Politics is the art of addition, not subtraction.
The job of electing someone is all about getting people who aren’t all that crazy for you to vote for you.
Proving to voters you despise them oddly doesn’t win them over.
Just like government cannot tax a people into prosperity, a political party cannot divide and alienate its way to victory.
So, it is with great curiosity I watch the communications from the Colorado Republican Party. Instead of highlighting what makes them a better choice than Democrats, they condemn Republicans who don’t pass their purity test.
The Colorado Republican Party will be a lost cause for the next six to eight years as it continues to self-deteriorate. We can still move forward with great limited government, freedom-oriented policy reforms. It just won’t be the party carrying them.
For the next several election cycles, the Republican Party will be a “regional party.” That is, Republican state reps and senators will still be elected from strongly conservative, mostly rural districts.
But when running in urban and most suburban areas, a Colorado legislative candidate with an “R” behind their name may as well have a swastika there instead, especially as the party is seen as Trump-crazed and ferociously anti-abortion.
Colorado might become one of the first post-partisan states. That is, we’re going to see business-friendly, anti-tax, but not moralistic, unaffiliated candidates running for office and winning in suburban districts.
The Colorado Republican Party is doing its very best to make this scenario a reality by driving voters out of their party and into the unaffiliated camp.
Reading their communications, it’s clear their goal is not to tempt voters in, but to drive voters out with their declared jihad on the ideologically impure or not sufficiently Trump-worshipping.
Even the organization I run, Independence Institute, which for nearly 40 years has served as Colorado’s guiding star for limited government, and personal and economic freedom, was just disdained by the Colorado GOP.
At issue is a lawsuit the GOP is funding under the banner of protecting our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), which we didn’t financially support.
In fact, the suit has nothing to do with TABOR. It has everything to do with state Rep. Scott Bottoms demanding a bill in the special session be read out loud. The bill was the hideous, wealth-transferring, earned-income credit.
Bottoms and the GOP have a fair point, and their legal brief is well reasoned. But Independence Institute has no standing in this procedural question. So, when asked to put our donors’ money behind it, I politely declined.
Thus, we earned a spot along with many other libertarian- and conservative-leaning activists, politicians and organizations drawing their ire.
The state GOP advertises a “RINO (Republicans in name only) watch” site devoted to the art of subtraction, listing those (and by default those who support them) no longer worthy to be Republicans. Luminaries include Ken Buck, Dick Wadhams, that rampant liberal Barb Kirkmeyer, Weld County Commissioner Scott James and state Sen. Larry Liston.
Former state party chair Kristi Burton Brown has been targeted in many email blasts for alleged financial impropriety. She sits on their “hall of shame” of “RINOS”.
Yep. She’s quite a RINO. Before becoming GOP chair, this very Christian lady led the fights for abortion limitations, including the failed citizen’s initiative to ban late-term abortions.
On Christmas, the party blasted a Bible-versed email proclaiming salvation can only happen through Jesus, with no regard to other faiths or no faith.
Message: If you’re not Christian, you’re not one of us.
And now the state GOP, whose job is to run impartial primaries, is looking to go against past bylaws, tradition and ethics to endorse Donald Trump before the Colorado presidential primary.
What a middle finger to voters who support other Republican presidential candidates, you know, those voters the GOP will need later in the general election.
In his classic “7 Habits” book, Stephen Covey said to start with the end in mind.
For the state GOP, the end is to purge the impure from the party, French Revolution style.
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.
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