Opinion | Scott M. Estill: Where are the Summit County Republicans hiding?
Challenges, Choices, Changes
For some reason, I have lived the majority of my life in one-party counties, both in DuPage (Republican) and Cook (Democrat) counties in Illinois and Jefferson (Republican) and Summit (Democrat) counties in Colorado. But then again, the upcoming 2022 election for the U.S. House of Representatives has only 6% of the 435 seats as being competitive (meaning neither party holds an advantage of more than 5%).
If I am new to Summit County and wanted to participate in local politics, I would consider the Republican and Democratic parties to be my two most logical choices. (In the last election, 98.3% of Summit County voters cast a ballot for one of the two old men running for president with an “R” or “D” next to their names.) And when I am unsure of what next to do in life, I Google it.
The Democrats’ website is a bit bland and boring but functional. It has an events page that is up to date. It has nice photos and makes it easy to donate some time or cash (or both). If you want to see who the current elected Democrats are in the county, it is easy to find out. For instance, with one click I can find out that current Commissioner Tamara Pogue’s priorities involve issues with economic development, child and medical care, and climate change. While I have never met Pogue, she makes it relatively easy for me to see if I line up with her positions and potentially send a vote her way the next time she runs for office.
They also have a cool little feature with a blue box with a white “f’ in the middle. Surprise: It took me to Facebook and a very up-to-date page promoting the party and its recent caucuses.
How sad then if I wanted to join the Republican team. A starting (and ending) point is its website, which for some reason last posted April 20, 2020. What may you ask was this post? The conservative cocktail hour that day was canceled. Perhaps they had other plans on 4/20?
When I turn to the Republican website, I am greeted with a bunch of bullet points from no particular candidate. This is informative to an extent that it shows the party’s priorities, however vague they may be. If I may summarize the 19 points, they seem to focus on personal freedom and responsibility, less/limited government and free-market enterprise. These are all labels for which I personally agree. But then again, does anyone really prefer government oppression over individual freedom? Where are the voters who are advocating for worthless choices for our children’s education?
Is it too much to ask for the Republican Party to come out of hiding in Summit County and begin to offer an alternative to those currently in power?
Why can’t you give the voters of Summit County a viable choice by actually offering something of substance applicable to the issues we face locally? The cost of housing, food, gasoline and everything else, and the role that government may play in times of inflationary income inequality. It can’t be that difficult to set up a functional website with candidate profiles that at least begin to suggest some choices on how the average worker can afford to live where they work or what rights property owners have in an ongoing battle over short-term rentals and governmental regulation.
There is no link for any social media platform. Is there a reason you don’t want to make your platform or candidates available to 223 million Facebook users in the U.S.? I searched on Facebook and found nothing except for a private group of 92 members of Summit County Republican women, a group that via birth I am excluded from joining.
Republicans should come out into the light and construct a website (start from scratch) to let the public know why their future candidates have the answers to the real problems that Summit County residents have: where to work to earn enough money to pay for housing, food, energy, child care, health care and other common and necessary living expenses.
These are the real issues for people who call Summit County home.
Scott M. Estill’s column “Challenges, Choices, Changes” publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Estill is an attorney, author and public speaker who lives in Dillon when not traveling or attending to legal matters in Denver. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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