October is noted for fall color, cooler weather, and Halloween, which brings to mind the tricksters going door to door. It is also the season of political campaigns and the workings of political tricksters, trying to lure voters into supporting their candidates.

We have one such trickster at work here in our city: Brent Regan, head of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. One of his main tricks is trying to convince voters his hand chosen candidates are traditional Republicans deserving of their support.

When I think about traditional Republican values and beliefs, I come up with the following: they are generally conservative, favor traditional values, freedom, limited government close to the people, and are willing to work with Democrats to forge consensus on the policies most beneficial to our communities and our nation. There are other laudable qualities as well. It is a shame then, that neither the current state leadership of the Idaho Republican party nor the leadership of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee supports these values.

Perhaps that is because they are not traditional Republicans, but a new far-right group with a different set of values.

Recently, according to the Idaho Statesman: “Six top leaders of the Ada County Republican Party, including the chairman, quit Thursday, citing decisions made by the state party that have made it ‘impossible’ to effectively lead.” Further, they said the current state party leadership: “has created a new oligarchy that values control, purity testing and bullying tactics that are un-Republican.” Among the group of pseudo-Republican state party leaders, we must include Brent Regan of the KCRCC.

A trickster can be described as a character who has a high degree of intelligence and secret knowledge which they use to mislead or deceive people. Examining Mr. Regan’s opinion pieces in the Press reveals this pattern. In a recent piece, he quoted author Frank Herod: “Fear can paralyze the body and prevent rational thought,” a sentiment he agreed with, and went on to say, fear is therefore a powerful tool for mind control and persuasion. The trickster part is that he then goes on to try to drive fear into the minds of voters by repetitive use of the phrase “Woke Mind Virus,” capitalized to make it seem more ominous. He does not define what that phrase means but makes the claim that it is, he believes, a dangerous force in our society leading to fascism.

Maybe he does not know that the term woke is defined (by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary) as being “aware of and actively attentive to important societal factors and issues, especially of racial and social justice.” Or, maybe he doesn’t care for those issues because they challenge the rigid social-religious ideology he champions. Essentially, in this case, Mr. Regan is practicing a well-known propaganda technique of name-calling, using a negative term to label someone or something as bad, thereby discrediting it or them.

This may seem insignificant, but the stakes are very high, for he and his KCRCC colleagues have “vetted” the chosen few who they put forth as a legitimate slate of Republicans, but who in reality must adhere to the rigid orthodox test of loyalty to the views of Regan and his minions. When they have been successful, the result has been tragic for our community. Witness the wasted taxpayer money his chosen few have inflicted on NIC and the threat they pose to its accreditation, or the havoc they have brought to the Community Library Network, and the tumult created on the Bonner County school board which resulted in the hiring of Brandon Durst, a key player in the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Thankfully, the good citizens there took matters into their own hands and recalled board members who supported his hiring, resulting in the eventual resignation of Durst.

What makes Regan’s hand-picked recommended candidates qualified to receive your vote? Is the only way to elect your candidates by scaring the public about their opponents by political trickery? One such candidate, Brian Winkler, has been in the city for only 18 months. How much knowledge and understanding of our city could he have compared to his opponent, Christie Wood, who has decades of leadership in our city, serving with the police department, on the NIC board, with the human rights task force, was the Woman of the Year last year for Cd’A and is now on the city council. Has he had to weigh in on a city budget, consider the best way to secure the safety of our citizens, or guide our community college to success? In reality, his “qualification” is that Brent Regan and his people approved him because he passed their test of loyalty to their extremist agenda, which means he would likely be targeting the library.

The most troubling aspect is that the KCRCC and the Idaho Freedom Foundation, as Mary Souza has demonstrated, is not about your freedom, but about imposing their orthodoxy on you. They are out for total political control so they can remake Idaho in their image. Unless we (you, me, and all the others) vote for proven, traditional Republican candidates, like Christie Wood, they will control the city. We must not let that happen. Don’t endanger losing the heart and soul of our community by not voting.

The trickster is at work. Don’t let him steal your Halloween treat, i.e., your vote. Don’t be misled by the cards flooding our doorsteps, alleging people listed are the genuine Republican candidates endorsed by the central committee. They are merely the chosen few, selected by the extremist leadership of the KCRCC Support Dan English, Christie Wood and Dan Gookin. They are responsible, hard-working council members who have helped Coeur d’Alene be a safe, well-functioning, and beautiful community. Let’s not ruin it.

MY TURN: They are not real Republicans

By GEORGE SAYLER Guest Opinion

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