This election season in Frederick County comes at another pivotal moment of change for our county. What that change will look like, depends on us, but change will be unavoidable. With city elections coming up this November, and county, state and federal elections next year, we are inheritors to legacies not our own, and as such it seems prudent to remember our responsibility at this moment.
These elections come in a unique moment in our history. Folks fear that their institutions have failed us. Our community faces skyrocketing costs while wages stagnate and businesses struggle. Meanwhile, too many Frederick citizens fear that we may not be able to pass on a better future to our kids. Information is diffuse, yet often seems elusive. Media actors in traditional and new media can often be corrosive, parasitical and polarizing.
While we know there were dumber times to be alive, few were so well documented. Frankly, if 1817-1825 was the Era of Good Feelings, this often feels like just the opposite.
I don’t list these to be negative. Our community also lives in amazing times of relative historical and global prosperity and pluralism. We are such a target of growth because of all the great things Frederick has to offer.
We know the toxicity we will face this campaign season. Unfortunately, recent times have taught many that negative partisanship is effective in mobilizing voters. As such, there will be those who try to divide our community. Like Harold Hill in Meridith Wilson’s musical “The Music Man,” there will always be “Trouble in River City,” as hucksters manufacture drama and inspire fear.
Politics is polarizing. That’s fine. We need clear issue-based distinctions from which folks can choose, and for those elected to meaningfully govern.
However, what concerns so many is not bold colors compared to pale pastels, but rather how deleterious polarization breeds distrust and animosity in the community. It’s based less on issues and more on identify and performative actions. It feeds a dark spiral of hurled accusations and insults that divide communities while preventing any chance for reconciliation. We get mired in conflict rather than engaged in conversation. Worse yet, it turns off so many from the political arena: from running for office, volunteering and even staying informed.
While I’m concerned about these trends in our community at large, as the president of the Republican Club, this consternation redounds heavily in our own party.
During this primary season, we’re going to be afforded many options. That’s a good thing. But how we conduct ourselves over the next few months will be critical. We can build our party as a big, welcoming tent with open doors that embraces principles of pluralism and free speech, truth and growth, or we can shout down each other and fight until our big tent is no bigger than an outhouse.
You’ll see many try to force others into a predetermined box: that you’re either this Republican or that. I submit that unless they are on a ballot against each other, these are false choices. Most have never met a person, much less a politician, with whom they have agreed completely.
Purity tests are the weapons of the weak. One will always fail them. For the most extreme, nobody will ever be woke, anti-racist, conservative or Trumpy enough. My advice: don’t play that game. Every voter should have the freedom to define themselves. It’s beautifully complex, and I’m here for it.
The Republican Party is at a voter deficit in Frederick County. We will not grow with witch hunts and purges, but rather by serving as a loadstar of the principles for which we stand. Chief among those principles are: Limited government, strong national defense, fiscal responsibility, equal rights, justice and opportunity, law and order, respect for the Constitution, free enterprise within the market economy, individual responsibility and love of God, family and country.
These are the principles our Club believes should provide a principled beacon for folks in our community. Come as you are. Conformity is odious. Unity is overrated, while comity is a path forward.
I’m willing to double down a bet on the people of Frederick County. We will not fall prey to the hucksters and bad actors. We will reject calls to divide us into performative boxes. We will remember that while we may disagree with our neighbors, we are not enemies. We will because we can choose to do so. It’s on us.
Some may call this naive.
I won’t deny that I’m an elder millennial who wants to break from the cycles of grievances that have bogged down our era. When talking to voters all across the county, I’m more convinced than ever that decency, principle and virtue are what draw folks to the flame.
Legacy is important: our history, traditions, principles and heroes moor us. After all, a society without heroes is a society lost. A community without an anchor is left adrift. A people without shoulders on which to stand will struggle to reach. A world without a history can be manipulated by the worst actors.
We are inheritors to a legacy not our own. We are the caretakers. We cannot sit this one out. We must find it in ourselves to innovate, grow and teach the world new ways to dream. We need folks to be active participants in our future getting involved. Now is the time to start.
Dylan Diggs is the president of the Republican Club of Frederick County.
"For the most extreme, nobody will ever be woke, anti-racist, conservative or Trumpy enough. My advice: don’t play that game. Every voter should have the freedom to define themselves. It’s beautifully complex, and I’m here for it." I could not have said it better. Thank you.
Principled pluralism, Mr. Diggs, certifies elections and doesn't offer a "Stop the Steal" narrative. Principled pluralism shows at the 9/11 commemorations. Principled pluralism isn't you and my former party anymore, Mr. Diggs. Principled pluralism doesn't stand on the steps of the Capitol like Margorie Taylor Greene and scream at her fellow representatives, regardless of their views. Wake up, you own all of this by still being on the island.
As honey draws flies, a rational, articulate and thoughtful exposition on politics and culture by a credentialed Republican excites progressives into a primitive state of rabid incensement. Some of them are even taking to harassing those they perceive as political enemies and apostates by following them into public restrooms while videoing their prey as they sling their perverse and profane diatribes.
Perhaps the "prey" would be less video-worthy if they were less perverse and profane.
Boundaries .....I wonder if V is this upset when credentialed Republican's follow women on public sidewalks into a medical office( to have a safe legal medical procedure) while videoing them as they sling their perverse and profane diatribes, to women just exercising their boundaries?
You sound like Anne Coulter, was that your intent?
Any death threats??
I'd love to see the insanity in your e-mail, Veritas. It's got to be some crazy a@@ stuff.
Certainly the republican party that Mr. Diggs describes no longer exists; that is the problem. The Republican party of 40 years ago is what he describes and that was fine. The current Republican party is basically a cult of personality with increasingly tenuous links to reality that no longer shares the values of Mr. Diggs.
Veritas, you may want to help out Dylan not discouraged him.
I thought the point of the letter was to attract membership, not to discourage them 🤷♂️. So you are saying Republicans can’t be progressive?… In support of social reforms that meet the times and needs of the current future society? Didn’t republicans free the slaves? That was progressive. Right? Didn’t Eisenhower build the freeway system across the country? That was progressive. Didn’t Nixon end the draft? That was progressive. Didn’t Ford give amnesty to draft dodgers? That was progressive. Didn’t Reagan usher in “the new conservative movement” that you fashion yourself as, “distrust of government” and “building from the ground roots” up? That was progressive.
Not to mention, Theodore ( affectionately known as Teddy) Roosevelt ( a legacy republican) ran as a progressive for the presidency. That led to the progressive part of the Republican Party, eventually joining forces with the labor class of the Democratic Party. Which chased out the ‘old-school racist’ from Democrats to Republicans. Those Dixiecrats now are the majority of the party. Right?
"...a primitive state of rabid incensement..." Do you roll your Rs when you talk like that?
As long as Trump is the hero of the Republicans, they will have trouble winning elections - at least the POTUS. Sure, Trump can win the primary, let him! It just ensures that a Democrat will win the general election. Conservatism makes some sense, being a Trumpist doesn't.
According to Mr. Diggs, these are the bedrock principles of the Republican party: Limited government, strong national defense, fiscal responsibility, equal rights, justice and opportunity, law and order, respect for the Constitution, free enterprise within the market economy, individual responsibility and love of God, family and country."
Let me fix that: "strong national defense, love of God (but only one, and most of His teachings are ignored) and family."
Those are the only planks that unite conservatives at this point.
Unfortunately seems about right.👆🏻
I haven't posted this link in a few years. It shows people trying to shout down a religious invocation at a government meeting.
One area where Mr. Diggs could make the tent bigger rather than smaller would be jettisoning the "principle" of love for God. Besides, respecting the constitution with it's twin guarantees of freedom of and freedom from religion pretty much covers the ground.
If Diggs is unfamiliar with Barry Goldwater's view on a closely related subject, I'll put those here:
"Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible (darn) problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."
And here is C. S. Lewis quote: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
CSL said something sensible every so often.
I like to believe Dylan means well, in his Camelot image of the Republican Party. But there’s reality: It shows in the candidates that rise to the top like Majorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and local candidates. The party of his memories has long gone. Hijacked. If he chooses to run again for local or state office in Maryland, he’ll whined up with the same results, his own party won’t nominate him. They’re not who he wishes they were 🤷♂️.
Mr. Diggs needs be honest with himself does he want the nomination of a party that has allowed candidates like Majorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and local candidates to rise to the top? What was that line from Rick and Morty ??
"Your Boos Mean Nothing, I've Seen What Makes You Cheer. "
“While we know there were dumber times to be alive, few were so well documented.” I enjoyed this sentence.
The Republiban Party of Trump as it exists at this moment bears absolutely no resemblance to the Republican Party of 25 years ago that Mr. Diggs is fantasizing about here. The Republiban Party of Trump I see threatens School Boards and Election Officials and LGBTQ Supporters and anti-maskers and anti-vaxers and anyone who doesn’t believe that Donald John Trump is still President with bodily harm and hate talk. BTW, I am a lifelong Real Republican of 60 years who has just about given up on this crowd we see today. It’s a long way back Mr. Diggs.
Oops, I meant maskers and vaxers not anti-same.
Truthfully, while those were the planks, they were there just for messaging. Nothing has really changed as an outside observer other than they are now saying the inside stuff on the outside. That is literally the only difference.
The people that you see turning firehoses and POC in the streets during the Civil Rights Era are the real conservatism and we are seeing a return back to the same Republicans that we knew where there the whole time.
I guess growing up in Montgomery County and living in Columbia in Howard County, arguably one of the most diverse Cities in the Country, and not being a POC, I never saw the degree of Racism you have, until I came here that is, so I won’t pretend to define the Republican Party you saw. But there were some very good politicians in both Parties in Maryland with a fair representation of Blacks at the local level. And don’t forget, George Wallace and Bull Connor were Democrats.
Well said Mr. Diggs. It never fails. Someone writes an intelligent letter extolling the virtue of thoughtful political discussion and the responses are vitriolic, partisan and vindictive. Which is why we need more people in leadership roles like Mr. Diggs in our community.
So can you explain to us what exactly Mr. Diggs is saying...because obviously you are the audience he's speaking to? I agree Mr. Diggs letter sounded intelligent, but lacked honesty. You saw honesty in Mr. Diggs words, can you perhaps explain why Mr. Diggs letter spoke to you? Most of us saw.....dishonesty in Mr. Diggs words.
Let's have an honest discussion shall we ? A thoughtful political discussion without calling names...cause I think you were calling us names.
I would like to know what honesty you saw in Mr. Diggs words that I didn't?
@Polite W. Woman aka N.W. aka P.P. aka L&M
I know. I don't speak in platitudes.
What I know is what I have observed that the GOP platform is centrally grounded in nationalism, theocracy and fascism.
I don't care what they put on the flyers. This is the ground truth I have observed in practice.
What’s virtuous about the Republican mayoral candidate that won the nomination with a measly defeat over his Republican opponent with only 472 votes in a city with 11,000 registered Republican voters? Help me out, what’s virtuous about a republican candidate for mayor who banters a gun and chokes his girlfriend to unconsciousness? What’s your thoughts 💭? Let’s discuss.
The only policy goal for conservatives at this point is to "Own Tha Libs". That's it and it can fit on a bumper sticker.
How long till we see pickups with truck nuts and this as a bumper sticker?
Who's are you trying to talk to Mr Sesquipedalian?
His audience is his fellow Republicans. I wish he had openly addressed the ~60% of our party who believe Trump lost because of election fraud. I don't know if he would consider this a purity test but I'm not voting for a candidate who agrees with that. Such a candidate is either dishonest or delusional.
[thumbup]Pub-Red. I don't see a path forward until all of the GOP acknowledges that we have a good honest election system. Otherwise we are no better than Russia.
You can't get people to embrace fascism if you believe in fair elections. They are trying to get conservatives to reject democracy.
I have been beating this drum for a while now with the quote from David Frum:
“Maybe you do not care much about the future of the Republican Party. You should. Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. The will reject democracy.”
The Big Lie is one major step in trying to ram fascism down the gullet of the American electorate. The Third Reich established that it is possible to rule a country with only a third of the population. Guess how much of the population would easily fall in line with modern conservatism?
[thumbup]public Yes, Rs have an optics problem.
It is more than an optics problem.
I read articles/columns etc. from the bottom up and newspapers etc. from the back to the front...makes more sense when I do it that way...this line stuck out for me and made me wonder did Mr. Diggs pen this letter before or after the big reveal article on Steve Hammrick?
"I’m willing to double down a bet on the people of Frederick County. We will not fall prey to the hucksters and bad actors."
I am hoping he penned this LTE before because otherwise he's just trolling us......and or the FNP is trolling him by publishing it now? If this letter was penned after the big reveal then well Mr. Diggs is not interested in having an honest conversation, he just likes to hear himself talk in big words.
Big words. So that people will “assume it was smart, even if they don't really know what it was about because they can't understand the words”
It just read like a pep rally for a team that’s getting kind of desperate.
Hey weren't we just talking about ethics and morals yesterday? Yeah it was yesterday....obviously we may need to discuss those again today?
I wonder what Mr. Diggs ethics and morals are? It was hard to tell from his letter of big words...LOL Honesty seems to be lacking.....
Jan Gardner has been an exceptionally good county executive. It will be hard to replace her. But when it comes to the Republican Party, you guys have bigger problems. You have no platform, no policies, only “glow and doom”, wreak of racism and your candidates suck: choking out girls, solicit prostitutes or state candidates that are Trump lapdogs, like Dan Cox - won’t win my vote.
With candidates like that , you guys need to start with working on self-improvement before pushing hot-air 🥵.
Oops! 🙊 “Gloom & doom”
A pity. I thought "glow and doom" to be an innovation. How "radioactive" of me.
Yah, If the GOP can get rid of its bad actors and not stick its middle finger out at world, then it will be well positioned to earn back the respect it once had.
It would also go a long way if they all acknowledged accepted scientific principals: global warming, evolution, the metric system, etc.
"...the metric system...". [beam]
The metric system is socialist, doncha know. Cubits are conservative-approved though.
Yes, can you imagine the uproar from conservatives when president AOC says we are going metric?
Instead of looking for a Republican candidate that you can back maybe just accept that they were never what they advertised and that possibly you have always been a Democrat.
The final stage of grief is acceptance.
NMP I think if people actually took the time to really understand how most right leaning policies hurt them---mostly in their wallet---the would realize They are more left and right. But they won’t.
We still have a sports team mentality in choosing and following political parties. It's easy and intellectually lazy, but it is the default for most. I am guilty of having done it in the past.
People really need to chose country over party if we are going to remain a Democracy and with polls showing a large number of MAGA in favor of succeeding. I know they won't because their leadership knows that their individual Red States would starve to death without Blue States states to forcing them to enact less hurtful policies by comparison. But, they sure are fine with splitting the country into pieces.
Guess who else in the world specifically wants the US to break up like their country was broken up?
Good letter, Mr. Diggs.
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