On the Issues: "What are you doing about it?"

As Communications Manager for McLean County Republicans (MCGOP), I write a lot of “copy” for this organization. I manage posts on the MCGOP Facebook page, provide commentary on the news, produce articles for the MCGOP Newsdesk, maintain the MCGOP website, compose press releases, write email messages, cobble together the monthly newsletter, and produce a weekly op-ed such as the one you are now reading. As the primary writer and manager of so much content, I often get flak from outsiders about what Republicans are perceived as doing or not doing, both locally and nationally. I get hit from every angle, from supposed supporters to well-known detractors. (Click on the above title to continue reading if necessary.)

One oft-asked question, sometimes accompanied by an accusing finger, is, “You complain about the current political situation. What are you doing about it?” This question was asked twice this morning over Facebook, prompting me to respond by writing this op-ed. Yes, I sometimes want to reply to daft questions with a wry response. Still, after further reflection, I understand this is a legitimate question worthy of consideration and a serious response. So, what ARE we – the McLean County Republican Party – doing about the Democrat-based problems we so often criticize? This is my response.

First, allow me to begin my response by telling you, dear reader, a bit about our organization. The McLean County Republican Party strives to serve by gathering the best people and ideas to address our community, county, state, and national needs. We believe conservative Republican principles provide the key to creating solid, proven solutions to the challenges of maintaining a safe and prosperous community.

We are a group of like-minded individuals working together to promote fiscal responsibility by elected officials with minimal government regulation, support law and order, encourage business growth, and promote values that create strong families and communities. We believe in integrity, honesty, and loyalty. We commit ourselves to the values that defend and strengthen our culture and sustain our nation: faith, family, personal responsibility, and the dignity of every human life.

We are a volunteer organization with very little outside funding. Most of our funds come from events we host, such as the recent 2024 Candidate Forum and Jesse Sullivan Breakfast, and the upcoming Border Security Symposium. We also hold a summer picnic and Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, generating revenue from our supporters through meal and raffle tickets and a silent auction. Volunteers work hard to generate sufficient funds to pay the day-to-day expenses of maintaining an office, supporting candidates, providing grants, etc.

The daily work of the MCGOP includes the following:

  • Informing the masses about the day’s political issues using various means of communication.
  • Recruiting individuals to run for political office and serve as precinct committee persons, election judges, and poll watchers.
  • Supporting candidates for office includes providing small grants, assisting with artwork, photography, and videos, putting out yard signs, and holding discussions and advisory meetings.
  • Working on municipal and county-wide campaign strategies to support our conservative causes.
  • Training precinct committee members, block captains, and poll watchers to inform the electorate, increase turnout, and protect the vote.
  • Holding informational programs such as the recent 2024 Candidate Forum, the Jesse Sullivan Breakfast, and the Border Crisis Symposium with Tom Homan.
  • Running a weeklong display at the McLean County 4H Fair each summer so people can meet and greet us, speak, pick up chilled water, grab a seat to rest, and talk about the issues.
  • Providing a forum through Coffee & Conservation each Tuesday from 10-12 at the MCGOP headquarters
  • Maintaining a store of attractive and appealing Republican regalia.
  • Serving as a repository for campaign signs and literature.
  • Managing a paid membership program.

While this is a long list, it’s not exhaustive. The list likely can be multiplied several times. Still, readers will get the idea that the MCGOP IS doing something about the political problems we all face. Unqualified criticisms are not justified.

When talking to a fellow precinct committeeperson recently, she pointed out that many people are all too willing to complain but unwilling to do anything about it. The volunteers of the MCGOP are doing something about the problems we are all facing using volunteers who provide – often at significant personal and family cost - their time, talent, and treasure in defense of faith, families, and freedom everywhere. These are amazing people, all of whom deserve your respect and support.

If you are ever looking to make a difference in the lives of others, there are a few better ways than joining the good people of the MCGOP. In all honesty, I was not involved in any form of political activity until I met and began working with several members of McLean County Republicans. These are some of the finest people I have ever known in my 70+ years.

Getting back to the original question of “What are you doing about it?,” I will sometimes respond to Facebook queries by replying, “We are looking for volunteers to assist us in the work of dislodging the progressive Democrat machine that has brought on so many of the problems we are facing today. Please, won’t you join us?” It’s incredible how, often within minutes, the people who seemingly accuse us of doing nothing delete the question. That’s not as it should be. They should stand up and come forward to lend a helping hand and will do so if they care to do anything more than complain.

As you can see from our work, plenty of volunteer opportunities exist. For instance, we need more precinct committeepersons to inform voters about the issues and turn out the vote. McLean County has only 43 elected precinct committee persons, four appointed precinct committeepersons, and 141 precincts. That leaves us over 90 short of the number we actually need. Please consider becoming a precinct committeeperson. Also, to help ensure election integrity, become an election judge or a poll watcher. Even putting up a yard sign for a favorite candidate can make a difference.

If you are concerned about good government in McLean County, across the state, and this nation, sign up to help elect good people to local offices. Join one of the MCGOP committees: Community Engagement, Fundraising, Election Operations, or Communications. We also need events and office workers. We will train you to complete the tasks required for any given role. What a way to be helpful and build a resumé. Young and old, experts and novices, we are in this together!

It’s now time to turn around the original question, “What are YOU doing about it? We are excited to see new workers join our efforts. Explore our website, attend one of our monthly gatherings, and discover how you can make a difference in your community. If you can’t help out for one reason or another, consider becoming a dues-paying member of the MCGOP.

The MCGOP membership program brings together a community of dedicated conservatives who learn, socialize, and celebrate to support our mission to turn McLean County and the State of Illinois Red. Join us today! Details about our activities and needs can be found on our website at https://www.mcleancountyrepublicans.org/.

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