Conservatives have a hard enough time receiving a fair hearing on our ideas and solutions for the future. In the current environment especially, we can barely get a word in before debate is shut down or perverted beyond recognition by the liberal Democrats.
The problem is made exponentially worse when we help shape a negative narrative for the other side. As of late, by fielding candidates with baggage, we continue to hand the progressive liberals all the material needed to discredit our cause before we can even give voice to conservative ideas.
Matt Fuller and Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post wrote a recent piece essentially naming most, if not all, of the Republicans around the nation who’ve been accused of having affairs. Here’s an excerpt:
In Georgia, one of the leading contenders to become lieutenant governor ― current state Rep. David Shafer (R) ― was accused late last week of retaliating against a lobbyist who turned down his advances. Despite those allegations, Shafer is moving ahead with his campaign. And current Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R), who’s now running to become governor, has long been the focus of numerous rumors of infidelity. In fact, strategists and close political observers of Georgia politics told HuffPost that those rumors were the real reason Cagle dropped out of a 2009 race to become governor, not back problems as he said at the time.
(Cagle’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)
Now, those strategists and observers are wondering if the Shafer allegations will put the Cagle rumors back into the spotlight.
“The truth is, the Georgia primary isn’t really ‘about’ anything,” a GOP strategist familiar with the race told HuffPost in an email. “Most Republicans agree on most issues. So differentiators tend to be based more on personal issues. That’s one reason Republican primaries can get so ugly.”
The strategist added that, because of the Shafer news, the public was primed for Me Too issues to blow up. “And as we’ve seen in Washington and in other industries, when #MeToo blows up, it often has a big blast radius,” the strategist said.
The piece goes on and you should read it for yourself.
The mission and the prevailing goal should be to elect conservative Republicans to all available offices. As conservatives it is critical to vet the candidates and understand their backgrounds (fiction or not). If there is smoke from someone’s “alleged” behavior…consultants, the party and voters need to have the maturity to admit there is likely a fire. Find the best and field the best.
Real time information such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other digital media has accelerated the availability of information and has made candidate selection even more important. Winning teams do not intentionally field injured players. Teams look for the best skills, most capable and they avoid players who might bring the team down. If a candidate has a noticeable blemish, the opposition will pound the narrative and work to destroy our chance of winning.
The point is, the Left and many voters will not only focus on what David Schafer or Casey Cagle’s job performances have been, nor what their platforms are. The personal aspect of candidates is becoming more and more relevant. Candidates such as Schafer and Cagle are dismissed by the Left as coming road kill on the #MeToo highway. The left will lob softballs into the general election and will have the potential to clean up by winning statewide elections. It’s just altogether too easy to discredit conservative ideas when all the Left needs to do is discredit Republican politicians.
Robert S. Graham was Chairman of the Arizona State Republican Party from 2013 and through January 2017. Responsible for leading the state’s GOP initiatives while overseeing and growing a well funded and organized party. In 2015, Governor Doug Ducey and the State of Arizona appointed Graham to the Arizona Commission of African-American Affairs. His efforts lead to a Republican victory sweep in the 2014 mid-term and 2016 Presidential elections. Graham was surrogate and Senior Advisor to the Donald J. Trump campaign for President. He has been seen on national television such as CNN, MSNBC and FOX News.