The following Op-Ed was submitted by Doug Nickle. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Republican voters in Idaho just completed yet another rotation on their political merry-go-round. Ever optimistic, they keep thinking they will ride their trusty, shiny horse to victory. Round and round they go. Yet the Establishment GOP also gleefully rides the same carousel- with endless special interest funding, and on the back of their favorite RINO.
In Idaho’s 2022 primary, there’s no question Democrats changed party affiliation and helped many RINOs win primary elections. Such is the unprincipled behavior that comes so naturally to Dems who otherwise have no chance at victory in Idaho. For now.
Idaho RINOs knew the Dem strategy (and in fact counted on and promoted such behavior), and the establishment GOP laughed all the way to their victories in the primary.
There were a few noteworthy conservative victories in key races, victories that removed career RINO politicians from key leadership positions, particularly in the Idaho Senate. Conservatives should celebrate this, but also understand the ultimate ramifications of continuing to allow Dems to switch parties specifically to sabotage the Republican primaries, and also what it means to continue to support the “Republican” party.
There’s another segment of the Republican Party that deserves blame for RINOs like Brad Little, Scott Bedke, Phil McGrane, and Chuck Winder continuing in office as pretend conservatives. The “reform the GOP from within crowd” helped many RINOs win, and reaped yet again the negative return from trying to “reform from the GOP from within,” playing by rules that don’t exist for the RINO establishment.
Constitutional conservative candidates Janice McGeachin, Priscilla Giddings, Dorothy Moon, Ron Nate, and Karey Hanks lost their Republican primaries because of a couple fundamental issues. Firstly, voter apathy and low turnout was and is always a key factor in the primaries. Secondly, vast numbers of Democrats changed parties to vote for their RINO opponents.
But the aforementioned conservative candidates also lost because of their commitment to a Republican party machine that no longer serves actual conservative Republicans.
The reality is, until Constitutional Conservatives realize that, despite their well meaning claims of being “people first” constitutionalists, by staying registered as Republicans and fighting the establishment GOP in the primary, they are actually “party first loyalists.” They put party registration ahead of winning- and leading on Constitutional Conservative values. They spent vast amounts of time and money while their RINO opponents spent more.
The Republican Constitutional Conservatives still lost, and so did we.
If Janice, Priscilla, Dorothy, Ron, Karey and other Constitutional stalwarts had registered Constitution Party prior to the primary, each of them would be going head to head versus the GOP RINOs in the general election in November. That’s a fact.
I’m not listening to any more “reform from within” whining that a conservative third party would divide conservatives and pave the way for a leftist to win in the general election. Conservatives are still the majority by a wide margin in Idaho, and Democrats know this. In the general election, liberal progressives would have to choose between voting for their leftist messiahs (and get crushed) or vote for the RINO vs. the actual conservative Republicans who are simply registered as Constitution Party.
Incidentally, diluting the conservative vote is what Republicans do EVERY SINGLE PRIMARY. The “Ahlquist” factor typically has 3-4 Republicans running in key primary races, and the RINO Republican incumbent wins 9 out of 10 times, often with considerably less than 50% of the vote.
Honestly, with a RINO like Brad Little, who really cares if a Democrat becomes governor? What’s the difference?
A Democrat governor would actually force the majority “Republican” Idaho legislature to do its job, vetoing any unconstitutional Executive Orders that might be attempted by a Democrat.
And you know what? Constitutional Conservatives could always change their party affiliation back to Republican after the election if they wanted. Unprincipled? Not in the slightest. The means justify the Constitutional Conservative ends because we are at war for the future and very existence of our nation and our state.
In the general election, voter party registration doesn’t matter because all voters get to vote for whomever they want. So do Republicans want to stay loyal to the Republican party name and lose, or do they want to win, to lead and promote Constitutional Conservative values and policy?
Based on the 2022 primary results, it seems too many Idaho Republicans still want to lose the general election in the primary. Because that’s what just happened for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Secretary of State. Who needs Dems when you’ve got RINOs like Little, Bedke, McGrane, and Winder- and the rest of their watering carrying RINOs-in-waiting in the legislature?
Once Republicans realize we are at war- literally, war for the future of the Republic and Idaho- they will realize it’s time to change failed tactics.
Tags: Constitution Party of Idaho, Doug Nickle, Primary Election