It is a given that very few extremists realize that they in fact are out of the main stream. As a moderate Republican that actually have a few friends that are Democrats, I have observed many in the past months that fit the term extreme on both ends of the political spectrum. I'm probably a little to the right of center, since I observe more wackos on the far left than the right. But then maybe they like the lonely Jackass in the field bray louder than those in the majority. Having said that, I am deeply offended by those in my own party that bring shame and disbelief to the average voter.
The recent election in both the Coeur d'Alene School District and Coer d'Aleene City Council in Idaho,, brought me into the arena, even though I don't live in either. In the past I felt one without skin in the game should stay out of other people's affairs. That was cancelled by the large part of the Reagan Republicans from other areas such as Post falls, Rathdrum and Athol taking an active part in battling other citizen candidates running for non-partisan offices. To these people, politics is war, requiring the faithful to no holds barred interference and sometimes slander.
What brought on this reflective period for me was a phone call the other day by a conservative asking me to join a luncheon group be was forming. Interestingly, he admitted to being a former Constitutionalists turned Republican, yet he is holding his lunches on the same dates and at the same time as the so called, "Reagan Republicans." It would seem to me that Constitutionalists that have reformed as new Republicans are the real RINO'S, not the rank and file that has historical party roots.
I refer to them as imposters since I knew Ronnie Reagan and his late daughter,Maureen back in the sixties. I was an MC at a large speech venue with Reagan, just before he ran for Governor of California, and worked closely with him and his son-in-law, Dave Sills and Maureen during the campaign. That he resembled the loud, knee jerk gang that misrepresents his legacy burns me, but I digress.
After receiving the call from this activist, I politely declined for two reasons. One, I live in Bayview which is kind of a long drive, and two I'm not sure I could in good conscience, join a group that is possibly even further to the right than the RR's. Well, and there is one other reason. I am 75 years old and unlike the old days I don't run around in political circles with my hair on fire anymore.
As I have aged, two things became apparent to me. One, I had grown out of the more raucous party activities that I was a part of in the 1960's. In other words I grew up and matured some. I can listen to other points of view unless they are prefaced by an insult or belittling remark about mine. That from my perspective seems to be more prevalent on the far left. I have actually not received one complaint or put down from the right, even though I am left of many of them.
I won't mention the name of the individual that called me except to say, if I do not know in detail where he is coming from, I am, not like some others I know, going to guess.
I have figured out that the problem in working with others to solve problems in the community, either locally, or nationally, is that extremists tend to make their political philosophy a religion, not a governance. Therefore, you are either a believer, or an apostate. With that inflexible position, or positions, derives our inability to govern ourselves within the bounds of decency and mutual respect.
I will have more to say as the primary candidacies unfold in North Idaho. We still have some wackos out there, and unfortunately as long as moderates refuse to register as Republicans, the activists which have nothing better to do with their lives will run the show giving all of us the choice between bad and worse.
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