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Del. Ken Plum: Tread on Me

by Del. Ken Plum August 24, 2017 at 10:15 am 61 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Recent years have seen a growing number of yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and license plates with the coiled rattlesnake on them. Popular with the Tea Party, the license plates are requested by the car owner as are other vanity plates. The message they are intended to convey has never been entirely clear to me, and I suspect with the recent activities of some alt-right groups there may be some who will roll up their flags and change their license plates.

Certainly, no one would want to be confused with the white supremacists or neo-Nazis when they may have a simple annoyance or personal issue with the government. It is safe to say that the symbols involved are an expression of displeasure with the government. For some time, I have been reviewing the role of government and ways in which the resulting activity might be interpreted as “treading” on citizens. For each, I have made my own judgment as to whether I lose any freedoms as a result of what the government is doing and whether I object to being tread upon.

  • I want all children to have access to educational programs that will ensure that they realize their fullest potential. I say to government leaders, tread on me to make that happen.
  • I want to live in a community, state and world that are environmentally safe and clean. For the actions that the government must take to accomplish clean air and water and a sustainable environment, I say tread on me. To keep our communities safe from criminals, tread on me to make that happen. To ensure that our constitutional rights and our liberties are protected, tread on me to make sure I can continue to live free.
  • To be sure governments at all levels are held accountable to operate within the Constitution; tread on me to accomplish an effective judicial system to keep us protected. There are some inconveniences that may affect me and I will feel tread upon personally, but in an organized society we sometimes make small sacrifices for the greater good. We all need help sometimes in recognizing that we are not the only person in the world and that our moments of feeling tread upon must be looked at in perspective of our shared humanity.
  • Tread on me to pay for the rights and privileges and infrastructure of our world through the taxes and fees I pay. They are the price for living in a free and comfortable world. I do want those taxes to be based on income level and shared by those who can afford to pay more. Tread on me to support help for the disabled and for the disadvantaged to become productive members of our society and rise to a level where they can share more of the tax burden.

Maybe it would be nice to live in a world alone with no worry of anyone else, but that is not reality. There are real and reasonable times when we may feel tread upon for the good of society.

  • Willie Reston

    Not gonna wade into the political weeds here so I’ll just state one simple truth: if your car has “Don’t tread on me” tags, you are white trash.

    • The Constitutionalist

      But what if you’re not white and you have those plates like about a quarter of my buddies from the VA? Are they still white trash or are you just another liberal racist?

      • RestonAssurance

        Was it picked up by white trash, and others started using it? I have an Asian friend with the plates. It seems people are using the plates for personal reasons instead of their original intent.

        • whw518

          A lot of people like how the solid yellow plates look on all white or all black cars. That being said, Willie Reston is a closed minded rascist bigot.

        • The Constitutionalist

          I think it was picked up by Patriots, and then the white trash started to use it.

      • Willie Reston

        Fake news.

        • The Constitutionalist

          You’re more than welcome to tag along with me this holiday season as we shuffle people to and from Dulles and Bethesda and see for yourself. I know they would love to hear your “war stories” of fighting off crazy Republican bigots and “white trash” Gadsden flag license plates.

          It’ll be a time of great fun and laughter, at least one person will get a real kick (somewhere – probably their teeth, it’s fine you’ll be at a hospital) out of it.

          • Willie Reston

            How do you reconcile your admirable love for our veterans with your support of a president who craps all over them at every turn?

            Oh that’s right, all you conservatives suffer from severe cognitive dissonance. Why don’t you try being impartial some time.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Oh please. I’ve been pretty consistent with my ideology. As someone who has actually carried dead bodies off of C-17s at Dover AFB, does it make sense to vote for the person who put them there?

      • The Monarchist

        Regardless of race, you’re all children pretending to understand the founding (conflicted and treasonous) fathers.

        • The Constitutionalist

          You lost.

    • Got turd?

      I never looked close but it looks like turd to me. I never understood why people would tolerate turd on their own plates.

      Now. With the respect to the vehicle, if its a mercedes with a turd plate then watchma call it? Euro trash.

      Honda? Acura? Fiat?

      Also took note of the many domestic vehicles carrying turd plates, these are mostly gas guzzling mad max types. So these types prefer their government lean and mean but they have no trouble justifying high gas bills and a general disregard for climate and infrastructure.

      • TheKingJAK

        It isn’t healthy talking to yourself.

        • Got turd?

          You didnt answer the question! So did the tea party sell out to foreign interests, the 1%, and the robber barons? Be honest without trying to shut me up.

    • TheKingJAK

      Then why is just about everyone I know with one not even white?

    • 30yearsinreston

      Ignorant troll

    • Mooo Pi 3.14159

      This is why your side lost the election. Please keep it up.

  • meh

    Another sermon from on high that all republicans are racist. Thanks Ken. And thank you Reston Now for carrying his water and letting him preach hate towards those he doesn’t like. It’s so tolerant and brave

    • Reston Now

      Ken Plum is an elected official representing Reston. His weekly column is published as a community service. For some, that “service” is the reminder of how much they dislike his opinions and don’t like him representing them.

      • Anonymous Poster

        And for most, that “service” is a weekly reminder that Ken Plum has lost touch with reality, is irrelevant, and needs to be voted out ASAP.

        • I’d rather post as a guest

          If it were really “and for most”, then Ken would have been voted out, unless “most” of the folks complaining don’t vote. Anyhow, you can subscribe to Ken’s newsletter and get it straight to your inbox if you can’t wait.

          • meh

            he ran unopposed

          • Anonymous Poster

            Running unopposed this year too, thanks to his years of gerrymandering….

          • 30 Years and 1 Day in Reston

            It is quite clear you have no idea what gerrymandering is. It’s also quite clear that you have no idea how non-Republican Northern Virginia is. But you can continue blaming things you don’t understand.

          • Anonymous Poster

            Well, “most” would vote against him, if there was actually an opponent.

          • I’d rather post as a guest

            If most put up an alternative candidate then maybe they would complain less unless most of them didn’t vote. That’s the way it works.

        • 30yearsinreston

          Except he doesnt have an opponent

    • Sue Leonard

      Did you read the post before you commented or didn’t you have time?

  • The Constitutionalist

    “To ensure that our constitutional rights and our liberties are protected, tread on me”

    It’s clear you don’t get it.

  • Tom

    For the record, the “Don’t Tread on Me” icon is known as the “Gadsden Flag”

  • Anonymous Poster

    Hey Ken, can I “tread on you” to get something,anything, passed into law, or will you keep batting 0.0?

  • I’d Rather Post As A Guest

    yawn…another Eat The Rich column. Doesn’t this get old after a while, Ken? I do not want the government to micromanage every aspect of my life. This would, in effect, be what Ken is advocating, and he expects all of us to pay for every liberal, NEA-endorsed, EPA-approved fantasy. Handouts and subsidies and freebies for every one, with the most generous possible definition of “needy” and “charity” and “underprivileged” that Ken can imagine. Do Not Tread On Me, Ken, and keep your hand off my wallet (stay off my lawn while you are at it, too.).

  • Anonymous Poster

    Next weeks article:

    “Del. Ken Plum: Why I hate the American Flag”

  • TheRealODB
  • Gadsden

    “The message they are intended to convey has never been entirely clear to me”

    Shocking, Ken dosen’t understand something. Ken, if you would have just googled the term instead of taking another opportunity to preach hate speech from your soapbox, you’d learn that the flag was designed during the American Revolution. And it stand for basically everything you are against.

    • Gadsden

      Large micro-managing government, high taxes, etc, etc….

  • Don’tTreadOnMe

    I would be proud to be represented by a delegate that flew the “Dont Tread On Me” flag on his/her way down to Richmond, to represent his/her constituents, instead of our current, hybrid driving “Please Tread On Me” delegate, that goes down and gets bullied out of his lunch money on a regular basis.

  • Paul_Revere

    TL;DR Version:
    Ken Plum doesn’t understand any of the fundamental ideologies that led to the American Revolution.

    • drb

      remember he was a history teacher.

      • Paul_Revere

        That’s part of what makes all this so scary.

  • TheKingJAK

    He’s really tread into the asylum with his ignorance behind a symbol from the very founding of our nation.

  • TheKingJAK
  • 30yearsinreston

    This is rypical political demagoguery with the aim to divide us

    I just came back from a trip through SW Virginia and Southside and it was refreshing
    I suggest Ken get out of his bubble and meet fellow Virginians for whom politics and money are not the only determinants of sucess
    He is a member of the Virginia house and for his next vacation instead of going to europe he go to towns like Bristol,Galax and travel the Blue Ridge Parkway towns

    He might then appreciate the meaning and sentiment of the Gadsen flag as well as understanding that the citizenry are what makes America exceptional.

    • Privacy Policy

      He likes to go on vacations to Monticello and bring us back tales of TJ’s racism.

    • Willie Reston

      Perhaps you don’t understand how representative politics works. Ken does not represent SW Virginia. Why should he advocate for an electorate he does not represent?

      Politics aside, the rest of VA sure is much prettier than NOVA.

    • pja

      He might also start to appreciate the toll his stance on “climate change” takes on real Virginians who used to mine coal for a living. But I doubt it.

      • 30000yearsinreston

        Please tell me what makes a Real Virginian from a Fake Virginian. After all, I’ve only spent my entire life in the state. It would be a shame to know my entire existence has been faked.

  • I’d rather post as a guest

    Mr. Plum, ignorance like this is what gets statues taken down and vandalized in this current political environment. I hope Ken reads these comments and is ashamed of himself. He should take a day off from being “Treaded On” and familiarize himself with a 5th Grade History Text Book.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Ken does not know the meaning of shame

      • I’d rather post as a guest

        Or the meaning of being an honest American.

      • pja

        Ken’s secret shame is that he has no shame.

    • drb

      I believe he says he was a history teacher.

    • Willie Reston

      Perhaps you ought to familiarize yourself with the context in which your beloved Confederate statues were erected.

      • The Constitutionalist

        Haha 🙂 you’re cute when you’re outclassed in every way.

        • Willie Reston

          Explain how.

  • drb

    Do you mean “Tread” on you

    1. If you use the IRS to attack your political enemies, the middle class?

    2. If you can take away health insurance from millions and increase the cost dramatically for the rest?

    3. If you can funnel monies to unions through TARP?

    4. If you can use the power of the government to all but kill the coal industry?

    5. If you can relabel the white supremacists or neo-Nazis as right wing when all through history they are left wing?

    6. If you can use the education systems as a way to influence the next generation with false information on global warming?

    7. If you can keep our communities safe from criminals buy spying on them illegally?

    8. To accomplish an effective judicial system to keep us protected by using them to force your beliefs on the rest of society when you can’t at the ballot box?

    9. If you can have “those taxes to be based on income level and shared by those who can afford to pay more” as way to redistribute monies to whom you favor over others?

    10. If you can bring across the border terrorist, prostitutes and drug mules?

    I don’t think you are being “tread” on. This is Liberals COMMON GOOD.

    • Willie Reston

      LOL, so many fallacies with your logic I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll start here: if you think Neo-Nazis and white supremacists have historically been left wing because they identified as democrats, you understand very little about history. You seriously need to educate yourself more before spouting off in public.

  • PA

    “To ensure that our constitutional rights and our liberties are protected, tread on me to make sure I can continue to live free.”….wow! Is Del. Plum stating his support for the 2nd Amendment?

  • Rational Reston

    Del. Plum loves to fuel the flames of hyper-partisanship rather than trying to find solutions and common ground.

    Again folks, he’s not about you. He’s about your fears and an agenda that is fed to him by others.

    We should be done breaking things, let’s find someone to start the fixing.

  • TJ

    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
    The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
    wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
    they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
    it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
    And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
    warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
    resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
    to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
    in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
    time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    It is its natural manure.”

    • drb

      Good old Tom. He changed his tune after he became president though.


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