Guest Post by Thomas Wilkins
This past Wednesday, during his counter-programming against the GOP debate, Donald Trump rallied against bans on gas engines while speaking to United Auto Workers union members in Michigan. As Axios noted, “the one labor-related issue in which UAW leaders hew closer to Republicans is their skepticism over the government-directed push toward electric vehicles,” which “require less labor to produce, and the jobs are predominantly non-union.”
Driving Force Action (DFA), a nationwide alliance of car enthusiasts and small business owners, has developed a blueprint to challenge the government’s encroachment on individual liberty and consumer choice on behalf of so-called “environmentalist” special interests in the Green Lobby. DFA is rallying Republicans around this issue during the State Senate elections in Virginia in November with a new campaign launched this month aiming to force anti-combustion engine Democrats out of office and protect consumers’ freedom to choose.
The group’s central message is, “Why are we allowing California bureaucrats to make rules for Virginia?” Just like third-world countries have a habit of sometimes pegging their currency to the dollar, in 2021, Democrats strangely decided to tie Virginia’s emission standards to California’s.
This is like the environmental equivalent of the dynamic whereby California, by its sheer size, wields outsized influence on the sorts of children’s textbooks created and purchased throughout the country. In practice, this would mean Old Dominion would phase out gas-powered cars in the near future. By 2035, the law would require the state to ban all sales of new gas-powered vehicles. This would upend the state’s economy, infringe on consumer choice, and, as Trump noted, “spell the death of the U.S. auto industry.”
The current state of things in California should dissuade any sensible person from emulating their model. But Virginia Democrats are committed to following that destructive path.
Governor Glenn Youngkin, who made a name for himself politically by challenging the California-style degeneracy imposed upon children’s school curricula, understands this law could turn Virginia into California and wants to eliminate it. “California, who has shown themselves inept in managing their own state, why in the world would we import their laws into Virginia?” the governor told reporters last year. “I think this is just an absurd moment where legislators who were elected by Virginians, a governor was elected by Virginians, put in a law that abdicates their responsibility to make these decisions for Virginians.”
Democrats in the state legislature disagree. Lawmakers killed efforts to repeal the gas-powered car ban earlier this year. The environmental lobby cheered the decision and declared the ban attempts a “dead end.”
Only the voters can decide if it’s a dead end. They can make their voices heard loud and clear this November. Youngkin can gain allies in the state Senate to help him overturn this ban. These candidates include Juan Pablo Segura, Kevin Adams, Tara Durant, Emily Brewer, Danny Diggs, Bill Woolf, and Siobhan Dunnvant. All of them want to restore sovereignty to Virginia’s emission standards and kick California’s far-left dictates to the curb. The DFA’s campaign stands firmly behind these candidates as they challenge the Democrats’ stranglehold in the state capitol.
Under Democrats, Virginians are told how to raise their kids, what pronouns they should use, and even what cars they should be able to drive. That’s not how things should be.
Youngkin’s upset victory in 2021 sent a message that Virginia isn’t as blue as some observers think. His win voiced the frustration ordinary Americans feel about left-wing intrusion into their lives.
Voters can repeat this again in 2023. The far left still hasn’t gotten the memo. They need another reminder that regular Americans want their rights protected, not trampled upon to satisfy the whims of Californians.
Thomas Wilkins is a Virginian patriot and proud America-first conservative.