My Point of View: There are more out there than you realize
Published 9:19 pm Monday, August 19, 2019
My Point of View by Angie Hoffman
I had the great pleasure of working the Republican booth at this past Freeborn County Fair. It was my first time doing so, and I expected to be tired before long, considering I signed up for two shifts each day. However, the task proved to be one of the most energizing experiences I’ve ever had. Our group was enthusiastic and comprised of a wide variety of volunteers, some as young as 16 and 17. The public’s reception to us was overwhelmingly positive, happy and light-hearted. We had the honor of being visited both by Minnesota Rep. Peggy Bennett, who seems to be loved by all, regardless of political affiliation, and U.S. Congressman Jim Hagedorn, who is easily one of the hardest-working individuals I’ve met.
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Reflecting back on my booth experience, I was impressed by how much support there actually is here for our president and his policies. Within the first two days we ran through our week’s supply of Trump 2020 pins and stickers, requiring a reorder of supplies for the weekend. Throughout the week many people proudly stamped a Trump sticker on their chest to show off for the rest of the day, myself included — and countless others came up to softly say they are supporters or just give a thumbs up. The quieter folks would take a sticker and place it in their pocket for later, not wanting to make waves or be bullied by those who ironically claim to value tolerance. If only they knew how many like themselves there were. The great silent majority.
Another point I consistently observed at the booth is that those who came over to express anger or disagreement with us generally did so based on an inaccurate or incomplete understanding of what Republicans value. For example, after discussion, some were surprised to learn our stance on securing the southern border stems from (among many reasons) wanting to protect the migrants involved, particularly the children trafficked by people posing as family. Republicans wish for people to migrate both legally and safely, and to have the resources for properly processing those who do come. In contrast, promoting an anarchist atmosphere where trafficking and violent gangs can run unchecked harms not only U.S. citizens, particularly minorities, but also the migrants traveling here in the midst of the chaos.
Others were also surprised to hear from Ramon, a man originally from the inner cities of Ohio, who sought out our booth with the goal of “helping Donald Trump get re-elected.’’ A dedicated front row Joe who attends every Trump rally possible, Ramon shared his inspirational story of going from a wrongful conviction to meeting President Trump. He was a walking encyclopedia with examples of how Republican policies are providing minority communities opportunities to thrive — points typically ignored by the national media monopolies. His knowledge, personal testimony and very existence flummoxed those who were convinced that Trump supporters are inherently racist. And his kind and humorous delivery endeared him to his ideological opponents, even while he crushed their talking points. Every debate I observed Ramon engage in, ended with a high five. If you didn’t meet Ramon, you missed out.
In closing, if you love our country and our president, know that you are in a good (and vast) company here in Freeborn County. There are more of us than you likely realize. If you choose to fly your flag, literally or figuratively, you will find much support.
If you are someone who promotes open borders, identity politics, socialism or bitterness toward our president, flag or national anthem — thank you. You are driving folks to the Republican Party more effectively than we could ever hope to do on our own. (We met many former Democrats who confirmed this was their case.)
And if you’re on the fence, not sure of what to make of the wild political scene these days — or possibly a long-time Democrat who feels left behind by your party — I invite you to look up the Freeborn County Republicans and see what we’re about. Attend one of our meetings or events. Visit with us. Find out first-hand what we value and why. Learn the reasons so many are choosing to #walkaway from the left. You might be surprised at how much we have in common.
Angie Hoffman is the treasurer of the Freeborn County Republican Party.