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Cindy’s Thoughts about the Upcoming Election

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Thank you for putting your confidence in me by electing my chairman. It is a daunting prospect for me, especially with the importance of this election year upon us. The single most important thing we will be involved in this year is getting a Republican president elected. Of course, it is also important to keep our House and Senate majorities so Republican policies can be carried through. As we are poised on the brink of choosing a candidate for President and here in the 5th District, a Congressman, we have cause for great optimism as well as cause for concern. On the optimism front, I want to show you some numbers. As a mathematician, I think numbers are interesting. In the primary we have just finished, we had 1,025,557 Republicans vs. 785,108 Democrats vote in Virginia. That’s way more Republicans than Democrats. In politics they say Republicans have “more voter enthusiasm” than Democrats – a lot more. Now compare that to the last time we had both Presidential primaries, 2008. In the 2008 Presidential Primaries, 489,252 Republicans voted vs 986,203 Democrats. Twice as many Democrats voted as Republicans. In 2008 there was A LOT more Democratic “voter enthusiasm.” On the local front, in the primary election we just had on Super Tuesday, in Prince Edward County, there were 2060 Republicans vs. 1786 Democrats whereas in 2008 there were 1100 Republicans vs. 2466 Democrats. That’s a sizeable number more Republicans in 2016 vs. less than half as many Republicans in 2008. Wouldn’t it be great is we could carry Prince Edward County for Republicans this fall? It looks to me like Republicans have the momentum going for us this time around. That’s very good news because our country is in a dire position after 8 years of destructive Democratic policies and needs bold Conservative leadership to turn things around. I hope you are fired up to win the elections this fall because we all need to work as a team to make sure Prince Edward County votes for our Republican nominees.

I know you have heard discouraging words about the discord in our party. It makes me think about a wonderful book I read a number of years ago, The Chosen by Potok. 2 teenage boys become best friends even though they are from different branches of Judaism, Hasidic and Orthodox. Even though they are both Jewish and have so much in common, their friendship eventually splinters over their religious differences to the point they don’t speak to each other. Reading this book gave me the insight that humans tend to get more passionate and have less tolerance within groups they have much in common with than they do with “outsiders”. I grew up Baptist and I can’t tell you how many church splits I have seen happen over minor theological differences. Now of course the Presbyterians and Episcopalians have the church split thing going on in their denomination, too.

This same human tendency to passionately magnify differences is evident in the Republican Party right now. We need to resist the tendency to make things personal and keep our passions in check. We need to agree to work together on common goals, to not allow personal power trips to be destructive and to allow sincere differences of opinion to co-exist. I have been fortunate in recent years to have many Christian friends with whom I share the essentials of the Christian faith but with whom I differ on many doctrinal issues. We are able to not only remain friends but worship together because we recognize that these issues are not essential to our faith and respect each others non-essential belief differences. This attitude is what we need right now in our Republican party nationally, in the 5th District and in Prince Edward County. To move forward successfully, we need to all pledge ourselves to unity in the essential tenets of our party, spelled out in the Republican Creed, and to mutually respect differences of opinion otherwise. Let’s pledge ourselves to work together as a team not only to win in November but to build our Committee to make a positive difference in Prince Edward County, and even to carry Prince Edward County for the GOP in November.

Cindy Koether, Chairman