May 10, 2023
How You Can Get Involved In Idaho
By: Brian Parsons
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Last week, I lamented the lack of awareness amongst the public of ongoings in the state of Idaho. It’s not that I judge the public because there is a solid argument to be made that it’s much better for your health to be blissfully unaware. Here’s an example of what I am referring to:
At the height of COVID-19, I was conversing with several friends. One, having recently recovered from COVID, said that they had read Ivermectin potentially provided benefits for treating COVID. Because of the controversy in getting it, they ordered it by mail from Canada or somewhere where it’s over the counter. A physician friend in the same conversation responded, “Why didn’t you just ask me? I would have written it for you. What’s the big deal?”
My physician friend was completely unaware of the public conversation and controversy around Ivermectin. They understood it to be such a safe and essential medication that they offered to prescribe it without hesitation. They were unaware that physicians nationwide had their licenses threatened for treating patients with Ivermectin. When I say blissfully unaware, this person embodies the term.
I have said it before, but conservatives are not natural activists. By definition, they like the way things are and merely want to be left alone. Unfortunately, the political opposition does not extend the same sentiment and demands progress. Conservatives must learn to be active citizens, even if only to preserve society for their posterity.
One of the impediments to being an active citizen is knowing where to start. People have strengths and weaknesses, and it’s impossible to be all things to everyone. For this reason, there is no shortage of opportunities to get plugged in wherever you may find your strengths. If you are a conservative looking for an organization to offer your skillset to, I contacted several advocacy organizations to allow them to give their sales pitch. Here is a short list by focus:
The first and possibly most notorious organization here is the Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF). Launched in 2009 by Wayne Hoffman, the Idaho Freedom Foundation bills itself as “the leading voice for conservative and free-market values in Idaho. The IFF is most notorious for its freedom indices that score candidates and elected officials on metrics such as their adherence to the Idaho Constitution and a commitment to policies that advance the cause of liberty in Idaho. Many of these indices are based on how elected officials steward the public coffers. To learn more or get involved with the Idaho Freedom Foundation, visit idahofreedom.org and sign up for their email list when prompted.
Near every significant piece of socially conservative legislation to pass in recent history finds its origin at the Idaho Family Policy Center. From restrictions on abortion to restrictions on gender-affirming care for minors, the IFPC has played a pivotal role in drafting and advocating for legislation to put before the legislature. The Idaho Family Policy Center (IFPC) was founded in 2021 and grew out of several attempts to organize the Christian and socially conservative vote in Idaho nearly twenty years ago. Spearheaded by former Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane and State Senator Ben Toews, and headed by Blane Conzatti, the Idaho Family Policy Center has been a powerhouse of social conservatism at the state level. Visit idahofamily.org and click the sign me up link in the top right-hand corner to join their email list.
Perhaps no subject draws the ire of its opponents more than the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Organizations like the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America get much press time as 2A advocates nationally. Still, most gun regulations and legislation are written at the state level. Organizations like the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance (ISAA) are necessary. Founded in 2012 by Idaho native and Iraq War veteran Greg Pruett, the ISAA bills itself as “the only no-compromise organization fighting on the ground for the right to keep and bear arms in the state of Idaho.” The ISAA has played a pivotal role in drafting and passing things such as permitless carry in Idaho. To get involved with the ISAA, visit idahosaa.org and click join.
While the IFPC deals primarily in policy advocacy, other organizations cater specifically to the needs of the public. Idaho has statewide pro-life advocacy organizations, but we also have local and regional organizations that meet the needs of young mothers right here in Pocatello. In 2011 Compassion & Hope Pregnancy Center was formed to support women and men dealing with unplanned pregnancies in Southeast Idaho. If you are an experienced parent who can support women and peers in their pregnancy journeys or offer financial or other support, call (208) 478-4673 (HOPE) or visit them at pocatellopregnancycenter.com.
Finally, the Citizens Alliance of Idaho (CAI) was formed in 2021 to hold elected Idaho officials accountable to its citizens and is headed up by Executive Director Matt Edwards of Hayden. They promote a statewide pledge to uphold the U.S. and Idaho Constitutions to all candidates. Then, they work to hold elected officials accountable for their pledges. They raise funds to oppose those candidates who don’t uphold their pledge and recruit and train candidates to oppose them. To learn more about the CAI and its candidate pledge, you can visit them at citizensallianceidaho.org.
Brian Parsons is a paleoconservative opinion columnist in Idaho, a proud husband and father, and saved by Grace. You can follow him at WithdrawConsent.org or find his opinion columns at the American Thinker, in the Idaho State Journal, or in other regional publications.