Saturday, August 15, 2020

An open letter to the failing Oklahoma GOP from a Republican college student

I received the following letter from a reader recently, and thought it worth publishing. Do you have a column or op-ed you'd like to submit? Email it to me.

An open letter to the failing Oklahoma GOP from a Republican college student

 As a Conservative college student, I interact with democratic students daily on campus and online. Because of this, I have never been more alarmed for the future of the Oklahoma GOP, a last somewhat thoroughly red stronghold.

At the forefront of every Republican Oklahomans’ mind this cycle is the contentious Congressional District 5 (CD5) seat. This is where the party struggled initially to unify our forces. 13 candidates publicly lobbied or expressed interest in running for the congressional seat. 9 of whom got their name on the ballot. It can be said this is a nationwide Republican issue as we saw in the 2016 presidential Republican primary, but for a small, densely populated district putting forth a strong candidate to replace our current socialistic congresswoman should have been a top priority for the Republican party.

 Speaking of the CD5 race, Republicans are now halfway through a 56-day congressional runoff. Which would be okay if we weren’t up against a strongly competitive democratic opponent like Kendra Horn. 56 days is ample time to give Kendra a good break from facing a Republican challenger and amass millions of dollars from coastal elites and outside groups influencing Oklahoma elections. Which is exactly what is happening now. As an outsider looking at the CD5 primary, one would see a leading candidate, Terry Neese, who garnered 36.5% of the vote out of 9 candidates, and Stephanie Bice trailing behind 11 points in second place. Every candidate in the race endorsed Terry Neese, except for Barresi who was unwilling to endorse either one. Both Republican candidates are uniquely qualified to serve as our next congresswoman, but we see that one is at a severe disadvantage going into the run-offs.

 The nasty traditions of politics have already started in with relentless mudslinging and senseless money being spent (money we could be putting into defeating an elected Democrat) to advertised hit pieces on the other candidate. Maybe I’m a young naive voter who has yet to be jaded by the political sphere, but this is something more than candidates bickering. We’re putting the fate of Oklahoma’s conservative politics on the line with jeopardizing our chance at beating Horn by a candidate trying to fight her way to the nomination.

Of course, Oklahoma election laws call for a runoff. But when looking at statistics, a Republican voter is forced to ask themselves why we were not unified behind a few strong candidates in the first place and completely avoid a runoff election, having the best possible chance to get our elected Democrat out of office. And as a young voter myself it was a jarring realization that in this election, my future livelihood was not what mattered most to some campaigns, what mattered most was securing the Republican nomination for themselves at whatever cost.

 56 days of not unifying behind our strongest, leading candidate. 56 days of name calling, mudslinging, and money spending and at what cost? That we should keep Kendra Horn in office?  Why is running for political office a vanity project for some Republicans. If Kendra Horn wins the general election it will have been our own party’s fault.

The threat of socialism taking over our government has never been more real. The Democratic party is an energized, unified voting machine while Republicans are a fractured, disunified party still bickering over which qualified Republican woman should go against Horn. At this point, we can all agree both of our Republican candidates are qualified people. We must now look at statistical evidence and polls from the Republican primary and get behind the one single candidate who leads the fight to truly have a chance to get Horn out of office.

The threat of Kendra Horn being reelected grows every day that we don’t unify as a party. So, at the end of the day which is more important to a Republican candidate? Saving our children and grandchildren from the ever-looming threat of socialism or to fight your way into the halls of DC? I feel that my future has been cast aside by some members of the Republican party for the benefit of clawing their way to DC at whatever cost. It leaves me wondering whether I see a future for myself and other young people in the Republican party. Are they looking out for my future or is their political reputation more important to them?


A discouraged Republican student


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