By Carl Mumpower- Buncombe County’s Republican leadership is elected to a two-year tour of duty. Those currently in service are about to pass the torch to a new group of volunteers. It’s an important transition tinged with refreshed energies and hope – a time for reflection and a pinch of thanks.
It’s been my honor to serve as Chair during the concluding term – my pleasure to welcome the new Chair and others who are stepping forward. They are the new point guard committing to working hard on behalf of those embracing Republican values. They will need your help.
It’s worth mentioning that over the past two years the Buncombe GOP has been an all-volunteer organization. That means we have relied on the help of a host of otherwise busy and engaged people who have graced our community with their time, talents, and resources.
These special people merit appreciation. Every single person who lent a hand – however imperfect – to our shared mission certainly has mine.
Our all-volunteer band of brothers and sisters did something pretty nifty over these 24 months – we carried our own weight. All of our efforts were funded with contributions coming from our community. We took no money from candidates, our state or national organization, or any other source. Thanks is due to those who were so generous and supportive. They assured Republicans had a positive visible footprint in our ultra-liberal county and a strong, dynamic, and creative campaign strategy on behalf of Republican candidates.
As a personal experience, leading a county party organization is pretty high up on the challenging enterprises list. Two things have been clear – building on the good works of my predecessors was important from day one – and gratitude is due for all the good folks who helped pull it off. The Buncombe Republican Party is definitely a team sport.
We had a lot of successes to highlight, but first let’s talk about a few regrets.
My number one disappointment is that we could not make more headway with minority outreach. We tried and tried hard with newspaper ads, direct outreach and other appeals, but this was a tough safe to crack. It’s important though and I hope our new leadership team also embraces this priority.
I also wish we had been more successful in challenging a public education system – that from top to bottom – continues to pretend that a liberal arts education means teaching children to be liberals. This is precisely what is happening and it merits challenge. Conservative minded parents are encouraged to pick up this baton and keep hounding the authorities on their misjudgment.
From day one, a prime personal mission has been to bring the Republican community together toward our shared values and party platform. Unity has been a persistent message, and staying constructive, a persistent method. People want to be part of something that’s productive, positive and pleasant – not negative and antagonistic. Ask me how far we got in two years, and my answer would be, “About halfway.”
So, what did we get done?
Well, it starts with having the blessing of a quorum at each of our monthly Executive Committee meetings. That means we had a lot of engaged volunteers who participated with enthusiasm and supported party actions with oversight grounded in open discussion and a parliamentary voting procedure. That’s the honest heart of a good team effort.
Speaking of team effort, did you notice any of the four digital billboards we had – touch any of the 10,000 sample ballots we gave out to voters at the polls – get a mail-out or candidate support note from us – listen to one of the radio ads we had on three stations – visit one of the 60 out of 80 polls we covered during the election – spot any of the many 3×5 roadside Republican banners we placed in key locations.
– staff or visit our HQ in One Oak Plaza – attend either our Spring Fling or Lincoln Reagan Dinner – help us volunteer this past Christmas and the last by ringing the bell in support of the Salvation Army’s faith based charity – deliver cakes or cupcakes to our first responders all over Buncombe County – help with our Reverse Walk door-to-door voter outreach efforts – read any of the varied campaign ads the BCGOP placed in 4 newspapers – assist with our mail-outs to newly arrived Republicans in Buncombe County and all Republicans requesting an absentee sample ballot – receive one or our Silver Eagle Awards for exemplary volunteer contributions.
— read our weekly update in the Asheville Tribune and the even more frequent news updates on our website – take the plunge when you were encouraged to run for public office as a Republican – receive our bi-weekly newsletter update – attend a monthly Executive Committee meeting and notice our relentless efforts to keep those gatherings productive, positive and pleasant – do your part to help us become the Number One most liked political party Facebook page (BuncombeGOP) in WNC – work as a Republican Precinct Judge or Assistant or help with phoning voters to promote our Republican candidates.
– support us in making our constantly updated web site (BuncombeGop.org) an acknowledged model for other counties – or otherwise assist with any of the other gazillion day to day activities that helped make these two years fun and productive?-
My reaction to all that? A little weariness – lots of gratitude.
Special thanks is due to a few key players. The Tribune has been simply superb in giving us a weekly conservative voice coming specifically from the BCGOP. The people at the Renaissance Hotel were extraordinarily nice hosts for our Lincoln-Reagan Dinner and J&S Cafeteria has generously hosted our monthly Executive Committee meetings with a great meeting space and a bonus of even better food. There have been a ton of others – please excuse any failure to identify you by name – you deserve it.
It’s also been a pleasure to work on behalf of Republican elected officials who work so hard in such a hostile arena to be sincere to our party’s stated principles and platform. Direct experience has left me with an extra measure of appreciation for President Trump, Congressman Meadows, Congressman McHenry and State Senator Chuck Edwards.
A favorite appreciation centers on our relentless pursuit of the American Success Equation as a contrast to the opposition’s relentless promise of something for nothing. Liberty + Opportunity + Responsibility = Prosperity stands at the heart of the American Dream and our high school essay contests drove it all home.
If I have cautions to share going forward, those would fall simply on this – Republicans are by design prone to a healthy skepticism. It’s easy for skepticism to morph into cynicism, anger, theatre, intrigue, and combative approaches that are counterproductive to a crucial ingredient for Party effectiveness – unity. We’ve worked hard over the past two years to create a culture of values over a culture of competing personalities.
The Buncombe Republican Party functions best as a platform for uplifting America versus a stage for personal drama. Without that unity, we will fail at our primary mission. What’s that? We’re here to identify, encourage, support and help elect principle driven Republicans to public office.
Why? Because the Republican Party stands as the only organized political movement remotely capable of stopping the growing excesses of the left.
That’s a crucial mission and the reason myself and many of our leadership team signed up two years ago. That’s also why you should consider becoming a volunteer. We need you.
Any last thoughts? Yes – please take time to say thanks to our new leadership team. As we look forward to the exciting potentials of 2020, get behind them in positive fashion. To achieve what we can, we also have to remember our common bond – as Republicans we’re glued together with principles and a platform firmly grounded in conservative values. Our true opposition rides a donkey, not an elephant…
Each week the editors of The Tribune are selecting a communication from the Buncombe County Republican Party we feel will be of value to our readers. You can learn more about your local Republican Party’s efforts at BuncombeGOP.org. We welcome feedback at email@example.com-