The national Republican Party in our country is dangerously close to being an actual threat to our republic.
As such, the primary elections taking place across the country are so damned important. Damned important!
It isn’t that the GOP doesn’t have some worthwhile, legitimate candidates. It does. But, the problem is having to ferret them out in a field littered by philosophical nut cases, doctrinaire-spouting weirdos, racists, jingoistic simpletons and others just plain unqualified for the offices they’re seeking.
Case in point: Idaho. Three people were in the running to be the next Secretary of State. The current one is retiring. Of the three candidates, only Phil McGrane seems to have figured out what a SoS does. The other two were exemplified by the fact that they didn’t believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected President in 2000. And they wanted to run future Gem state elections? Enough said.
In the Idaho Governor’s contest, at least three of the contenders exhibited rhetoric and used nutcase materials to show they had no idea what the duties were of the office they’re seeking. And, that included the current Lieutenant Governor who’s failed to responsibly run the Constitutional office to which she was elected two years ago. Luckily, she - and they - failed.
The various races for Secretary of State across the country may be the single most important elections to watch this year. In some states - Arizona, Georgia and several others - there is a fear that some candidates - should they be successful - would actually undermine our election process. Jiggle the numbers in future elections, as it were. Undermine legitimate outcomes not to their liking.
In Pennsylvania, a little covered but very important note. The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board chose not to endorse candidates in several important statewide races. First time since the paper was founded in 1829. Based on face-to-face interviews and campaign appearances by a number of those running, The Inquirer said the candidates were simply not qualified for offices being sought. And that included races for governor and the U.S. Senate. In a state that is the fourth largest in the country.
Some candidates - Rep. Elise Stefanik, number three in the House GOP hierarchy - are endorsing the “great replacement” conspiracy. That nutcase, right-wing fallacy holds the White majority is slowly being diminished and replaced by Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other foreign nationals. Stefanik is far from being alone in such other worldly beliefs.
This Republic has seen thousands and thousands of campaigns for every office in the land for 250 years. Many have been filled with unqualified candidates, over-the-top rhetoric, screwball thinking and outlandish acts. Through it all, we’ve somehow survived and prospered.
But, this time it’s different. We’ve got right-wing zealots openly telling us, if elected, they’ll work to change our system of governance. They’ll use their elected authority to fundamentally alter future elections. In some cases, they’ll attack the very foundations which are the basis for our individual freedoms.
In our new Oregon home, we’ve voted. Did so by mail a couple of weeks ago. Having been out of state for several years, we had some catching up to do to get familiar with candidates in all races. The Oregon Voter’s Guide - an excellent publication - made the job easier. Every state should adopt their own versions of the well-proven Oregon system. It just plain works.
However you vote - in-person, by mail or online - this may be the most important election in our lives. Our government - our Republic - is being attacked by unqualified, conspiracy-driven and outright ignorant people, hellbent to impose their will on the rest of us. In most cases, they aren’t hard to identify. All you have to do is just listen to their unfounded screeds and check their qualifications in whatever official publications you can find. Like our Oregon Voter’s Guide.
If there ever was a time for a thoroughly informed electorate, this is it. Our freedoms are riding on the results.