Have we, as a party, forgotten former President Reagan’s 11th commandment? “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Lately it seems as if we’ve put politics about party.
Example: This weekend was the biannual YRNF Convention in Indianapolis. Young Republicans from all over the nation gathered to listen to topics such as “Rebuilding the Party,” “Libertarians and GOP Synergies,” and “So You Want to Run for Office?” The convention also took time to elect a new Chairperson. Running for the seat was Young Republican Vice-Chairwoman at large Audra Shay and YRNF Director of Media Relations Rachel Hoff. On Wednesday, a day before the conference was scheduled to begin, a news article was featured in an online news source, describing Shay as a racist and quoting comments made by others on her Facebook page. Long story short, one of Audra’s friends posted a racial slur on Facebook and Audra then posted “You tell ’em, Eric. Lol” Now, there are many different explanations to this. Audra could have not seen the post (since it was a second comment he had left simultaneously), she could have failed to click “Read More” as comments aren’t always displayed in their entirety, or any number of other reasons. That’s not the issue. The issue I have with the whole situation is the swift move by Audra’s opponents—within the Republican party—to “leak” this info to liberal and left-leaning blogs just to smear her name.
Whether you like Audra or not, put that aside and imagine how this looked from the outside. I am not a member of the YRNF and therefore had no favorite in this race. But the moment I read of the incident and the slam the other side was promoting against her, my heart sank. I thought we were past inter-party slurs, “brother bashing,” and petty fighting. Again, I’m not saying what Audra did was right or wrong; look at the bigger picture. Once again, our party was shown as a disjointed group of politicians whose message was lost among the finger-pointing. It again proved that inter-party fighting hurts only ourselves.
Long gone are the days of running a campaign on a solid platform. Gone are the days of debates about issues, not people. We see it on every level of government—hit mailers, slanderous articles, and personal attacks. And you know the sad part? The most slanderous materials seem to come within our own party. Republicans fighting against Republicans, committed to a brutal battle for a win at all costs.
What ever happened to working together for the common good? What ever happened to joining forces to promote our cause? We’re so busy fighting among ourselves that we don’t have time to fight against the left.
When will we as a party get it in our heads that we can’t sacrifice party for politics?