|Yeah, I kept it.|
I'm going to tell you a little story. The year was 2002 and little KuntaJay was a fourth grader without a care in the world. Newly sworn in Governor Mark Warner visits my elementary school in central Virginia and gives my entire class an amazing speech in the cafeteria. You know the basic 'you guys are the future' stuff politicians usually tell to kids for whatever reasons. Now this may seem shocking but Mark Warner actually is the man who got me interested in politics and to a lesser extent journalism . You see after his speech little timid me walked up to then Governor Warner, thanked him for his appearance and told him "when I'm older I'll be sure to vote for you". As I mentioned in the past, the list of quotes I committed to remembering my entire life is pretty short and this one happens to be on that list. He shook my hand and said "Jahreal (what I went by at the time), when I'm older I expect to be voting for you." Then he reached for a copy of the Richmond Times Dispatch,signed it and gave it to me (To which I have since then lost). I thought "wow this is the coolest guy ever!"
Flash forward six years, it's 2008 and KuntaJay is a little more grown up. High school Junior, planning his future and what not. He receives the above pictured campaign flyer in his mail, and gets excited. "Whoa, our moment, change, etc, etc,." Only problem is, he's 17- one year shy of the voting age. So he calls all his friends, family in the area etc of voting age and told them "Obama/Biden Warner '08 let's make this happen." November 4th comes, everyone is watching for the election results. We all had on our Obama pins, our Warner pins, the posters,the shirts, the flags and so on. I cannot explain the emotions that were present as of around 10:00 p.m when it was announced, Virginia turned into a blue state. Honestly speaking I was more happier that Warner won than I was when it came to Barack Obama.(Because of his words years prior.)
Now flash forward 6:00 a.m the next morning, I'm getting ready for school and watching my local ABC affiliate. Needless to say I heard something that got under my skin because the realities of politics was setting in. The words I heard were: "Newly Elected Senators including Mark Warner meet with Washington lobbyists.." I couldn't help but lose a bit of respect for him, I couldn't help but think "this guy is selling out and he isn't even in the Senate yet." It was a little troubling but I felt it wasn't a major alarm. Flash forward again, despite thousands of emails from this district and neighboring ones to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for those making $250,000 a year and once again to vote against extending the PATRIOT ACT. He votes yes to extend both of them, ignoring the same people who put him in that seat in the first place.
By that point I lost all faith in him and the Democratic Party as a whole, but it gets better. Come back to the present, Tuesday Barack Obama announced he supported a debt reduction plan wrote up by "The Gang Of Six"( a bi-partisan group of Senators containing Mark Warner). This plan is complete malarkey and for the good of the country, none of these men deserve another term in Congress. It's garbage, the plan is expected to gut social programs (medicaid, medicare, Social Security), raise taxes on the middle class and cut corporate taxes. Thankfully it has no hope of passing, but the principle of the thing is so slimy. It shows the priorities of both parties- protect the rich and screw the regular citizen.
It pains me to say this but, I refuse to honor my word. In 2014 Senator Warner will not be receiving my vote.