More than 50 Republicans packed tables in the American Legion Post 18’s back room.
Before the meeting’s official start, IU College Republicans mingled with party officials and nearly all of Monroe County’s local candidates.
“How many people in the room are Republicans?” Monroe County GOP Chairperson Steve Hogan said.
The question, it seemed, was rhetorical. But Hogan got a few arm raises and more than a few chuckles.
Less than 60 days before the November election, the presidential race was the topic of the day.
Supporters wore red “Todd Young for Congress” or blue “Pence, Ellspermann” T-shirts. One even sported a green “My Man Mitch” tee, a throwback to the 2004 gubernatorial race.
Precinct Committeeman Robert Hall brought special signs and bumper stickers to the meeting.
They read, “Had enough? Vote Republican.”
Hall said the slogan came from a campaign website in Texas.
When the meeting began, Hogan discussed filling positions for Election Day and distributing yard signs and bumper stickers. He then introduced Kyle Spencer, political director of the IU College Republicans.
Spencer set the tone by describing what he said was the main difference between Democrats and Republicans.
“Republicans believe that America is great not because of the breadth and the size of the government but because of people like you, who show up this morning,” Spencer said. “You support a cause, and you believe in the United States of America.”
That sort of news was inspiring for young people, Spencer said. He also said more than 170 students and faculty attended the IU GOP’s callout meeting last week.
After business was finished, Chuck Trzcinka shared economic insights. Trzcinka is a professor in the Kelley School of Business and the IUCR’s adviser.
“What I’m going to do — now, don’t throw things at me — I want to talk about a Democrat,” Trzcinka said.
He went on to explain how Alice Rivlin, the woman who started the congressional budget office, was involved in developing what he described as the responsible economic policies he said today’s Democrats have lost.
“If there are responsible Democrats like you say, and I believe it, why do we have the president we have?” one woman asked.
Trzcinka said he couldn’t necessarily offer political insight but said he thought the 2008 economic crash led people to vote for Barack Obama.
Another guest added that the movie “2016: Obama’s America,” might offer insight into the other party’s motives.
“Think about solutions,” Trzcinka said.
While demonizing the opposing party might be simple, he said, looking forward will provide a better outcome.
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