6th District Democrat Andy Schmookler, a Shenandoah County writer who is challenging longtime incumbent Congressman Bob Goodlatte, said today that the modern Republican Party is steering the country toward a crisis on par with the Civil War. And so he argued that the message of his campaign is serious and therefore deserves more attention from the Roanoke Valley’s media outlets.
Schmookler called Goodlatte “a willing servant of a force which is more destructive than anything we’ve ever seen at this stage of American politics.” Later he added, “We have as serious a crisis in America right now as we’ve ever had, perhaps with the possible exception of the crisis over slavery. The future of this country is at stake.”
He accused Republicans of caring more about gathering money and power than doing what’s best for their constituents.
Schmookler told local television and newspaper reporters that they need to uphold their responsibility to their readers, viewers and even to America’s founding fathers by “putting me through my paces” to see if his message has merit.
Earlier this month the Roanoke Times published my story suggesting that congressional challengers like Schmookler face difficulties in getting their voices heard above the high-profile — and expensive — races for president and U.S. Senate.
Schmookler said he’s mostly relying on the media to get his message out, but is also holding town halls and attending events like the Labor Day parade in Buena Vista.
I asked Schmookler if he was really calling the modern-day GOP a threat to the country on par with slavery in the 19th century, and he clarified saying he’d said that Republicans are driving the U.S. toward “the most profound crisis in American history in terms of determining the nature and destiny of the country with the possible exception of the time leading up from the 1850s through the Civil War.”
But Schmookler added, the modern-day “crisis is more across the board. I don’t think we’re going to have a civil war because the divisions that have been created are not regional.”
The 6th District includes all or part of
Shenandoah, Rockingham, Highland, Augusta, Alleghany, Bath, Bedford, Rockbridge, Botetourt, Roanoke and Amherst Counties. Amherst County, Augusta County, Bath County, Bedford County, Botetourt County, Highland County, Page County, Roanoke County, Rockbridge County, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Warren County and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Staunton and Waynesboro..
– Mason Adams