Freeport, Illinois – An interesting discussion is taking place in Stephenson County.
Yesterday, resident Martha Furst proposed a question to Chairman of the Stephenson County Republican party Andrew Chesney, whereby she asked him what the Committee’s position was on endorsing Donald Trump.
In a post she initiated on Facebook, Martha asked;
“Andrew, what is the Stephenson County Republican Committee’s position on endorsing Mr. Trump? With the large number of leading Republicans dropping their support, I and others are interested. Thanks in advance for you responding“.
Her question prompted an interesting discussion among some City and County residents.
First, Andrew Chesney responded by saying, “The stated mission of the Stephenson County Republican Central Committee is to promote the election of Republicans in local, state and national races. This has been the long-standing position of our local party and is unlikely to change“.
In other words, the Stephenson County Republican Party is not abandoning Donald Trump. The question however, has been proposed.
Doesn’t this topic bring up a more important discussion though?
Unless you’ve stayed away from national political news, odds are you’ve heard the question proposed of whether or not the Republican party is going to continue to stand behind Donald Trump due to accusations made against him. The discussion is heated on both sides of the isle with finger pointing at Clinton’s own transgressions too and once again, our country is up in arms over what they feel are “the issues” on either side.
Responding to Mr. Chesney though, Martha questions him further.
“So you’ll keep your Trump sign up, I guess, with no qualms or hesitations? You don’t sound like you even weighed the issue, Andrew.” She goes on to say, “I’m glad other Republican leaders are looking at the situation differently. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised? But disappointing nonetheless“.
Amidst the media fueled responses that ensued such as “this Republican will not support or vote for Trump, and I made that decision long before his rapey tendencies were revealed” and “Hillary Clinton who is a liar who doesn’t even understand the word honesty or integrity“, there were a few great thoughts added by others to the discussion.
Rick Bastian added, “Given the current climate of our national political races, I feel that it wouldn’t be helping anyone by continuing to add to the already over saturation of negativity that is coming from both sides of the aisle. Considering the local issues that you face there in Stephenson County, I believe it is best to put your energy in what most pressing, jobs, education, lower local taxes, crime prevention. Ultimately who becomes President won’t matter one way or another in your everyday life“.
Dean Wright said, “Rick, you are right on point. Shaming and damning each other and further dividing our own community over a national election wrought with bad choices and negativity from both sides, does little to further the debate, discussion, ideas and energies of moving our own community forward“.
Mike Marten also added his thoughts. “As much as the national stage gets the fireworks, it is my opinion that me must act locally. I understand questioning our local party office about their stance of the presidential race, but if we can continue to provide positive outlooks locally, hopefully the change will resonate at a county, then state, then national level. Respect thy neighbor!“
Some great responses and numerous thoughts that we happen to share.
While we need to point out that this is a Facebook post and in no way do we imply that anyone’s comments are their final and complete thoughts on the matter, we would like to extend the discussion a little.
For most people, (we’ll go out on a limb with this), those of us who live here, own businesses here and those of us who genuinely want our city and county to thrive and prosper, all we want is for our community to do well. Most of us could care less what happens “out there”. We care about what’s here.
We care about our city, our people, our jobs and our economy. Some of the comments eluded to that as well but we ask, aren’t we still missing something?
See, over the past 20 years Freeport, among so many other U.S. cities, has suffered immensely. The jobs are gone and we all know it. Not just jobs either.
While we’ll be the first to say that we have four walls to worry about first, which are our own, one cannot ignore the question that if it’s a mess “out there” how does that not affect our great ideas or potential here?
It has an affect or otherwise, how did we get here in the first place? How did we lose all our jobs if we can simply solve our problems from within?
This is a discussion that needs a real answer and a real solution.
While we think there are some good responses here, we’d like to propose an extended thought and it starts with Martha’s question.
Is it the right question to begin with? Are any of us asking the right questions?
We get the feeling that since Martha doesn’t like Trump, for that she repeats the “as seen on tv” line and questions the party. Fair enough we suppose, but we only ask, how would either answer matter to the state of our nation or our city anyway? Why is that the question – or even a question.
Why is there always a line in the American sand?
See, the general public doesn’t debate such things as jobs, the economy, crime, business and world peace between us. We’ are not on that “same” page.
No one says, “oh yeah, well my candidate is going to do…XXXX”. That’s not the discussion and it so desperately needs to be.
Because of our present day reality show politics (and we’re going back some decades) sadly, having an honest debate about candidates, real issues, plans and objectives just isn’t possible. We are SO influenced by the outside world it just makes us sad for us.
The rhetoric and regurgitated “battle words” do nothing but divide and separate people. Worse, it confuses and sidetracks everyone. Our elected officials do matter. Choosing a President (and on down the line) matters.
So staying on that tone, we would like to offer our response to this topic and open it for discussion.
First, we feel Rick is absolutely correct. We are best to put our energy here in what’s most pressing and Dean and Mike’s points are great but we only ask, how do you change that culture?
Sure, we can continue to provide positive outlooks locally and put our energy in our local pressing needs such as jobs, education, lower local taxes, crime prevention, etc… but we NEED the outside. We need and use Federal and State funding. We need less regulations, less taxes and that is not all controlled or influenced locally. Neither is our crime problem.
Don’t we also need the outside to just shut their mouth sometimes? Do their “opinions” not in fact affect our people here? Do the policies not as well?
While sure, we can focus our energies locally, we are all in this together. We can’t ignore the urgency in selecting the right local, state and national leaders, nor can we ignore the influence that the outside has on our inside. Again, it has an affect on us otherwise, how did we get here in the first place?
It’s not just going to be positive news, some new apartments and retail storefronts that bring us to where we all want to be. The reality here is that we are fighting an American culture war. A social war and everyone’s greedy. Everyone.
Like so many other perils we face, the topics out there, become the topics in here. Our presidential battle didn’t start from within. It started “out there” and filtered to within. So how do you stop the outside filter which so heavily influences our small little Pretzel City culture? How do you get everyone here in Freeport on THAT “American” page?
Do we build a wall?
While this may be our opinion yes, we say that absent small and medium successes here and there that any local effort may see, this is where (and only where) a real culture change (jobs, crime, economy, well-being) in a city, region, state (and what Mike said), even the nation will ever come in. That’s when laws change. If you think back when “things were good”, our culture was different as well. They go hand in hand.
Our community can move mountains, sure, any community can but you’re socially outnumbered, you’re nationally outspoken and it’s going to take nearly everyone right here, together, unified to make that happen. Not some of you, not parts of you, all of US.
Martha’s question only exposes how difficult that can be.
So can anyone answer, “How do we get to THAT place”? A true community. True, common unity.
It’s just going to be the same old song and dance if we don’t find a way, which perhaps can be best put, “if this were the time we were fighting for our independence, unified in our mission to form our own nation, America would have never been. We would have merely fought among ourselves and never even reached the battle ground because we would have never agreed in unity. We would have imploded before we even took the first step“.
Feel free to chime in any thoughts.