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John Livingston

Red State, Blue State, Brown State

Thanks to Donald Trump politics in our country have been turned inside out and upside down. The Republican Party nat,ionwide that once was the pawn of large companies and intimately connected to the “corporate industrial complex” is now the party of blue-collar patriotic Americans. Our military that was once respected and honored and apolitical, has become a sanctuary for “wokeness” and progressive ideology. The media and education are infiltrated by ideologues that openly express their disdain for traditional American values.

In Idaho, the Republican Party establishment and leadership in all branches of government is more than supplicant to special interests, it is dependent on the support of large corporations and non-profits at the expense of WE The People who only want government to get out of the way and let us live and work. Cultural Imperialism from the C-Suite in Idaho looks more like what is happening in Blue States than in States like Florida and Texas. The message that Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature sent to Disney this week was that bosses of large corporations should run their businesses for their customers and not bow to politically woke employee ideologues. They work first for their customers, then for shareholders and their employees. Employees should understand that if they make customers angry, their companies may lose business and they may not have jobs. The customer is always right. The lesson for CEO’s is to stay out of divisive cultural battles and run their companies. Generals and Admirals work to defend the constitution and focus their efforts to prepare our servicemen and women to be the best fighting force they can be. Anything that interferes with that is a form of destructive “mission creep”. School teachers should teach our children. Wokeness should never replace civic education and the teaching of skills and STEM studies. Teachers and school boards work for parents. Children belong to parents. Period—end of discussion.

The Idaho Republican party leadership is one of the last remaining remnants of the old Republican Party. The party of Nelson Rockefeller George Romney (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) The symbiotic relationship between lobbyists and special interests looks precisely like the Corporatism that now defines national Democratic politics and in blue States. The Bush—Kasich—Liz Cheney—Romney(the afore mentioned apple)—Little—Ryan wing of the party is not very different than the Obama—Schumer—Pelosi—Schiff, wing of the Democratic party. The same companies contribute to the same campaigns across both parties. Big Pharma, public and teachers’ unions, exert influence over elections and legislation the same way in Washington DC and in Boise Idaho. Our Idaho Republican Party has yet to evolve into the New Republican Party of Donald Trump like we have seen happen in Virginia with Governor Younkin and in Florida with Ron DeSantis. Our “new party” is the party of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Regan. The old party reflects the sclerotic political philosophy of the Romney’s and Bush families.

The proudest vote I ever cast was the vote that I made in Butch Otter’s first gubernatorial election. Halfway through his third term he stated—and I paraphrase, that the role for government in solving the problems for citizens was larger than what he thought when he was a younger man. What I wish he would have said as arguably one of Idaho’s most successful retail politicians would be that there are very few places where government can successfully insert itself into the lives of everyday people. Which argument sounds more like the progressive case for increased government control over our lives and which argument sounds like the conservative case?

So, I propose a new way of looking at the electoral map. There are certainly red states—Texas, Florida, South Dakota, and maybe even today Virginia. There are certainly blue States—California, New York, and Illinois for example. But there is a new kind of State—a Brown State. These are States like Idaho where politicians of the party in control, usually Bedke these are legacy politicians whose families have been in politics for generations (Little— et.al) and whose personal and political fortunes are closely aligned to special interests, at the expense of citizens individual autonomy and liberty. Red, Blue—Republican, Democrat—Liberal, or Conservative just cover up what is really going on. No matter the political philosophy or ideology a Brown State is defined by the color of the nose of the politicians and insiders that run the State. They all have brown noses from kissing each other’s backsides. It is easier to identify these insiders at the end of the legislative session. The longer the session the browner their noses get. Maybe that is why so many of them don’t want to debate after they Sine Die? Or maybe that is why mask mandates were extended for so long—so we couldn’t see the color of their noses.

New York and California are blue states. They are also brown states. Politicians and special interests live off each other. Idaho is a red state. It is also very much a brown state. The leaders in Florida, Texas, Virginia, and South Dakota don’t have brown noses. When has Brad Little or Scott Bedke ever stood up to the IMA/IHA/IACI/The teachers union(s)? Brown noses are just getting browner in Idaho.

It appears that Mr. Little will win the Republican primary in Idaho with over 50% of the vote. He will certainly get over 50% of the vote in the general election. He is certainly not a Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump conservative that will stand up against special interests and the establishment “good old boys” He may be “pro-gun and prolife, and anti-MJH, which is all good. But like his predecessor he has come to believe that “government is the solution to our problems and not the problem itself”.

He has a BIG BROWN NOSE.

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