NH GOP Vows More of the Same Division and Hatred

On Saturday, January 27, 2013, the state GOP elected Jennifer Horn as the chairwoman of New Hampshire’s Republican Party.  The party took heavy losses in both the state and national elections last year.  Yet, the Grand Old Party refuses to listen to the voice of the people.  They continue to foster division, mistrust, and even hatred or anger between those who follow the archaic ideals of the GOP and those of us who look forward to our Brave New World.

Since 1999, the Republicans have had 10 different party chairman while Democrats have had just two. So, Horn has a big job ahead of her.  She could choose to lead the GOP into the future, be inviting, welcoming, and accepting of all ideas and philosophies.  It was clear in the last election, that both the citizens of New Hampshire and the United States, were not impressed by the radical and simplistic goals of the GOP, which seem to be:

  •  obstruct progress at all cost.
  •  hate Democrats at all cost.
  •  insist on spending, rather than revenue, as the problem with our government.
  •  exclude anyone who does not believe as we do.
  •  convince everyone who believes as they do that everyone else, who does not believe as they do, is unAmerican, and does not deserve the same rights and protections as GOP Americans.
  •  protect the wealthy at all cost.
  •  protect corporate profits at all cost.

Clearly, these goals seem to be as elitist as it gets, and the GOP does have the reputation of being pro-wealthy, pro-white heterosexual male, to the exclusion of all else.  Sure Horn is a woman.  There are woman Republicans.  There are gay Republicans.  There are black and Hispanic Republicans.  The party is inclusive of everyone who will vote for them in elections.  But it is a inclusion of convenience.  As soon as the vote is cast, the Republican banner that includes everyone is soon replaced by the labels that divide.   Minorities are put back in their place, while the old white guys make all the decisions.  Horn's choice may be simply that.  An outward expression of the GOP's desire to empower women.  But still, it was a close race for Horn.  And there are factions of Republicans that don't want to see a woman in charge.  But Horn is no stranger to challenge, or to losses.  She was a two-time challenger for the New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district, winning the Republican nomination in 2008, and becoming the first woman nominated by the Republican Party in the state. But, she eventually lost to Paul Hodes in the general election. In 2010, she ran again and lost to Charles Bass in the Republican primary.

Maybe things will be different for the GOP.  But I doubt it.  The various sources that reported on the election had a series of quotes that reinforce this idea of anger, nonacceptance  and general unwillingness to recognize that losing elections mean that the population does not agree with your platform.

"From now on they [the Democratic Party] don’t define us; we will define them." - Jennifer Horn
Even though the Republicans have defined us for decades, they seem to think they need to do even more name-calling.

"We must put to rest forever the idea that the Republican Party is the party that doesn’t care, doesn’t care about women, doesn’t care about children, doesn’t care about minorities . . . that the Republican Party is the party of old white guys." - Jennifer Horn
I guess all they have to do is say it, and it will be true.  They don't actually have to demonstrate it by changing their platform to be inclusive of the groups of people the citizens know they exclude!

“I have spent the last eight years pushing back against every harebrained, big-government, big-spending, tax-it-if-you-see-it idea that the Democrats have brought to the table. . . . I am ready to go toe-to-toe with Maggie Hassan, Terie Norelli, Carol Shea-Porter, and Ann McLane Kuster.”  - Jennifer Horn is picking a fight with all our elected officials.  Why?  Because they had the audacity to win the general elections!  Just being a Democrat seems to be enough to bring out her ire.

“And you know what?  Ray Buckley, bring it on! Because from now on, they don’t define us, we define them.” - Jennifer Horn
Here, she challenges NH Democratic chair, Ray Buckley, who had nothing but kind words to say about her.  Again, she is picking a fight with no provocation.  This kind of talk will play well with her angry white boy leadership.

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to lose,”  - Kelly Ayotte, US Senator
Senator Ayotte may not like it, but the people have spoken.  They are not in favor of the GOP policies. But why change them when you could just stir up more anger with lies and distractions.

“So I need your help, and we need to help each other. We need to recognize who our enemy is, because Maggie Hassan’s not our friend."  Andy Sanborn, State Senator
Again, rather than focus on working with the elected officials to improve the quality of life in New Hampshire, he wants to throw out emotional terms like "enemy", trying to create the us/them scenario that breeds the poison the the GOP spreads.

 “[The Senate will be] the firewall for the next two years.”   Peter Bragdon, State Senate President
Senator Bragdon vows to continue the Republican obstruction of government that has gotten them so far.  I guess he feels that they should stop government from working before helping to make it work better.

“She can unite our party behind conservative principles and work and make sure that ‘Taxing Maggie’ is not governor in 2014.” William O’Brien, State Representative
Again with the name calling!  Come on Representative O'Brien,. get a clue about decorum and professionalism. Stop with the name calling and get to work.  You were elected to work, not obstruct and name call.

"They have good intentions. Those knuckleheads actually have good intentions." - Chris Sununu, Executive Council
Councilor Sununu gets in on the name calling, too.  But "knuckleheads"?  Is that supposed to play better in print?  Who even uses words like that anymore?  Oh, yeah, angry white men stuck in the 1950s use words like that.

And those were just a few of the thoughts and ideals that were spread around at the NH GOP meeting. Rather than grow and move the platform ahead, Horn and her group of angry white boys continue to play the same old games.  No growth.  No admittance that they actually might be the problem, not the Democrats. They are singing the same old tunes.   Same platform.  Different century.

It is time for us Progressives to take the lead.  We have let the Republican party define us for too long.  And they are obviously gearing up to define us again.  We need to take our own definition into our own hands.  Democrats need to define who we are, not as Democrats, but as people.  As citizens of a nation they love, and are committed to help govern, through the democratic process.   We need to stop allowing Republicans to convince everyone that Democrats, Progressives in particular, have an "evil plot".  Because we don't have one.  Our "evil plot", or platform as we generally say, is that of inclusion, acceptance, equality, and equity for all.  Simple.  those ideals are supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans.  Yes, Democrats do believe in "..freedom and justice for all."

But it is up to us to define who we are.  We need to convince the NHDP to initiate opportunities for us to define ourselves.  We need to stop focusing on electing people and focus on including and welcoming people.  If we do that successfully and on a grand scale, we will win elections.  Not because we have a strong political machine, but because we are a decent, thoughtful, and peaceful people, who care for each other, and want to see our government fulfill its social contract with our people.

And who can argue with that?


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