A few days or weeks ago I inappropriately posted an email onto this blog that I had addressed to the President of the College Republicans. The email's content was basically my poor and inaffective attempt to extend the "olive branch".
I feel like Ben Stiller's character from the movie "Meet the Parents". In the movie Ben Stiller, despite his motives and intentions, can't seem to do anything right. And that's been my experience with trying to do something good.
I think my first mistake was printing my views about Iraq in Scroll. I still feel that my comments in that editorial were tame incomparison to what has been written about Iraq, however, I did fail to recognize who my audience was and that was a BIG mistake.
My second mistake was to start the College Democrats while publically claiming to be a registered Republican in Oregon. I should have just kept that part to myself. See, the thing is that I've never voted for a Democrat and until I came up here to Rexburg I had never ever considered being a Democrat. So was I lying and trying to make a show? Please believe me when I say that I was not. Was I wrong to make the claim of being a Republican? When considering my audience, yes.
My third mistake was not immediately replying to the College Republicans when they invited us to attend their State of the Union party. I didn't open the email until late that night and I forgot about it. Also, while it did come into mind I knew that I couldn't respond without first consulting the actual Democratic Leadership. That on top of communication errors led to us not replying. I know of at least one College Republican who seemed to me to be upset that we seemingly snubbed them. This can be seen at his website. This wasn't our intention at all. And I seriously regret our error.
My fourth mistake was to not make it blatantly and obviously clear that the poor attitudes towards the College Democrats on campus and at BYU-I was not officially, nor unofficially endorsed by the College Republicans. In news articles about me, or in posts or in anything that I've said what I have really meant is that the experience of the College Democrats is that we get an unfair shake from a lot of people. This unfair and mean attitude is not something that is taught by the College Republicans and the people portraying this attitude are not necessarily even members of the College Republicans. It was my mistake for not making that perfectly clear. However, let me now relate publically that many members of the College Democrats have been poorly treated because of their political affiliation. To deny this would be uncharitible and unrealistic and I personally feel that Joe Strickland's post entitled "College Democrats Continue to Widen the Divide" does not acknowledge nor condemn this unfair treatment.
My fifth mistake was to post an email that I had written to the President of the College Republicans without first asking her permission. I'm not making an excuse for my sin but please let me at least give a reason. I thought that the email was official and already public. I had CC'd the email to many people which she would have seen and it was written in an official manner. Regardless, it was poor manners to not ask her if she had any objections about my posting the email I wrote to her. I once again seriously regret this most recent mistake.
This is my public and deep apology for what I feel has been a series of preventable misunderstandings.
I do feel that Joe Strickland's post was an angry and emotionally charged reaction to my mistakes, but I cannot place too much blame on him. I wish that I would have done so many things differently and I also wish that Joe's post about me and the College Democrats wouldn't have been so assumptuous about our motives and intentions.
We've made many mistakes and unfortunately we'll continue to make more. I have especially made many mistakes, but they have not been intentional. What can I say? I'm Greg Focker.
I will state this however, when we have made mistakes, we own up to them.
Lastly, this is also my offical and final invitation to the College Republicans to meet with the Democratic Leadership in a private, intimate and friendly meeting. This invitation will always be open and it's in their ballpark now. I sincerely and literally pray that this unfortunate tension between our two groups will end.