I received this from a Republican activist who isn’t pleased with the process that took place last Thursday, when the Sedgwick County Republican Party met to select new officers. As a committeeman, I was there and took part in the process. As a new committeeman, attending my first of these meetings, I mostly kept my mouth shut. The official party line is that it’s great that all candidates for party office were elected by acclamation. I would have preferred, however, to see some choice. Unity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Perhaps it is my naivete that makes me believe that in order to have a truly “successful” election that there must first be more than one candidate on the ballot. Throughout history, a country in which leaders are selected in back rooms and then presented to the voting public as a slate was ultimately ruled as a dictatorship. Cuba, Lybia, Argentina, Venezuela, and many communistic countries have “elections” at which, not unlike ours of Thursday, the singular choice for a position was made by an elite few and any further nominations or candidates were strongly discouraged. Fortunately in America we do not discourage at gunpoint as of yet. But any discouragement of candidates interested in seeking out an office is still a gross manipulation of a supposedly free and honest nation.
As a political party our charter should be to encourage new leaders. To help those who have never sought any office feel like they have support and assistance in taking that nerve wrecking step into public life. It is not for a few to horde as many offices as possible nor to pass around the positions amongst a few. Those few who have successfully held positions should be encouraged to reach for higher positions, or at the least, be the mentors to those with the desires but maybe not the developed skills. To guide and aid them into their new positions but not to do the job for them.
Hand picking leadership is as old as ancient civilizations but we must forever be mindful that whenever we forego our voting privileges to a slate we are giving up some of the liberties our own forefather’s fought and died for. Remember that their sacrifice was so that we may each have the opportunities to hold office and have a say in our government, no matter what our socio-economic origins are.