My choice for president is . . .

Over the July Fourth weekend, a group of friends gathered over barbecue and lemonade to celebrate our nation. As the sun set behind Old Rag, we read the Declaration of Independence aloud. Hearing those inspiring words reminded us of the fortitude of the 56 signers of that historic document, many of whom were just plain good citizens, not career politicians or titans of industry. In discussing the Declaration, we were struck by the stark contrast between the signers’ selfless vision and the unsavory dilemma we face in the upcoming presidential election: Shall we vote for someone whom the majority of Americans distrust? Or someone whom the majority dislike?

We should demand a better choice. We need a president we can believe in, someone who can lead us to fulfilling the dreams of our nation’s founders. There is such a person. We know firsthand that he can get any governmental job done because we have watched him do it time and again. We know that he is trustworthy: We are the beneficiaries of his selfless public service. We know that he is broad gauged because we have observed his work — meeting budgets, keeping taxes within reason, making schools better, keeping the environment safe and serving on not-for-profit boards dedicated to medical care, transportation, education and public safety.

He even believes in the sanctity of marriage, having had just one wife, the beautiful Susan, at his side throughout his married life. We don’t know what his party affiliation is, or even if he has one. What we do know is that he can make communities work together for the betterment of all. This man could have run huge entities — Los Angeles, Boston, Manhattan or the state of Virginia. But for 30 years, he was the county administrator right here in rural Rappahannock County. He retired last month to the accolades of all — with 30 years of scandal-free accomplishments from which he did not get rich. For a while, he will stay on for the princely sum of a dollar a month to assist, if needed, with the transition to his successor.

He is, of course, our own John McCarthy. If we want an honorable, savvy, inspiring leader in the Oval Office, someone we can trust to have our interests at heart, rather than his or her own, we should write John McCarthy’s name on the line for President of the United States of America. I will. If enough of us refuse the choice we apparently will be given and instead demand a president who is not only capable but also visionary, not only “not criminal” but of high integrity, someone careful in the execution of his public duties, not “extremely careless,” someone who will not profit from high office but serve faithfully without the motive of later huge personal gain, we can take our nation out of the hands of the blowhards and career politicians.

We could once again be a land of the self-evident truths of our founders: “…that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter it….”

Let us exercise that right. Vote for John McCarthy for President!

Judith Richards Hope

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