Written By DAVID SOUTHALL for publication: A contrary perspective.
David Brat has been made out to be a saint to the Freedom, Liberty, Tea Party wing of the Republican party. He claims to promote a classical understanding of liberal economics, Libertarian for those afraid to say Liberal. Yet his major accomplishment as an economist is a thesis based on early Protestant economic ideas in Protestant civilizations. I have read it and while I agree with a lot of his ideas I disagree that it is these theories that have grown America to it’s strength globally as Mr. Brat would have you to believe. He seems to practice a more nativist economic idea, he’s been against any form of immigration reform that doesn’t include shipping millions back to their home nations. He stands strong with those that believe that low skilled workers from Mexico and other countries to our south will somehow steal jobs from our native born citizens, and has stood against native born citizens to immigrant parents claiming they aren’t rightfully citizens. He has obstructed any attempt to better our system and collect taxes from those here illegally via work visa.
Mr. Brat joined the Freedom Caucus upon arrival to Washington, a caucus who has voted “NO” to education reform, NO to trade, NO to highways, NO to Ex-Im bank reform, NO to immigration reform, NO to lifting the export ban on oil. Somehow all his no votes have made him a Conservative hero, I simply do not understand it. He and his allies make it seem like every one of these “NO” votes help the middle class who flies the Gadsden flag with pride, yet none of his allies live in the trenches praying they get a contract with VDOT, none are fighting for a contract with an infrastructure provider, none are working in manufacturing praying they can sell a product to one of our new trade partners. His allies are as entrenched in the Washington machine as any of Cantor’s, the difference is they make their millions pandering to those before mentioned Gadsden flag flying Americans who simply want a better life. These folks believe the fear mongering from the likes of Rush, Sean and others in the right wing media sphere.
Brat made promises to his people that he’d be home more often listening to his constituents, he has kept that promise. He has done a whole lot of listening just not much hearing. He needs to hear us say, we do not want “No Child Left Behind”, We do want money going to Charter Schools, we do want states to have more power in Education, we don’t want SOLs or Common Core…… He needs to hear us say, We want trade, we want our coal sold globally, we want to be an energy state…… He needs to hear us say, We want balanced budgets that aren’t dead on arrival (this means compromise) , we want appropriations bills that can pass (again that dirty word- compromise), We want our Representative to sponsor bills that help grow the middle class not name buildings at the VA. We want a representative that truly represents the entire 7th (at least the Republicans) not one fifth of the House Republicans (the Freedom Caucus is approx. one fifth of the House Republicans).
I campaigned for both Ed and Dave during their runs and felt that Dave was going to use his economics background to make a difference in Washington. He has failed me miserably, his record shows he has voted against virtually every bill that takes the first step to fixing some of the biggest economic and education issues. He has been more concerned about his conservative ratings versus actually making a difference.
I do not know if a Sheriff from Henrico county is any better than the Economics professor. I am hoping another candidate who understands the blue collar struggle emerges. I hope he/she has a background in infrastructure and business management. I hope he/she has had to bid on contracts and understand the necessary give and take in negotiations. I know the best candidate for the 7th is out there, they just don’t have the funding and/or backing to compete.