Local Conservative Party snubs many Orleans residents by embracing Trump ideology

Posted 24 May 2017 at 1:03 pm


It is truly disappointing to read our local Conservative Party quoting Donald Trump in an endorsement just days after the President has released a budget proposal that would so adversely affect so many of our Orleans County residents.

The cuts that President Trump is proposing would cut essential services to our neediest residents and over-burden the working class with exorbitant costs for medical care, all while continuing to allow minimum wage to fall far below what is needed to sustain oneself in the current economy. All of these are absolutely vital to many of the residents here in Orleans County and it is a shame that people calling themselves party and community leaders would endorse it.

In this same endorsement the party implores Orleans County voters to “reject the status quo,” but it is important that we are clear on what they are really asking of voters. Not a rejection of the status quo, but a turn back to a status quo rejected by Americans a generation ago. A status quo that overburdens the working class, prizes the wealthiest citizens above all others, and treats the poor as an inconvenient byproduct of poor personal choices that should be ignored.

Our forebears rejected this status quo as the Gilded Age came crashing down around us in a Depression unlike anything the world had ever seen before. It is important that we keep this in mind as we carefully consider not just who to vote for, but whether to vote. It seems to me that this party is endorsing these candidates while evoking these dangerous proposals because they are counting on the fact that so few of our working poor in Orleans County vote, especially in local elections.

More importantly, we must remember that this is not who we are in this community. We are a community that bands together in times of need made up of people that never hesitate to throw their change into a can at the grocery store in order to support a neighbor that is struggling, even if they weren’t positive they could pay for those groceries in the first place.

We are a community of people that dig each other out during snow storms and help our neighbors clean up after floods.  When we vote—and we all must vote—we need to send a resounding message: that we are better than this.

We are not a community based in negligent and dangerous individualism, but rather a community that thrives when these individuals come together to work toward a common good and support one another. We must reject the politics that this budget proposal is rooted in—a politics that keeps us separated and divided; a politics that keeps us focused on fear rather than community.  We, as a community, are better than the politics in Washington and we are better than the divisiveness of the current administration.

Jessica George