Virginia's Gubernatorial Race Will Show if Trumpism Can Survive Trump

If Ed Gillespie's foul campaign works, more conservatives will follow suit


One burning question since Trump arrived on the political scene is can Trumpism—a noxious combination of overt nativism and covert racism—survive

Ed Gillespie
Douglas Graham / Loudoun Now/Newscom

without him? The outcome of the gubernatorial race in Virginia might offer an answer tomorrow. Late in the game, the Republican candidate Ed Gillespie went whole-hog Trumpist even though his record thus far would have suggested that he is as far from a natural Trumpist as a politico can get. A former chair of the Republican National Committee, he is a fiscal conservative whose main flaw is that he makes milquetoast look enticing.

Yet he has embraced a campaign of fear mongering and fake rage against Hispanic criminal gangs and sanctuary cities while sticking up for Confederate monuments. This has earned him praise from Trumpist organ Breitbart (and revulsion from his former Republican friends). Given this platform:

Should he scrape a victory in this blue state that Hillary Clinton won—or even lose by a narrow margin—it'll be a signal that Trump's red meat strategy is a viable one. Usually, when Republicans have played the race card—say, George H.W. Bush's Willie Horton ad—they've done so somewhat hesitantly for fear of alienating suburban moms and social moderates who connect mostly with the GOP's economic message. But if Gillespie makes headway with this message—which it seems he is doing given that he has narrowed the gap with Northam considerably in the latest polls—the Republican takeaway will be that their problem in the past wasn't that they were too aggressive in stoking their red-meat base, but not aggressive enough. A new calculus will prevail where there is much more to be gained than lost by embracing Trumpism.

And what will the left's response be? A near-hysterical campaign of fear of its own about the future minorities face under Republicans.

Go here to read the piece.

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  1. Is there a libertarian running?

      1. Respecting and Innovating? Doesn’t sound like any libertarian I know.

        1. Red flag, right there.

          1. Start earning $90/hourly for working online from your home for few hours each day… Get regular payment on a weekly basis… All you need is a computer, internet connection and a litte free time…

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    1. He seems pretty solid, judging from his website platform.

      But, this will provide a lot of consternation:

      “Prohibit discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity”

      1. Hmmmm….unless he means ‘public employment’, as in government employment.

        1. I believe that is what he means.

          1. Woah, woah, woah there, Nick Sarwark. Don’t start using your fancy “words mean what they are intended to mean” stuff. Just allow me to unfairly criticize.

            1. This is not the first time I have been called Nick Sarwark here, and so I want to reiterate. He lives in Phoenix, I am from Tucson. They are different places.

              1. Did JoJo ever get back?

  2. Isn’t this the one where the other guy put out that pickup truck ad?

    1. Yep. The only thing Gillespie has going for him is that Northam is a piece of shit. Of course, the only thing Northam has going for him is that Gillespie is a piece of shit, too, so it’s unclear how things are gonna shake out.

      1. So now we don’t even get a giant douche option.

        1. You get a floater with peanuts in it or a floater with corn in it.

          1. I guess you are voting for the hyrax?

            1. That’s the plan. Plus, my polling location is at the zoo, so i can vote for Hyra in the presence of an actual hyrax, which is kind of rad.

      2. I would say that Northam is a bigger POS than Gillespie, but yes-both are turds. Northam is much more of an opportunist though (he voted for W twice), so he will feel pressure to go out of his way to please his prog donors.

        1. Northam is a neighbor of my dad’s, and the hell of it is, he’s a really nice guy in person. Politics fucks er’body up, though. Political power is a reverse Shit Midas.

          1. It turns shit back to food? I thought that was compost.

            1. A reverse Shit Midas is a thing that, when you grasp it, turns you into complete shit. I shouldn’t have to explain this.

              1. That’s just a plain old Shit Midas.

                1. No, a Shit Midas is a person who turns everything they touch into shit and failure. When they get turned to shit instead, that’s the reversal.

                2. NM, I get it. Somehow I misread your comment. Lol. I need more coffee.

                  1. You’re the Shit Midas of uncaffeinated commentary.

                    1. While not particularly enlightening, this may be the most hilarious conversation I’ve ever read on HnR. Thanks for that.

      3. This. This election will prove nothing about “red meat” campaigns, because both loathsome candidates have gone that way.

        Oh, Northam claims that the pickup truck ad isn’t connected to him. I will not lie to you and say I believe him.

    2. That ad was amazing and it made me the Democrat I am today


  4. Uh Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa Trumpa MUSHROOM MUSHROOM!


  5. Hillary won VA only by about 5 points, and then you have the traditional GOPers who may have voted for Hillary, Gary Johnson, or McMullin but will come back to vote for Gillespie. He can’t afford to lose the Trumpists whatever he does. Hence the MS-13 ads, which are not really racist IMO (MS-13 victims are almost exclusively Latino) despite what Shikha says here.

    1. The Democratic response was an ad saying that Gillespie and Trump literally want to murder brown children. There’s not exactly a surfeit of sense or proportion among the major parties in this particular gubernatorial race.

      1. ” surfeit ”

        great word

          1. All the studying for the SATs prepared you for the amount of equivocating necessary to make it in this crazy, modern world.

            1. It did and it didn’t, bro. It did and it didn’t.

      2. And the godawful is, it worked. We can expect even more like this in 2019. Dreadful sorry about that.

    2. And just exactly what would you know about Virginia, NoVaNick?

      1. I have been a resident and voter of the Commonwealth for 13 years, sir.

        1. I think he’s trying to remind you that Occupied Northern Virginia ain’t really part of the Old Dominion, homeboy.

          1. I concur! I still think of myself as a Virginian, since I lived the first two years outside of C-ville, which isn’t really the Old Dominion anymore either.

            1. That girthy tentacle of NoVa’n suburbanity stretching south down 29, you mean.

          2. I was just fucking with him.

        2. Everything north of Fredericksburg and east of Front Royal is actually South Maryland.

          1. Also known as areas of Virginia where the restaurant choices go beyond truck stop food and senior citizen diners.

            1. Also known as areas of Virginia where the restaurant choices go beyond truck stop food and senior citizen diners.

              MUH RESTAURANTS

            2. You forgot Chinese buffets and Pizza Hut.

          2. Southern Maryland is not really Maryland, which most around here seem to think consists only of MoCo, PG county, and Baltimore.

          3. Wacht am Rappahannock

    3. Alot of the spanish guys I work with are voting Gillespie because of those ads. They are from El Salvadore and have far more extremist views on what to do with MS-13 the even the most copsucking voter I’ve talked to.

      1. Are they from Spain or El Salvador? I’m confused.

  6. If Ed Gillespie’s foul campaign works, more conservatives will follow suit

    Remind me, did Gillespe’s campaign ok a commercial that implied people who want to secure the border and enforce immigration laws Nazi’s? Or was that someone else?

    1. Incidentally, I’ll be voting a straight red ticket bc of that horseshit.

    2. With her track record of cool objectivity on immigration (sarc), I wouldn’t be surprised if the basis for Shikha’s “foul campaign” statement was at least partially influenced by that ad.

  7. revulsion from his former Republican friends

    I guess this is referring to establishment Republicans, who would really rather just sweep all that stuff under the rug and pretend they’re nice guys like the Democrats.

    I know it’s above the author to bother looking into details that don’t touch on her obsessions, but are there any reasons at all the vote for this guy I wonder?

  8. a campaign of fear mongering and fake rage

    christ, just pick one already.

    you can’t really claim ‘fear’ and ‘hate’ are motivating people while simultaneously claiming its ‘fake’.

    Shikhas conception is that GOP voters and Trump are defined entirely by leftist projections – that the right ‘hatefulness’ is evidenced by their anti-immigration rhetoric.

    yet the actual shit people like Trump say? is tepid at best, while you have the lefties imagining rednecks driving down brownskinned children on their way to school.

    This is the problem: you define any criticism of our demonstrably-shitty-immigration-system as “hate”. If that’s your starting point, you’re basically making any debate about the topic impossible.

    Even libertarians like me who are far more pro-immigrant than the average voter can’t even get a fucking word in edgewise without some lefties screaming that anyone except them are hateful racist hatemongers exploiting fear. Which is ‘fake’, or something.

    basically, shikha perpetuates the problem while claiming to analyze the problem. get rid of her and hire someone who can actually say something useful about the topic.

    1. I just finished her long article in this month’s mag and it is exactly what you describe. If you question any of the orthodoxy, she bangs you over the head with Arpaio and interior checkpoints.

      1. It is like I say below, if you want to allow Trump to completely own the field of having any controls on immigration at all, then just make him emperor for life. If Trump created Dalmia as a false flag to discredit the open borders crowd, she wouldn’t act any differently.

    2. while you have the lefties imagining rednecks driving down brownskinned children on their way to school.

      How many years away are we from an ad showing a CGI version of some future GOP candidate laughing maniacally while on a killing spree using a fully automatic silenced grenade launcher in an inner-city maternity ward?

        1. Wait, i take that back. The way the last one went, the 2020 presidential campaign will have lurched into motion by the end of June, so let’s say 8 months.

          1. Can I get 500 on the under?

      1. You could probably do that as a GTA machinima.

    3. Yeah, I actually believe that freedom of movement is a universal natural right. I think that position could be defended in a “libertarian” magazine. Shikha’s articles are nothing but lefty rants. If Reason wants to promote free minds, they’ve chosen the wrong columnist for that task.

  9. I think Gillespie ends up winning by 2-3 points base on nothing besides Northams actions the past couple of weeks reek of desperation. If his internal polling had him up as much as many of the polls do he wouldn’t be changing his tune on sanctuary cities and running commercials about hillbilly’s killing children.

    1. I didn’t even know The Jacket lives in Virginia.

  10. I mean it has already worked Gillespie turned a 20 point race into a toss up. Libertarianism is electoral poison populism wins elections. Doesn’t mean you guys have to change your mind but it would help to understand just have tiny the appeal of your ideology is.

  11. That was Shikha’s kid in that truck commercial pretending to being run over by the evil R.
    Shikha is still in therapy over the made up incident. No thoughts and no prayers are with her at this time.

  12. Yet he has embraced a campaign of fear mongering and fake rage against Hispanic criminal gangs and sanctuary cities while sticking up for Confederate monuments.
    If anything we should be embracing hispanic gangs for their good civic charity and sanctuary cities are only violating the constitution because they FEELZ.

    There is just no excuse for sticking up for keeping monuments. Haha.

    1. How is it “fake rage”. What does that even mean? Does she think that Gillespie secretly likes Hispanic gangs?

      Dalmia is just embarrassing. She is proof that Reason will embrace any view, no matter how stupid, hateful and irration, just so long as it tows the open borders lion. It is pathetic.

      1. Where are they towing the lion off to? Shouldn’t the lion be in the zoo? Also who calls a tow truck for a lion?

        1. Wow. looks like we have a new retard who doesn’t understand one of the oldest jokes on here. “Red Tony”, did you stay up late thinking that up? We need a new lefty retard sock puppet. Gee, you look like the man for the job.

          1. I aim to please!

            So, what’s the joke? I mean, I kinda thought the joke was your spelling, but I guess not.

  13. So, a group allied with Northam runs an ad showing Republicans driving a pickup running over immigrants but Shika tells us that it is Gillespie who is running a foul campaign? You can’t make this shit up. Dalmia truly has no shame.

    Meanwhile, if “Trumpism” comes to mean the willingness to deport violent criminals and Trump’s opponents are going to identify themselves with the complete unwillingness to do that, then you might as well make Trump emperor for life, because no one other than an intellectual is stupid enough to think that we shouldn’t deport violent criminals where we can.

    1. Why deport them? Make sure they have an “accident” on the way back to the border. It’s not like they’ll be missed anyway.

  14. “Go here to read the piece.”


    1. Me neither.

  15. sticking up for Confederate monuments

    Ed Gillespie may be a life-long establishment RINO but he isn’t stupid. He’s running for Governor of Virginia for Christ’s sake. Carpetbagger Republicans aren’t going to vote for the Democrat over this issue but it might inspire native-born Democrats and independents to vote Republican.

    1. Love how she slips that in there. Only Trumpenhitler types would have a problem with the leftist campaign to erase the country’s past.

  16. So basically, just passing a law isn’t good enough? Whoa!

    1. Oops, wrong thread. I will go away now…

  17. Why do some people think every election is about the president? Maybe we are voting for or against the actual candidates in the race. Has that possibility even occurred to these people?
    After the way the Dems tried to play games with concealed carry reciprocity I will only vote against anyone involved. No Trump required.

  18. Please. No one in Virginia is paying attention to the governor’s race. Neither candidate is useful.

  19. I think it’s Ms. Dalmia who hears the dog whistle.

  20. When have republicans ever not ran on immigration?

    For years we’ve heard that gop would be dead without amnesty. Demographic destiny and all that. Then trump rewrote the script.

    Notice that rick Santorum and huckabee never went anywhere, despite being anti illegal immigrant AND socially conservative. “Trump won because of racism” is such a shallow analysis of what was more organic movement. Someone like Michael savage could never win the presidency, even if they detest lmmigrants.

  21. Gillespie was clearly anti Trump. I don’t see how Trump has much to do with his loss, other than he may have won if he supported him, doubt it though. All politics are local is pretty much a hard and fast rule.

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