Opinion — The season of hope

Published 8:00 am Friday, December 24, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

This is the season where, each year, most of us step back and reflect on life and look to the future. For those of us of faith, we are driven by Christmas. We focus on the grace that has been given to us by our Lord. We can step back from our errors and short comings and begin a new year with a lighter load. For others, they approach each new year with opportunity to begin with a clean slate.

In the political world, at the state level, we look with optimism to a new Governor and a more balanced General Assembly. As all have seen, a General Assembly controlled by Democrats in the House and Senate and a Governor collaborating with them has transformed Virginia in ways that no one could have predicted. No one would ever have predicted that a Governor would issue mandates that overruled laws and the freedoms we cherished for years. Most agree that in short term situations immediate action is sometimes required, but for those mandates to run continuously for months on end, few agree. However, the partisanship of the General Assembly allowed that unprecedented policy the last two years. Hopefully, no future Governor of either party will follow this precedent.

Additionally, I look forward to returning to Richmond with hopes that something positive can be accomplished rather than the last two years of wasting far too much time voting against bad legislation that has made Virginia increasingly more difficult to open or operate a business. No longer will we see bills passed that are designed to tax everything that you do.

I look forward to when Virginia returns to allowing business to be respected. Citizens should understand that corporations exist not to pay taxes but rather to provide jobs and income to those who pay taxes. Whenever regulations and taxes here make doing business more expensive, companies will grow and expand elsewhere.

On the federal level, we look with hope that the voters will gear up to vote out of office those who seem determined to destroy our nation from within. The president’s effort to take over the entire economy by promising gullible voters that the government can provide for their every want or wish at no cost to the taxpayers has, for now, dragged to a halt. Senator Manchin of West Virginia has finally declared he will not vote for this massive $2 billion plus misnamed “Build Back Better.”

In the realm of public safety, even the Democrats realize now that defunding, demeaning and defanging law enforcement is a stupid, dangerous policy. Politicians of all stripes are now calling for better funding and staffing of police departments. In Virginia, a gubernatorial election is what it took. In San Francisco, it was massive robberies of department stores that did the trick. This leaves us with high hopes that the record breaking murders in cities all over Virginia and the nation will drive serious efforts to support and respect the officers who risk their lives to protect our families.

I look with hope that we return to the day when work is respected, and soon. No longer can our society properly function if people believe they are entitled to the best of everything without the need to work. Businesses are struggling and are challenged to survive simply because some can receive too many benefits from the government when not working. There is a difference between a safety net and rewarding those who shirk the responsibility of providing for their loved ones.

It is a time that we can look forward to more people learning that they can get news from multiple sources. Over the last generation, the mainstream news media has moved farther and farther away from broadcasting the news fairly and accurately. They have replaced those principles with opinions and ignoring facts. We must no longer allow those long unchallenged news sources to be able to manipulate listeners and readers.

There is much negative on which we could focus, but there is much more that we can be hopeful about. That is exactly what and why we can and should be optimistic about our future. Neal Maxwell was quoted as saying, “Small lights have a way of being seen in a dark world.” Hopes are likewise.

Merry Christmas to all!

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.