The lesser of two evils

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

When our editorial board convened on Tuesday morning to tackle a list of potential topics for the week, the one position we were all able to easily agree upon was this; everyone is looking forward to the end of this year’s Virginia gubernatorial race. Unfortunately, not one of us was looking forward to the outcome of the election, whatever that may be.

It’s hard to recall an election, whether it be at the local, state or federal level, where voters on both sides are as generally disappointed with their parties’ respective candidates as the voters of Virginia are this year. Of course, both republicans and democrats alike on the outer fringes of their parties’ ideological spectrums have found something to like about their candidates. But those that make up the center, and even a good portion of the party faithful, are disillusioned at best.

In fact, the choices seem so unlikeable that it’s hard to imagine either candidate winning were it not for the fact that their opponent is equally as unappealing. The republican candidate, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, is viewed by many in his own party as one who is merely a crusader for conservative social issues and whose ties to the Star Scientific scandal have raised significant ethical concerns. Democrat Terry McAuliffe continues to exaggerate, if not downright fabricate, his business record to the point that it’s hard to determine if he’s telling the truth about anything. What voters are left with are myriad campaign ads telling you that the reason you should vote for one fellow is that the other one is so terrible.

Virginia politics used to allow for differing opinions while in the end always doing what was in the best interest of the Commonwealth. Regardless of the outcome this November, it seems inevitable that such a way of doing business will finally and completely become a thing of the past. Virginia will be all the worse off for it.