Local Editorials

Our View: An uninspiring MLK Day message from local GOP

Algonquin Township Republican Party Chairman Glen Swanson
Algonquin Township Republican Party Chairman Glen Swanson

The message from the Algonquin Township Republican Party on Martin Luther King Jr. Day wasn’t about civil rights, equality or other American ideals so often discussed on that day. 

Instead, it was a rant about how the post office was closed, even though Walmart and Target were open. The post, which since has been deleted, called MLK Day a “special interest holiday” and intimated it was just another excuse for government workers to take a day off.  “Observe the day just as another Hallmark Holiday!” The post read. It concluded  “... Dr. King is in the history books! That should be sufficient!” 

Those who believe that civil rights and equality are more than a special interest, and that the work to protect and preserve them is not finished – take comfort in the words of King himself: “No one has the right to rain on your parade.” 

Glen Swanson, the chairman of the Algonquin Township Republican Party, apparently authored the MLK Day rant. Algonquin Township, you probably remember, has also been the setting for multiple rounds of infighting and corruption allegations brought by Republicans, against Republicans. 

What was the point of sharing that view on behalf of the party, on that day? The message was not inspiring. It didn’t foster understanding or better relationships. It didn’t appeal to anyone to be their better selves or make the community any better. It wasn’t a conservative viewpoint, or a mainstream one.

It was the rant of a man who is, at best, purposefully ignorant of why Martin Luther King Day matters. Brought to you by the Algonquin Township GOP. 

Swanson’s screed appeared right above a post for a meet-and-greet for Judge Justin Hansen, who is running for circuit judge. We hope Judge Hansen holds civil rights in higher regard than the township party chairman. 

Although the post has been deleted, the township GOP has not issued any kind of apology or other acknowledgment that the statement was offensive and foolish. 

Many of us in McHenry County agree with mainstream Republican values of lower  taxation, limited government, and respect for personal and religious freedom. However, the days of people winning elections simply because the local GOP is backing them are over. McHenry County voters don’t want to be represented by people with fringe beliefs who don’t share our core values about what’s important in society. That includes civil rights. 

The Algonquin Township Republicans should apologize for this ridiculous statement made on their behalf, and find a new chairman. 

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