Covid 19 is not going away. In fact, case numbers and hospitalizations are going up again. It is hard to understand why the unvaccinated would unnecessarily put themselves at risk of sickness, hospitalization, and potential death rather than accept vaccination. Hopefully, the increasing risks along with the ongoing outreach efforts will prompt these holdouts to get the jab.
Yesterday, Governor Little followed the example of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. Ivey defied her party’s wrath and called for Americans to resume wearing masks. This renewed call to action is meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 especially the Delta variant. Other Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Steve Scalise also made public statements supporting the Government’s COVID-19 response especially the value of vaccinations.
These former anti-vaxxers know many of the people who resist inoculation are affiliated with the GOP. Moreover, they acknowledge that this increasing infection rate is primarily in red states. For example, only 50% of Idahoans who are eligible to receive the vaccine have completed the two-dose regimen. This puts Idaho’s vaccination rate near the bottom nationally. To make matters worse, these vaccine resisters are putting our vulnerable children at risk. This is especially concerning given that they are set to return to public school in September.
The Central Committee meeting is scheduled next Monday, August 9 at 6 PM. Also, due to the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 resurgence, the meeting will be conducted online only. Plan now to join us on Zoom. A link will be available in the Calendar post later in the week.
COVID is also forcing a reexamination of our plans for the North Idaho Democracy Dinner. As you know, we hoped to hold this event in the fall. However, the KCDCC Executive Committee is now facing the possibility of postponing this event. We will make a final decision about the status of this annual fundraiser at the Central Committee meeting. If the dinner is rescheduled, it will be supplanted by a fund-raising drive.
We Support Civic Independence
I would like to acknowledge a couple of local Republicans who have shown the courage to buck party leadership. One is County Commissioner Bill Brooks. Brooks has been a lifelong conservative. Yet, in July, he dropped is GOP party affiliation and re-registered as an Independent. Of course, Brooks decision was not well received by party purists in the GOP. Consequently, he now faces an online recall effort which hopes to gather enough signatures to prompt a special election to replace him.
Another Republican who put community first is Commissioner Chris Fillios. Last week, he took fire at a GOP Central Committee meeting after a video of an address he gave to the Dem Club became known. In response to accusations of disloyalty, Fillios said “I work for everyone.” Only time will tell what this act of nonpartisanship might cost him.
There was a time when conservatives like Bill Brooks and Chris Fillios were the norm. Now basic acts of neutrality are seen as Party treachery. Unfortunately, their acts of independence could cost them their jobs. Let’s hope not.
Defend Independent Leadership
As Commissioner Fillios stated, people are elected to serve the entire community. Therefore, they must put party aside when necessary to ensure public trust and support. If you think these partisans are exceeding their role, then now is the time to speak up. You can write a letter to the editor, post your comments on social media, or share them with a friend. Whatever you do, make it clear that you support leaders who put the public first. Even if only in private conversations, tell folks that you are tired of GOP bullying. No one who runs for office should let intimidation guide their governance. In fact, the future of our county relies on principled, unbiased leadership.
Brooks and Fillios are not alone in their efforts to resist GOP fanaticism. Other moderate conservatives are also standing up. For example, the Liberal Ladies on Facebook and the Idaho Women for Biden/Harris include many conservatives among their tens of thousands of members.
Although they may not be registering as Democrats, they do agree with many of the planks of our party platform. Whatever their motivation, they are beginning to view politics through a different lens. Although they are still Republicans, they seek an alternative form of conservatism that rejects extremism.
Have a marvelous week everyone. Join me online at the next Central Committee meeting.