by Kerry Dougherty
Let’s be honest. The Trump years were exhausting.
Those who voted for Donald Trump, supported his policies and didn’t regret their votes — the alternatives were Hillary and Biden — were weary by the end of it.
Trump could be charming and funny. He could also be vicious and petty. He treated his loyal allies cruelly. I’m thinking especially of poor Jeff Sessions, one of the first members of the Senate to support Trump yet who quickly became the butt of Trump’s fury while he served the president as attorney general.
Trump’s policies were Reaganesque, but he wasn’t.
Fact: it is possible to have voted for Trump, to have supported virtually all of Trump’s policies and his Supreme Court appointments and still prefer Ron DeSantis or Glenn Youngkin for president. What DeSantis did in Florida, keeping the state free at a time when unconstitutional COVID restrictions swept the nation, was a model for courageous, principled leadership.
The results of the mid-terms, which were disappointing to those who consider inflation and crime far more important than abortion and wokeness, are being blamed at least in part on Trump.
First Virginia elected official to point at the former president: Delegate Tim Anderson of Virginia Beach.
Will he be the only one? Will others who privately share Anderson’s concerns for Virginia join him?
On Wednesday, the delegate from the 83rd District in Virginia Beach posted a strong denunciation of the “Trump Effect” on Virginia politics on his Facebook page. He pointed out that Trump lost the commonwealth twice and that if Virginia Republicans don’t distance themselves from the former president they could lose their majority in the House of Delegates and all hope of taking the State Senate next year.
The reaction from Trump supporters to the Facebook post was swift and much was ugly.
While some of the more than 300 commenters agreed with him, others slammed Anderson, calling the lawyer names and vowing never to vote for him again.
When I talked to him last night, Anderson said that if speaking out against Trump costs him his seat, so be it, he was not going to remain silent any longer.
“It’s a cult,” he said, referring to Trump’s fervent supporters.
Anderson’s a conservative. He’s a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment and the attorney who pushed to get sexually explicit books off elementary and middle school shelves and tried to force book stores to restrict sales of such material by age.
He says many other Republican politicians agree that Trump hurts the Virginia GOP’s chances of taking the General Assembly back.
“It’s not just me,” he said. “We all sit around and talk about it but most are too scared to come out and say it. I’m sick of it.”
Anderson also expressed anger with State Senator Amanda Chase, strongly allied with Trump, who last week announced that she would be introducing a total ban on abortion in the next General Assembly session.
That bill has no chance of passing, Anderson said, nevertheless the timing generated hysterical headlines and energized Democrats on the eve of the elections.
“I’m absolutely pissed,” he said. “She hijacked the congressional election by making that announcement last week. That cost Yesli Vega the seat (in the 7th District.)”
If Republicans don’t somehow shake off the polarizing former president, Anderson says, the election results a year from now could be catastrophic .
Anderson’s adamant about what must be done.
“If we divorce him, we get the kids.”
This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.