Last year Jeremy Haroldson, the dynamic Pastor of “Impact Ministries” of Wheatland Wyoming, came to the realization that he and fellow Christians, both in his congregation and throughout the area, were clearly not being represented by the “business as usual” mindset of either the Republican “Establishment” dominated Wyoming legislature, or Dan Kirkbride, their district’s representative at the time. So Haroldson made the bold move of challenging and defeating Kirkbride in the August 2020 Republican primary election. He then went on to win the general in November.
This sent shock waves throughout the state legislature. Concurrently with Haroldson, a dozen other entrenched members of the Legislature were given the “boot” by their local constituencies throughout the state, to be replaced by a determined group of grassroots conservatives. In Haroldson’s case, the upset was compounded by the fact that the incumbent he defeated was considered a “rising star” within the GOP “Establishment” in the Capitol.
Once in the legislature, Haroldson quickly gained a reputation as one who would not be squeezed and conformed into the traditional role desired by the self-serving GOP “Establishment.” He has been officially chastised for daring to speak truth, based on their fears that his comments wouldn’t sit well with the liberal press. Worst of all, he engages in the novel but thoroughly infuriating behavior (from their perspective) of actually remaining faithful to the Christian principles by which he lives, and on which he campaigned. Along with a growing number of actual “grassroots” conservatives in the Wyoming legislature, he poses a grave threat to the old order of self-serving RINOs.
The arrival of these newcomers in Cheyenne could not be happening at a worse time for career politicians, particularly in the wake of the betrayal of Wyoming and America by Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who is the quintessential RINO insider. Her collusion with leftist Democrats against President Trump even surpassed the treachery of leftist sock-puppet Mitt Romney. She continues to support the Democrat narrative that the 2020 election was legitimate. The new conservatives in the Wyoming State House are adamant and resolute in their condemnation of Cheney, and the state Republican central committee recently officially censured her, yet she remains a “darling” of the GOP “Establishment.” It is shaping up to be the perfect storm.
The battle for the soul of the Wyoming GOP has been going on for several decades. Though Wyomingites are extremely conservative, the state party long enjoyed such partisan dominance over the Democrats that it lost touch with the citizen on Main Street. As a result it became totally disconnected and self-serving, which means liberal. It was not until 2004 that the state Republican Platform even included a pro-life plank, or any statement on abortion that could be deemed to the right of Hillary Clinton. And that was the way the Establishment liked it.
Things began to significantly change in 2017 when Frank Eathorne, a genuine unflappable conservative, became chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party. “Business as usual” RINOs were not happy, and eventually formed their own splinter group, sanctimoniously named the “Frontier Republicans.” They have since held their own “state convention,” and operate behind the scenes to advance a decidedly liberal agenda while fraudulently claiming the Republican brand, in the same manner that the scandal ridden and morally bankrupt never -Trumpers of the “Lincoln Project” operate at the national level.
These are the McCain/Bush GOP retreads, who have been selling out real conservatism and America for years. Of course they all pretend to be the second coming of Ronald Reagan when campaigning at election time. But their ruse is may be up. Grassroots conservatives across the Cowboy State are fully aware of how Cheney sold them out. Establishment Republicans in Wyoming have no option but to stand with her, and against the interests of their own state. Look for the treachery to increase, as they attempt to get Cheney re-elected in 2022 using outside money and influence.
A similar face-off between genuine conservatives and RINO traitors has ensued in Arizona, and is now coming to a head there as well, as a result of the courage and resolve of state chairman Dr. Kelli Ward. Elected to the Arizona State Senate in 2012, Ward became a target of the “Establishment” in 2016 when she challenged incumbent RINO John McCain in the Republican Primary. And her strong showing against McCain, who had massively outspent her and received support from every liberal organization across the nation, sent tremors of fear through the Arizona GOP.
Ward then challenged RINO Jeff Flake in 2018. But the “Establishment” had more dirty tricks at its disposal. When it became obvious that Flake would inevitably lose, he dropped out of the race, to be replaced by “Establishment” darling Martha McSally, who didn’t have as glaring of a track record of treachery as Flake. So the GOP political machine was able to force her through to a primary victory over Ward.
Recognizing the need to clean up the corrupted Arizona Republican Party apparatus, Ward then became state party Chair in 2019, and to the horror of the “Business as usual” set, has been working tirelessly to support President Trump and advance an agenda of real pro-America conservatism ever since. This was, of course totally unacceptable to the “inner circle,” and the big moneyed interests they actually serve.
A major effort was made to unseat Ward in January of this year. Even a cursory glance at the event, during the state party meeting, gives ample proof that a contingent of closet Democrats who masquerade as “Republicans” were plying their usual dirty tricks and disruptions, in hopes of defeating Ward. From their efforts to silence opponents, to their hysterical accusations, they could easily have been a committee appointed by Nancy Pelosi. In the end however, their effort failed. Ward remains at the helm of the Arizona GOP, and in defiance of the special interests to whom the Establishment defers, she will reflect the true sentiments of Arizona Republicans across the state, going forward.
While this upheaval is more obvious in Wyoming and Arizona than elsewhere, it is hardly confined there. The entire Republican Party is at a crossroads, but those at its inner circles are either unaware, or are so consumed with their self-importance, they simply refuse to accept reality. So they will likely continue to work their back-room deals with the left, while disparaging the real concerns and momentum of the American people, as exemplified by Haroldson, Eathorne and Ward. Thus, insiders/players will consign themselves to irrelevance. Either the party brooms their kind, and restores its connections to Real America, or “We the People” will move forward without it. The nation already suffers the plagues of the actual Democrat Party. It has no need for a second, cheap imitation.
Christopher G. Adamo is a lifelong conservative from the American Heartland. He has been involved in grassroots and state-level politics for years. His recently released book Rules for Defeating Radicals, subtitled Countering the Alinsky Strategy in Politics and Culture, is the “Go To” guide for effectively overcoming the dirty tricks of the political left. It is available at Amazon.