In our continuing series on the political parties (Could we say that we’re “fair and balanced™?), we speak with Ginny Chambers, the La Plata County Republican Vice Chair, who wants to tell you a thing or two about conservatism. [Editor’s note: To read last week’s Get Smart on the Democratic Party with Jean Walter, chairwoman of the La Plata Democratic Central and Executive Committees got to dgomag.com]
How long have you worked for the Republican Party?For La Plata County, I’ve been the vice chair for almost two years. I was the president of Southwest Republican Women the two years before that, and then I worked in D.C. for Congress when I was in college. So … junior high or high school?
What appeals to you about the Republican Party?Individual freedom, less government. Protecting our military, protecting our small businesses and small business owners, lower taxes. The will of the people. I don’t think the government should have so much control, and to me, that’s what conservatism means.
Is it hard to be young and conservative?When I first got involved here in Durango, I was shocked at how many people were like, “Oh, my god, aren’t you scared? Aren’t you worried you won’t get a job, or you’ll be discriminated against?” I’ve received many threats, and a lot of people have tried to hurt me for being a Republican leader, but I’m not scared of them. I’ve been made fun of, but you have to be tough and you can’t let it get to you. I really feel that people treat me that way because they see me making a difference and they’re scared of it.
What would you say to the first time voter about the Republican Party?I’m big on the term “conservatism.” I think that the parties have become a little – ridiculous. Both of them, to be honest. What I would tell people is to educate themselves. Watch and read the news – all of the news. People think that as a Republican, I only watch Fox News. I actually watch them all. My minor was history, so I pride myself on studying. There’s so much more than the presidential election – we have County Commissioner races, the state legislature, a tax raise, an amendment to the state constitution. You need to read everything. When Nancy Pelosi was talking about Obamacare and said, “We have to pass it before we can know what’s in it,” – that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. I don’t care if you’re Democrat, Republican, Libertarian. If you don’t understand what you’re voting for, then refrain from voting. You can vote on one thing and abstain from another. If you aren’t sure, don’t just pick a side because somebody told you to do that. Educate yourself, make up your own mind.
Do the parties need each other?Democrats have taken a very progressive approach, and some Republicans have gotten away from the conservatism that I believe in. I think both parties have changed tremendously. John F. Kennedy would be considered a Republican today. I was watching some of his speeches on the History Channel the other day, and he doesn’t speak like Hillary and other Democrats. His views are not progressive. I have a lot of Democratic friends who are not progressive, so I don’t think that has always existed in the Democratic Party. The Republicans – not every Republican, please don’t misconstrue what I’m about to say – but a lot of the party has really swayed so that they’re only concerned with re-election. That’s one reason that I like Trump. He’s not part of that old school gang. I worked in D.C. I saw them together. I know the back-door politics. I know how that stuff works, and I think a lot of politicians don’t really care about anything beside getting re-elected. Sorry, I digressed. I think yes, there has to be a balance. We can’t all be the same. We need free thinkers. But both parties have swayed from what their core values are – on both sides.
What do you find compelling about politics?I am fascinated by the fact that we are one of the only countries on Earth in which we can actually have a voice. We, the citizens, are the government. Unfortunately, the government we have today makes us feel like we have to rely upon them. We shouldn’t have to rely on the government. They are there to protect our country, take care of our military – those kinds of things. We don’t need the federal government making state regulations. We’re one of the most diverse countries on the planet! You go from California to New York, the Midwest, Colorado! Why does the federal government think they need to have their hand in everybody’s business? That’s not what the federal government was set up to do. The federal government forgets that it’s our taxes that pay for each and every one of their salaries. They’re not God. They’ve overreached and overstepped their bounds. We, the people, American citizens – we’re smart individuals who can make our own decisions and form our own opinions. We don’t need the federal government to regulate everything. Here’s the thing, after November 8th, we’re all still Americans. We’re one of the greatest countries on Earth! I think that people forget that at the end of the day, after everything is said and done, we still live on American soil and we need to be proud to be American.
Cyle Talley would like to cast his ballot … for Kris Bryant for the NL MVP. If there’s anything you’d like to Get Smart about, email him at: [email protected]