By Betsy Mahan
Chair, SacCountyGOP

I listened to one of my favorite leaders recently as she addressed the North Carolina Republican Party. Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota is an inspiration to me, and leaders across the nation. This farmer turned politician is not afraid to use logical approaches to today’s issues, rather than taking the easy road and going along with the media or keyboard warriors.

Her message summarized was:

  • Be thankful you woke up today living in the USA, still the best country in the world;
  • Say YES to opportunities to make a difference, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone;
  • Be positive and optimistic about our future to give people hope;
  • and Get Over Yourselves! Our American way of life is under attack, and we need to work together to preserve it.

In an attempt to localize Governor Noem’s comments, I strongly believe whether it’s a Recall or regular election, it’s OK for us to have preferred candidates competing with each other. That’s healthy. But it’s what we do after the winner is announced that we need to work on.

I started my political activism as a college student in the mid-70’s. There was no question in my mind that I was a Republican during those tumultuous times. I joined College Republicans and was shocked at the amount of energy they spent fighting each other, rather than focusing on defeating Democrats. I see the alliances that were forged during my college days still are strong today, and it’s not healthy for our party.

College Republicans are still divided into two groups, as they were in the 70’s, and the leaders of factions within the Party who encourage them to fight are still dividing our party to build their following. It’s an unproductive way to steer college students who come to us as patriots, seeking opportunity, and sincerely wanting to make a difference. Those leaders in the party need to get over themselves, realize they are no longer Young Republicans, and start working together to win elections.

We are seeing the same division taking place as a result of the 2020 election results. We’ve all handled the shock of losing the Presidency in different ways. Some productive – some not. Many of us responded by regrouping and focusing on the Recall of Gavin Newsom to show progressives their leaders who support extremist policies are vulnerable. While others tragically thought storming the Capitol or recruiting conservatives into groups that are secretive about their true intensions was the best way to react. Some of these people have organized local events, hijacking sincere patriotism and the desire to honor our soldiers and law enforcement, while using their keyboards to boast that the turnout at rallies have something to do with support for extremist groups. Sorry folks but most voters don’t know what it means to dress in yellow and black, or to use hand signals or numbers to depict secret messages or societies. That’s gang behavior, and not the way political movements can succeed.

Most voters just want their elected officials to support the constitution, rule of law, and to respect taxpayers and the rights of parents. They want businesses to have the freedom to operate without excessive government intrusion, and they want our water policy to focus on managing this precious resource, rather than weaponizing it to drive out big ag.

We need to have vigorous primaries where Republicans challenge each other based on policy, experience, and track records. But when it’s time to move on to the General Election, we need to come together to make us stronger. Stop the purity tests in the Republican Party. It’s impossible to agree on everything. If the alternative in an election is a liberal Democrat, then vote for the moderate or conservative Republican you didn’t support in the Primary. They will be with you at least 80% of the time and that’s better than 0%!

When we see George P. Bush, who is running for Attorney General in Texas, emphasizing his support for Trump policies, we know that uniting is possible.

We need to grow our party to win elections in California. Throughout Sacramento County, where registration is at 393,000 (Dem) to 220,000 (Rep) and 190,000 (NPP) we need to reach voters outside the GOP to win elections. We traditionally get help from Libertarians (10,500) and American Independents (32,000) and must engage those designated NPP to consider our candidates. The Democrats have seen how those numbers can add up, resulting in several county-wide victories such as the re-election of Scott Jones as Sheriff and DA Ann Marie Schubert. President Trump received 259,400 votes in Sacramento County and voters in the City of Sacramento defeated Rent Control in November with a 60% to 40% vote.

Democrat leaders know we can overcome their advantages if we emphasize issues like school choice, keeping Critical Race Theory out of our children’s curriculum, bringing back consequences for criminal activity and working with, not against, law enforcement to keep all communities safe. Spending our tax dollars on homeless veterans and those with serious mental health issues, rather than encouraging and funding the results of illegal immigration, and respecting people of faith will also cross party lines and bring voters to the GOP. That’s why they go so far to demonize Republicans, deflecting away from their failing policies.

They will come our way if we do a good job communicating how Republicans will govern differently on issues that require common sense solutions.

Gov. Noem also emphasized the importance of being positive and optimistic, and saying YES to opportunities to step up, even if it will make you uncomfortable.

The Left is making its move to fundamentally change our culture and our laws. It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and be a part of the solution. Run for office, share Republican policies with your non-political friends and family, and support candidates at all levels of government. Skip a few meals out and donate that money to a campaign or the Republican Party. Rather than rehashing the problems we have today over and over on social media, understand that people from all walks of life are experiencing higher food and gas prices, sexualizing our kids with inappropriate curriculum, the impact of drugs, high cost of living, and increased crime in our neighborhoods. Have faith in the people of our country to see the woke culture for what it is – all about the money and the power for a relatively small group of people. Then, be the alternative.

At the same time, we must encourage and support actual investigations into our election systems. Democrats in California and their pawns in the media continue to say there is no fraud in our elections, but they refuse to conduct legitimate audits when issues arise. Arizona is an example of brave legislators calling for full inquiries into the voting systems. Now other states like Pennsylvania are using them as an example to start their own investigations. If and when fraud is discovered, voters in California will want to know if our votes are being cancelled by those who should not be voting, perhaps because of their citizenship status, their death…their voting address, or their ability to vote more than once. If it’s possible to cheat in Arizona, it’s possible in California.

Knowing our elections are being secured will give voters hope. We also need to let them know their political party has a plan, and a path to victory, even if it takes years to succeed. They need to know how they can make a difference by volunteering. They need messaging that is based on research, facts and solutions.

SacCountyGOP is doing everything we can to inform voters of Republican solutions, and opportunities to make a difference in the next election. We thank leaders like Kristi Noem for showing voters that Republicans do govern differently, and electing more in California is possible if we all work together.

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