A plea for unity

There has been a lot of bickering in the Monroe County Republican Party lately, and if we want to be a viable alternative to the Democrats people need to cool down and learn to work together. Whether we should have had this or should have done that is irrelevant and not worth worrying about. You have to play the hand you are dealt, not the hand you wish you had. Republicans need to push ahead and keep our eye on the goal.

And we learn from how things were done this year and in past years so we can think about how we can improve it in the future. This is positive, rather than negative criticism.

Republicans have been in a major drought in city elections for sixteen years. A lot of people do not think there is a point to being active in the GOP at the city level. Many qualified candidates are especially reluctant to run for office, as it can make one a target without having any election results to show for it. When Republicans are fighting amongst ourselves, that makes it even more difficult while not accomplishing anything.

I, for one, do not buy that Monroe County is totally, unredeemably blue. The Republican Party was within about 200 votes of a 5-4 majority on the city council in 1999. Yes, the city council. If we had approximately one hundred more votes in District 6, and about another hundred in District 4 would have won both of those districts and would have put one of the at-large candidates on the council. (The top Republican finished 100 votes behind the third-place Democrat.) Then Republicans ran the table here in 2002 – only thirteen years ago.

We have to register more voters and turn out the Republicans who have stayed home. We have to get more young people involved – people in their 20’s and 30’s. But if we are going to fight amongst ourselves, we are never going to win anything because we cannot win with a splintered coalition. And infighting is going to drive people away.

We are always going to have disagreements – sometimes strenuous and heated disagreements – on issues, policy and ideology. That’s to be expected, and it is healthy for a Big Tent party to have these disagreements. But the personal bickering that has gone on, especially for the last couple years, needs to stop.

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