Susan Stimpson, the past Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, and a candidate last year for Lt. Governor, is like any other Conservative these days. She busily tilts at what some think windmills. Are her battles pointless and unprofitable?

I cannot predict the future. I just know quitters never win, and I can read fundraising letters. Here is one she wrote on behalf of Delegate Mark Berg.

susan stimpson

The Inner Ring

C.S. Lewis is the author of the well-known children’s book series “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” He was also a brilliant philosopher and joined the faculty at Cambridge University as a Literature Professor.

He delivered a speech at Kings College called the “Inner Ring.”  It sums up the desire each of us has to be drawn into the inner ring, where we are popular and accepted by our peers.

Stay with me…

I’m writing to you today on behalf of Delegate Mark Berg and am asking you to please consider donating to his campaign before the June 30th  deadline because I believe he is unique and worthy of our support. I also believe he’s motivated toward truth and transparency, not toward the Inner Ring. But that also makes him a target.

After years of being involved in politics, watching many people (including myself) at times be dazzled by the allure of power in D.C., Richmond or in local politics, I’ve decided that I will be very select in those individuals on whose behalf I will ask people to give financially.

If you have the time, C. S. Lewis’ speech is well worth reading. Stimpson’s application of that speech to corrupt politicians is certain something to think about.

Note also that C. S. Lewis’ speech has a lesson for all of us, not just politicians.

Should we contribute to Delegate Mark Berg‘s campaign? That’s what Stimpson is writing about. If you live in his district, and you are happy with his performance, contributing to Berg’s campaign is a good way to let him know. And it is certainly much cheaper than letting a Democrat replace him.

Note: After getting scout’s comment, I decided I should have included more of Stimpson’s email. So here is a bit more.

Mark Berg is someone worthy of a portion of your hard-earned treasure. He won his seat in the House of Delegates just this past November against all odds. He was up against a popular incumbent who was very much a part of the Inner Ring. He is a quiet warrior. Humble. And very dedicated to doing what is right and what is just. Without his help and knowledge, we would not have been successful in our #BlackorBust effort, where we used our grassroots unity of effort to add transparency to the budgeting process, stopping games that were being played by our leaders to leave a back door open for Medicaid Expansion.

C.S. Lewis talks about the desire which draws us into the Inner Ring where we are popular and accepted. How terrible to be left out. The fear of being on the outside is often what is leveraged by others to compel us toward measures we might not normally take.

He describes this desire as “one of the great permanent mainsprings of human action.”

And in that rare case, you find the man who is willing to be the “sound craftsman.” Willing to just work hard and try to do what is right.

I don’t profess that Delegate Mark Berg is perfect. But I can vouch for him that in his first six months of office, this “sound craftsman” has been indispensable in our fight for liberty. He possesses that rare quality of quiet dignity, intelligence, skill and determination that I believe is what we need to see more of in our elected officials.


  1. To be both clear and fair, Tom, I wasn’t criticizing you. In fact, thanks for bringing this to the attention to those of us outside that particular district. I agree with your intro in that it’s hard to go wrong with C.S. Lewis in any context.


  2. Any time a local pol manages to link C.S. Lewis to a campaign funds request, it is a sign of hope. If not for the political process, at least for raising the level of reading among those who are inclined to follow the link abnd who read it with care. But, much as I revere and honor Lewis on several levels, this use of his wisdom, erudition, and splendid facility with the written word as a rationale for supporting someone running for a position in our not particularly estimable House of Delegates seems like emptying a 55 gallon drum of human achievement into a thimble. Perhaps there was much more to the Stimpson letter than the part you quoted, but all one can glean from her use of Lewis is that she has just grabbed hold of the “inner circle” reference and tried to put it in a totally foreign context. I would have been much less perplexed and bemused if she had simply (and quite admirably) sent out a direct mail flyer urging Stafford County voters to read C.S. Lewis. Now that would have been a step up for political mailings.


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