Over the past few weeks I’ve been given multiple opportunities to help out our Republican candidates and conservative causes within the Commonwealth. All of these opportunities were sponsored by the tireless activists we have in this state, who are willing to travel upwards of an hour to pitch in for our candidates.
What is unfortunate is that the sponsors of these opportunities are routinely locked out or disenfranchised by the MassGOP as a whole. Renew MA Coalition has been sponsoring a different candidate opportunity every week, and you aren’t a real Republican activist if you haven’t gotten an email from Desiree at some point in your life. Certainly, every email ever sent criticizes this or that failure by the Dems, but there’s not that much in there about supporting the candidates we do have. There’s also not a portal for all of our candidates, if for nothing more than partisan legislative offices, on the MassGOP’s website. I grant it that Republicans are not challenging a lot of offices this year – this isn’t like the State Committee where all the serious business gets done, after all – but we should still make it as easy as possible to access our candidates.
I imagine many voters don’t even know if there’s a Republican candidate for any state legislative office in their district. The state party should at least look like it is aware. It’s not as if the powers that be don’t know the districts either, as their endorsed State Committee candidates had State Senate districts defined down to the precinct level. In other words it’s not a lack of knowledge, it’s a lack of enthusiasm for our actual brand. For all the crowing about the Governor’s approval rating, the GOP doesn’t seem too confident in it’s own brand.
Let me share a key observation I’ve made, though: Conservatives aren’t afraid of the Republican brand. The Massachusetts Republican Assembly is happy to encourage people to be Republicans and make voters aware of our candidates. The Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women had been promoting Republicans for eight decades before the GOP decided, under a female chair no less, to place their organization a position that required state chapters to violate their national charter. I somehow doubt “Women for Baker” is going to have the same enthusiasm in 2018 as it did in 2014 now that so many members of that organization have had the screws put to them by the Baker endorsed State Committee slate.
Rather, the GOP seems to take its cues from persons who hold themselves out as members of the Party – or leftists who claim to have its best interests – who have openly stated they’ll vote for Hillary over the Republican nominee. Who continually suggest that the key to a strong Republican brand is to mirror the Democrat brand – in tactics, and in policy, but never – and oddly, it seems – in organizational structure. The Democrats are a committed annual party and are structured to that effect. We are not, and it shows.
We ought to be taking our cues from the organizations that work tirelessly for our candidates and are not afraid of our Republican brand. We should cease taking cues from the quarterly carpool that travels from Beacon Hill to the State Committee meetings. We are more than “Not Democrats,” we are Affirmative Republicans.
Affirmative Republicans demand women’s organizations be reintroduced into the fabric of our party’s activism.
We stand for women’s safety, and oppose legislation that makes it a hate crime for them to act in their own defense in enclosed spaces.
We proudly proclaim that families are the building blocks of a free society, a society of limited government that acts with purpose only on the few roles it is suited to govern.
We support that natural right of every person to defend themselves from harm, including by exercising their 2nd Amendment Right enshrined in – not granted by – the Constitution.
We believe legal immigrants, the people who contribute greatly to our society and followed our laws, should not be treated worse by our government than people who jumped the line.
We believe education is best when it is run by local governments and not merely a way to send infinite sums of money to Pearson textbooks and other collaborators with The Gates Foundation.
And we back up these beliefs with action on the streets and in our neighborhoods.
Affirmative Republicans have a meaning, a drive, and a purpose. We’re not going away, and we’re not interested in a party that is afraid to call itself Republican. We are thus far an untapped resource by the party as a whole, but that can change in a mere political cycle or two. We aim to make that so.