Texas votes for freedom. West Virginia votes because it's scared.
A friend texted that to me while he was traveling in Texas on Veterans Day. I wish it were not true.
In the wake of the recent national election, that statement becomes glaringly true as I watch our state rapidly become a Republican stronghold for all the wrong reasons.
Statewide, something amazing is happening. We have more Republicans in the House of Delegates than at any time in memory.
West Virginians have looked at two national elections where the Democrat candidate was vocally anti-coal, literally threatening their livelihood. Even the coal miners union flatly refused to support the incumbent, and completely ignored his pro-union stance, since it's designed for big city folk, not those working in the coal mine.
Even a casual observer knows that Democrats are conducting a war on coal and all fossil fuels. Liberals will tell you they are not, but there remains overwhelming evidence to the contrary. No Keystone XL pipeline. Forcing more ethanol into our fuels even with evidence that it damages all but the most recent vehicles. No permits for mining of any sort, and an EPA hell-bent on preventing the byproducts of the pollution controls on coal fired power plants from creating jobs.
If you think they are going to stop there, we all know they are going to be coming for natural gas next, and the latest pack of lies coming from Hollywood is just the beginning.
These "save the planet" moves will hurt the average American. It's step one in decimating the middle class, and forcing them to live in smaller, European-style homes, and drive tiny, unsafe automobiles.
The Democrats, especially from big cities, think we should be punished for years of driving large cars and living in homes and apartments that are huge compared to European standards.
The problem is that every move they make in this direction hurts the middle class and those who are barely getting by. It makes that next tank of gas just a little too expensive, and maintaining a home at a reasonable temperature just beyond their reach.
It's the liberals' "war on the middle class." In West Virginia, you can add their war on coal, and the result is catastrophic.
People I know in our fair state want to work. They don't want a government handout. They also know that the current administration, and our two senators, have not provided a plan to migrate to alternative energies that provides West Virginians with good jobs.
All they have done is punish. Punish those who use coal. Punish their families. Punish the businesses that use the energy produced by coal. They do this while our senators stand mute and do nothing.
I'm watching multi-generation Democrat families register as independents and as Republicans for the first time ever. Not because they have an affinity for the politics of either group, but because they know that West Virginia is in the energy business, and takes huge handouts from the federal government. Both of these are about to be casualties of the extremists in Washington and do- nothing elected officials.
Two elections. West Virginians voted overwhelmingly against an incumbent Democrat.
West Virginians are scared. Very, very scared.
I always vote for freedom. I don't blame you if you vote because you're scared. I'm scared, too.
Santorine is president of Monoceros Ventures and is politically active. He resides in Wheeling.