Radical Republicans

Earlier this month Josephine County Republican Party Chair Holli Morton appeared before the Board of Commissioners asking why the Grants Pass Daily Courier believes her party is radical. Just a few sentences before she asked that question she ranted about people changing their registration to vote in the Republican primary and said, “that sounds like organized election interference if not fraud.”

Now that’s radical. It is not election interference to change your registration before an election. It is not fraud. Campaign tricksterism, maybe. Something far-right Republicans certainly know about. But interference? Fraud? No. Only a radical with no sense of hypocrisy would think so.

Morton went on to ask if it’s radical to wear red, white and blue daily, want our children to be educated on reading, writing and arithmetic as opposed to gender studies and so forth, be pro-life and Christian?

“Is that a big problem for people?” asked Morton.

People of all political persuasion wear red, white and blue, especially around Fourth of July. The Josephine County Republican Party does not own these colors and they do not trigger anyone other than those who find humor in flag-draped radicals showing up at Trump rallies to complain about drag queens. Honestly. These people obviously do not have mirrors.

Education. Everyone wants their children to be educated. That is not the problem. The problem is with the constant denigration of public education for one purpose. To undermine the credibility of public schools with exaggerations and downright lies in order to convince taxpayers to fund vouchers for private schools. These are taxpayers who won’t even vote for a school bond to make buildings safer for our most precious assets, our children.

Being pro-life Christians isn’t a problem with anyone. In America you can believe anything you want to believe. However, people who do not share your beliefs do not take kindly to being yelled at and called murderers while trying to access a Planned Parenthood clinic. People who work at those clinics do not appreciate the constant death threats they receive from supposedly “pro-life” people. If a political party wants to shed its radical reputation, the first thing to do would be to stop meddling in everyone else’s business.

No one cares if you want to dress up like a Fourth of July parade float. No one cares if you want to tell your kids babies come from storks – they will eventually figure out the truth, most likely the hard way. No one cares if you want to decorate your home with bloody fetus pictures and give your money to some megachurch where the pastor drives a Porche. However, you are a radical if you won’t shut up until everyone else conforms to your beliefs.

Not all Republicans in Josephine County are radicals. But those currently running the local party support and egg on the Commissioners’ culture wars, putting the “elites” they erroneously believe use the library and volunteer with Master Gardeners in their place. They want to drive the 100 year-old historical local newspaper out of business by taking a big chunk of their income, legal notices, away and denigrating its staff for doing their jobs. They want to maintain their anti-tax status even if it means endangering people who live in fire-prone areas. They want to harass out of public office anyone they designate as a “liberal,” even members of their own party. They want to gut our public schools by spreading conspiracy theories and letting their buildings fall into disrepair so people feel they have no choice but pull their children out. These are the “pro-life” people who criticize anyone with compassion for the homeless. And of course, these are the people who worship a flabby, lying con man from New York for the simple reason they believe he triggers the people they’ve been taught to hate by right-wing media, which creates paranoia in order to profit from it.  

Radicals. you are Josephine County Republican Party. Own it.