Let's Get Back in the Game!

I’m an elected precinct committeeman for McLean County Republicans. I’m also a huge sports fan. Because of these interests, I sometimes use sports analogies to make political points with others. The word analogy is rooted in the Greek word logos, which means “reason.” It is often easier to reason or make a point using an analogy. “She’s as blind as a bat” and “He’s as busy as a bee” are two common analogies that drive home a point. (To continue, click the link above.)

Having been a precinct committeeman for over a year now, I’ve repeatedly walked my precinct here in Central Illinois, called on known Republicans, conservatives, and convincible voters, visited with neighbors at random while out walking or seeing them in the supermarket. I recently completed a phone survey of the most consistent Republican voters in my precinct. After three weeks of calling and speaking to over 100 individuals, I came away with a general impression I want to share with you. Many voters in my precinct feel defeated – even to the point of not voting in elections.

Over the past few years, Illinois Republicans have lost the governor’s mansion, and our state keeps sending progressives to the U.S. House and Senate. The Illinois legislature is now decidedly Democrat, and all statewide elected offices in Illinois are entirely so. Like in sports, loss after loss in elections has led to this sense of defeatism. Many Republican “players” are no longer playing to win; they just want to avoid losing. If it weren’t for a sense of camaraderie – team spirit – many wouldn’t even show up for the game. Many don’t, and that’s why we keep on losing.

If the truth be told, there are more registered Republican voters in McLean County than Democrats. This county used to be predictably RED. The County Board, once dominated by conservative Republicans, is now split 50-50 with liberal Democrats. Many Republicans take these circumstances as a reason to believe that “my vote won’t make a difference.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact of the matter is most Illinois elections nowadays are won or lost by the narrowest of margins. If only Republican voters would get out and perform their civic duty, things would change. We could turn McLean County solidly RED once again.

The most recognizable players in sports aren’t remembered because they just showed up to play. No, they are remembered because they gave their all. They played to win. So often, Illinois Republicans act like they don’t know how to win anymore. Many play not to lose, and there is an enormous difference. Defeated voters, like players who play not to lose, run scared. They might or might not show up to vote, but they certainly don’t work to get others out to vote in support of the team. Those who play to win get up from failure and show tremendous team spirit on and off the field. They give it their all and triumph in the end!

As at the beginning of every sports season, hope springs eternal. We are now entering into a new political season. In the coming days, candidates will seek signatures on the petitions to run for elective office. I hope that you will give them your support. When they ask if you’ll put up a yard sign in favor of a candidate, please permit it. When they seek your support at the ballot box, please give it your all and bring one or two other voters who share your values with you. By getting back into the game, Republicans can turn McLean County and Illinois RED.

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