U.S. Senator Tim Kaine stopped by the University of Lynchburg on Wednesday and asked community members to champion compassion on Election Day.
He said some people have hoped for a “blue wave” of Democratic victories on November 6, but after recent incidents of mail bombs and a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Philadelphia, he said the nation needs a victory of values, too.
“What we need is a wave of compassion in this country,” Kaine said. “We need a wave of peace in this country. We need a wave of love and caring and community. We need a wave of righteousness and justice. That’s what’s on the ballot on Tuesday. Are we going to see that wave or not?”
He criticized President Donald Trump for not exhibiting character traits worthy of emulation. As a result, he said, voters should elect more ideal role models to other offices. “We ought to put people into every office that we can, and I mean city council, or school board, or legislatures, … that would demonstrate those traits,” he said.
He also spoke about issues including health care and immigration reform. He encouraged community members to get involved with the political process. He pointed out that there is a purpose to the constitutionally guaranteed rights of speech, press, and assembly. “Anything they guaranteed, they guaranteed to encourage it,” he said. “Everything they encouraged, they encouraged because they knew democracy wouldn’t thrive without it.”
Kaine spoke just two days after his Republican rival Corey Stewart spoke on campus. “I’m glad you make this a campus of political discourse, where both parties welcome to come,” Kaine said.
Jennifer Lewis, the Democratic candidate for Virginia’s 6th Congressional District, also spoke at the rally. She said that for most of her campaign, individuals she spoke with identified health care coverage as their top concern. “So many people in the 6th District are going without the care they need, the treatment they need, the medication they need, because they can’t afford it,” she said.
But in recent days, people have noted new concerns, with many telling her that civil discourse is now their top priority. “They want respect back in Washington,” she said. “We are less of a country when we tear each other apart, and name call, and unfriend each other on Facebook because we disagree with each other.
“We have six days to prove what the values of the 6th District are. The values of the 6th District are honesty, integrity, hard work, and taking care of each other.”
Kaine and Lewis were the guests of the University of Lynchburg Democrats. Kaine also spoke on campus in November 2017.