Opinion: Is Gov. Glenn Youngkin finally free to be himself?

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Last November, in the Washington Post, I wrote a piece titled, “Yangkin in 2010 He cannot walk the tightrope he set in 2021.He said. For his witty and inappropriate comments about then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband’s physical abuse. And that he is not, in my opinion, true to himself as a politician and as a public Christian believer.

Youngkin is a decent man by all accounts, and I was shocked that he could be so unkind, both to the speaker at the time and publicly to her family. The good news is, shortly after the public rebuke of his words, Yangkin sent the speaker A personal note of apology And that ended the matter. I think the governor of Virginia has proven that he is actually a gentleman, but he is often conflicted about who he is and how to run the wine state, according to fans Red MAGA.

In the light Sad November 7 election results For Republicans in the Commonwealth, I feel the same way about the Virginia controversy, which had a lame duck governor. He is a man in conflict over his political identity. In northern Virginia, where I live, the 2023 off-year cycle turned out to be bad news for “parents’ rights” governors, as even the Loudoun County School Board returned to Democratic control. Youngkin spent his future life campaigning successfully for 15-week abortion. He was defeated by a vote.

in press release The day after the election, Youngkin humbly said, “I think the first lesson is that Virginia is really purple. No Governor, that is not the lesson. The lesson for Youngkin and the entire party is that you’re out of step with the country and with the union in these 1980s-style culture wars that keep Republicans losing at the ballot box. Smart Republicans need to stop fighting and get back to common sense that will grow the electorate, not alienate them.

Interestingly, he doesn’t see the GOP losses as the end of Yongkin’s career. Instead, I see it as a gift. Now he is free to be himself. Because the truth is when you talk to his colleagues in his previous life. by Carlyle Group; Or look at how he was passionately involved with the black community in Virginia In historical Petersburg or at historically black colleges and universities; Or how he worked with the legislature on bipartisan legislation in Virginia, you know whether he was cut from the cloth of Republican US Senator John Warner or a Republican like former GOP Governor George Allen.

However, Youngkin’s challenge going forward is the same as it always has been: Red must navigate MAGA, a largely rural base in Southwest Virginia, outside of Hampton Roads and Richmond, and Purple, a more moderate group of voters and such former Republicans. Like me, we still want to vote Republican, but we can support those who want to be regular center-right conservatives who don’t fight the culture wars of book bans, parental rights, “critical race theory,” voting rights, and women’s reproductive freedom. .

Only time will tell where Yangkin has landed. However, in the year He is eyeing Mark Warner’s US Senate seat in 2026. I doubt he sees himself as a good vice presidential pick in 2028 or even as the GOP presidential frontrunner in 2028. My unsolicited advice to our governor is to moderate yours. Policies, work with Democrats on what you can and build the Virginia GOP as a centrist party, not a Donald Trump loving RED MAGA reactionary party, Virginia will continue to lose elections due to increasing racial and demographic disparity.

Sophia A. Nelson of Ashburn is a former investigative consultant for Congress. She is the author of the book “ePluribus One: Reclaiming Our Founders’ Vision for a United America.”

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