Friday, July 19, 2024

OPINION: Ad Hominem Ad Nauseam

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| July 21, 2023 1:00 AM

The Idaho Republican Party is in the midst of a shift from the established power elites to the grassroots base. The reason for this is simple; the voters have had enough abuse. Whether it’s forced medical mandates, exposing children to harmful material in our libraries, cancel culture, embarrassment on the national stage, video surveillance on every corner, trampling of our fundamental rights, denial of due process, or drag queens waving their diaphanously covered genitals in children’s faces, good Idahoans have had enough and are demanding an end to the abuses.

Citizens of Kootenai County voiced their concerns about so called “Republicans” that either participated or stood by and did nothing about these assaults on freedom and decency. Their concerns were valid and exposed the truth; that anyone who wanted to run for office as a Republican could do exactly that. Could a former treasurer for the Democratic Party run for office in the Republican primary? Yes, and it has happened. Could that person be prevented from running? No, and in a free country anybody should be allowed to run for any office provided they meet the statutory requirements.

Should the Republican Party, a private organization, be required to embrace anyone who wants to run in the Republican primary as a Republican despite what policy beliefs they hold? No, the Republican Party is free to set standards based on a person’s political governing policies. Can the Republican Party ask those seeking party support if they believe in the policies set forth in the Republican Platform? Yes, and not only can they ask, they should ask.

“Republican” is a brand and if you wish to be a candidate under that brand it is the fiduciary responsibility of the Republican Party to do at least some due diligence to ensure what is presented to the public is the genuine article.

Imagine you purchased a prime fillet steak from your butcher. You take it home but when you open the white wrapper you find a handful of fatty hamburger. You go back to the butcher and he says it’s your fault because you didn’t check before you bought it. Would you blame yourself, or the butcher? Would you ever shop there again?

This is exactly why the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, whose members are elected by you, implemented a vetting and rating system to screen candidates and to identify those who substantially believe in Republican policies and those who don’t. Just like having the ingredients listed on a can of soup, the KCRCC helps to identify those who are actual Republicans, as defined by the Republican Platform, so that you can make an informed decision. You make the decision, not the KCRCC.

Of course, having the voters well informed is not what the power elite want. Informed voters are an impediment to their power, but they cannot argue directly against reasonable measures to vet candidates. Instead, if you can’t attack the message then follow the progressive liberal playbook and attack the messenger, which is exactly what has been happening.

They describe Precinct Committeemen, your representatives in the KCRCC who were elected by their neighbors in their precinct, as being extremists, part of a Soviet cabal, book burners, domestic terrorists, racists, “Taliban theocrats,” Aryans, censors, fascists who are bent on taking away your right to vote, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The absurdity of these invectives is obvious to any clear thinking individual with even a modest amount of direct experience with KCRCC members.

When insults fail, what’s the next step? Conspiracy theories. At a recent “secret” meeting of the North Idaho “Republicans” PAC their keynote speaker was Christa Hazel. A transcript describes her “research” claiming that the KCRCC is “controlled” by some nefarious “America First” organization. Her “proof” is a picture of someone in last year’s Fourth of July parade with an “AF” flag where I am in the distant background. The simple truth is that some guy that nobody can seem to identify was marching behind us with the flag. We were too busy to notice because we were handing out 13,000 American flags to onlookers and making sure every child got their very own flag as a souvenir. What despicable people we are.

Meanwhile Hazel, a member of Women for Biden who thinks Kamala Harris is “most qualified,” and her friends in the North Idaho “Republicans” blackmailed an NIC Trustee into resigning which led to NIC board dysfunction. The North Idaho “Republicans” were also fined the maximum allowed by law for lying to the Secretary of State. They counterfeited the KCRCC Recommended Candidate flyer to confuse voters, their endorsed candidate list from the last election was identical to the Democrats' endorsed list and they have been issued a Cease and Desist order from the Counselor’s Office of the National Republican Party because they falsely claimed to be the official Republican party and could run afoul of federal election law.

Whether you think Hazel and the North Idaho “Republicans” represent true Republican ideals or you think they are just a self-selected, power hungry gang depends on if you are gullible or rational.

Don’t expect them to stop the ad hominem attacks anytime soon. It’s all they have because they can’t argue on policy or facts.

It’s just common sense.

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Brent Regan is chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.