Growing up, no one told me I was a Republican. I just knew. Low taxes, responsibility, smaller government, free markets, law and order, that all made sense to me.
It also made me feel good to be in a group that was willing to express that religious and moral values are worthy.
I’ve always been proud of Lewis County for the people we elect. We choose ethical candidates who value individuals’ rights and value all of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
I saw the left attack people for expressing different views. At least that’s how it used to be. But recently, I’m starting to question if that has changed. Attacking people for different views seems to be commonplace for both parties nowadays.
When did disagreeing with someone on a public issue then require us to hate the other person? When did we learn disrespect, not ideas, become a debate tactic? When did it become OK to use someone’s mental disorder to score political points? When did facts become unimportant?
This past week, I attended a town hall meeting with the 20th District legislators at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis. The meeting started like other political meetings. First, the elected officials gave their elevator speeches to get it going. Then it changed. Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, was answering a question about the current emergency proclamations. That’s when it became clear that we’ve misplaced our anger and we’ve fallen into the trap the opposition has set.
They’ve turned Republicans against each other.
I saw angry folks expressing anger with our legislators, Republicans calling other Republicans RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) as if the way to win is to make your party smaller by excluding people you disagree with 10% of the time.
Successful politics on either side is about addition and multiplication. The side that wins elections is the one that adds the most voters to get to 50% plus one vote. In our state, 50% plus one of the population does not share the view that wearing masks and getting vaccinated in the face of this virus is a communist plot.
We have to reach people and persuade people who do not share all of our views if we are to start to change this state. If we want to win elections we have to get the vote of every “RINO” and most independents and even some Democrats. And yelling louder at fellow Republicans creates division and subtraction, not addition and multiplication.
We are fighting with people we should be shaking hands with.
It’s all about education, and when I say that, I don’t mean education of our youth. I mean educating ourselves. Yes, most of us are extremely unhappy with the way things are going. We disagree with most of what our state government is doing, but we must understand how we can truly change with what we oppose. Sen. Braun, Rep. Peter Abbarno and Rep. Ed Orcutt provided a roadmap at the meeting.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address, said, “my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
Maybe we should all be asking ourselves this question right now. What can we do to improve our country? I don’t believe attacking each other is the answer. Our state can only be turned around by working toward unity. Today, Olympia is run by a Democratic governor with majorities in both the House and Senate. They make the laws. The state government needs to change. We need to work together to help bring back a Republican legislative majority because without the majority nothing will change.
Our fight is in Olympia, not Lewis County.
Chad Taylor is the publisher of The Chronicle and the co-owner of CT Publishing. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.