By Illinois Review
During an appearance on Saturday with Black and Right Radio host John Anthony, the co-chair of the IL GOP Grassroots Committee Larry Smith defended his support for embattled IL GOP chairman Don Tracy and admitted that he doesn’t know who the grassroots are, saying “I’m trying to find them,” in a bizarre interview meant to repair his image with the constituency he’s supposed to represent after voting last Saturday that he had confidence in Tracy’s leadership.
Throughout the interview, Smith repeatedly defended his vote during the last state central committee meeting in support of Tracy, saying, “his head is in the right spot; his heart is in the right spot.”
And he reiterated that, “it doesn’t seem to be a good time to be changing horses when this horse is actually working it — he’s, I mean Don’s a humble guy all things considered.”
Earlier on Saturday, just hours before Smith’s radio interview, Tracy spoke to a group of Republicans in Lake County where he publicly slammed his favorite target: the grassroots.
As the caller pointed out, who was at the event with Tracy,
“..he [Tracy] brought up the fact that everybody’s pointing at him, but he goes, ‘Where are the grassroots? We don’t need people sitting in their chairs’…”
The caller then concluded his comments, with Smith still on the line, by saying, “bottom line is, I’m behind him [Tracy] right now 100 percent, so thank you [to Smith] for supporting him.”
And this exchange led to Smith’s most cringeworthy moment during his hour-long interview as he responded to the caller’s comments about Tracy slamming the grassroots only hours earlier.
Did Smith, the co-chair of the IL GOP grassroots committee defend the grassroots?
Instead, he referred to the grassroots base of the party as “keyboard warriors that never built anything in their life,” setting off a firestorm of negative comments on social media from grassroots activists who had tuned in hoping the grassroots committee co-chair would defend the conservative-base of the party – the base he’s supposed to be representing.
“But you’ve got these keyboard warriors that never built anything in their life; now there are some people out there, but I’m trying to find them because we can’t work with them and meet their needs until we sit and talk about – first of all, what it is the IL GOP is….there are structural ways we can work together and things that we can do that support their interests…”
Smith also repeatedly referred to the grassroots condescendingly as “they, them and their,” proving once again that the IL GOP views the conservative-base of the party as “steerage,” or third-class citizens.
It’s “We the People,” but to Smith and the IL GOP, it’s “They, the People.”
And while Smith and his fellow IL GOP leaders sit in their first-class cabins with ocean views, the grassroots base of the party – the “they, them and their,” take their seats below deck, in the “steerage” with views of the boiler and engine rooms.
What Smith should have done was defend the grassroots during his radio interview – but instead, all he did was offend them.
It’s also sad that Smith was clueless that just hours earlier, Tracy was slamming the grassroots publicly during a GOP event.
And how does Smith respond? He slams the grassroots too, calling them “keyboard warriors.”
It’s clear after this interview that Smith is not a representative of the grassroots – he’s a representative of one person – and that’s Don Tracy.
And until the Republican Party of Illinois has a chairman and grassroots committee co-chairs that actually support and respect the grassroots – we’ll never win.
And the elections results prove it.