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Column – Trying to stay positive

All of us have been challenged by the events in the news this year.

It was heartbreaking enough when our lives were flipped on end by the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to that.

That was followed by rioting and destruction of public and private property.  For most of us, these events on top of the horrible legislation forced on us by the Northern Virginia delegation, and Governor Ralph Northam, whose ethics had been compromised by his views on after birth abortion and college antics, have made traditional Virginians sick to what is happening in Virginia this year.

A Tradition of Respecting History

Those of us that were fortunate enough to be born a Virginian, and many who chose to be Virginians, are deeply concerned about the Speaker of the House arbitrarily removing historical busts and statues from the people’s Capitol in the middle of the night without a vote or public discussion.

It is not the statues, though many regret their removal, but the re-write of history to suit the 21st century.  All understand that slavery is a stain on our history, but that was a different time.  What we regret losing is our ties to our ancestors and forebears.  Whether statues exist will not change our lives.  Good or bad, all of us are a composite of our roots.

A Tradition of Our Rights

Of greater anguish to me is our loss of rights this year.  After swearing with his hand on a Bible to uphold the state and federal constitution, Gov. Northam decided that his power superseded the Constitution.  Our Second Amendment rights were compromised partially during the session last winter.  One should fully expect greater losses in coming months.  Likewise, Gov. Northam has successfully stepped all over the First Amendment when he not only closed our churches but actually charged leaders of at least one church with a crime when they tried to hold an outdoor service.  He has dictated school policy which is the responsibility of local school boards, deeming education as non-essential.

He and his majorities in the General Assembly have trampled on the rights of businesses that employ Virginians.  First, during the session they created more bureaucracy for those employers and then, on top of that, the governor believes that small businesses are evil and not concerned about the safety of their friends and customers while big business is.

Tearing Us Apart

If that is not enough, we are seeing rioting across the nation.  Rioters are using the excuse of a senseless death in Minneapolis by a renegade cop to cause the deaths of many more.  They are using that sad event to destroy our society with no regard to life or property.  These anarchists are well financed and organized as they assault the free enterprise system that has raised the quality of life of every American.

A Brighter Day

Despite all these negative events, one text message has lifted my spirits and reminded me of what is important.  It is below:

“Mr. Ruff,

Many years ago, you stood in our family’s business with my Papa, Dad and me. You inspired/encouraged me with your words. Today, after 23 years in law enforcement, 19 of those as a Federal Air Marshal, I am the Assistant Federal Security Director for Law Enforcement in Kansas City, MO. My responsibility includes 90% of Missouri and part of Kansas.

So many things have transpired through the years that led me to where I am, including hard work and much sacrifice. However, it’s those early inspirations that always provided the drive that pulled me through the hard times.

Thank you for your inspiration early on and for living by your words with your votes. Thank you for standing the line. I have followed your votes and see your name in endeavors I support. God bless you and your family.”

How could anyone be depressed by the events that surround us today after having someone tell you that you had a life-changing effect on their life over a quarter of a century ago?

I move forward with my work with a renewed spirit and a big thank you to this man and the Lord that we both pray to for guidance.