Carl MumpowerLocal News: Asheville and HendersonvilleLocal OpinionNational OpinionOpinion

Stand for something!

Each week the editors of The Tribune are selecting a communication from the Buncombe County Republican Party we feel will be of interest and value to our readers. You can learn more about your local Republican Party’s efforts at

A year or so ago, the Buncombe GOP unanimously approved a somewhat unusual policy. The crux was a plan to work extra-hard to support our Republican elected officials in public while respectfully raising concerns in private.

On one hand we have many Republicans who believe anyone who rides an elephant merits a blank check on accountability. On the other are folks who’ll ignore ten sincere votes and then beat an elected official to death with one that’s an exception.That’s a harder success formula than you might imagine.

Neither of these extremes serve us – in fact what we often end up with is what psychologists call a “compensation battle.” That’s a circumstance whereby one side tries to make up for the perceived excesses of the other with oppositional zealotry. In a community where conservative-minded voters are outnumbered 2-1, no one but Brand-X wins when Republicans embrace a compensation battle.

Conservatives in Buncombe County recognize America’s future is not served by two teams of elephants pulling against each other. We’re attempting to build one good herd of independent spirits striving toward our common goals – developing candidates grounded in reality, reason, responsibility and right; helping to elect those candidates; and supporting them as they attempt to serve in a manner reflective of our Party’s principles and platform.

We understand we can be on the same side and still have a different angle of view—and that uniformity does not require conformity. It does require civility and maturity.

Over the past year we’ve been largely successful in making sure critical voices have not acted in an official capacity. We’ve also understood that our local party’s worker bees are volunteers and remain free to voice their complaints as their judgment and values dictate.

This is all important because, without exception, our Republican reps in Buncombe County, North Carolina and DC uphold our party’s mission far more often than they don’t. Are they perfect – no – but compared to Brand-X’s liberal-progressive-socialist extremists, our guys/gals are paragons of moderation and virtue.

We understand that the Republican Party is the only organized political movement capable of stopping the excesses of the left. To stay organized and capable we have to stay positive.

So why are we spotlighting this particular subject? Because, if we’re sincere, we have to uphold that “respectfully and privately raise concerns” part of our equation. We’ve recently had votes by Republican elected officials that merited a flag. We raised it – and we wanted to let you know.

The BCGOP has officially approached five separate elected officials or their appointed representatives with a written inquiry on a respective vote. The issues and questions raised centered on budgetary restraint, deficit spending and illegal immigration.

Will it make a difference? We don’t know. We do know that smart elected officials value support in public service by people who are informed and paying attention. It’s easier to listen and learn when you know someone has your back and works to know the issues.

We also want discouraged Republicans, disenfranchised Democrats and wandering independents to recognize the Buncombe GOP stands for something they can count one. Unlike our opposition, we’re not pretending to be all things to all people. We do want to be honest to people on the things we say we are for.

The Buncombe GOP is on the job with publicly supporting our Republican elected officials. We thought you would like to know that we’re also up to the responsibility of respectfully raising concerns with those same elected officials.

If you’d like to help, consider duplicating the model. We need letters to the editor and other public efforts by engaged conservative thinkers. Republican elected officials are operating in a horrifically antagonistic and biased political environment. It is not nearly good enough for any of us to stand in criticism without an equal or stronger investment in support.

Want to know more about who we talked with and what it was about? Just contact the chair for a private discussion. Then go do something to help those embracing one of the toughest jobs in today’s America – service as an elected Republican official.

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