I asked Lockwood if he expects to receive a single vote, just one, from any marginalized, outlier, alienated, lonely Republican in the upcoming election to lead the Colorado Republican Party.
No, he told me, he doesn’t. No one will vote for him, he says.
I called Lockwood because I’m rooting for him in his election. Not because I think he’s moderate or anything. Just last year, Lockwood was yelling at lawmakers to reopen America, and prior to that, he was helping to recall Democrats over their support for minor gun-safety laws. And he was opposing vaccine requirements. And there’s more.
But he’s not a threat to democracy as we know it.
That’s what it takes to gain my respect these days if you’re a Republican.
So I love seeing Lockwood on the stage with Kristi Burton Brown, who wants to ban all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, Scott Gessler, who loved making false accusations of election fraud way before it was trendy, and Casper Stockham, who called U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) a “white supremacist” because she supports government assistance for Black Americans, among others.
You might argue that progressives like me would be better off if a guy like Stockham wins because the Republican Party would be so hosed in future elections. But Trump’s victory proves that to be wrong–and based on a positive view of the electorate that’s contradicted by the history of humanity.
Lockwood doesn’t think his opponents have a “chance in hell” to grow the Republican Party in Colorado, much less win elections in our blue state.
He’s probably right, in present-day Colorado, but it’s a risk I’d rather not take.
“The Republican Party has become smaller and less diverse in every single way,” Lockwood told me, saying that it’s bizarre to watch his fellow Republicans crusading to make it even smaller.
Lockwood says there are a few Republicans who did openly support him, but they were not selected as delegates to the state GOP convention, where the vote for party leader will take place.
He thinks some shinanigans are afoot, but he’s not running to win at this point.
He wants Republicans to wake up to the fact that only a candidate like him can win over suburban voters who are essential to electoral success.
He also wants to “ensure that people who are not just along for the Trump train ride to hell” have a voice.
“It is really important that Republicans who do not conform to the Maganon dictates have a voice and push back on the demands for complicit conformity,” says Lockwood. “Conformity is not a conservative value.”
“I think it’s important that there is space carved out in the Republican Party for people like me, either to be candidates or on staff, whatever it is. We have to have diversity of thought within our party and among the faces of our party.”
Lockwood says there’s common ground between conservatives and progressives.
It’s true, to some degree. But more than that, there’s a common threat.
Surprisingly, Lockwood thinks his hopeless candidacy is making a difference, both for him personally and the party.
“Since I’ve entered the race, I’ve made the candidates who are in it better,” says Lockwood. “I think that I’ve constantly forced conversations that need to be had.”
God bless him.