It hadn’t quite gotten to 6:00 PM before other delegates to the GAGOP Convention in Columbus this past Saturday had begun asking me what I was going to write about. I said I would take a night to sleep on it and reflect before doing so. In the meantime, several of our contributors have weighed in with their takes and I will not rehash them, only remind you that no one contributor, including me, speaks for the Peach Pundit Community as a whole. We disagree with each other a lot here.
On the opening day of the convention, I sat with the AJC’s Greg Bluestein for a segment of their Politically Georgia Podcast wherein I told him I was looking to hear a vision for the future of the Georgia Republican Party. When asked about Trump, I pointed out how me, and many of my colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly outperformed Trump in 2016, and how that was repeated statewide in 2020. And so, I am on the market for a candidate to support in the Presidential Preference Primary.
One small interlude that hasn’t been covered by other contributors: Trump’s speech was the first since his federal indictment for keeping classified documents. It was less a campaign speech and more a full-throated PR effort to justify, minimize, or explain away alleged criminal activity. Two lines resonated the most, that every time he flies over a blue state he gets a subpoena, and that the government is weaponizing law enforcement to attack their political enemies. Regardless of how you may feel about the indictment, the latter is a powerful talking point.
On my way out the door I told Rahul Bali, of WABE, two things: 1. That I was encouraged by the number of people, like me, who I found voiced concern for the direction of the party, even if they were outnumbered. And 2. That newly elected Chairman, Josh McKoon, has his work cut out for him because it is apparent that there are so many competing, and even adversarial factions within the party.
This post is for the currently outnumbered Republicans who may have entertained the thoughts of leaving Republican activism behind.
Any hope I had of the Party adopting a forward-looking vision were dashed Monday morning when I read a Facebook post by Chairman McKoon which continues to attempt to breathe life into the stolen election narrative. I am working on a separate post about that, so stay tuned. All I can say is that at this moment, even I am contemplating the question, “should I stay or should I go?”
It isn’t that I am no longer a Republican. I still believe the GOP offers the best opportunity for someone who loves the American promise of Liberty and Justice for all, limited or smaller government, and to pass along the intrinsic opportunity that comes with being an American. I just don’t know if I should stay in the room while we are waiting for the stolen election fever dream to break.
On a recent edition of the podcast, Pye and I lifted-up the Savannah Area Young Republicans (SAYR’s) for passing an anti-discrimination resolution in the wake of a resolution being voted on at the 1st district GAGOP convention that would have barred gays from being members of the party. During that discussion I employed the life raft metaphor I picked up from listening to the Good Faith Podcast by Curtis Chang.
In the podcast Curtis talks about how if you have decided to leave the GOP behind, you should find a lifeboat so that you do not have to go it alone. In the example of the SAYR’s, by passing their resolution they were raising a flag that could act as a beacon for others who may see the world similarly, but no longer recognize the GAGOP. If they are close to you, you could swim out to the beacon and find your people. And then as a small group you can work together to achieve wins for the conservative cause.
And in this metaphor, I see the path forward for all of us.
If you are trying to answer the question, as Curtis posed, “should I stay or should I go,” as I am, then I add one more question for you to ponder; where is your life boat? Who are the people in your community, whether it be online or local, who you can work with to advance conservative wins?
I humbly offer up Peach Pundit to be an online extension of your own metaphorical lifeboat. We ain’t perfect by any account. And this is not a place of lock step agreement but is one of respect for the right of conscience. We cannot and will not guarantee that you won’t get frustrated by something you read here to the point you think it ridiculous. Even I, as the publisher of the site, have done the latter. But we can guarantee that opposing views can be explored and discussed. And maybe during the discussion you will find others you can work with and then go about it.
And if this is not your place, then please find another to take refuge. The conservative movement needs patriots now more than ever. It needs you. So please stay involved somehow.
If you are interested in forming a loose confederation of other lifeboats, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t know if anything will ever come from it, but at my age I have learned the value of community. You are not alone, and we can do bigger things together.