Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (R) speaks with Lynn Howie at the Kosciusko County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day 2022 dinner Thursday night. Photo by David Slone, Times Union.

NORTH WEBSTER — Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch asked the question, “Why are we all Republicans?” at Thursday night’s GOP dinner, and drew applause for the way she answered the question.

Crouch was the keynote speaker for the Kosciusko County Republican Party’s 2022 Lincoln Day Dinner at the Owl’s Nest in North Webster.

Indiana’s 52nd Lt. Governor reminded the packed house that they were gathered to celebrate the Republican Party’s first president – Abraham Lincoln.

“And let’s not just remember the man, let’s remember what Lincoln accomplished because Lincoln faced overwhelming challenges in a very, very difficult time in American history. So consider the following: Lincoln had to navigate a broken convention to become the candidate for his party. He was elected in the legislative elections with less than 40% of the vote. And once elected, he faced a divided country and what followed was the saddest and most divisive period in American history, the Civil War,” she said.

Despite these challenges, Crouch said Lincoln was able to muster the strength, the will, and ultimately the votes to end the scourge of slavery and to reunite the republic.

“So tonight, let’s ask ourselves, ‘Why are we Republicans?’ I expect us all to share the same values ​​and principles. We believe in God. We believe in hard work. We believe in equality and opportunity, not equality of outcome. But we also have a strong sense of personal responsibility, but we readily accept that we have a responsibility to help those less fortunate.We all share the same philosophy as Abraham Lincoln because Lincoln said government should only do for people what ‘they can’t do better for themselves and no more,’ she said.

Republicans, she said, are fighting the problems of too inefficient government.

“We need to deliver services efficiently to those who need them. As Republicans, we need to measure our progress not by how much help we get to people, but by how many people we take out of help and get back on their own two feet,” Crouch said. .

She said, probably like many at the annual dinner on Thursday, that she was inspired to get involved in politics by the 40th US President, Ronald Reagan “who was such a clear voice in defining the essence of politics. What became known as the Reagan Revolution gave idealistic young conservatives great purpose because Reagan spoke unabashedly about individual responsibility without discrediting those who needed a helping hand.

Reagan built a strong army, Crouch said. He fought for American values ​​abroad without making new enemies.

“But he always reminded us that we must never rest in the fight to protect life and liberty. Reagan said freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction. We did not pass it on to our children in blood. It must be fought, protected and transmitted so that they do the same. So why are we Republicans? she says.

“We are Republicans because we believe that our God, our Creator has endowed us with inalienable rights that governments and men cannot take away from us. We believe that our Constitution is not a guide; our Constitution is a guarantee of our rights as Americans. And we believe we should have the freedom to choose our own path without the interference of an all-powerful government in a distant capital,” she continued to applause.

It is because of these values ​​that in the past two elections, Hoosiers have responded to and elected more Republican mayors than ever before in Indiana history. She said 88% of all county office holders are Republicans. All six statewide office holders are Republicans, and the party has a supermajority in the Indiana House and Senate. Indiana’s two US Senators and the majority of its US Representatives are Republicans.

“It’s because of our values. It is because of our principles. It’s because we’re Republicans and we know there’s no better place in the United States that demonstrates people power over government than here in Indiana. And it’s because of that, it’s because of conservative Republican leadership at the state level that Indiana is No. 1 in the Midwest, fifth in the nation for our business environment. We are the second most affordable state. We have the third-best infrastructure in the country and are one of 13 states to have earned a triple-A credit bond rating from all three independent rating agencies. Incredible achievements! But they are not only due to the government. It is because of the hard-working, risk-taking and sacrificing men and women who have set our state on the path to prosperity,” she said.

At the national level, she said there is an entirely different picture.

“With Biden in the White House, Democrats in control of Congress, we see left-wing socialists trying to nationalize our elections, fill the Supreme Court, overhaul our tax code, restrict our right to bear arms, and even rewrite the story. And it can’t go on,” Crouch said.

She said they could not sit idly by “and let this election be taken away from us. We are fighting for the heart and soul of America in this November election. We have to win.

So “why are we Republicans?” she asked again. “Our Republican Party, historically and broadly, is the party of freedom. Since World War II, we have been known for freedom of speech, the free market, the empowerment of the individual, not the state. And hopefully this election cycle of 2022, we can get back to those fundamentals because when I look around the country, I’m not sure we’re winning the battle for freedom. Big government, corporate media and left-wing ideologues are a three-headed monster eroding our freedoms and trying to turn our country into a top-down authoritarian state.

She said Republicans should not be discouraged by these challenges, but rather embrace the challenges and use them as motivation to be able to tell “our friends and our neighbors, to everyone we can, our fundamental Republican principles, which are the individual. not the state that makes America great. And if we can leave here tonight and carry the message that government isn’t the answer to every problem, rather we are, then we’ll do our part to protect the American dream.

Crouch then surprised Al Disbro with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s Wabash Sagamore because she said Disbro embodied the definition of a Republican.