Are Republicans becoming less civil to one another? Focus on party building, because 2018 is almost here.

On my way back from picking up a vehicle from an oil change yesterday, I had a call from a political operative. The subject of their call was that they were not happy over the tone of the comments that “their side” had been receiving on the web site.

They thought that some of the attacks being fostered were untrue, got overly personal, and were a bit unfair. And that if they didn’t stop, they were going to have trouble holding their people back from responding in kind, and then people would be going at it constantly under my comment section.

It was one of those situations where I was left with the thought – “Well, what am I supposed to do with that?”

Yes, it’s in the comment section, but you’re seeing it in general society as well. Just turn on the news, or even worse, just look at Facebook. If I could guarantee civility, I’d do it on my Facebook first, so the worst I’d have to look at are funny cat videos, and not have to wade through some of the other crap.

It used to be mainly a back and forth between political parties, but the occasional sniping that broke out at political primary time seems to be expanding to all year with Republicans in general, and from people you might not expect.

I offered to my caller that if someone was posting things that were blatantly false and people were out-and-out lying, (i.e. Candidate Bob was arrested for an unnatural act with a horse) to let me know immediately, and I would be happy to remove the comments. That’s been long standing policy, as I certainly have no time for nor any interest in being subpoenaed when someone wants to sue a commenter.

But when it comes to expressions of opinion (i.e. I don’t think Candidate Bob is a straight shooter because he did A, he employs B, or whatever C ), then you’re getting into different territory. It’s a little tougher being the arbiter of feelings, as in making a determination as to what’s hurtful, and what is not. It’s not a college ‘safe space’ for goodness sake. Feelings aren’t going to change because a comment appears or doesn’t.

What my caller was wishing for was more civility. Not an unreasonable wish, but probably an impossible demand. And you know, if I could guarantee that, I’d bottle it, and be a millionaire. Especially in recent times. People are crabby.

While I can’t guarantee it, I think what I can do is to make a nice ask of our fellow Republicans for more civility towards each other, especially when we’re so far out from the primary season. It’s probably a Pollyanish wish, but we are fighting for largely the same things.

Debate? Discuss, Disagree? Absolutely!  But save your ire for the Democrats, not each other.

The Republican Party is starting off the year with a theme of renewal and a renaissance of the GOP grassroots.  What we should be focusing on is helping the new chairman build the party in preparation for having the strongest organization possible in preparation for the 2018 elections, where we’ll be picking a lot of new officeholders, including a new Governor and a new Congressperson.

We need to be working together to defeat the opposition. And that starts with making a commitment to focus on the GOP first & cheer for your candidate second.  Sign up to help. You can drop the new chairman a note here, and let him know that you’re ready to go to work.

“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.” – Ronald Reagan

12 Replies to “Are Republicans becoming less civil to one another? Focus on party building, because 2018 is almost here.”

  1. Anon

    The man elected President made sniping at republicans a central part of his candidacy, still trashes them when it suits his insane ego, and your argument is to save it for the democrats? This state rewarded a guy who, up until a few years ago, was a registered democrat and took all sorts of liberal positions. Even now, he pushes liberal policies, by giving breaks to businesses who don’t move out operations, by threatening everyone around us with massive tariffs and crippling free trade and your argument is “focus on the democrats?” How about the democrat most of this state voted for who is the current president? There is precious little intellectual honesty going on in this state about national politics at the moment.

  2. Reagan

    Amen- let’s focus on beating up democrats! Thou shalt not speak ill of fellow Republicans! Just ask Barnett and Kirby how attacking each other worked out in 2002. Let’s unite and win big in 2018!

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      There was even some pretty nasty attacking on even the Chairman’s race over the past few weeks. We should take a step back, and focus on what’s important.

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      Aww. Thanks for the thought.

      (If my mom hadn’t passed away in 2000, I’d thank her for the comment.)

  3. SFRepub

    As someone who is “all in” for one of the candidates in in the Governor’s race, I completely agree that ripping each other apart (particularly in the comment section on a blog) is not constructive, nor good for the party. I have every intention of fully supporting whoever wins the primary and, as such, have no desire to have that person tarred, feathered, and limping into the general election. We can have a healthy debate about who is the best representative for our party, but let’s not lose sight of the ultimate goal: continuing GOP leadership in our state.

  4. Emoluments Clause

    In the absence of a vibrant and relevant Democratic Party, the Republican Party fills that void by becoming two parties within itself. And such a reality is the Achilles’ Heel of any majority political party and this is what the South Dakota GOP is now beginning to experience……

  5. The Guy from Guernsey

    Yes, South Dakota Republicans should follow the example provided by the national Democrat organization in the most recent Presidential election.

    We should just be nice; not provide any spotlight to the history of shady and corrupt dealings which have occurred under a candidate’s watch; not draw attention to the seemingly uncurious approach of the candidate to investigation of wrongdoing and prosecution in these matters.

    Yes, the party faithful should simply provide a free pass to a poor candidate in order that the candidate [in this case ‘he’] can emerge from the primary process unbruised, but also without examination of the record which makes him an extremely poor candidate.

    Wait … how did that turn out for the Democrat party candidate in the POTUS election ? More importantly, how did it turn out for the Democrat party ?

  6. The Guy from Guernsey

    ‘Party operatives’ might be forewarned that representing an extremely poor candidate in the GOP Gubernatorial primary contest will be a bit stiffer task than cashing checks from a California billionaire to deceive voters in a ballot initiative campaign.

  7. MC

    From where I sit on the floor, I have noticed there isn’t that much of a divide between the parties. We all seem to work together, Yes we disagree, in fact we have some damn good fights, at the end we push our button to vote, and move on. We have a better understanding of each other.

    I come here, or the other site and the divide is bigger than the Grand Canyon.
    I have to wonder why.