McDaniel: You aren't captives of the party

McDaniel: You aren't captives of the party

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Editor:

Regarding the Nov. 21 article “Inside the Wyoming GOP, critics are silenced as party leadership turns increasingly to the right,” I was struck not by the authoritarian behavior of the party leadership -- that’s not news in this reddest of red states -- but rather the response from county leadership.

Mr. McGinley and Ms. Olsen’s reaction to the dictatorial manner of the GOP leadership indicates a very naive view of the political party of their choice. The GOP has been embracing ideological purity, calling out recalcitrant party members and railroading the Wyoming legislative process for years. The Wyoming GOP’s stranglehold on the state legislature is first among reasons our state does not grow, does not diversify, does not keep its young people. And GOP county leaders respond to this bullying as if they have no agency.

News flash: not passing an ultra-conservative litmus test is not a felony. If the state GOP doesn’t reflect your beliefs, move on to a party that does. You aren’t captives or victims, as this quote from Ms. Olsen indicates: “We’re limited with the tools we have to show our disagreement and, based on their anti-free speech resolutions, now face disciplinary action for not speaking in unity ... we all have a fine line we’re trying to walk, making sure we’re not coming too close to the extreme side or getting too far away from it.”

Disciplinary action? Come on now, this is a political party, not the military, a federal penitentiary, or the Politburo. Don’t fool yourselves -- the Wyoming GOP is not now nor has it ever been the party of critical and independent thinkers. If you have any doubt about it, simply look to your congressional delegation that hasn’t had an independent thought -- well, ever. 

PATRICIA McDANIEL, Laramie 

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