The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Promises Made, Promises Renewed

Last year, when I was first flirting with the idea of running for Congress, a friend of mine told me that no matter what I did in the future, I shouldn’t do it if the price was losing my voice on the issues I care about.

I made her that promise. Over the last couple days, I’ve broken it.

For me, being involved in politics has never been about personal glory for myself. I was always content to stay in the background. I’ve only come forward with the things I have because no one else seemed willing or able to talk to the people who could most benefit from the message of conservatism that I’ve benefitted from. So I went to work…always keeping in mind that my work wasn’t for myself; rather, it was for those friends and family who have gone without a true say in their lives for many years. I wanted to be their voice.

I’ve gone back and forth in my political identification. At times, I’m a Republican, others an “independent” conservative, and now an urban conservative. Time and again, people have asked why I was a Republican, and there was a time where I could answer that. I hadn’t yet been corrupted by the process; still had the innocent thoughts that suggested if my message was good, people would hear it. I never expected-regardless of all the warnings I’ve had-to be put in the position where I’d have to forsake my reasons for political involvement to accomplish the limited goal of winning an election.

I’ve been in that position. And as a person with some degree of principle, I can’t stay here.

So, with that, let’s establish-and reestablish-a couple things:

I am an urban conservative Republican in the mold of Frederick Douglass and other blacks who were there for the Republican Party at its founding. Like him, I will speak on the issues that most directly affect me and the community in which I work and live. At times, my indictments against the present-day GOP will be harsh, and deservedly so.  Our recent history is not something we should be proud of, and calling it to our attention doesn’t make me any less Republican; I feel it makes me a better one.

My support of the GOP, however, doesn’t grant them a free pass. Of late, Republicans in Virginia have done some things that, at a minimum, can be described as ill-advised. The way the GOP has talked to me-as well as the people I’ve grown up with, work with, and live with should not be the way we’re dealt with in the future.

For my friends and family in the community, I’ve heard your concerns for me and my alignment with the Republican Party. They’ve never been taken lightly. And yeah, I have considered walking away. But to do that would concede my argument as lost. It would be hypocritical of me to walk away from what I undoubtedly am, and I hope you recognize that. At the end of the day, I believe we’re all working towards the same goal, and just have different ways of getting there. That’s what our country’s about.

My promise to you is this: I will not compromise your faith in me or your beliefs for the sake of conformity. I believe as I do, and that will not change. However, I come to you with a high degree of understanding and respect for your issues, your lives, and your realities. Extend that respect back.

The promise I made before stands renewed. I’m not willing to lose who I am or what I believe to appease anyone…and I’m not going to try to again.

HB2DF, Coby


Written by Coby Dillard

April 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

Posted in Editorials

3 Responses

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  1. Coby I just read your Promises Made… and am glad I did. I was sorry to hear that you had decided not to run in the 3rd. Hope you will have your chance one of these years you would make a good candidate and that is what we need in Congress.

    Lesley Foster

    April 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm

  2. Coby,
    I too was very disappointed to learn that you decided not to run for the third district. I was planning on helping you as soon as I knew what needed to be done. If you change your mind, please let me know.

    Linda Gunn

    April 14, 2010 at 9:03 pm

  3. D – I am not a republican and with the chaos and rhetoric over the last few months coming out of Washington and Virginia, I too question why anyone (especially a person of color) would want to align themselves with the republican party. However, I respect your decision to do so because I am holding on to the concept that maybe you are able to see something most of us can’t. Maybe that “something” is being smothered by the foolishness that is coming from grown men/women in leadership positions who clearly know better.

    Your voice is needed D. You can make a difference by speaking to folks you support about the value of diversity and how words and actions are not easily forgotten and have consequences especially in minority communities. Instead of going into minority communities explaining why we should be open to the GOP, invest that time educating the GOP on why the minority community is important to them and critical to the party coming into sniffing distance of the White House.

    It certainly won’t be easy but you have to start somewhere. There has got to be some rational minds left in the GOP who are willing to listen/reason but it may take you a while to find them. If after you have these conversations — things remain the same . . . well maybe then you will find that the Republican Party you support is probably extinct. In the meanwhile, anything you can do to encourage leadership to be about the business of working to find and implement solutions for the American people would be greatly appreciated. (hint – Financial Reform)

    Make a difference D. We need all hands on deck.


    April 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm

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