The extremists are on the left

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By John Barnhart

    We have less than three weeks to go before the Nov. 3 state and local elections. I hope you’re registered and intend to show up at the polls as these elections are important.

    Granted, the local picture in Bedford County isn’t exciting. The incumbents are running unopposed, so if each one gets his wife to vote for him and not too many people vote for Mickey Mouse, he wins. However, there are contested races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general as well as the 19th House of Delegates seat.

    Rick Howell made an effort at the end of September to paint the Republican ticket for the three state-wide slots as consisting of extremists. Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor, seemed to be Mr. Howell’s primary target. This isn’t surprising considering Mr. Howell, based on what he writes in his column, is clearly a denizen of the “Democratic” Party’s left. From his position, any conservative would look like an extremist.

    Mr. Howell, following the lead of “Democratic” gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, based his attack on what McDonnell wrote in a master’s degree thesis back in 1989.

    I’ve read the thesis. It’s really boring and, if you choose to read it, I would recommend having a pot of strong coffee at hand. While it’s a real snoozer, it certainly is not extremist. All it tells me is what I already knew about Bob McDonnell — he’s a social conservative. That is why I like him and one of the reasons I voted for him for attorney general four years ago.

    McDonnell’s thesis calls for supporting voluntary parental-leave programs “by giving tax incentives for businesses that allow lengthy position-protected leaves.” The thesis also calls for strong state anti-abortion laws. It also calls for Republicans to stop compromising on fundamental principles and to do a better job at explaining their positions rather than marketing themselves as Democrat Lite.

    Creigh Deeds is not a social conservative. While I appreciate the fact that he has pledged to seek repeal of the one-gun-a-month law, his position on abortion is extreme. NARL Pro-Choice America, an organization that advocates abortion on demand, and Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, have endorsed Deeds. Although Deeds voted for the partial birth abortion ban in 1998, he now opposes any limits on abortion.

    In another area, McDonnell’s thesis called for opposing any efforts to redefine the family by giving special rights to homosexuals. Deeds says that he favors homosexual “marriage.” Back in 2006, he voted in favor of defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, but it appears that he has changed his mind now that he’s running for governor.

    When it comes to social issues, Bob McDonnell is not an extremist. The extremists are in the “Democratic” Party’s left wing. Deed’s change of heart on social issues apparently reflects his willingness to perform the kowtow before them in order to get their support.

    Actually, it would be nice if social issues were not a part of elections. Then, we could simply discuss things like taxes and spending, two areas where the “Democrats” certainly give us plenty to be upset about. Unfortunately, liberals chose decades ago to inject a radical social agenda into America’s political discourse. Many parts of their agenda turn fundamental concepts of right and wrong on their head and that is why it is a major issue for so many of us. This conflicting view of basic right and wrong is apparently why it’s also a major issue with folks on the left, so I imagine that these questions will continue to add fireworks to elections for the foreseeable future.