By Michael Titus
With all the things going wrong right now in Vermont and the nation, all of which occurred under Democrat/Liberal control, one would think the upcoming election would result in huge wins for Republicans.
Nationally, the economy is in the toilet, crime is out of control, and our foreign policy is in shambles.
In Vermont, energy costs are through the roof, housing is unavailable, inadequate and expensive, industry and businesses are drying up and the left is pushing fringe, radical and unpopular ideas in our schools and towns. This, coupled with the fact that the party in power usually loses big in the mid-term elections, bodes well for Republicans this November.
Over the last several months the media has predicted a “red wave,” and rightfully so. Terrible liberal policies have failed our nation and our state. Even in the liberal bastion of Vermont, one would think if any year were the Republicans’ year, this would be it. But the polls don’t show double digit leads for Republicans. In most cases Republicans are happy to be “within the margin of error.”
Will Republicans enjoy some significant wins in this election? Sure. But, perhaps not as significant as they could be – for three main reasons. First, too many Republicans are timid and scared. Second, many Republicans are paralyzed by inaction. And finally, Republicans don’t raise money and communicate their messages enough.
The first and probably most important issue facing the Republican party in Vermont is that too many Republicans are scared. They fear what their neighbors will think of them. They are scared to voice an opinion. They are scared to be labeled a racist, homophobe, xenophobe, misogynist… pick your term. They are scared to alienate some small segment of the populace.
This fear leads to silence and that’s a huge problem that feeds right into the left’s tactics. The left knows when you lay out the arguments side by side and let logic and common sense prevail the conservative argument will win every time. The left’s ideas simply don’t work. The only way they succeed is by silencing debate, by preventing our arguments from reaching the voter’s ears and the primary way they do that is by ad hominin attacks; by labeling us racists, sexist, and on and on.
Over the last several months I have gotten involved in my town, the county and even the State Republican Committees. I have worked hard to create messages, flyers, pamphlets and ads to help get our message out to the voters. For months I have watched as committee members quibble over single words in those documents afraid to offend some tiny portion of populace. I’ve watch candidates afraid to have their names associated with the messages. The result is after months of work and debate our messages remain unpublished and unheard by the voters.
The second problem the party faces is too many Republicans are afraid to act or get involved. I sat in hours of committee meetings listening to Republicans complain about the other side while doing nothing to change the situation. We’ve been working in Washington County to organize a “get out the vote” campaign.
All the people who were complaining in meetings are conspicuously absent when called upon to knock on doors or make phone calls. Republicans can complain all day but please don’t ask them to do anything about it. This is where the Democrats “eat our lunch.” They are organized, active and tenacious. The typical excuse is “Republicans work and have other things to do” and that might be partially true. But we can’t keep using that as an excuse and if we don’t get involved, we cannot complain about the result.
Finally, Republicans fail to get their message out. This point is primarily focused on our candidates and partly a matter of campaign funding.
If you look at commercial media all you see are ads for the left. Every other TV Commercial is a Peter Welch or Becca Balint, or Vote “Yes” on Prop 5/Article 22 ad. Where are the ads for Gerald Malloy or Ericka Redic? Does the typical voter have any idea why they should vote “No” on Prop 5? No, because we haven’t told them. Ads cost money. Republicans need to find ways to raise money and spend it.
So, in conclusion, Republicans have a seminal opportunity this November to take back control of our nation and our state, but we’ll only be marginally successful unless we are bold. We cannot be scared or timid. We cannot be worried about what Democrats will call us. We know that whatever labels they throw on us are lies, so we just need to own our ideas and communicate them. We need to get organized and get involved. We only have two weeks left to make a difference.
The author is a Barre Town resident and Republican activist.