Dear Editor, 

We first visited Lake Country in 2005. After three visits in three months we knew we wanted to plan for a move down in the future. We bought property in 2005 and have been here full time since 2015. We’ve always been Virginians, just not locals—and we understand that it takes more than five or even fifteen years to be a local in these parts.

We have always found the people here friendly and welcoming. That’s why we are particularly distressed by the vandalism and theft we have experienced on our property. As patriotic Americans we believe in our right to free speech, to participate in government, and to encourage others to do so as well. Voting is an essential part of a functioning democracy. We chose to display a Vote for Democrats sign on our property. It was vandalized in April and stolen in the first week of May. Both of these acts are crimes. The Sheriffs Department has been contacted and the details shared. Class 3 Misdemeanors. 

We’re aware that many democrats are reluctant to identify themselves around here. That is a shame and we are confident that this is slowly changing. There is nothing wrong with having different points of view. What is wrong is criminal behavior. What is wrong is trying to intimidate. This only motivates us to work harder to open minds and encourage everyone to listen to other perspectives. And to respect them.