Weekly Opinion Editorial
COMMITMENT NEEDED TO MAKE LASTING CHANGE!
by Steve Fair
On Thursday March 2nd, the Stephens County Republican Party will hold precinct meetings and a county GOP convention for the purpose of electing local county GOP leaders. The meetings will be at the Red River Technology Center, starting at 6pm. All registered Republicans in the county are encouraged to attend. Why should registered Republicans attend their precinct meeting and the county convention?
First, if you are a Republican, it’s your Party. People who get involved in Party politics are always more knowledgeable on the issues and have a better understanding of the political process than those that aren’t involved. They have more influence with elected officials and they impact public policy more than the average voter, not because they are more intelligent, but because they are more engaged. If you don’t like the direction of the GOP, then get more involved- and stay involved. Showing up for one meeting and never going back will likely not change anything. The world is run by those who show up and the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. If the Party is not in agreement with your values and convictions, you need to be showing up at the meetings and voicing your opinion.
Second, all politics is local. Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil, a Democrat, famously said that and it’s true. The most effective, efficient government is that which is closest to the people. The long term solution to changing America is to change from the bottom up and that requires lasting political infrastructure. That means local people showing up at monthly meetings and helping raise money by frying fish and dipping chili. It means local volunteers getting involved in local campaigns. It might surprise you to know that local county GOP organizations in Oklahoma don’t get one penny from the state GOP or national GOP to run their operations. They raise their own money. The GOP headquarters you see in the county is paid for by the local Party raising the money. The local GOP is headed by volunteer leaders, who receive not one cent of enumeration- in fact it costs them to serve. Many people get excited about what is happening at the state and national level, but have no clue who their school board or city council members are. They watch Fox News or MSNBC religiously, but never attend a local town hall meeting or a GOP Party meeting or event. They bemoan the fact they have no influence in the political process. A simple question: If everyone took the same amount of equity in the local GOP organization as you do, would the local county have a headquarters each election cycle? If the local organization was dependent upon your financial commitment, would there be money to educate voters on issues by publishing issue oriented material? Ben Franklin said, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do.” The fact is, everyone has a right to complain- even if they didn’t vote- but taking action requires commitment.
Third, getting involved in politics is the duty of people in a self-governed system of government. America’s political leaders are a reflection of those engaged in the political process. If you don’t like what is happening, you need to become engaged. Being involved is not optional- it is mandatory. Involvement can take many courses and commitment levels, but if everyone just let someone else do it, our self-governing system will fail. Some would say that is what has happened after the recent national elections, but the fact is President Trump is the first ‘outsider’ elected to the presidency in over a century. His supporters are those who got engaged- many for the first time in their lives. Their involvement changed things.
Fourth, you should be involved for your children and grandchildren. If we do nothing, we risk leaving America in worse shape than we found it. The national debt is out of control. Our productivity rate is the lowest in a century-less than 50% of the nation’s population is working. We abort 700,000 children in America each year. Our individual liberties and freedoms are being eroded as the state and federal government regulates and restricts more and more of our lives. The next generation could grow up in an America that looks more like socialist Europe than capitalist America. You might say you are just one person and can’t make that big of impact, but Margaret Mead, a well known liberal anthropologist in the 1960s famously said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
For more information on the March 2nd precinct meetings and county GOP convention, contact Republican Party Chairperson Hope Sutterfield at email@example.com.