Abigail Spanberger, and Why She is Donald Trump’s Worst Nightmare

Abigail Spanberger delivers her victory speech in Richmond, Virginia, after defeating Dave Brat to become the first democrat to represent Virginia's 7th District since the Civil Rights era.

Abigail Spanberger, together with husband, Adam, and her 3 daughters, strode confidently onto a podium in front of hundreds of people, all crammed into a banquet hall in a hotel in Richmond’s West End, and she barely got out 3 words before there were tears in her eyes.

“We did it.”

Yet she never lost her confident posture, as she quickly composed herself and continued with her rousing speech, vowing to bring honesty and integrity back to Washington. Then, an amazing moment happened: Her 4-year-old daughter, Caroline, grew nervous being in front of the crowd, and she first clung to her mother’s leg, then hid underneath the podium as her mother stifled her laughter.

In a moment of pure brilliance, Spanberger picked up her daughter and continued on with her speech as though nothing was different.

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It was a moment that endeared Spanberger to mothers around the world, and introduced Abigail’s personality and practicality to the world. Men and women looked at that picture of Abigail and Caroline and they related to her. They felt like they knew her. She looked like any other mother, doing what needs to get done and simultaneously seeing to the needs of her children, and making the two look easy. But every other woman, Abigail Spanberger is not.

She is a mother, a girl scout leader and a suburban wife, but don’t let that fool you.

This former CIA officer is Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.

Abigail Spanberger is, among many things, a devoted wife and mother, a girl scout leader, and the Congresswoman-elect for Virginia’s 7th District. She is also ex-CIA and likely going to be Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.

Abigail moved to the Short Pump area of Richmond, Virginia when she was 13, and she graduated from J.R. Tucker High School. The air of authenticity about her is not something she has to work hard on, considering that she ran for her seat in Virginia’s 7th District after years of being a constituent. She had been a lifelong study of foreign languages, starting with Spanish at the age of 7. She famously wrote her diary in code so her sisters couldn’t read it.

After receiving her undergraduate degree from UVA, she would go on to study in Germany before receiving her conditional job offer from CIA. However, it would be four years before she would actually go to work in the clandestine service. In that time, she would be a waitress, a substitute teacher, and eventually follow her father’s footsteps into the Postal Service Inspector General’s Office, combating things like money laundering, anthrax scares and drug smuggling.

Her time in CIA is obviously not something that is available to get a lot of details on. She told the Times-Dispatch, “I was in positions that I would never want my daughters to put themselves in, but I always felt very much in control.”

Which is where the current state of affairs becomes interesting.

Abigail Spanberger talks with a constituent on the campaign trail. Spanberger grew up in the 7th District, which she now represents.

Prior to this week’s midterm elections, Republicans in the legislative and executive branch were happy to run through the airwaves and the internet, espousing the idea that there was an invasion of migrants on it’s way, ready to beat down our gates and rape and pillage our country at will. They were Henry V, charging into Harfleur and they were going to dash our father’s heads against the walls and spit our naked infants on pikes.

Of course, the reasonable of us know that this is a falsehood, like nearly everything else that is coming from Donald Trump these days. The man lies the way a goat bleats; repetitively, loudly and often. Most of us know this. Yet, there is a great portion of this country who eat his demagoguery right up, for sustenance almost. There are many in this country who feel that we stand upon the brink of some great disaster, and all means are justified in stopping such an end. In fact, these baseless anxieties were the very root and core of his popularity. Devout Christians were flocking to the polls to vote for a lying, cheating, greedy, serial sexual abuser who insulted every tenet they held dear, but it was okay because he was going to stop the pending doom of (White) America.

The politics of fear are the bread and butter of Republicans, going all the way back to Nixon. If he didn’t wage a war on drugs, then communist hippies would poison the minds of our children. If Regan didn’t sell guns, If Bush Sr. didn’t invade Panama, if Bush Jr. didn’t invade Iraq, if, if, if…

These purported threats were the ends that always justified whatever horrible means necessary.

Except that now, coming to the house of Representatives, is a woman who has stood on the front lines of the defense of America, indomitable and unflinching as a seamless stone wall, and has looked into the face of the true horrors of this world and said, “do your worst”. To work in the clandestine service, you have to have unimpeachable integrity, the epitome of honesty, and you have to have ice cold water running through your veins. Abigail Spanberger didn’t merely survive in that world; she thrived in it.

Trump is going to continue to threaten Congress with investigations. He’s going to try and intimidate voters and he’s going to work every angle he can to avoid facing any consequences for what he does.

Trump is, was, and always will be a bully.

And now, someone who cannot be intimidated, who cannot be bought, and who cannot be deceived is coming to Washington, and will hopefully be a driving force in the effort to hold him responsible for his actions, past, present and future.

 

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