A Disappointing Vote

By John J. Duncan Jr.


I have lived in Knox County since I was seven weeks old and, while I spend some time at our house on Cherokee Lake, I have always considered Knoxville and Knox County home.

I have never missed voting in any election, primary or general, since I became old enough to vote, and have never voted any place other than Knox County.

And while I have great interest in local issues, I have never asked any county commissioner to vote in a certain way on any issue.

Having said all that, I was very disappointed that the four Republican women on the Knox County Commission voted to elect a Democrat as chairman of the entire commission.

This is the local equivalent of the Republicans winning control of the U.S. House and then voting to keep Nancy Pelosi as Speaker or electing some other Democrat.

Or to put it on a smaller basis, when the Democrats controlled the House, no Democrat ever voted to elect a Republican as a committee or sub-committee chairman during my 30 years in Congress.

When I was in office, I voted the overwhelming majority of the time with my fellow Republicans, but occasionally on some very important issues, I voted with the majority of Democrats when few other Republicans had.

But voting on issues is very different from procedural votes, and a chairmanship vote is usually the most important procedural vote at every level.

I would not have been elected to Congress if the Republican Party had not given me its nomination. This is true of almost all Republicans in almost all offices across the country.

I believe the four Republicans who voted to elect a Democrat to chair the county commission know they would not have been elected if they had run as Democrats.

I believe on key procedural votes they owe some loyalty to the party that elected them.

Some people who get elected for the first time, unfortunately, let it go to their head and seem to believe they won entirely on their own and quickly forget their party. I hope that is not the case here.

I have known some Republicans who take their party for granted and feel they need to primarily court the Democrats.

While in office, you should always try to help everyone regardless of party or even non-party affiliation.

But let me tell you, Democrats stick together better than Republicans, especially at election time.

We have always had a few Democrats who have run disguised as Republicans in Knox County. On the national level, they are called RINOs, Republicans In Name Only. I hope this is not the case here.

I do know that Terry Hill and her husband have been longtime loyal Republicans, and I really wish she had run if the goal was to elect a woman as chairman.

Some say this was a gender vote. But if it was, that is a pretty poor reason. No one should vote against someone just because he is a man or vote for someone just because she is a woman.

People are fleeing Democrat-run cities and counties all over the country. Almost without exception, these cities and counties have become areas of the highest taxes, highest crime rates, highest welfare payments, highest number of illegal immigrants, and highest government debt.

Democrats seem to have no hesitancy in spending money they do not have and starting all sorts of very expensive and very ineffective social programs.

Unfortunately, the City of Knoxville has become a Democratic hole in a Republican donut. The city has been held somewhat in check because it is not yet overwhelmingly Democrat as in most major cities.

But if the county ends up in Democrat control, too, as it will if Republicans don’t stick together, this area will end up being plagued with the same problems as in so many other counties across the country.

Unfortunately, there are no true conservatives or moderates in the Democrat Party today. It has become a left-wing socialist party, and it would be terrible for our children and grandchildren to give such an extreme party control of Knox County.