By Betsy Mahan, SacCountyGOP Chair
This week, our headquarters received a phone message that was particularly disturbing. It wasn’t the usual Democrat operative regurgitating the talking points of the day. It was from a woman (not a lady…) who claimed to be a Republican who was terribly disappointed that we were only open three days per week. She went on to tell us we were useless and the state was ruined because we wouldn’t stand up to the Democrats.
Well…I have something to say to her.
When you hurl insults from the sidelines, you are offending the hundreds of volunteers who helped elect 60 Republicans in the November election. They walked, they phoned, they helped voters with their ballots and collected ballots to be hand-delivered to the County elections office. They were our eyes and ears at Vote Centers and during the closing of drop boxes to ensure your ballots were safely delivered. They sat at fairs and community events, receiving thanks from attendees who appreciated their service. And they endured offensive gestures and language from passerby’s who got their jollies yelling at Republicans. They carried heavy boxes of political swag to events so you could have a bling Trump hat or a Back the Blue T-shirt. They collect socks for the homeless and gifts for seniors during the Holidays. They handed you a nametag or helped you find your seat at our sponsored events, and they hosted receptions in their neighborhoods so others would realize they were not alone. Volunteers monitor school board agendas so we can alert parents about policies that take away their parental rights. They attend monthly Central Committee meetings where we do the business of the Party. And we engage voters on social media, sharing opportunities to support or oppose legislation and highlighting resources that provide needed transparency.
Our volunteers are the reason someone answered the phone, greeted you when you walked in, or took out the garbage you left behind at an event. They are the backbone of our organization – which is run by volunteers. No one is paid. We’re in it for the right reasons.
Our headquarters is currently open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. When it gets closer to the election, we will be open more days and longer hours. When the headquarters is closed, many of us work from home. And our volunteers are usually the ones who fund much of our operation, paying for equipment or printing or refreshments for our free events. That’s not the way it should be. More people need to pitch in.
The gentleman who listened to that unfortunate voicemail had just driven 45 minutes to open the office. He and his wife come in at least once per week, even though they don’t live in our county. Their county doesn’t have a headquarters that is open when there is no election looming. When he played the message for me we both just shook our heads in disbelief.
We understand Californians are frustrated. We are too. The difference is that we are working very hard to do something about it. We will take back our State, one district at a time. Those who just want to be angry need to step up, or keep their opinions to themselves. Yelling at volunteers is not going to win elections.
Our party needs to stop being so angry at each other. We need to throw out the litmus tests and just be happy people want to be Republicans. It’s impossible for everyone to expect their candidates to be a perfect image of themselves. There just aren’t enough of us left in this state to be so exclusive.
We need to stop listening to the so-called disrupters who spend all their energy spreading untrue rumors and fighting Republicans instead of Democrats. Most of them have never volunteered or even come into our headquarters. We don’t need keyboard warriors. We need true patriots who can engage in a civil manner and help us make a difference.
So, the next time you see our volunteers at an event – please thank them. And know that you are welcome to join them and do the work it takes to make progress in this state.
Done venting. Back to work.