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OPINION: Be smart, like a chimpanzee

by DEBORAH ROSE/Guest Opinion
| August 23, 2023 1:00 AM

A study involving language trained chimpanzees conducted by Michael Beran, David Smith and Bonnie Perdue, titled: "Language-Trained Chimpanzees Name What They Have Seen, but Look First at What They Have Not Seen," discovered curiosity is indicative of intelligence.

Those who trust the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee’s and Brent Regan’s judgment would be wise to take a look at the data from this study. The study results might help to explain the problem we are seeing as candidates unsuited for public office are being recommended by the KCRCC echo chamber.

Locally, we are electing people who lack curiosity by choosing to trust the KCRCC’s judgment. Is it no wonder elected officials endorsed by the KCRCC are short on solutions to all our growth-related and most pressing problems like traffic congestion/wrecks, crime and housing? Why does the “rating and vetting” committee overlook those candidates who have vision that could provide needed solutions to our most urgent issues and problems?

The chimpanzee study is relatable to human intelligence. The chimps were tasked with identifying a food item that was in an unreachable container by using a keyboard. The food item identified was the prize. To get the prize, when the food was visible, the chimps had to hit the corresponding button. When the authors hid the food amongst various containers, the more intelligent chimps explored, by peeking inside the containers before providing their answers. The smarter chimps determined their odds of gaining the food reward was increased if they researched further.

Curiosity is a trait of intelligent people as it is with chimpanzees. Are the officials we elect as smart as a chimp? Are they curious enough to seek workable, impactful solutions? Is loyalty to a radicalized ideology more prized by those the KCRCC promotes into office over providing competent public service?

The KCRCC’s rating and vetting process has clearly failed us by focusing on social issues to the detriment of the realities Kootenai County residents are dealing with daily.

With this knowledge in mind, now is an excellent time to exercise a healthy dose of curiosity and research the advantages the group called the North Idaho Republicans has to offer as an alternative to the KCRCC.

Unlike the Republican Party’s far-right faction, I have found North Idaho Republicans, a traditional Republican group concerned about real solutions. Members of NIR won’t deceive you with half-truths or outright lies, misinformation and disinformation. We, as traditional Republicans, actually want our libraries, our schools and colleges properly funded and not at risk.

NIR members care about their neighbors and are respectful of individual rights to make personal decisions regarding education and/or medical freedom.

The group, North Idaho Republicans is not associated with the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee for numerous reasons.

We differ on principles, mainly, the KCRCC has become unrecognizable as traditional, conservative Republicans as a result of accepting the white supremacists who call themselves “Christian nationalists” to conceal their prejudices under a veneer of Christianity and patriotism. In addition, they embrace the well-known hate and prejudice of the John Birch Society, disgraced party leaders and power-crazed individuals driving the party away from its basic tenets.

Regan and his gang want you to believe the NIR endorses Democrat candidates, or they vote with Democrats. This is a blatant falsehood rooted in Brent’s bullying. In nonpartisan races where no Democrats are on the ballot, Democrats are forced to vote for Republican candidates. Their choice is theirs, likely based on a repulsion to radicalized candidates who have expressed hatred and disrespect toward them.

Across the nation, Republicans are reckoning with how to deal with the theocratic authoritarian behavior that is ripping our party away from true conservative Republican principles.

Integrity, competency, and a true sense of community service by our government officials is desperately needed. Voter disillusionment, conspiracies and exhaustion must be replaced with an intellectual and spiritual revival to bring promise, hope and civility to the forefront of our life experiences and our communities.

Be even smarter than a chimp and get curious. Look for candidates who display intelligence and competency in finding local level solutions instead of parroting what they are told to do.

Research before voting to achieve the precious prize of a well-run government. Exercise curiosity, check out what NIR and their recommended candidates have to offer you and our community. To do so is a true expression of common sense that supports a government which faithfully serves the people.

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Deborah Rose is a North Idaho Republicans founding member, a former Kootenai County Republican precinct committee official and a Kootenai County resident.