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DONNIE JOHNSTON: Some suggestions for Virginia's new General Assembly

DONNIE JOHNSTON: Some suggestions for Virginia's new General Assembly

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Virginia State Capitol

The Virginia State Capitol (center) is the hub of Richmond's Capitol Square.

I HAVE several issues that I believe the 2022 Virginia General Assembly should take up during the session just begun.

The first is drafting a referendum to decide if Richmond should remain the state’s capital.

During the past five or six years, Richmond has come under increased criticism because of its statues and the fact that it was the capital of the Confederacy.

Statues have been defaced, desecrated and ultimately removed because they have been deemed offensive to some. Road names have been and continue to be changed because of what some people consider their offensive nature.

Still, despite the cleanup, the fact remains that the city was once the capital of another country, the Confederate States of America. Thus, no matter how many name changes are made, the stain will always remain.

So why should the capital of Virginia be a city associated with the Confederacy? Maybe the time has come when it should be moved somewhere else.

Where? That, of course, would be for the voters to decide if the proposed referendum passes. Roanoke might be a good option since it is more in the geographic center of the state. Or maybe Harrisonburg. Or Staunton.

Nope, not Staunton, because that city is still associated with the insane asylum that used to be there. Absolutely not politically correct.

Yet the new capital should definitely be on the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains and away from current political pressures.

Maybe we should tear down the present capital and turn it into a city park. Or maybe remove the present inhabitants of the entire city and turn the whole area into a national park.

One thing that absolutely should be changed is the name of that Powhite Parkway. That offends me every time I see or hear it. Some try to say this is pronounced Pow-hite Parkway, but we all know it is Po White Parkway, short for Poor White Trash Parkway and about as racist as you can get.

Another matter the legislature should take up is dividing Virginia into two states. The people in the rest of the state have very little in common with Northern Virginia, so that area needs to be split off and the state of North Virginia created.

Better still, give Northern Virginia to the District of Columbia. D.C. could then annex Prince George’s and Montgomery counties from Maryland and become its own state.

What would be the boundaries of North Virginia? Everything north of the Rappahannock River becomes North Virginia, including the counties of Loudoun, Fauquier, Prince William, Stafford, Fairfax and Arlington.

Let North Virginia build its own roads without taking revenue from the rest of the state. Let the people there establish their own government.

Finally, the General Assembly should consider allowing dogs to vote in state and local elections. It is generally conceded today that dogs are part of the family, so why should any part of the American family be prevented from voting?

All the time I hear, “That’s my baby,” referring to the family dog. If that’s your baby, then he should be entitled to cast a vote.

Of course, the General Assembly should adjust the age limit so that “dog years” could be taken into consideration. Whatever is compatible with 18 years in human life should be the minimum.

The biggest problem with this proposal is determining whether dogs are Republicans or Democrats. We know for certain that cats are Democrats, but dogs are more unpredictable. They could be members of either party and politicians would worry that they would upset the balance of power.

Personally I would suggest that hunting dogs be labeled Republican and house dogs be labeled as Democrats. But that’s something that would have to be worked out by the legislature.

Cat owners may cry for equal rights, but there is no way I would let any cat anywhere near a voting machine. You talk about voter fraud! Cats absolutely cannot be trusted.

I know the General Assembly has a lot to deal with in the next two months, but I believe that the above are issues that should demand the legislature’s full attention.

Donnie Johnston:


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