Frederick Republicans Split On The Right To Protest


In light of the recent resolution passed by the Frederick County Board of Health, many county residents are upset, while small business owners are furious. After the Board received over an hour of calls from residents and business owners expressing their desire for the resolution and its increased restrictions on businesses to be struck down, it passed. A vast majority of residents are angered. 

The Frederick County Conservative Club (FCCC) heard from many disgruntled people with concerns ranging from fears of not being able to pay the rent to losing not only their homes, but their businesses as well. The FCCC decided to organize a protest outside the home of County Executive Jan Gardner.

About 30 people showed up to voice their displeasure with the increased restrictions. The protest, while loud, was peaceful and the participants remained on the sidewalk and off private property. As with any protest, people drove by showing their approval or disapproval. Even some of Mrs. Gardner’s neighbors stopped to say they supported the protest.  “A lady jogging past turned around, came back, thanked us, took a group shot and a selfie with us behind her.” Said Fred Propheter, President of the FCCC,

Some of the people who disapproved of the protest were Dylan Diggs and Steven Barrett.  Although speaking in their personal capacities Diggs is Vice-President of the Republican Club of Frederick County (RCFC) and Barrett is a voting member of their Board.   

Mr. Barrett called the protest an “act of hate.”  He followed that up a list of assumptions and “could be’s.”

Mr. Diggs referred to the people exercising their first amendment rights as “rabble.”  He compared these protestors to “a form of political violence” calling the protest “ugly, childish and bullying.” He too followed his comments up with a list of assumptions of what could have happened.

Both men insulted all the participants and seemed more concerned that Jan Gardner’s weekend had been disrupted rather than with the people facing the real possibility of losing everything they have worked for. While they were quick to condemn the protest, they offered no more than their “armchair quarterback” opinions. It’s easy when you’re still getting a full check to lack empathy for others and their financial hardships.  What have they done to show their displeasure and empathy for their fellow neighbors’ fears and concerns?

Agree or disagree with the protest, at least these people took a stand. They voiced their displeasure and weren’t ashamed to do so. Theodore Roosevelt once said: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Sitting on the sidelines and attacking members of your party for doing the best they can does nothing but exacerbate an already difficult situation. As members of the RCFC, they should have reached out to Propheter personally to express their concerns.  Instead of approaching it rationally, they chose to attack fellow republicans publicly, insulting them and scolding them like an upset parent. This has done nothing but further divide an already weak Republican Party in Frederick County.

Propheter said  “Though I will not call them out publicly by name, their thoughts and opinions are indicative of a party that compromised its principles, one that lost its rudder, if you will, years ago. With that kind of thinking, going along so no one is uncomfortable, will condemn our Frederick County to the shackles of Democrat control forever, with ever increasing taxes and ‘feel good’ legislation that will continue to erode and restrict our God-given freedoms.”

I’ve spoken to some people that have suggested the best thing they can do at this point is resign their positions on the Republican Club’s Board. Others believe this puts the RCFC in an unfavorable light to other republicans in the county and the damage is done. While others support Diggs and Barrett’s positions. 

At the end of the day the VP and a Board member of the Republican Club insulted and belittled other republicans who acted rather than talked; that cannot be a good thing for an already struggling party. Maybe they both should take a lesson from the Democrats, you never see them attacking their own publicly, they always present a unified front.