Sunday, December 10, 2023

EDITORIAL: Party time. Are we having fun yet?

| October 22, 2023 1:00 AM

There are two distinct Republican Parties in Kootenai County.

One is populated largely by longtime North Idahoans who are conservative by nature. These Republicans communicate and cooperate. They are constructive. They can disagree without vilifying.

They don’t scream; they don’t use anger as a weapon because they understand that healthy people aren’t attracted to anger; and they don’t work relentlessly to deny others the rights and privileges they themselves enjoy.

Oh, and they don’t snatch microphones from speakers at a political event because they happen to hate the speaker's messages.

The other Republican Party — we'll refer to them as Other — is just the opposite. Look at what’s happened in the U.S. House with the circus around the Speaker. The pandering, the publicity stunting, the fundraising-first approach of a small minority is very attractive to this Other faction, which tragically is officially in control of the Idaho GOP.

With local elections Nov. 7, you’d hope all party partisans would respectfully stay off the dance floor or open the hall to everyone. These are nonpartisan elections, yet the Other has printed the event’s dance card with only its preferred candidates included.

Everyone else? Well, they can volunteer for cleanup duty if they promise to turn the lights off when they're done.

Like the mess at the federal level, the Other values loyalty over logic. That might work if loyalty were attached to rational, constructive platform planks, but their planks too often reek of rot and ruin.

The Other peddles disinformation like an aphrodisiac for voters who think they’re supporting traditional, sensible conservatives. Black Lives Matter invading Coeur d’Alene? Nope, didn’t happen despite what the Other declared, but it helped get some of the wrong people elected.

Critical Race Theory taught throughout local school districts? There has yet to be a single shred of proof that CRT was being taught in any Kootenai County school, but to hear the Other tell it, the infestation was rampant. Yet the lie helped get more of the wrong people elected.

Porn planted on public library shelves for kids to consume? Regardless of differing definitions of porn, the plague declared by the Other is, at worst, a few isolated cases of the flu. There is no conspiracy at work here, but thanks to the efforts of the Other, the far greater danger to the public now sits in several key library board seats.

Our community will benefit if we can keep partisan politics off the Nov. 7 dance floor and focus on quality candidates committed to the people, not a party.

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