A challenge to which we must rise
October 4, 2022
By Mike Weland
"Any chance of slowing down on the Trump stuff for a while?" a dear Republican friend wrote me the other day. "Just a suggestion, but we need to get local issues taken care of." I was later invited, by Republicans, to attend last night's Republican Central Committee meeting, but I didn't see the message until too late. "We want you to know that many of us are not like the Facebook post that everyone is talking about."
I assume that post is the one I refer to in my last editorial.
"I would love to slow down on Trump, I wish I could stop writing about him, but he is the root cause of the crisis we're embroiled in, having called these ultra-right folks out from the fringe and empowered them," I replied to the first suggestion.
To the invitation, I apologized for missing it and responded, "I'm not referring to all Republicans; I was a Republican since Reagan ran. But I no longer recognize the party, unwilling to stand up to the radical wing of the party and instead of repudiating the wrongdoers bringing the party low instead defend them. Never in my 64 years did I ever imagine I'd see the day."
"I agree with you," came the reply. "This extremist faction is just unhinged and we are trying to push back. They are so angry and reactive it’s hard to talk logically with them."
This is an encouraging glimmer of hope, and I hope such glimmers are showing up in every precinct across the nation. The people to whom I refer above are not RINOs, they are all staunch, long-time Republicans and each has served in elected positions, as Republicans, and served the public well. Each are conservatives, in the proper context of the term; a political belief that supports emphasis on traditions and relies on the individual to maintain society, advocating low taxes, free markets, deregulation, privatization, and reduced government spending and government debt.
But though there's a glimmer, it comes late. The extremist faction that has so debased the Grand Old Party has become entrenched, and will fight tooth and nail to retain their hard-fought yet inglorious day in the sun, especially against the more reasonable members of their own party who are now beginning to recognize the danger of continuing down the unAmerican and anti-constitution path the radicals are trying to herd us down.
It will take strength, persistence and strong and fearless conviction for those Republicans only now willing to stand up after long years of toleration if not support for this radical faction that proclaims liberty while stripping away the rights of those who don't share their views, who would impose their own religion on those who believe in other ways in a nation whose constitution proclaims that "Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise."
It will take either irrefutable proof or admitting that many of the ideas shared by the radical right; that the election was stolen, that Democrats are enemies of the people intent on killing Republicans, that RINOs are only marginally less evil, are lies. That mainstream media is fake while FOX, OAN and other such media are gospel.
It will take recognizing that the monsters concocted by the right aren't nearly as big or fearsome as made to seem; immigrants aren't pouring across our border unimpeded with the sole intention of wreaking havoc on our nation or its people, teachers and librarians are not bent on grooming or indoctrinating our children for pedophiles with such things as critical race theory, gender bias, pornography or drag queen story times, that Black Lives Matter and Antifa are evil while white supremacists, Oath Keepers and Proud Boys should stand back and stand by.
It will take standing up for truth, recognizing and working to solve real issues.
It will take, most difficult of all, repudiating aloud and at the polls those whom we've elected or who are running for public or political office who espouse and promote radical agendas, right or left.
The Heather Scotts, Dorothy Moons, Scott Herndons, Steve Fioravantis and Mark Moseleys who see office as a personal platform rather than a public trust. We must let those politicians who have ridden the radical wave rather than stand up to it know that we expect better; the Mike Crapos, Jim Rischs, Russ Fulchers and Brad Littles.
There is nothing wrong with holding radical ideas or fervent beliefs, or of holding those beliefs in esteem. What is wrong, in a nation predicated on the self-evident truth that all citizens are created equal, is to think all citizens should conform to your beliefs. That is tyranny.
It will be difficult to return to a more reasonable political clime, to restore a measure of civility and cooperation to our body politic. But for those who hold our constitution in esteem and who believe in the form of government it establishes, this "last best hope of earth," it is incumbent on us to rise up and meet the challenge, now.
Mike Weland, Publisher
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