In the Belly of the Beast, So You Don’t Have to be There
By Katie Holland GOP Precinct Coordinator, LD 20
During the past couple of weeks, requests have been flowing in for signs and literature about our Maryland Republican candidates. The Central Business District (CB2) in downtown Silver Spring may not come to mind as a repository for such information about this blue state’s Republican Party,
and certainly not for those in Montgomery County. But if you need proof, you are welcome to come into my garage. It has become something of a distribution point for many, not just those (certainly not just those, you may think) residing in LD20.
The garage is lined with candidates’ signs and the literature immediately at the base of each sign’s wire points. This is a deliberate strategy I have figured out that elicits a particular response when my garage door is opened in this concise, closely structured community of city houses. At the postal service cluster box for mail pickup that faces my garage, my neighbors have a full view of a Maryland sample ballot. And yes, on the far walls are old signs from earlier Republican campaigns, Ellen Sauerbrey, Bob Ehrlich … and Donald Trump: a full visual of a TRUMP sign in downtown Silver Spring.
But here’s where it gets interesting. In a most amazing and unexpected twist of fate, I suddenly started getting referrals from members of other organizations, which are not directly tied to the GOP, but aligned or sympathetic to our political views. They are registered voters who want Republican signs. These are nervous but fed up Montgomery County voters who are willing to risk the irritation of their Prog neighbors to erect a few signs for GOP candidates on their lawns!
Centered in the middle of this stockade is parked my millennial-daughter’s little Dodge Stratus bearing a Bernie sticker … surrounded by a TEA Party magnet, a circular “Jae for Sheriff” tag, along with a small navy blue “We All Win with Hogan” and a small green ROBIN (Ficker) sticker (I must have some bulwark when I drive this vehicle).
So … why do I have such a comprehensive displayof Republican signage in the Progressive-Disneyland of LD20? While it is a source for those voters who already decided to vote GOP, it is also a conversation starter for my newest and young neighbors, those who did not move here in 1999 to work in the Gore administration, nor those who remained in 2004 to work in the Kerry administration, and those few now who have stayed behind with only their pink ear-pointed caps (I won’t use the descriptor) to keep tight their memories of the last debacle of an administration.
I have neighbors who walk up and speak with me sotto voce, eyes wide, wondering why there is a Bernie sticker on the car next to Hogan’s and Trump on the wall. And we get to talking. These new young professional couples LOVE Governor Hogan. And that is my entree to introduce them to the others! I have no doubt that these largely-registered, unaffiliated (yes, I have to produce a walk list in my own precinct, don’t I?) I have given permission to vote Republican.
Silver Spring-Takoma Park as the Maryland red riptide? Can I get an AMEN?