Letter to the Editor: The Future of the Wyoming Republican Party

Dear Editor, Today marks another episode in the saga that is plaguing the Grand Old Party of Wyoming. The once powerful and successful political organization that we were proud to call our own has steadily declined to a state of disfunction and dereliction.

May 10, 20226 min read

Clikeman 5 11 22
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Sam Clikeman, Vice-Chairman
Campbell County Republican Party

Today marks another episode in the saga that is plaguing the Grand Old Party of Wyoming. The once powerful and successful political organization that we were proud to call our own has steadily declined to a state of disfunction and dereliction.

For several years now the party has struggled with an incredible amount of in-fighting, self-degeneration, and vociferous interactions that have created a party devoid of the ability to function at a basic level. With two of our most populous counties unable to participate in our State Convention, it can be portended that our future is becoming yet more grim.

The trajectory that our party is on will inevitably be the fall of the Republican Party in Wyoming if we do not work to change ourselves and become what Wyoming is truly capable of doing. The time has come to address and fix our failings and to engage our future to stop this downward spiral that we are on.

As the age of the party increases, there is a great need to work on a new generation of Republicans that will bring the party into the future. The problem continues though in that younger generations have no desire to associate with the Party.

Younger people that bring energy, new ideas, and a different view on life work to enhance and promote the work, experiences, and knowledge of our more “distinguished” generations. Yet as a party we continue to extirpate any possibility of them joining the organization.

We take up arbitrary causes that have nothing to do with life in Wyoming and that local Republicans do not even have the most infinitesimal possibility of changing. Continuing to spend time debating the merits of the United Nations at a county level illuminates an incredible aura of self-importance and dislocation from reality.

Our younger generations do not want to waste their time arguing with people for the sake of arguing on items that will have zero impact on anyone’s life in that room. Listening to vitriolic defense of resolutions that will never be more than a footnote on a meeting minute and give the speakers their moment to act as though they are changing the world from their micro-pulpit; does nothing to support the purpose of our party and works to keep out those whom we need to become better.

Yet there are incredibly important issues that local and state Republicans have the Duty to debate and resolve. Our state faces difficult times in the present and future that require the people of Wyoming to work together to solve. Issues that can be put into action through meritous resolutions, legislative and executive appeal, and candidate development.

We have people in our communities that have a strong desire to help this state that they love so much and the capabilities and profundity to truly give us a hand up. The caveat is they want to help though, not to spend their time on pedantic and mobocratic debates that will never result in change.

As we enter into an economic situation that is unparalleled in our living memories, we have also chosen to ostracize those willing to help in the name of idealistic purity. Ideals based on national issues that often have little to no relevance in the State of Wyoming; or in ways that only amendments in the United States Constitution have the possibility of resolving.

We can all agree that the 2nd Amendment is a vital liberty to the people of Wyoming, there’s no need for us to debate this at the county and state level when everyone in the room already agrees. Instead we should be enacting serious dialog, idea generation, and solution development on how we are going to fiscally sustain ourselves in the coming decades for instance.

If we as a party look to pull ourselves out of this degenerative hole of the extreme national politik, we can bring those into our party that we desperately need to solve real issues facing us and our progeny.

The younger generations that will carry this party forward want to be Republicans and they have all the ideals that have made this party great in the past. Despite what many believe in our interactions with the youth of this state, they are the future and it is our Obligation to help them become the leaders we need them to be.

We must work to educate and train them, learn from them, and empower them. Yet we are trying to force them to listen to us squabble and eat one-another alive, why would they waste their time with us? We show them that if they don’t believe in every single thing that a select few have decided is gospel, they cannot be Republicans.

We would never expect our spouse to believe in what we do 100%, but we expect it out of strangers that we have never met; the concept is asinine. So instead of bringing more people under out tent and harnessing the great minds we have in this state, we choose to take away the seat at the table of those that do not fall in line with the self-appointed plenipotentiaries of the party.

It is no wonder that our youth are choosing to join other parties or just stay out of the political environment all together; this has been done on our own volition. The model is unsustainable and will result in the complete spoliation of our party. 

We often lie to ourselves that the apathy of youth to our party is the result of a weak or spoiled generation, but throughout the history of humankind we have heard this from the older generations. And even if that is true, why would we let them falter? Should we not work to educate them and help them become better, or should we continue to be stuck in our ways and avoid the Responsibility all together?

Our party is at a cross-roads and currently we are in a state that does not bode well for our future. Will we continue to paint ourselves as pariahs and strive to contract our party as much as possible? Or will we work to progress the important ideals of Republicanism that derive from the initial foundings of our Great Nation by reaching out to the future?

Will we spend our time arguing over issues that will never come to fruition? Or will we work towards the plenitude of our people and solve real issues that face our Great State? The people of Wyoming have the ability and desire to do grand things. But if we continue to treat our party as such, immurement will surely be our future. Our future is still bright, but we must reach out and hold strong to our virtues. It will have to start at the local level as we elect our precinct people, but we can still save our Great Party.

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