Inside voices, please ! This is a phrase I am sure many, if not all of us are familiar with, whether we learned it from our mothers or from a teacher in elementary school.
Most commonly this phrase has been used to settle down rowdy little children who have been playing outside, either on the playground or in the backyard. It is understandable that after being outside shouting across the playground or down the block, that children who have gotten themselves all worked up, can tend to take some time to settle down and again remember to use their inside voices.
I use this analogy because I have noticed that many newcomers to the GOP have not yet remembered to use their inside voices. Now I am not talking about inside a home or a school, but inside the workings of the Republican party.
The election cycle of 2010 in particular was a boisterous time for the GOP across the nation and in Delaware, maybe more so here in Sussex County, Delaware. Sussex was the base of the conservative movement here in Delaware, the place where the outsiders fought the hardest to become insiders and to have a voice within the party leadership.
I count myself among them, and trust me I shouted as loud as I could with my outside voice demanding to be heard. There were quite a few of us and we used phrases like, grass-roots, bottom up politics, rank and file, outsiders. We challenged our counterparts within the party with phrases like, insiders, elitist, establishment and the all time favorite RINOS!
We worked very hard to be heard, we would talk to anyone who would listen, and if they wouldn’t hear, then we would talk louder, we would accuse the party of being set against us, and in many cases the party was, there clearly was a mind-set of insiders v. outsiders. So we outsiders felt vindicated in using our loudest outsider’s voices. And we made some gains and suffered some losses.
After the 2010 elections were over we kept right on shouting, especially here in Sussex, until we had forced leadership to listen and in some cases forced a change in leadership. Many of the former outsiders became insiders, I again count myself among those as well.
We took on roles within the party, we became election district chairman, representative district chairman and even chairman and vice-chairman of the county committee, we became, insiders.
When the election was over I asked someone of whom I had gained a lot of respect for, what now? He said to me, “now it’s up to you guys to rebuild the party”.
I took this both as instruction and as a challenge and so became a working member of the Sussex County Executive Committee at the lowest level, an E D. I was not alone, many of my fellow outsiders took up the same challenge and answered the call. We were no officially insiders.
I had been challenged in a similar manner several years previously to become more involved or stop whining, so I started coming to meetings, but did not right away feel I was ready to be a working member. After the elections and after becoming a member I felt I should start at the bottom and gain experience before seeking to move up.
Others were not so patient, they sought out leadership roles immediately, and in some case seemed to use their positions within the party, simply to position themselves for a run at an elected office.
However, even though they had become a part of the party, either as a working member or as a candidate, or as both, they still are running around shouting with their outside voices. They are still hyper – critical of all things GOP, they still portray themselves as above and separate from the party. they have no problem using the infrastructure of the party for their own benefit, all the while condemning the party.
Either they have yet to realize that they have become insiders, the establishment, or they are as shallow and agenda driven as those they sought to run from the party in 2010.
I hope that no one counts me among these few noisy children. I made a committment when I became a working member of the party, that being, to work for the good of the party, while not compromising my principles and values, but to move the party forward and to lend my voice to the choir, not to seek only the solo. Many do not see it this way. They continue to portray themselves as outsiders, and continue to use their outside voices to condemn and to berate all things Republican.
In my short time as a working member of the GOP I have attempted to see with open eyes, while others have seen with their eyes wide shut. I have attempted to speak with a conservative voice, but at a level that does not offend or insult those with a less conservative viewpoint. I will continue to work within the party until such time as I feel that I can make no real change, and then I will again step outside, and trust me, I will again use my outside voice.
There are some good people who simply have not realized that they are still shouting, even though they have come inside, there are others that have no idea what an inside voice sounds like and they never will. I encourage all to try to find their own inside voice, more people will listen to a whisper, than a shout.
So to all of my fellow, former outsiders, inside voices please.