Is Gaylord a Republican? The GOP thinks so
In 1952, when I was an 18-year-old private in the United States Marine Corps, I considered it a great honor to be voting in my very first presidential election. In our family, voting was considered to be a serious responsibility, as was military service. I cast my vote for Dwight D. Eisenhower, of course. He had been a national hero during World War II, and when I voted we were fighting and dying in a United Nations police action in Korea. Voting for Ike under those circumstances was pretty much a no-brainer. His opponent, by the by, was Adlai Stevenson, a former diplomat and ambassador to the United Nations, who probably struck an 18-year-old Marine as being a bit too stuffy. That was pretty much my only experience as a Republican. In 1956, no longer obligated to the Marine Corps, I switched over and voted for Stevenson, who lost. In time I became accustomed to my candidates losing.At any rate, I have been a registered Democrat since l952 or 1956. While there have been many honorable and intelligent Republicans on the national scene, Ive never quite been able to cast a vote for any of them. It always seemed that just as my allegiances were about to change, a great burst of flummery would come flowing out of the GOP and I would revert to my liberal ways.So it came as a major shock a week or so ago when I picked up my mail in Woody Creek and a letter from the Republican National Committee awaited me. Ed Gillespie, the RNC chairman, and I are not exactly pen pals, so I was quite curious about this letter.It began as follows: Dear Fellow Republican. If the RNC believes I am a fellow Republican, it says a lot about George W.s insistence that Iraq was full of weapons of mass destruction. Do these guys bother to do any research? What I had received was my GOP Census Document. The claim was that it had been assigned and prepared especially for me as a representative of all Republicans living in your voting district. Now that should put the fear of God into those Republicans who do live in my voting district. I tried to imagine Hitler sending such a letter to Stalin, telling Joseph he would be a representative for all members of the National Socialist German Workers Party living in his voting district. I dont think so!And a few paragraphs later in the cover letter of my Census Document, my situation as a leader of GOP voters was repeated as if for emphasis or possibly in the belief that as a Republican I might be a bit slow and could have missed the first statement.If I were a devoted Republican living in Pitkin County, one who contributes real money to the GOP, I would be on the phone immediately demanding some answers from Ed Gillespie, such as how it is that some bleeding-heart liberal (thats me) could be the recipient of a GOP Census Document. Considering how little privacy any of us has these days, one would think that Herr Aschroft couldcome up with a national list of registered Democrats so that the RNC wouldnt be wasting money sending polls to radical environmentalists and ultra liberals. The questions contained in the poll questionnaire were pretty innocuous, probably not unlike questions the Democrats might ask in a similar poll. But pollsters are pretty clever folk, so each question may have more significance than is apparent to someone such as myself. The poll contained 22 questions and my favorite was, Should small businesses be encouraged to grow and hire more workers? Who could answer no? If you did, you would be saying that we should encourage small businesses to stagnate and outsource their employees? Unlike George W. and his buddies, I am not so arrogant as to label that as a stupid question, but it most certainly is pushing the envelope.As might be expected, near the end of the questionnaire, you are encouraged to support the RNC by making a cash contribution. Considering the fact that the Republican Party may have billions stashed away in tax-free, offshore accounts, I had to decline their nice offer. George W. alone has raised enough money to make the folks in the Vatican look like a bunch of ragged paupers, yet the GOP is asking someone who survives only because of Social Security to send money? Me thinks they should review their priorities, or at least pop for a more accurate mailing list. Then, in an obvious attempt to touch our heartstrings, this was printed on the return envelope: By using your own first-class stamp to return this envelope, you will be helping us save much needed funds. Thank you.Im happy to supply postage for organizations such as the Salvation Army, but it strikes me as being rather kinky, if not outright obscene, to give such a rich and powerful organization as the GOP a measly 37 cents. I didnt return the questionnaire but damned if just a couple of days ago I received a nice, signed photo from George W. and his wife, with an encouraging little note thanking me for my early commitment and dedication as a Charter Member of the campaign in Colorado.I worry about what those folks may be smoking.This is the 305th article in a two-part series devoted to the community of Woody Creek, a place where it is normal to identify who you are dealing with before asking them for money.
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