Doug Camblin: Reagan’s Big Tent GOP Is The Best Future For Wyo

Guest columnist Doug Camblin writes: "I choose the Big Tent, where every Republicans' voice is welcome, where issues can be debated in a civil and respectful manner, where you have to check your bully weapons at the door and debate every issue on its merits."

Annaliese Wiederspahn

March 17, 20217 min read

Doug camblin head shot
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Hello Fellow Republicans

It is a wonderful time to be a Republican. Probably the most exciting time in our history. Why, you may ask? Because we have the opportunity to show what we stand for and what we are made of.

Are we the Big Tent party that President Reagan spoke of or are we the party that wants a purity test to prove how Republican we are. Will we be an inclusive party that supports and encourages Republicans to get involved with civic engagement at every level of our political process?

I choose the Big Tent, where every Republicans voice is welcome, where issues can be debated in a civil and respectful  manner, where you have to check your bully weapons at the door and debate every issue on its merits.

Where personal attacks will not be tolerated, where campaigns are based on the positive attributes of the candidate, not the negative fear generating tactic of, the world will come to an end if you vote for the other Republican. Honesty in campaigning is of the utmost importance.

These ideals are lofty goals I know. Goals should be set high enough to stretch us, while at the same time be attainable. These goals are attainable. Only with a party that is unified and singular in our vision.

I am not speaking of being robots that all walk, talk and think alike. I am saying we need to be unified in our vision that the Republican Party and its conservative values are the best way to govern our Great Nation and State. 

The Republican Party to me is an honorable institution that is based on conservative values, fair play in politics, and supporting what is good and honorable for all of society, not just the voting base that you were elected by.

Once elected you represent all of the citizens in the Precinct, City, County, State and Nation you are elected in. You get the grand opportunity to hear the concerns and needs of every citizen or agency in your specific jurisdiction.

Then comes the hard decisions and what makes the jobs so difficult and demanding. You have to make decisions based on your wisdom, experience and moral compass. You make decisions on your conscience  based on constitutional law. All decisions need to have a foundation in the law, for without law we have chaos. 

What we have happening in our Country and State and even locally is a scramble for unity. It seems there is a void in the leadership of our Party. A strong leader that we relied on is no longer there and there is now a struggle to find our balance, similar to a boxer who gets caught with a good punch is dazed and trying to find his balance so he can continue the fight.

We are far from knocked out, We need unity, both feet firmly planted on the foundation of our Party, our Constitution (all of it not just a couple of favorite’s) and trust in our political system, and trust in our elected officials.

We need strong leadership that is honest and fair. We have those leaders today, Our Governor of this Great State, Mark Gordon, Senator John Barrasso, Senator Cynthia Lummis, and Rep. Liz Cheney to name a few. 

When the final count is in and they are in office we need to support them. There is a tactic used by our opposing party to say they are not my President, or whatever position you want to add. Republicans are better than that. We are not sore losers.  When they take office we should not undermine them by silly censures or unfounded attempts at recall.

We have a system of term limits in place called elections. We need to focus on the future and plan on how we can do better to regain a position we lost.

One of my favorite analogies is, “The windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror for a reason”. Look to the future more than you look at the past, it is behind you, there is no redo button.

Unity is essential to achieve the goals of taking back the majority in the U.S, House, U.S. Senate, and Presidency. We cannot allow the gut wrenching spectacle of self annihilation go on any longer.

The vindictive actions of former President Trump have got to stop, they are counterproductive to unity and are down right mean spirited. These are not Republican values. I have read the transcript of President Trump’s speech to CPAC, numerous statements stood out.

First off, I know he uses hyperbole and is prone to exaggeration and that is his style. When he makes statements that he calls facts, such as there has never been a President that the crowd has chanted ” We Love You ” is a troubling statement and in my opinion severe narcissism.

When he called all of the Supreme Court Justices coward’s, all the Judges that heard his cases in over 60 court rooms cowards that are more than hyperbole that is just plain wrong.

In both cases his administration appointed or nominated many of these honorable men to fill those seats. His statement that there were tens of millions of fraudulent votes cast in his favor that were not counted and would have changed the results of the election is more than exaggeration, it is a complete misrepresentation of the facts. These are just a few of the falsehoods that he tried to present as the truth.

When President Trump on January 6, 2021 called V.P. Pence a coward, I lost all respect for President Trump, V.P. Pence had campaigned for him and stood by him at every turn.

For President Trump to turn his back on him because he chose that his oath of office was more sacred than doing Trump’s bidding is reprehensible. He attended the inaugural ceremony, unlike President Trump who left town and refused to attend. So who is the coward?

In the writing of this I am very aware that calling out the former President may not be seen as very unifying. President Trump has vowed to defeat our Honorable Representative at all cost, so in comparison to that divisive behavior this article is nothing. 

I encourage all Republicans to recognize that the policies of theTrump administration were good and beneficial to our country and economy. Trump’s bully type style was not.

That style cost the Republican Party the majority in the House in 2018, The Senate and Presidency in 2020. Those Conservative values and policies are not exclusive to Donald Trump. Those values and policies have been a vital part of the Republican Party long before DT was born.

I will support Republican candidates that would be able to promote these products of Conservatism. Stand up Republicans support civil, respectful campaigns and denounce the negative hate filled candidates that only promote fear and distrust. 

Unity is, promoting our Grand Ole Party and it’s Conservative ideals with decency and respect for others.

Doug Camblin is a rancher, small businessman,precinct man for the Republican Central Committee 7-1 in Campbell County, and one of the founders of the Frontier Republicans.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter