The word that best describes me at the moment is “perturbed.” I know that people want light and cheerful, but that’s not our world this year. I feel perturbed about two specific issues that affect the future of the America in which I spent most of my life. I’m not the only one I know who feels this way, and it is not a good feeling.
One perturbing issue is the ridiculous and seemingly never-ending distraction of how we will nominate our candidates for statewide office. There is no rhyme or reason for the continued maneuvering to change the method of nomination. We have wasted over twenty hours in three meetings and voted four times to reach the same conclusion. Worse, the foot-draggers refuse to work with the majority of the State Central Committee to create a nominating process that is worthy of our Republican voters. Even as I started writing this newsletter, I learned of a Zoom meeting of local Republican officials where the issue again reared its ugly head even though those officials have no say in the matter. All the continued bickering does is breed dissension. This is incredibly short sighted.
Instead of repeatedly rehashing our decision on the nomination method, we should be working together on higher priority issues such as developing strategies to actually win in November – whomever our statewide candidates are. But we cannot do that because this continual parliamentary tantrum does not allow us to progress to that discussion.
A friend on State Central sent me a list of announced Democratic and Republican candidates for the House of Delegates. To date 39 districts do not have a Republican candidate. Most of those Delegate districts seem to be from the same areas from which come the foot-draggers on State Central. Republicans would be much better served if the foot-draggers would put their efforts into finding candidates rather than continuing to fight against a decision that has been made four time already. We have until March 25 to find those 39 candidates.
The other thing that perturbs me is the number of grassroots people who rail against the Republican Party and what it isn’t doing. They seem to believe that the Republican Party is some monolithic robot with endless people and resources; it is not. The Republican Party is grassroots, conservative people. Until the grassroots people step up and become part of the solution, they have no right to complain.
We would have those 39 candidates in no time if 39 grassroots, conservative voters would stand up and say, “I’ll run!” It requires a lot of work and commitment. It entails a lot of responsibility. But it will produce better results than just complaining about unchallenged seats.
Many of our grassroots supporters complain about voter integrity. I am one of the complainers. But I have actually done something about it. I have for several years served as an election officer in Lynchburg. More Republicans must stand up and become election officers especially in heavily Democratic areas. We need grassroots Republicans to stand up and become trained poll watchers to look for discrepancies in the operation of the polls. We need a majority in the General Assembly to change some of the ridiculous voting laws passed last year. We need workers to campaign for solid conservative candidates at all levels of the government. We need voters to hold our elected Republicans accountable to do what they said they would do when they campaigned.
My perturbation comes from political insiders who refuse to accept the decision of the majority and from grassroots voters who expect someone else to fix the problem. Frankly, people who are not actively part of the solution are truly part of the problem.
There are so many projects that need to have begun two months ago, but we don’t have enough grassroots volunteers, and we don’t have people with enough gumption to stand up, speak out and perhaps even run for public office. If people don’t like the decisions made by leaders of the Republican Party, then by all means they should run for leadership roles in the Party. The best way to fix a problem is to be the person who has the authority to fix it.
Whether or not I remain perturbed is of no importance. Whether or not we do what is necessary to win in November is of great importance. Don’t complain about the problems unless you are committed to being part of the solution. That is really the only way to win.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.