By Brent Krohn
Last Tuesday was a big night for our country. After a tumultuous first 10 months in this America that is almost unrecognizable in many ways from a year ago, good news seems to be finally on its way. In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost to Republican Glenn Youngkin in a gubernatorial race pundits said was McAuliffe’s to lose. Simultaneously, on a much smaller scale, a grassroots recall campaign attempted to oust four incumbents on the Mequon-Thiensville School Board. While the incumbents survived, the recall effort had the establishment shaking in its boots.
I live just five minutes down the road from that small town of Mequon but have only recently moved back. After leaving the active-duty Army in 2018, my wife, children and I moved to the sweeping hills of the Shenandoah Valley in the western part of Virginia for two years. Knowing that area well, the governor’s race felt a bit closer to home than usual. I did a quick search of the results, and the visual I opened up to was incredible.
Virginia in the past 20 years has only elected one Republican governor and has proudly called itself a “blue” state. President Biden handily carried Virginia by 10 points a year ago. But on election day, Virginia didn’t look like a “blue” state anymore. Red dominated almost the entirety of the map. I felt a surge of hope.
Knowing the rough geography of Virginia, I looked closer: much of western Virginia is made up of beautiful, rolling farms and small “Appalachian”-style towns tucked into the blue, misty hills. Rural areas. And a stereotyped population of people that typically doesn’t see eye to eye with liberals. Though the high population areas near Washington D.C. can still be counted on to vote wit their liberal elites and remain blue, it appears that the “country folk” are finally having a say. These western, rural areas were almost completely red.
As Milwaukee conservative talk show host Mark Belling commented, many of the polarizing issues in our country today seem to have a common core and heartbeat. they are not about the issues in and of themselves, be it racism, climate change, or digital censorship. These conflicts are about a “Woke” and elite class of people who struggle to understand why these rural areas and middle-class Americans can’t just fall in line. It appears that the latter have finally found their heartbeat — and their way to the polls.
And just down the road in Mequon, though the recall election was unable to oust any of the four incumbents, it appears that the rumblings of some positive change are becoming more apparent. In a fight to “take back our schools,” as the theme of the recall had become, the four candidates pledge to work to return the school environment to a sense of normalcy after the draconian “pandemic” rules that are continually sought and enforced. They said they would provide a healthier environment for our children and young adults to be educated in. Recalls are hard to win. But regardless of outcome, the incredible sweep of Virginia state government, as well as school boards all over the country being challenged for their elitist and “indoctrination-style” views on how to educate our children point to big changes on the horizon. These are troubling signs for a Democratic Party that seems to want to hold on to power, no matter the cost. We are seeing examples of middle-class America standing up.
I’m one of these middle-class Americans. I don’t have a high-rise office or a six-digit paycheck. In fact, I have 20 chickens that tear up our garden everyday and refuse to lay an appropriate number of eggs for my wife and four children. We may not be wealthy, but it’s time that our voices are heard and votes are counted, too. It’s time for freedom to have a deeper and truer meaning than the gauzy titles that the Democrat Party seems intent on putting on many of their new laws or “packages” brought to the legislative table – many of which intend to strip away the exact rights that their titles seems to suggest they are protecting.
It will be an uphill battle. While the vast majority of geographic America seems to be trending in a more conservative direction, the densely populated urban areas continue to remain their usual blue. But even in those areas, citizens are speaking up.
It’s time that the elitist left put down their “mandates” and listen to what America is really saying, because in the typical American middle class, the heart of a free country still beats. A silent majority is starting to find its voice.
Brent Krohn is an Army veteran and former Army Ranger with three combat deployments and over 10 years of military service. He also has backgrounds in classical Christian education, government contracting, and supply chain management.