Raucous Republican ruins midterm momentum

Comstock’s vicious rhetoric is destructive to her re-election


Cordelia Lawton

COMPETITION—The neighbor to the Jenifer Wexton supporters shows their opinion. This creates a neighborhood standoff. (Photo by Cordelia Lawton)

Cordelia Lawton, Reporter

As the midterm election in Virginia’s District 10 has heated up, incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock has resorted to using inflammatory language to attack her opponent, Democrat Jennifer Wexton. While this tactic is effective at riling up her base, it alienates the majority of voters, ultimately damaging her chances at re-election.
“I’m sure with the current election there are attack ads and you will have language that is used just trying to tear down or point out flaws in their opponent,” AP Government teacher Karen McNamara said.
Comstock is notorious for her cruel attack ads against Wexton, for example numerous ads use the phrase “Wexton’d in the worst way.”
“I think that Comstock has been very undiplomatic and very unprofessional in the way she uses language to attack Jennifer Wexton,” said Secretary General of Model U.N. senior Neha Rana.
Comstock’s attack ads are dangerous because she is taking facts about Wexton out of context to make her seem incompetent.
“If people are unaware or they don’t take the time to look into the issues they might be convinced by false rhetoric [and] they might be convinced by attack ads,” McNamara said.
On the contrary, Wexton exhibits a respectable restraint in her language, which encourages wider support.
“The advantage Jennifer Wexton has over Comstock is maintaining a level of professionalism that Comstock has definitely not maintained,” Rana said.
Politicians’ deliberate rhetoric is something students should be more aware of in order to prevent people who use destructive rhetoric like Comstock from achieving or continuing to hold power.
“There are going to be the ones that are going out and voting so it would be nice if all students are fully aware of their candidates, their platform, [and] of what they really stand for,” McNamara said.
Through her more considered language,
Wexton clearly stood out in her opening statement in Virginia’s Congressional District 10 debate as being a much more emotionally capable candidate.
“As prosecutor, I put dangerous criminals behind bars. As a state senator I have passed over 40 pieces of legislature,” Wexton said in her opening statement.
Comparatively, Comstock’s opening statement was brutal, as she immediately and consistently attacked Wexton.
“This election is about results, not resistance. My opponent is the most left- wing state senator and has said she wants to represent the resistance,” Comstock said in her opening statement.
Even when Wexton took on a more aggressive tone, she stuck to the facts and didn’t drop to Comstock’s level.
“On sexual harassment my opponent styles herself as a champion of [the] Me Too [movement],” Wexton said in her closing statements. “She hopes you’ll forget the first thing she did after Donald Trump took office was to vote to repeal a rule that would have required federal contractors to better protect victims of sexual harassment.”
Comstock’s unprofessional approach to political language has damaged her campaign and, ultimately, has made Wexton’s campaign even stronger.
“If you’re too aggressive in what you say or you take a bad approach and you don’t have people liking you, you’re not going to achieve the end goal,”Rana said.

Cordelia Lawton
SHOWING SUPPORT— This picture shows a row of Jenifer Wexton campaign signs. This makes this house’s political alliances clear.