I don’t like cowards.
I fear people who can’t stand up for what they believe in, and I shudder noticeably when cowards and people who cannot stand up for what they believe in, are also local government leaders.
That is why the local Republican leaders are making it so easy for me to think about switching parties ... Or becoming an Independent.
My other option would be to run as independent for a county seat in Atlantic Highlands on the Republican side. But then, why would I want to represent a party whose leaders are so weak and cowardly?
Two years ago, I was approached by local Republicans who asked me if I would consider being a county committee person for the third district. Nobody ever wants the job, they said, so you don’t have to go door to door or anything. We just want you to run and be able to represent Atlantic Highlands as a committee woman.
I agreed. It was at a time when I thought Republican leadership, both in the town and in Monmouth County, was strong, eager to fight for the rights of all people, energetic to win races and had an agenda that was good for Atlantic Highlands, Monmouth County, New Jersey and America.
Just as they said, I was elected and didn’t have to do anything to achieve the position.
Now, two years later, I’m so much smarter. I now realize…though as a journalist I admit to having seen it so many times through the decades…leaders of some political parties, maybe all, for all I know, are not in it for the good of the people.
They forget why they got into politics. They forget they are there to help the people who elected them, and even the people who did not elect them.
Once elected, it certainly appears they are in it for prestige, power, recognition so they can run for higher offices, or any number of other self motivated reasons.
They don’t like to upset political leaders at higher levels, either ... maybe even score brownie points with them if they boot out people the higher office holders don’t like. Who knows what motivates them once they are in office, once they imbibe in the sweet, intoxicating taste of power.
Monday at 4 p.m. was the deadline for filing to be a committee person for election in the June primary. Our Republican leader in Atlantic Highlands up until a few months ago was my neighbor. He’s the chairman of a county commission where I was also booted out, that because the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners….sans Freeholder Burry….don’t like my politics or journalism or age or disabilities, or something else. That’s why I am currently no longer being paid to do press releases for that Commission.
But that’s another story and there will be far more on that one in the future.
My point is, the local chairman knows how easy it is to get in touch with me. But he did not.
That’s where the cowardice comes in. It’s one thing not to contact me to see if I’d be interested in running again, or, in the alternative, to contact me to tell me he and Republican leaders don’t like my writing or my age or my politics, or my disability.
But the local leader, nor any Republican member of the Borough Council, did not do any of that. They simply hunted out another lady, asked her if she would run and apparently she is.
Don’t know whether she has ever been involved in politics or if she knows what a county committee is. But she is on the ballot for the June primary for GOP county committee person for the third district, along with a sitting councilman, filling the two seats for the district.
It is the cowardice thing that bothers me the most. And that’s why I am warning every Republican in Atlantic Highlands to think whether you want to continue with this leadership or switch to Independent thinking, giving you all kinds of opportunities to select the best from either party to support or back a candidate separate from both.
So let’s consider what this weak, rude, inconsiderate, thoughtless, GOP leadership in Atlantic Highlands is so afraid of that they could not even pick up the phone, send an e-mail, write a letter, or God forbid, face me IN PERSON to say they really don’t like me, my opinions, my age, or something else. I never knew I was so threatening that people, men, would be afraid to tell me they don’t like me.
By my disability, I am slowly losing my vision, but some of those in the Atlantic Highlands GOP seem to already lost sight of theirs.
I am 85 years old, hardly in shape or disposition to get embattled in a physical fight. I’ve done my share of physical fighting already, for higher causes…I beat a life threatening stroke that was fixed, in part by the quick thinking of my friends at the Shore Casino when it occurred, the swift work and attention of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad, the perfection of a medical team and my own strong will to live and fight it. I’ve fought breast cancer by daring to participate in a trial as the first person in New Jersey and one of less than a dozen in the nation to undergo cryoablation as a cure. That was so successful I was congratulated and praised by the Israeli company that invented it when I visited their offices in Caesarea, Israel. Now that procedure is accepted in the United States and the company is even on our stock market, trading here as well as in shekels in Israel.
Years ago, I brought a case to the United States Supreme Court because I did not like the way elections were being run in New Jersey. The next year, New Jersey changed their election law and fixed what I complained about.
I’ve experienced and overcome my share of emotional battles as well. I’ve overcome the grief of losing both a husband and a daughter, I’ve sent my other three children off to represent the country in the Navy and Marine Corps, all went to foreign lands, and foreign seas with their military orders. I’ve even been served an eviction notice to leave a home where I was renting. I’ve had my life and that of my children threatened more times than I can count for standing up against police brutality, unfairness, or helping the downtrodden or imprisoned.
I’ve spent a career in journalism that has taken me many places, allowed me to do many things, won me many awards and accolades, and a generous share of criticism. It’s the criticism I love the best. You’re not telling the truth, you’re not telling the real story, you’re not covering the events if everybody agrees with what you say. I often say in politics I love it best when both parties tell me how unfair I am. That means I’m straight down the middle, and it’s so nice they recognize and appreciate it.
So am I strong? I suppose I am. At least I suppose the Republican leadership thinks I’m strong. So strong, in fact, that not a single one of them had the courage or courtesy…the two virtues are so much alike…. to tell me they didn’t want my name on the ballot with theirs. Imagine. An entire partisan leadership of a borough scared of an 85 year old woman with a pen, a mouth, and a desire to support the best there can be for a town I truly love.