We’ve heard a lot of election-season claims from the Summit Republicans over the last few months. But the most questionable claim they’ve made (and there have been many) has got to be their drumbeat defense of “national politics doesn’t matter in a local race.” We beg to differ.
Two-thirds of Republicans around the country believe the bonkers theory that the 2020 election was stolen. This, despite the fact that court-challenge after court-challenge was thrown out, and even SCOTUS dashed their dreams of Trump rising again. Recounts have continually come back overwhelmingly in favor of President Biden’s victory. Evidence continues to mount that the Insurrection was an inside job at the highest levels of government. Despite every piece of evidence to the contrary, Republicans continue to believe — and peddle — this conspiracy theory that is slowly destroying the fabric of our country.
So where do the Summit Republicans stand on The Big Lie? Given they proclaim themselves to be proud Republicans, it’s a logical question to ask. So why won’t they answer? Optics. While they gladly accept the support of the NJ Republican Party Chairman (a Trump mega-donor and enabler), Gubernatorial candidate (anti-vaxxer, pro-gun, etc, ad nauseam), and lower-level contenders for office, they pretend that this influence doesn’t affect their plans for governance. They rightly realize that being a Republican these days comes with a lot of baggage: voter suppression, human rights abuses, degradation of our environment, not acting to stem overwhelming and rising gun violence — and while the list goes on and on, possibly the most cynical and destructive stance Republicans must take is that “personal freedom” trumps public health.
Why does this matter? Not only does it speak to a person’s basic value system, but it truly affects their ability to serve with public trust. If someone believes The Big Lie and proudly touts their political persuasion, what does that mean for the way they will govern?
Here in Summit, we’ve lately been barraged with a litany of smaller, but still destructive lies. Postcard after postcard arrives in our mailbox from the Summit Republicans, pretending at civility, “optimism” and “building bridges” but undercut by a cynical spin meant to sow discontent and discord among neighbors. It’s a hard pill to swallow for anyone paying attention, especially given that as we emerge from a worldwide pandemic, Summit is thriving — our downtown, our housing market, our public health, our schools, our lowered tax bills all point to that fact.
There’s The Big Lie, and then there’s a multitude of little ones. Each chips away at us as a community. Summit deserves better than to be pandered and lied to. Fight back — and defend our community — this Tuesday at the ballot box.