Friday, July 19, 2024

OPINION: Wannabe Republican

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| June 23, 2023 1:00 AM

George Orwell notoriously observed that language controls thought and thought controls action. If you can control the words, you can control people. If there are no words describing “revolution,” then there cannot be a conspiracy to revolt because the concept of a revolution cannot be communicated between individuals.

Progressive liberals have been working to change or obliterate the definitions of words to the point that some people are confused over the most basic of concepts. Matt Walsh’s video “What is a Woman” documents the logical gymnasts required to avoid the simple truth that a woman is an adult human female. When asked “what is a woman,” interviewees claim that a woman is someone who identifies as a woman. This self-referencing circular reasoning is the opposite of a definition. Two plus two equals whatever we say it does.

The plasticity of definitions isn’t just confusing and inconvenient, it can be outright dangerous. Words that may have been acceptably uttered a year ago may now get you canceled, fired or even incarcerated. A Kellogg High School senior stated a scientific fact that has been true since the beginning of time, which resulted in him being banned from commencement ceremonies. Jan. 6 protesters were incarcerated when “freedom to assemble” was redefined to mean “insurrection.” Jail with no bail for you.

A free society cannot operate based on the fickle whims of wannabe dictators. The rules must be clear and understood by all. This requires standards in the form of laws, taboos and definitions. Imagine trying to operate in a society where the weight of a pound or the length of a mile or the volume of a gallon was arbitrarily changed from one moment to the next.

Our laws must have clear definitions that can be understood by the citizens without requiring interpretation by “experts.” When the current president identified White Supremacy as the greatest threat to democracy without clearly defining what “White Supremacy” means, it should have raised concerns among every citizen. Are you a White Supremacist? You may only find out at 3 a.m. when the IRS SWAT team shows up at your house.

Many well-meaning citizens have allowed the incremental redefining of our standards, and that allowance has become acceptance and even adoption of the practice. If they can be something simply by claiming it, then why can’t you? Well, you can. If you are a man and want to say you’re a woman, you are free to do so and if others want to participate in your identity then they are also free to do so. The problem comes when you try to force others to participate, thus violating their freedoms.

Without any applicable training you can claim to be a brain surgeon. You can dress in scrubs and ask people to call you “doctor,” but if you try to actually perform brain surgery on someone you will be arrested and incarcerated. Your rights end where mine begin.

Similarly, anyone is free to affiliate with the Republican Party. There is no test or requirement other than being a legally registered elector. You simply need to decide that you want to be a Republican and check a box on a form.

But what is a Republican? Political parties have platforms which are a formal set of beliefs and goals that define the party. The Republican Party Platform articulates the essential characteristics of a “Republican.” But how is the platform determined?

Each of the 44 counties in Idaho is divided into precincts containing about 1,000 voters. Each precinct elects a Precinct Committeeman to serve on the county’s Central Committee. Each Republican Central Committee elects delegates to the Republican State Convention, which convenes every two years, and those delegates are responsible for crafting and amending the platform. The Republican Party Platform is the only defining standard for what it means to be a Republican.

Some people wrongly believe that if they say they are a Republican, they can also define what it means to be a Republican. They may have been a Republican for years, or even decades, but that does not grant them the right or authority to say who is or who isn’t a “true” Republican. The North Idaho Republicans group has carried this to the arrogant extreme of claiming they represent what it means to be a Republican while the actual Republican Party and its Platform do not.

Grassroots Republicans object to politicians who claim to be conservative Republicans but govern as liberal Democrats. The party has responded by putting requirements in place and conducting vetting so if a candidate wishes to get the advantages of the Republican brand, they must be actual Republicans who substantially agree with the platform.

Of the over 240 elected offices with taxing authority in Kootenai County, only 9 (<4%) have partisan primaries. The Democrats have a stealth policy of running candidates for every office, and they have been successful. Republican vetting exposes these stealth candidates.

For the May election, the North Idaho Republicans’ endorsed candidate list was identical to the Democratic Party’s list and the opposite of the actual Republican Party recommendations. The antics of the North Idaho Republicans have become so extreme that the Idaho Secretary of State fined them $2,500 and the Republican National Committee has issued them a Cease and Desist letter for falsely using the Republican Party brand, the elephant logo.

The Republican Party has a fiduciary obligation to protect the Republican brand from abuse. When a citizen votes for a Republican, they should get a Republican and not just a liberal or Democrat claiming to be a Republican.

It’s just common sense.

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