Spring is coming, and we excitedly await the arrival of both to our area farmersâ€™ markets.
If that is truly the best we can do for community outreach, we learned NOTHING from the 2016 election or its aftermath.
At this weekâ€™s Fairfax County Republican Committee Meeting, the business of the committee was to quickly rush through the standard reports. Â The announcement that generated the most excitement and applause was about our upcoming effort to rent booths at as many farmersâ€™ markets as we can staff with volunteers.
What about the budget? What about planning our political action for the year? Â A resounding preface by the Chairman that itâ€™s â€œpretty much the sameâ€ and â€œnothing really newâ€ â€“ the budget passed unanimously, or nearly so. Â No one cared about abstentions; those of us who would want more information were in the minorityâ€¦ Because numbers are hard? Because we donâ€™t care?
The point isnâ€™t how much we spend â€“ rather, what are we spending on? What are our priorities? Why do we invest the same amount, in the same things, year over year? Â Having ceded ground in local elections for over a decade, wouldnâ€™t it make sense to reexamine our efforts? Â For example, the thousands of dollars and innumerable hours spent on Back To School Night brochures â€“ are they worth the effort? (I would argue that NO, theyâ€™re a complete waste of time and money. But they are a sacred cow â€œbecause weâ€™ve always done themâ€ and â€œbecause the volunteers like doing it better than door-to-doorâ€). Â The sheer inanity of these reasons boggles the mind.
What should we do instead? Oh, I donâ€™t knowâ€¦ maybe some ACTIVISM?! Â While fundraisers and GOP breakfasts and internal events are fun and our safe spaces, how about getting out of our comfort zones? How about making a concerted effort to attend, participate, sign up to speak at the School Board meetings? Board of Supervisors meetings? Legislative town halls? Board of Zoning Appeals meetings?
Weâ€™re losing ground, while opponents are actively engaging in real political activism. Itâ€™s time the Fairfax County Republican Committee started acting like a political organization instead of a social club. Â Letâ€™s reexamine our priorities â€“ QUICK â€“ before we lose everything.