Home » Editorial »Opinion » Currently Reading:

Good Government Reinforces the Family – Another Perspective

October 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Editorial, Opinion 7 Comments

By Malcolm Baldwin

Who can disagree with the title to Dave LaRock’s September article in the Blue Ridge Journal – “Good Government Reinforces the Family”? But sadly he largely misunderstands what government has done and ought to do for such reinforcement. Many of his prescriptions would harm families while others would forestall any improvement in family conditions. His conclusions become more puzzling because he states, without any supporting data (as usual) that “poverty, social welfare programs, drug abuse and poor health are some of the many hardships” connected with family failures caused by government.

Of course poverty and unemployment strain every family they touch. Should we therefore do away with social welfare programs – unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start and the Earned Income Tax Credit, subsidized housing, job training programs, drug treatment programs, Pell Grants for college students and free public school lunches (and breakfasts) – that clearly alleviate poverty and improve conditions for the children LaRock so clearly encourages us all to produce?

Dave LaRock would, we know, like to eliminate Obamacare, just as he has voted against its program to extend Medicaid to 400,000 Virginia citizens who are uninsured, despite available federal funding. How do families benefit from this denial of medical insurance? He ignores the fact that the Census Bureau reported in mid-September that the number of people without health insurance dropped last year by 8.8 million, to a total of 33 million, thanks to Obamacare. How can that not strengthen families and improve lives of children, adults and the elderly?

Good government strengthens families if it provides child care to hard-pressed mothers and fathers who must both work for a living. Public education helps those who cannot afford, as Mr. LaRock apparently can, to have one spouse stay at home to provide home schooling. School choice can be provided through charter and magnet schools, such as Loudoun’s Academy of Science. Good government would also provide full-day kindergarten and support birth control services that poor families seek who cannot afford a family of six or seven children, like Mr. LaRock’s. Good government should provide paid family and medical leave, but, as Senator Bernie Sanders noted when speaking to Liberty College students, the U.S. is “the only major country on Earth” that does not provide it.

The notion that families suffer from our immigration policies, as Mr. LaRock alleges, is ludicrous. Should we deport young children not born in America while their younger siblings can remain because they were born here? (Or does he adopt Donald Trump’s position that even American citizen children should be deported with their illegal immigrant parents?) Should we eliminate constitutionally guaranteed citizenship for those born here that has been a hallmark of America’s strength and diversity? Would he support the crazy notion that we spend billions, with incalculable damage to our labor force and economic output, to send back the 11 million undocumented aliens in this country? Does he understand that how much these immigrants pay in state and federal taxes? A number of studies find that immigrants pay between $90 and $140 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. According to Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, “Unauthorized workers are paying an estimated $13 billion a year in social security taxes and only getting around $1 billion back.” Moreover, unauthorized workers provide services to dairies, vineyards and others businesses that other Americans choose not to do.

Mr. LaRock also cites energy policies adversely affecting families! Presumably he is among the climate change deniers, or those who somehow ignore the fact that government programs to mandate increasing use of clean fuels that reduce pollution and discourage use of highly polluting protect the health of families, and children in particular. Requirements for ethanol in gasoline also support millions of farm families, and gasoline taxes pay for repairs to our increasingly decrepit roads and bridges.

Finally he offers the unsupported notion that, somehow, same-sex marriages harm all families. He, like others who espouse freedom and liberty would deny those values to others with whom he disagrees, without showing that their freedom diminishes his.

Government has, of course, always regulated marriage, for sound policy reasons (prohibiting polygamy or marrying one’s close relatives). That the Supreme Court has decreed that same sex marriage is a Constitutional right is a holding that Mr. LaRock chooses to ignore because he would impose upon all his narrow belief that this somehow will “undermine the traditional family.” Mr. LaRock’s family and those who believe as he does, will not suffer from others’ same-sex marriages, but countless children raised in loving homes with same-sex parents will benefit from family stability.

Good government works to promote equal opportunity in America that will give all individuals, and their families, the ability to maintain their health, to obtain an education, to find rewarding employment, to establish relationships of their choosing, and to express their religious and political views freely. With today’s growing wealth inequality, drug abuse, and an overcrowded prison system that all require attention, additional government efforts – with some reforms to improve effectiveness – are much needed. What we need in Richmond is a legislature that understands that.


  1. Martha Polkey says:

    Well said.

  2. jean brown says:

    Malcolm Baldwin is SPOT ON! It’s too bad that more letters in opposition to Mr. LaRock’s super-conservative agenda have not been published!

  3. Carol White says:

    Too bad this reply to LaRock did not appear in your printed issue.Thank’s to Malcolm.

  4. D. Chuck Hedges says:

    My hat is off to Mr. Baldwin for his eloquent response to the freshman representative from the 33rd District. Like all freshman, the representative has much to learn and to understand in order to be effective. He could learn a great deal from Mr. Baldwin. Baldwin’s presentation is a positive and accurate representation of the value of government making commonsense policy that serves current and future citizens. The freshman simply desires to turn the clock back 125 years.

  5. Doug says:

    This response is spot on! Delegate LaRock is nothing more than a bigoted panderer to a very narrow and select group of voters.

  6. Tom Mulrine says:

    An eloquent testimonial from a very thoughtful, intelligent and experienced fellow citizen of Loudoun. We are very lucky to be able to learn from his keen insights and not just be constantly peppered with the same old tired talking points

  7. Paul says:

    Eloquent rebuttal of an angry and mean far right wing position. I note that they are all about personal freedom and their rights when it comes to guns and stealing public lands for their own use, etc. But then, when it comes to rights to marry they immediately want BIG government to say no. Hypocrisy is alive and well.

Comment on this article

By commenting, you agree to abide by our Terms of Service.








The Holocene Climate


(Public Input Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, 7 March, 2017) Figure 1 shows the climate variation over the last million years. The low points on the curve correspond to ice ages when glaciers up to a mile thick covered New …

Choosing To Forgive


By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Truly forgiving is the ability to say, ‘Thank you for giving me that experience.’” James Arthur Ray vaulted into fame on the Oprah Winfrey Show back in the mid-2000’s. Stunned hearing these words while watching The Rise and …

Five Key Retirement Questions


Beyond asking yourself where you see yourself and even what your lifelong goal are, effective retirement and longevity planning begs some very big questions. Review the points below and consider how housing, transportation and health considerations all play a role …

Work Woes


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, I’m a manager at a large tech company and my boss has directed me to fire someone on my team, but as a Christian, I just can’t do it. It’s true that the employee …

Joy or Suffering

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde No one likes to suffer. When given the chance, many people would choose to laugh rather than cry, to sit in silence with their friends rather than talk through their feelings, because not even their friends …

Wage Radio


I will always remember – very fondly – the first time I ever set foot on the property at 711 Wage Drive Southwest in Leesburg, Virginia. It was a warm, sunny July morning in 1997, and I’d driven all the …

Speaking Truth to Power


“With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed.” Abraham Lincoln On Thursday evening, February 23, I requested the Board of Supervisors pass a proclamation resolving to support the March for Science on Earth Day, April 22 [1]. …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016


Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

(Be the first to comment)

Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016


Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

(Be the first to comment)

Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016


Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

(Be the first to comment)


March 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017


March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
March 5, 2017
March 6, 2017 March 7, 2017 March 8, 2017 March 9, 2017 March 10, 2017 March 11, 2017 March 12, 2017
March 13, 2017 March 14, 2017 March 15, 2017 March 16, 2017 March 17, 2017 March 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

Wine & Chili Weekend
March 19, 2017

Joshua Carr River Safety Foundation Rummage Sale

Joshua Carr River Safety Foundation Rummage Sale
March 20, 2017 March 21, 2017 March 22, 2017 March 23, 2017 March 24, 2017

March Fourth Friday

March Fourth Friday
March 25, 2017 March 26, 2017

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch

Spring Brunch
March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017 March 29, 2017 March 30, 2017 March 31, 2017 April 1, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
April 2, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

  • David on Protecting Free Speech: Constitutionally protected speech is exactly what it sounds like, protected. We all have the legal right to utter nonsensical and...
  • Martha on Protecting Free Speech: Free speech is not a cherished right at the not-quite accredited Patrick Henry College, a religious school that Del. LaRock...
  • Martha Polkey on First Look at Envision Loudoun Results: It remains to be seen whether the direction citizens have provided to the Envision process is actually incorporated into the...
  • David on Protecting Free Speech: Mr. LaRock, I assume that the only reason you weren’t at every School Board meeting in 2005 passionately defending the...
  • LongTimePville on Purcellville Emergency Meeting Postponed to March 10: I bet Kelli Grim flip flops on her conflicts of interest and transparency campaign she ran on and does not...

Steady and NoBull


Loudoun Workforce Resource Center Presents STEM Career Fair March 28

16 Mar 2017

Illustration of STEM education word typography design in orange theme with icon ornament elements

Anyone interested in a career in the rapidly growing field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is encouraged to attend an upcoming STEM Career Fair in Loudoun. The Loudoun Workforce Resource Center, in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC)’s Loudoun campus and NOVA SySTEMic Solutions, is holding a STEM Career Fair Tuesday, March 28, from 1:00 to 4:00 …

(Be the first to comment)

Keep Loudoun Beautiful—Greater Lovettsville Area Volunteers Needed

16 Mar 2017

Lovettsville Boat Launch 7-26-09

The Keep Loudoun Beautiful spring clean-up takes place the entire month of April and greater Lovettsville needs volunteers. Bags, vests, gloves and grabbers are available at the Lovettsville Community Center during normal business hours, Monday-Friday. This is a great group or individual activity that can be scheduled around your availability. E-mail Lovettsville Area Leader, Laura Lieberman, for details and to …

(Be the first to comment)

National Awkward Moments Day

8 Mar 2017


?Laughing at Yourself Is the Best Medicine No one knows who invented National Awkward Moments Day, Saturday, March 18. That’s no surprise, since it probably came about as the result of one stunningly awkward moment that the owner of that moment was hoping to forget. We surveyed our readers and friends to ask them about their most awkward moments, sharing …

(Be the first to comment)

Around Virginia

Protecting Free Speech


By Dave LaRock (R-33) As elected officials and members of the legislature, our most fundamental responsibility is to protect God-given constitutionally protected rights. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the government, including governmental public colleges and universities, from infringing on free speech and the free exercise of …


Walbridge To Run for State Delegate in the 33rd District

Tia walbridge

Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …

(Be the first to comment)

Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns


Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

(Be the first to comment)


Vikings Runner-Up at the State Championship 

8 Mar 2017


The Loudoun Valley Vikings are the boy’s runner-up at the VHSL 4A State Indoor Track and Field Championships at Roanoke College.  During the 2015-2016 school year, the Loudoun County School Board approved Indoor Track and Field as a Tier 2 (self-funded) sport.  The seven boys competing scored 48 points, second …

(Be the first to comment)

WLVBC U14 Boys Finish 3rd at VA Beach Event

23 Feb 2017


The Western Loudoun Volleyball Club’s U14 Boys Team garnered 3rd place in their first travel tournament of 2017, the Virginia Beach Invitational. This event was held Feb. 18-19 and featured more than 24 teams from the U14 to U18 age group. The team was second on their net on day …

(Be the first to comment)


  • +2017
  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009