Thursday, July 10, 2008

Where Have You Gone Henry Gassaway Davis?

Our state needs help. About four years ago someone promised us that it was on the way, but we did not get as much as we expected. Despite the competitive advantages West Virginia enjoys in terms of location, natural beauty, and relatively low costs, our state squanders it away with a burdensome tax system and a lawsuit lottery mentality egged on by ridiculous judges.

Certainly some Democrats in the state understand what Republicans have known for years. Get rid of the corruption, fix the tax system, reform the judiciary and give business a reason to locate here. However none of them have truly stepped forward and demanded the changes that will give the people what they want, opportunities.

It takes courage to buck the party and support what is right. After the Civil War, a Union supporting Democrat named Henry Gassaway Davis gained influence. He successfully built up his business in Piedmont, then expanded his operations into mining and railroads. With his son-in-law Stephen Elkins, Davis helped to construct north central West Virginia into an industrial power.

Davis also exercised political power, serving in the West Virginia State Legislature and the United States Senate. For much of his life he remained a loyal Democrat. However he did not fear supporting Republicans when he saw their platform benefiting his state. One such issue was when the nation almost tore itself apart over the issue of whether or not to have sound or inflated currency. Davis supported the stable economy that sound currency would establish, giving Republicans assistance and support because he saw their stand as being better for the state. When his party returned to his values, Davis once again supported them and was the Democratic vice presidential candidate when he was in his 80s.

In our time, some Republicans think Joe Manchin is one of them. Sure he has advanced a few reforms here and there, but they often stop short of the decisive measures necessary to really bring change to this state. That being said, he supports the guru of nebulous change promises, Barack Obama. Some say that Manchin is a possibility for vice president. Because of this, the governor must associate himself with a pro-abortion candidate whose regulatory plans will severely damage the coal industry, and who has acted in the past against a person's right to defend their own home and family with a firearm. Murdering babies, killing the coal jobs vital to so many families, but wanting homicidal criminals to get the upper hand against law abiding homeowners. Those are definitely not West Virginia values.

Somewhere, somehow, Henry Gassaway Davis must be changing his registration.

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