Friday, October 23, 2015

We Lost One of the Good Guys Today; Good-bye Terrence "TB" Bolden

I have been hibernating from blogging for quite some time, but this news has made me want to post a tribute to a good man who lost his life early this morning.  He died peacefully in his sleep at the very young age of 35. 

Anyone that has been involved in GOP politics in Virginia has a heavy heart today.  We lost TB.  Virtually everyone involved in those circles knew Terrence.  Virtually everyone like Terrence. 

Anyone that knew him, even a little, knew he was a good man.  You didn't have to agree with him politically to sense that.  He was one of the most optimistic people I have ever met.  He always had a smile or fun loving smirk on his face.  He gave everything he had to all that he did; and he did plenty.  Blogger, conservative activist, son, friend, committee chair, and so many other things that are impossible to list. 

He was a principled man.  He stood by those principles even when it was hard and unpopular to do so.  If he knew you, he cared about you.  He would have your back if you were in trouble or even being harassed because you took a position that goes against the flow.  He stood up for you.  He praised you to those that were determined to shoot you down.  I saw him do that many times. 

Terrence and I were on opposite sides when it came to a position for the Virginia Young Republicans.  We backed different people to head up the organization.  We ribbed each other about it, but in a fun loving way.  Neither of us took the other's position personally.  We disagreed, but knew it wasn't an attack on the other. 

Terrence believed you got more with honey than with vinegar.  He knew that every person had the right to get their viewpoints heard.  He wanted nothing more than a more inclusive Republican party in not just Virginia, but all across America.  He believed that we should be speaking to every single voter to have our message heard.  He refused to back down on that belief even when it got him labeled the dreaded "Rino".  He knew it wasn't pandering, but giving people a chance to listen to our ideals and dreams for all Americans.  He wanted people to know we cared and were willing to listen. 

Terrence was raised by a single mother.  He knew that blaming single family homes for the ills within certain communities was not just a false premise, but counter-productive.  He was a real life living example that single parents could and did raise fine upstanding citizens.  After all, he was one of them.  He and I debated that topic because I have talked about the breakdown of the family and the ill effects on society, but he also knew that I never thought for one instant that weren't millions of very good single parents. 

One of the things I loved most about him was the fact that he wanted GOP politics to be about what we could do.  He wanted to see us be the party of optimism, he didn't want to engage in the politics of fear.  He got deeply involved in politics because of the very unfair labeled of racist that was leveled against Senator George Allen by the Jim Webb camp.  He knew George Allen was no such thing.  He was determined to fight that unfair characterization.  He wanted to rise above the politics of hate and wanted all of us to remember to the "Shining City on a Hill" speech by Reagan.  He believed that and he believed that was the proper way to run elections.  Oh how I wish more people agreed with that.  The politics of hate may work to get elected, but it hurts this nation. 

We lost one of the good guys this morning.  The details of his death are still unclear at this point, all we know is he didn't wake up this morning.  The indications being that he had a massive heart attack in his sleep. 

I am sure his family is reeling right now.  I won't even pretend to say that we understand what they are feeling, because we don't. 

Terrence had this habit of ending his social media posts with #ICan'tEven

Well Terrence, I can't even either today.  Godspeed to you and may your family find comfort in this most difficult time.  You will be missed, deeply and profoundly missed. 
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