After living in Virginia for most of the life, Larry Sabato has now been remembering the segregated racially schools and their systematic efforts in stopping the Black people voting. Now he, at 68, has observed that the state has diversified enough and now has embraced the liberal values. It has shifted from the symbol of this old south to the symbol of the quite new.
How Virginia Has Become An Example For America?
As a young adult, he had admitted that he was never able to believe that Virginia could move in such a strong progressive direction, as said by Sabato at the University of Virginia, who is the head director of the Center for Politics. He has worked for the candidates, who back then were quite progressive. He also used to joke that if he is working for the people, they are going to lose, and they will have to understand it. They always did that.
The state of Virginia has taught the US and the rest of the world that America has the power to change, can change, and at times can change rapidly, in a progressive direction.
The two examples that were quite dramatic had came in the last month when the state general assembly had voted in abolishing the death penalty – which is an extraordinary reversal in any state which has been executed for more black people than any other.
This was followed by a flurry of the measures which had put the commonwealth, as the state is known as, at the forefront in action on the social, economic and racial issues in southern American. Last year, the state has passed some of these strictest gun laws, put strong protections for a community and has the loosest abortion restrictions in this region and also it offers the highest minimum wage.
When President Biden had defeated former President Donald Trump by 10 points in the election in Virginia in 2020. The 2 of them in US senators are the Democrats -the governor is in the Democratic party, and, in 2020, Democrats took full control, for the first time, in the general assembly in the quarter of the century.
This monopoly is quite unpredictable and unthinkable. Sabato had said that this was an almost one-party Republican state always. People are changing, and their viewpoints are also changing with time.
Virginia had been coming a little bit closer to the Democrats due to the growth of population in Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and Richmond. But back in 2008, it was due to efforts of Barack Obama that finally got enrolled hundreds of thousands of, not just all minorities but also the youth who got registered as voters, and that has proved very beneficial since then.
On the other hand, the Republicans have drifted further apart to the right. Not responding to the changes that have taken place recently and jumping back to the middle, on the contrary, they’ve decided to let their party go down. In fact, since 2010, the Republicans have lost in all elections.
Looking out at the statue of third President Thomas Jefferson, who too, like George Washington, hailed from Virginia, Sabato spoke from his office situated in Charlottesville. Both the Presidents had enslaved people on two sprawling estates of Mount Vernon and Monticello. These have confronted their legacy for tourists, historians, and children.
The painful and long history of Virginia would later include two persons who kept fighting to preserve slavery, thus bring destruction to Union. These two persons were Confederate generals Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E Lee. Richmond, the state capital, was the capital of the Confederacy.