1st Corinthians 4:21   –   Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

From the Chair – Buncombe County is unique. As the home base of Asheville – we suffer a notorious reputation as a hotbed of liberal-progressive-socialism. On the plus side, a majority of our county’s citizens are conservative minded. We carry the responsibility of being the largest  population center in our region and are part of both the 10th and 11th Congressional Districts.

Each of these distinctions provides opportunity.

Being in the middle of so much left-minded irrationality sometimes garners sympathy from sister counties. We appreciate the support, but actually view our reality as a blessing – we are in a target rich environment providing much opportunity for mischief and conservative activism.

There are a lot of conservatives in Asheville as surely as Buncombe County. Amidst all this hostility, conservatives tend to operate on a low-profile basis. We call that being “Quietly Conservative.” Quiet and passive are not the same thing. Ponder the power of a Marine sniper for clarity.

Our County stands as an important bridge between two very important Congressional Districts – the 10th and 11th. Look no further than the important roles our respective representatives – Congressman McHenry and Congressman Meadows – for ques on why Asheville needs to be on its A game.

We’re not yet on our A game – and one of the reasons why is we sometimes think more like frogs than elephants. Frogs eat their own – elephants don’t – or shouldn’t – elephants unite.

Buncombe County is blessed with a growing group of Republican volunteers who genuinely want to contribute and uplift the conservative mission in WNC. Unfortunately, amidst that mix are those who find solace in anger, criticism, antagonism and the dubious game of “gotcha.” All these represent the use of “rods” in a circumstance where “love and a spirit of gentleness” are much more likely to carry us to good places.

Why is that approach important? Remember where we live. We have more than our fair share of hostility coming from the other side. This is the last place we need to be eating our own.

So, what should we do?

Consider Ephesians 4:1-3 as a good starting place. “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” That’s about as clear as it gets.

It also follows that getting rid of people is not the answer. As Republicans we share a common principle driven bond. We need all our conservative thinkers and doers – we just need them at their positive best.

For all of us – yours truly as surely as anyone – it is a constant challenge to work toward compassion, cooperation, communication and consideration over other temptations. We remain free to disagree with one another – but doing so with a respectful hand and voice is key to the health and effectiveness of our political family.

That which is rewarded is repeated. If we support eating our own, that’s what’s going to happen. If we quietly say “no” to those behaviors and work to model something better (think W.W.J.D. for a behavior guide), that’s what we will become.

It’s our choice – every day. The way of the frog or the elephant?

Republicanism – the political movement of reality, reason, responsibility and right…

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