My heart is for Glenn Youngkin. But my vote is for Terry McAuliffe as Virginia governor.

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I am going to vote for Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor on Tuesday. I sure hope he loses.

And no, I am not insane; my head and my heart just disagree.

The best thing about the Democrat, the only good thing as far as I know, is that he isn't a threat to our democratic republic. He'll get elected, he'll do the liberal things that even moderate Democrats do these days, and then he'll leave office. Someone else will have a chance to fix McAuliffe's mistakes.

I am not so sure about Glenn Youngkin.

Youngkin has flirted with Trumpism, for too long playing coy about whether he thinks the 2020 election was stolen.

Republicans are dangerous for democracy

If he wins, it will reinvigorate the Trump wing of the Republican Party, and I know that they would like nothing more than to tear down our democracy. If Republicans regain power in Congress next year, I fear that the 2024 presidential election would be a disaster for our nation.

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Republican Glenn Youngkin, right, makes a point to Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Sept. 28, 2021, in the final debate between the candidates before the gubernatorial election on Nov. 2.
Republican Glenn Youngkin, right, makes a point to Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Sept. 28, 2021, in the final debate between the candidates before the gubernatorial election on Nov. 2.

In any case, Republicans can't have my vote while still insisting Joe Biden stole the election from Donald Trump despite all the evidence. My head is with the Democrats, but my heart is with Youngkin and the Republicans.

Progressives are pushing too far

I long to deliver a message to the progressives who have grown to dominate the Democratic Party: You won't be able to hold onto power, not for long.

If Youngkin wins, it will be a dagger to the heart of progressives, and I'll cheer. Here are four reasons:

Out-of-control spending. Between a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the latest $1.75 trillion "Build Back Better" social spending bill, we're going to sink $3 trillion further in debt without any emergency COVID-19 justification. And that's if you believe all the budget gimmicks in Biden's signature domestic policy plan. Whatever the cost, it isn't zero as the administration has claimed.

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Chaos at the border. In the course of pandering to Hispanic voters, Biden gave the impression that he was going to abandon all the mean policies of the Trump administration, edging closer to the "open borders" ideology of the Democrats' extreme progressives. The result has been a record breaking flood of migrants who took Biden at his word. We're not even close to getting a handle on the problem.

Abortion extremism. For all the accusations that Republicans are extreme, it is the Democrats who support abortion laws that allow third trimester abortion for any reason, an abomination that most Americans have always rejected.

Defund the police. The dumbest idea in American politics came along at almost exactly the time police were needed most – with a record increase in murders in 2020, a trend that has not stopped in 2021. We need police accountability, but we need more police, too. Even Black voters, who know most intimately the racism problem within U.S. policing, want more spending on police.

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Critical race theory. It is a big debate in Virginia, but the ideas are seeping through in public education all over the country. Some still deny these ideas are in our schools, but the fact is that Virginia created a blueprint for seeking racial "equity" in its schools and took key definitions from purveyors of CRT. I am worried that we're giving up on a goal of a colorblind society, and that Democrats are leading the way.

My head knows that Republicans are a threat to our democracy, without which we can't fix our problems, but my heart understands that Democrats are making our problems worse.

For now, Democrats have my vote, but pulling the lever for them breaks my heart.

David Mastio is an opinion writer for USA TODAY.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Virginia governor race: Why I'm a reluctant Terry McAuliffe voter