While most folks believe Senator Janet Howell will coast to reelection in the 32nd District since her opponent is a repeat candidate who has hardly any money backing his campaign, the rhetoric used by Arthur Purves is a prime example of the candidates the Republican Party has been putting forward this year.
In a recent forum hosted by the League of Women Voters, Purves answered a question about gun violence by claiming it’s a result of the Lord’s Prayer being taken out of our schools. As if it weren’t enough to make that claim once, he doubled down on the answer during his closing statement.
“When I grew up in DC public schools and the bible was on the teacher’s desk and we said the Lord’s Prayer every morning, we didn’t have to cower in the corner worrying about gun invasions,” Purves said. “This is a spiritual problem.”
While claiming that the gun violence epidemic is invading our schools because we’re no longer saying “the Lord’s Prayer every morning,” Purves also went on to imply it’s a bad thing that Sen. Howell wants the state to spend more money on education.
“She’s outraged that we’re not spending more on education,” Purves claimed. “Since she’s been in office, spending on schools has increased 50% more than population and inflation.”
Purves might very well be one of the few candidates this cycle who have actually suggested we shouldn’t want more investment in education. While candidates might disagree with how the money is spent, most understand that investing in our schools helps students thrive and go onto become productive members of society. Plus, the state sees a clear return on the investment in our children when businesses want to come to Virginia due to the quality schools we have and students obtain the skills needed to create their own businesses in the future.
Of course, Purves isn’t the only Republican candidate in Fairfax County who’s proven to be extremely out of touch with the community. Elizabeth Schultz has suggested both sides of the Holocaust need to be taught and said immigrants are bringing diseases into schools, Andi Bayer claimed we’re wasting money on teacher training and claimed diversity can be seen through the number of ethnic restaurants we have in Fairfax, and the Washington Post has called the Republicans out because so many of them are promoting a “vitriolic” and “poisonous tone.”
It’s one thing to disagree on the issues and one might even argue a vibrant debate will eventually lead to the best possible results for the community. The extreme and divisive rhetoric the Republicans are using is not only out of touch with the sense of the community, however, but it prevents any real discussion of the issues. With that in mind, here’s the video of how Arthur Purves decided to close out his portion of the League of Women Voters forum.