“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” ―
I spend a disproportionate amount of time critiquing Republicans, and for good reason. What good does it do to call out the left side of the spectrum when they’re not my intended audience? There is no reasoning with bonkers, and a good percentage of the left is decidedly bonkers. They’re masters at the art of projection and like to claim that the problem in this country is the rise of the far-right, but since when is Marxism the center of the political spectrum? Objective reviews like that from Pew Research have consistently shown that it’s the left that has shifted far from the center in their collective beliefs. Thus, I cater my message to my own tribe which is conservative, and where I hope to spur action.
Ask a growing majority of Republicans their sentiment of the tribe and you will be met with frustration, anger, and derision. Being a Republican feels a lot like suiting up for a ballgame, only to have your teammates throw in the towel before the first pitch is ever thrown. Troll the comment section of conservative news and you will frequently find hair-pulling calls for Republicans to do something, anything, other than remaining in a constant state of political defense. This is the impetus for the bulk of my writing, but it is unfair to paint all Republicans in this light. Idaho Republicans have consistently been maligned at home for being ahead of the curve in the national conversation.
In a weekly review of the opinion columns in the Idaho State Journal, you’re likely to find leftists, milquetoast Republicans, and moderates calling out the extremism of Idaho Republicans, particularly in the State Legislature or in the Lieutenant Governors office. That is a shame. I find more often than not that these individuals are exactly the voice that the Republican Party needs. Rather than sitting idly by and allowing the infiltration of actual extremist ideas to take root, they have gone on the offensive. This is exactly where Republicans should be around the country. There is nothing extreme about banning institutionalized racism in Critical Race Theory in the schools, and there is nothing extreme about protecting children from permanent harm like gender-affirming chemical castration. On the contrary, these are the default positions and aberrations from them are the extremes.
Of late, the same playbook we see from the left nationally is attempted here at home. This playbook includes implementing ballot referenda so that major cities can override their rural counterparts in running roughshod on the rest of the state. It’s precisely what has happened to Arizona where the courts have allowed major cities to redistrict the state via ballot referenda despite the Arizona State Constitution placing this authority squarely in the hands of the Arizona State Legislature. It starts with getting one foot in the door, and then the ability to redistrict means they can begin to write their own majorities in the statehouse until they can solidify their political hegemony. This is precisely what the founders of this country lamented in pure democracy. The Idaho Legislature clearly saw this playbook unfolding when they passed legislation requiring equal percentages of every county to sign onto referenda, and they should be applauded for their foresight. Ignore the gnashing of teeth from the minority of vocal critics who don’t like it when their dishonest plots are thwarted.
Recently while Idaho Governor Brad Little was out of the state, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin took the opportunity to write an executive order banning mask mandates. While this is most definitely a political maneuver, it does force Governor Brad Little to take sides on the matter. Brad Little has made it clear that he opposes bans on mask mandates because it hampers the ability of businesses to make that choice for themselves, while in the same public statement claiming that bans hamper the ability of the state to impose mandates. This is a bizarre contradiction.
Another hotly debated issue is Covid-19 Passports. The Governor has made known his opposition to bans, while the Lt. Governor and the Idaho State Legislature have put forth said bans. The default position of humanity is freedom of movement, and it’s a terrible precedent to set that you must jump through hoops to merely exist in society. This is even more true when those hoops include participating in clinical trials with potentially lethal side effects. Covid vaccines are currently in phase 4 clinical trials and are not set to expire until December of 2023.
Because my message is catered to Republicans they tend to get the bulk of my criticism. That criticism is focused squarely on those allowing the national conversation to shift so far left that actual moderate positions like protecting children from mental and physical abuse have been painted as extreme. Our nation was founded on classically liberal ideas like self-ownership and individual liberty. When Idaho Republicans lead the nation in defending both these basic principles as well as our Republican form of government, they should be applauded and not vilified.