously than voluntary ones (see the studies on mandatory voting in democracies, tax collections, innoculations, etc)
    4) something must be done to reverse the put-up alienation that causes an indifferent electorate, and mandatory voting and geographic representation and not gerrymandering are the first iteration solutions

  9. goodgracious says:

    You make valid points.

    But then, you “withdrew” That’s called quitting.

    Broy may be kind of “out there” but at least he stuck with it.

  10. good afternoon, goodgracious.

    good gracious, another nom de Halloween. Is Winged Avenger taken, I wonder? Always liked that handle.

    now then, goodgracious, let’s examine your qualifications for denigrating me as a “quitter”. First, did you read my farewell address setting out my reasoning? you should’ve, it sparkles. Or my warning of withdrawal if certain affirmative evidence was missing that the press, Dems, or electorate gave a… qu’est-ce la mot, chaton? merde? R/A? slips my mind. Or did you absorb my website http://marrofortomorrow.com?

    who are your heroes, gg? Broy? he surely did hang in there despite poncey Dems and opportunistic, disloyal Sheriffs. Clinton? hitting on interns? Cantor? no aid for his District? Gingrich? Fannie Mae “historian”?

    And gg, how is Broy “out there”? could you be more specific? he would legalize medical marijuana for pain relief – and that’s bad why, because oxycontin has a monoploy? gg, I’m for legalization, too – only I’d legalize all drugs so whatever morons wished to get their recreation this way could pay for the hurt they may cause society, and so Mexican and other crime cartels aren’t enriched. what else – because a box office manager is less qualified to represent you than a vote counter (Vogel) or sports promoter (Potts) or 31 year old grandma’s boy (Webert).

    and some of your neighbors call me a snob. good gracious.

  11. David Mikolajczak says:

    Was there any rational reason in this essay? Sir, many people are inspired to vote by the words and reasoning that candidates provide. You certainly didn’t provide it with this. If anything, I get the sense that your disappointment for not winning (or running?) was the fault of The notion that current Virginia state law discriminates, intimidates or otherwise discourages voting is nonsense. Yes,today’s issues can in part be blamed on the fact that the electorate knows more about which artist sang what song on American Idol than knowing candidates platforms, but that is due to our societies’ unbalanced value system, not a cabal of politicians plotting to keep the masses away from the polls.. Perhaps it is time that we demand our children be taught critical thought and reasoning skills, and not how to pass a standardized test.

  12. Another View says:

    Mr. Morro throws bombs and brickbats, but when the time came for him to step up, he sat down. How dare you criticize the decision of those who voted, when you could not be bothered to finish what you started! Moreover, perhaps the reason so few people vote is that those running offer so little to vote for in the first instance.

    The electorate is flawed, but it is the height of arrogance for the candidates (and the faux candidates) to denounce it while pretending to have all the answers.

  13. Mr. Mikolajczak, good morning Sir. Another person with a full name. Perhaps there’s hope yet.

    Sir, you are far better advised, though I wouldn’t dream of offending you by being the source of such advice, that you investigate carefully the flaws you lay at the feet of one you seek to criticise. Said more simply, read my stuff before you wax eloquent in derogation of me or it. Start with http://marrofortomorrow.com. Did you?

    And while I applaud, not fulsomely or sarcastically but quite sincerely, your critique of what you apparently regard as my dismay at not winning (or running – I don’t quite follow that, but anyway), you missed the point here as well. Read more carefully what I said, and try not to pollute it with what I didn’t say. I never said that “current Virginia state law discriminates, intimidates or otherwise discourages voting”. Congratulations on debunking something I didn’t propose or argue. My essay (at the top) posed whether “voter registration policies, candidate conduct and special interest money and influence [which] combine to discourage 75% from voting” is a denial of citizenship rights. I contend it is. I contend that same day registration, voting anywhere (especially with redistricting), absentee voting anytime for any reason, etc., is benign, promotes democracy and participation, and that the reverse is also true. And that soundbite/attack politics doesn’t. And that PACs and Super PAC’s doesn’t. And that Citizens United was as flawed as Dred Scott.

    And please elaborate on “societies’ (sic) unbalanced value system” – did it spring full blown from somewhere or is there a epidemiology available. And do you think ALEC, Rove, the Koch brothers, et al just sit around a campfire toasting marshmallows. Or that algorithms producing gerrymandered districts are from an infinite number of monkeys? Sir, Christmas is coming – clean that chimney and get the reindeer food thawed.

    Sir, it is well past time our children were taught critical thinking skills – is that what you taught yours, or did you leave that important piece of life preparation to teachers whose pay and supervision you completely ignored?

  14. No, I was wrong. Another View surfaced, with a failed attempt at spelling my name. It’s M-A-R-R-O. Or not.

    Do you know what you’re writing about at all, or just a little? Here’s a thought: all those who think like Another View gather together and take turns reading http://marrofortomorrow.com. Like Boehner’s House members.

    Then, when you’re done, together in unison shout: “he doesn’t know what he’s talking about in those 30 some treatments of issues he’s articulated” then print out the 30 some pages it constitutes and burn them, chanting something appropriate like “15 men on a dead man’s chest, yohoho and a bottle of rum”. Like the mixed mataphor? – sorry, but the fondness which your comments show for superficiality isn’t very stimulating, is it?

    Another View, sorry about the “bombs and brickbats” (friends, mark how literary and colorful is our Another View) but you, too, have as little regard for sticking to an argument as most of your peers here. Maybe there’s a rhetorical GPS you might ask for this Christmas. I withdrew because I didn’t care to represent an electorate that was indifferent, I applauded those who didn’t vote for culture warriors, and I denigrated those whose vote for Mrs. Vogel was predicated not on her service record but on guns, god and restricting women’s rights.

    Or doesn’t that matter?

    • I can imagine Mr. M-A-R-R-O jumping up and down at his keyboard yelling “Why won’t they read my website? If they would only read my website they would finally understand … “

    • Another View says:

      Once again Mr. Marro, you demonstrate your disdain for those too unenlightened to adopt your views. If you wish to be a Pied Piper, you might try playing a more pleasant tune.

  15. Hal Jordan says:

    Honestly…the more one goads the fool, the more the fool pipes up. Ignore him, for he’s nothing more than that barking dog late at night on Rice Street.

  16. Why don’t the both of you guys exchange emails and take it from there. We are tired of seeing the banter everyday..

  17. goodgracious says:

    He seems to think he’s a legend in his own mind. Best to ignore. And I am btw, a liberal. He gives us a bad name.

  18. Gentlemen, you’re all so creative, original. Just can’t get enough can you. Love playing whack a mole with you.

    especially you, CC. I think I’ve sussed out why you all avoid my website and such content: you’re all so well informed any more information would make you perilously top heavy, threaten the delicate mental equilibrium.

    Don’t do it! Don’t risk it! Your family needs you. Besides, Fox and MSNBC won’t have a quorum without you.

    So just stay tuned and be satisfied to complain so more with the wit and killer bon mots you rely on…. “legend in his own mind” – priceless, Sir. came to you in the shower, did it? what else were you doing at the time?

    and before I say sweet dreams, goodgracious, may I decline your kind speculation as to my political leanings – I’m no more a liberal than Obama is, and more a liberal than Obama is. Or Reagan. I take pride in thinking of myself as truth seeker, speaker, humanist and pragmatist – but you’d already know that if you read anything of mine before exercising your right to pound salt. drat! there I go jumping up and down again.

    easy, lad, they’re almost exhausted, soon there’ll be no more moles..