Giving credit where it’s due

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Many thanks to Pawhuska business owner and Republican activist Doreen Linder for an encouraging meeting March 15 for Pawhuska-area Republicans.

Linder ran a meeting in which all prospective candidates for local office were introduced and offered the opportunity to speak. It was a welcome improvement over the unfortunate “coronation” that the Osage County Republican Executive Committee held in February in Pawhuska for prospective county commissioner candidate Everett Piper.

Piper deserves to be heard, but so does every other prospective candidate for the District 1 commissioner seat. There should also not be any manipulative “personal endorsements” like the one that the county party chairman gave Piper in February.

Linder’s meeting was admirably free of shenanigans like that. Voters should be informed, not manipulated by party officials.

The next meeting for the new Republican group that Ms. Linder and others have formed is anticipated for the evening of April 14 at the Community Center.

Also worthy of note is the fast-approaching deadline for voters to change their party affiliation prior to the June 28 party primaries.

The hard political truth in Osage County right now is that some important 2022 races may be settled at the party primary stage, and all the candidates may be Republicans.

I understand the behavior of the candidates. At the moment, a ham sandwich could be elected, so long as it is a Republican ham sandwich. A lot of people simply vote party line without much more thought on the matter.

So, while Democrats and Libertarians and Independents may not really like having the R-word associated with them, they may have to temporarily become Republicans to be heard on questions like who will be the District 1 county commissioner for the next four years.

If you want a say, you take the remedy that state law gives you, right? The deadline to switch is March 31. So git ‘er done, already.

Republican activists may want to preach a little sermonette about not fouling up their precious party, but elections and public offices are the rightful property of the people — all of the people.

People should come before parties. Country should come before one’s party. I am an American first, politically speaking, and I fly Old Glory right-side-up regardless of who is president.

So, until election laws are changed to keep parties from developing a monopoly, you do what you have to do. The Democratic Party used to have the same monopoly in Osage County. Now it’s the Republicans. I understand how it works.

Make sure you vote and protect your interests. March 31, remember, is the affiliation change deadline.