May 2015

Democracy or Dictatorship

One hundred and sixteen years ago Senator Schurz gave a speech where he addressed attempts to move the congress toward becoming an imperialistic governing body — “I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right’ “.

I believe we are again at that point where integrity is routinely sacrificed for ambition. Lying has simply become an accepted campaign tactic. When Harry Reid was the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, he embraced that philosophy by knowingly making false accusations about presidential challenger Romney’s tax status to help get Obama re-elected. And when he was recently called out on his unethical behavior, he nonchalantly said “I don't regret that at all……. Romney didn't win, did he?”

This attitude is not unique to Washington D.C., it is manifesting itself right here in our county. A person who wants to control the leadership of the Fauquier County Republican Committee (FCRC) made false accusations in an attempt to sabotage a charitable fund raiser put on by people he opposes.

People who have established records of supporting Democratic candidates show up at a Republican canvass to pursue getting into positions of authority. When people who have historically supported Republican causes object, they are faulted for not going along with the “new” Party leadership.

The simple fact is, “our party, right or wrong” is a philosophy for a dictatorship, not a democracy.

I attended that March 2014 FCRC canvass to cast my votes and have been following the subsequent committee turmoil with some consternation. My conservative principles have been on display in regional newspapers for years in support of any candidate for office who shares them, in spite of what Party name comes after theirs. Since my conservative values most closely align with Republican Party principles, my efforts have been overwhelmingly in support of Republican candidates.

However, when I decided to apply for the job of Lee District representative on the Board of Supervisors, I chose to campaign for the job as an Independent. The pandemonium in the FCRC was the deciding factor against my running in the Republican Primary.

I suspect many others share my concern with the current state of the FCRC.

The 2016 State and National election cycles will soon be underway. We need to follow Senator Schurz’s admonition and "put right" the FCRC if we hope to have any influence in the 2016 elections.

The only way we can accomplish that is for all interested parties to look past their personal alliances and act on their conservative ideals. A commitment to principle-before-Party will serve our county and our country well. To do otherwise will only serve the selfish interests of a few.

Rex A. Hoover