We can’t afford a divided Republican Party. It’s time to unite Idaho with your vote | Opinion

Election Day is next week and after that a new set of state and party leaders will be formed. My term as 1st vice chair of the Idaho GOP is coming to an end. While I don’t know what the future holds, there are a few things I’d like to share as we head into election day:

First, the Idaho Republican Party has the hardest-working people. Thousands of volunteers put their hearts and souls into serving Idaho. While they come from different walks of life, they are united towards a higher purpose of keeping conservative values strong in Idaho. Let me share one example — during the March Caucus, volunteers in eastern Idaho braved icy roads and snow to open polling stations so Idahoans could vote for president.

It was inspiring and shows what we can do when working together.

Second, it is possible to be aligned on the party platform but split on policy differences. Let me share an example — assume we are aligned that we want to go to Hawaii on vacation. That is our platform. They vote to drive, and I vote to fly.

Personally, I will never vote to drive to Hawaii as we’d just end up underwater. And yet the other person shouts that I must hate Hawaii because I voted against them. While we both believe the same foundational things, the other person submitted a bad policy and there’s a better solution available. There were several bills presented this year that would have been voted down by Republicans in any state. We shouldn’t question someone’s commitment to the principles of faith, family and freedom just because it doesn’t serve our interests at that time.

Third, you can have two sides of a grassroots movement. If we pause to look at election results over the past few years, Idahoans are telling us a story. While Republican candidates are winning, those who advocate for more hardline policies are losing elections — especially at the local level.

Party fundraising is down about 80% from individual contributors in the last year.

Over 200,000 fewer Idahoans voted in the March caucus.

We are a conservative state — but not one that forces our beliefs on others. Changes have occurred in our party that go too far for most Idahoans. A platform that was only two pages of key republican principles has become 16 pages over the last two years. Our state platform varies in many ways from the national GOP platform.

Concepts like party tribunals or allowing a handful of party leaders to determine candidates are not appropriate. We are called to be servant leaders who give power rather than take power. Idahoans are smart enough to know what candidates are best for them if we help keep them informed.

Lastly, I want to encourage Idahoans to ignore the vocal minority that tries to divide us.

One lesson I believe to be true is the Devil’s greatest trick is convincing us he doesn’t exist. He knows that if we stop fighting him, we will focus on fighting each other. I have spoken to many people who feel like they are caught in a Republican shootout – ducking for cover as a small but vocal extreme on both sides of our party hurl insults at each other. Some are told they are radical. Some are called RINOS. Yes, we can have strong disagreements on policy, but we are all Republicans and need to work together. We all have intrinsic value in the eyes of the Lord. Our focus should be to build relationships and transform lives vs alienate and shout down. As outlined in Matthew 22:37-39, our faith should rise above our politics.

All this matters because our nation is facing a crisis.

Mass illegal immigration, homelessness, protests shutting down schools, inflation causing families to live paycheck to paycheck,and blatant overreach by the federal government. These are big issues that need big solutions. While Democrat-led states are failing, Idaho is strong. We don’t have time to bicker on the 1% of differences. And yes, it is only 1% in most cases.

To beat Biden, we will need all elements of the Republican party to win. Our country needs strong Idahoan leadership to set an example.

As a reminder, Election Day is May 21. Your vote matters. We shouldn’t be satisfied with only 15% of Idahoans voting. As you cast your vote, it is important we elect conservative leaders that can unite us rather than divide us.

If you’d like to influence real change in the Idaho GOP, make sure you vote for precinct committeeman. This is the position at the bottom of your ballot. They represent your neighborhood and are the key roles in selecting who leads the GOP in the future.

God bless Idaho.

Daniel Silver is the 1st vice chairman of the Idaho Republican Party and former chairman of the Idaho Young Republicans.