By Tom Ehrich

Voters in Virginia have every right to deny another Congressional term to a snarky point guard for the Tea Party and to hand the Republican nomination to an outright nihilist who wants to cripple government.

In this strange hyper-partisan era, being "to the right of Atilla the Hun," as they used to say, isn't far enough over the cliff. Never mind that David Brat is so sheltered in the right-wing Christian bubble that he couldn't address the most basic policy questions.

So goes democracy, or as Winston Churchill famously said, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

The key to Virginia's nominating ballot, it seems, was a pitifully low voter turnout, in which Eric Cantor's supporters stayed home, apparently thinking he was a lock, and Brat's handful were the only ones who voted.

That's fine, too, for we all need to learn that elections go to those who show up, not to those who have superior opinions. I hope all of us are making plans to dedicate time on November 4 to casting our ballots for what we consider to be sanity.

The right wing has been cleaning up at the local and state level, inserting its regressive minions into school boards and state legislatures. Not because its ideas are more widely shared, but because these folks are determined.

It's time for progressives to get just as determined. Liberal voters need to vote, and progressive Christians need to expose the big lies that right-wing Christians are using to baptize their agenda.

Nihilists might still prevail in November. A lot of Americans are scared and angry, and are looking for someone to blame. Our hope lies in the center, not the extremes, and the center will only "hold," as Yeats put it, when decent people imbued with open minds and common sense stir themselves to action.

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