Some state and local politicians that many of us admired have used tactics that have tarnished that admiration and left us disappointed. It appears that the state and local Republican establishment has gone the way of political correctness. Representative David Stringer's remarks, both in June at the Republican's Mens Forum and last month at ASU, may not have been spoken in the most artful manner, but to categorize them as “racist” and “divisive” is a gross exaggeration.
Some background information. I have not been a David Stringer supporter. I disagree with him on some issues. I think he was wrong on the sales tax increase to build a new jail and I wrote in support of the sales tax increase. That doesn't mean I want to overturn his election and have him resign. To this unconnected observer, it seems apparent that the establishment Republicans don't want David Stringer in any political position. It also seems that some have never been too supportive of Representative Noel Campbell.
What is most disheartening is that some Republicans have stolen the worst page from the backstabbing Progressive playbook. Does this sound familiar? The so called party leaders don't like a candidate so they run their own. They lose in the primary and draft another candidate and lose again. They surreptitiously record the winning candidate with baited questions, release his off the cuff answers and accuse him of racism. They then demand he resign so they can overturn an election and appoint a representative more to their liking. After all, the voters are too stupid or ignorant to know how abhorrent the candidate they elected really is.
Accusations of racism, especially when there is no overt racism, are intended for only one purpose: to thwart free speech. Are there racial problems in our military? If there are, how is keeping silent about them helping to solve those problems? Are there huge cost overruns in English as a Second Language classes? Are there dramatic differences in educational test results between black, white, Hispanic and Asian students? How are problems like these ever going to be solved if everyone who mentions them is accused of racism?
It looks like Representative Stringer is not popular with a lot of members of the state legislature and government. I've heard that some have found him difficult to work with and won't support any of his legislation or ideas. That seems to be much more the problem of those who oppose Stringer. Stringer was popular enough with his constituents to get elected. If others won't support laws that would help this state and its people because they don't personally like the law's proposer, then they are not doing the job they were elected to do.
There is a chasm developing in the Republican Party here in Yavapai County. There are those who will say that David Stringer is the cause of this rift, but that isn't the way it looks here. It looks like those at the top of this county's Republican Party power structure just don't like Stringer. They went after him by overreacting to remarks at the Republican Mens Forum in June. Then, last month, these power brokers either set up the ambush in the elevator or exploited it for all it's worth. Either way, they have an obligation to close the chasm and heal the rift. If they don't, flaming red Yavapai County will become a pale blue mirror image of Maricopa County.
Republican pols and organizations that want to criticize fellow Republicans would better serve our party by aiming their barbs at a Quisling Republican like Jeff Flake, who is doing much more damage to the party and the country by blocking Constitutionalist judges from the bench.