Spring is coming, and we excitedly await the arrival of both to our area farmers’ 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 week’s Fairfax County Republican Committee Meeting, the business of the committee was to quickly rush through the standard reports. The announcement that generated the most excitement and applause was about our upcoming effort to rent booths at as many farmers’ markets as we can staff with volunteers.
What about the budget? What about planning our political action for the year? A resounding preface by the Chairman that it’s “pretty much the same” and “nothing really new” – the budget passed unanimously, or nearly so. No one cared about abstentions; those of us who would want more information were in the minority… Because numbers are hard? Because we don’t care?
The point isn’t how much we spend – rather, what are we spending on? What are our priorities? Why do we invest the same amount, in the same things, year over year? Having ceded ground in local elections for over a decade, wouldn’t it make sense to reexamine our efforts? For example, the thousands of dollars and innumerable hours spent on Back To School Night brochures – are they worth the effort? (I would argue that NO, they’re a complete waste of time and money. But they are a sacred cow “because we’ve always done them” and “because the volunteers like doing it better than door-to-door”). The sheer inanity of these reasons boggles the mind.
What should we do instead? Oh, I don’t know… maybe some ACTIVISM?! 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?
We’re losing ground, while opponents are actively engaging in real political activism. It’s time the Fairfax County Republican Committee started acting like a political organization instead of a social club. Let’s reexamine our priorities – QUICK – before we lose everything.