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My Dad, Bonneville County Commissioner Dave Radford, is running for State Representative in Idaho’s District 32. I don’t get to vote for him now that I make my home in Arizona but if you have the chance to cast a vote for him, I hope that you do. I’ll give you just one of the many reasons why you should.

Firstly, my dad shaped my political views at a very early age and I have always been a proud Republican (thankfully). He taught me what true conservativism meant and how to spot socialist policies from a safe distance: far, far away. He also taught me to speak up about my beliefs and do it with integrity and respect for others... even if their view was different than mine. He encouraged me to be brave, even in my own political party, because it’s just as important to point out problems on your own side of the aisle as it is to point the finger at the other side.

Fast forward to pandemic 2020. I’ve been blessedly distracted all shelter-in-place long. My baby girl was born right at the beginning of what would become a nation-wide shutdown. When she was born on March 20th, there was a lot of uncertainty. Particularly at the hospital. It wasn’t a terrible place to be... there was just a sense that they were hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. My husband and I went home from the hospital determined to be safe and careful regardless of what was or wasn’t mandated, at least until things played out a bit. We have an asthmatic little girl who was kept alive by a ventilator her first weeks of life. She’s been hospitalized multiple times with pneumonia. We didn’t want to gamble with the unknown. We went home to basically quarantine ourselves and had almost no one over to meet Baby Aubrey.

I quickly learned there were lots of different views on social distancing. Everyone seemed committed to some extent at first and didn’t challenge us on keeping our family isolated. As time went on, people became more vocal both online and in personal conversations we had, expressing diverging views. I don’t think diverging views are a bad thing at all! I feel blessed that we are free to express our views in this amazingly free republic. I do, however, feel disheartened at how divisive those views are expressed at times. That climate can be daunting and feels particularly difficult to navigate during this crisis. Suddenly it seems everyone is an expert... especially with the benefit of hindsight.

What doesn’t help matters is a lack of transparency. I, like all conservatives, am used to wading through the blatant media bias on the left, but apparently I’m not as adept at spotting the scare tactics from the fringe right. I was hoodwinked this week when I read a snippet online about a mother in Idaho who was arrested “just for taking her kids to play at the park!” What!? I was shocked. This sounded more like something that would happen in the city of San Francisco where I also was a resident for a few years. Not in Idaho! I was shaking my head in dismay. Thankfully my Dad, Dave, was able to share the rest of the story which had been conveniently left out of the post online. This was a staged protest at a park in Meridian by an organized group of anti-vaccination activists. They have a right to protest but civil disobedience could also mean you go to jail. They were prepared for that and even welcomed it, as evidenced by this woman literally asking the Police Officer to arrest her. The Idaho Freedom Foundation was prepared too: prepared to capitalize on the incident. They jumped on the story, which is no surprise since they were encouraging direct defiance of Governor Little’s guidelines, and used it to breed fear and “righteous” indignation. Other libertarian forces in the country also jumped on board and promoted their cause, which is how I came across the conveniently spun story online.

My point is simply that there is a blatant lack of transparency and honesty in the whole campaign. The most shameful part is that the Freedom Foundation released the personal information of the Police Officer involved. This needs called out for what it is... reprehensible and wholly unnecessary. Keep your protests at the capital... but stay away from the family of this Police Officer who is trying his best to do his job at an unprecedented time.

It may not do much good, perhaps, for one individual like me to call out these extremists group leaders and the people who support them, but my Dad is an elected official and a candidate for State Representative. I’m grateful for his bravery in sharing the story in its entirety so that all citizens understand the whole truth. I’m grateful he has a desire to run against his opponent, Chad Christensen, so that District 32 has a true conservative in office. We can have open and honest conversations with integrity and thoughtfulness so that we can get back to business in this country. In Idaho, that is the business of liberty and justice for all. That’s why I am proud to hale from that one-of-kind state. That’s the Idaho that I love. District 32 would be lucky to have my dad, Dave Radford, represent them in Boise!

Rebecca Davis

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