So, I switched my party affiliation from Libertarian to Republican so I could at least cast one vote this year for someone who supports the Constitution. I also decided to see if there was anything else I could do.
Earlier this spring, I attended the Republican mass meeting for my county. 35 other people did as well. Since
I was not able to attend the regional meeting in April – we were on vacation.The Republican state convention was yesterday in
We “passed” some awful stuff. Not the least of which is a resolution that could be construed to be in support of laws that would make it a crime not to have identification proving your citizenship on your person at all times. I know these are just recommendations that will be passed to the national convention and be subsumed by what the party wants – but I hoped that a discussion would be allowed to perhaps inform, at least, the people sitting in the convention hall.
The chaos at the convention was troubling. There was a sizeable group (probably a 10th or more) of the seated delegates that wanted to have a discussion and challenge the agenda. They were put down completely. The microphones were removed from the convention floor (the one that worked anyway…) the sergeant at arms was ordered to remove them, their concerns were not addressed. I was surprised.Other observations…
- A state senator spoke – and left as soon as he finished speaking. He had NO interest in being part of the proceedings. Same with one of the congressional candidates. The other senator didn’t show (but had a good excuse)
- Creating and passing the agenda is the key to ensuring you have control of the meeting. You allocate a small time to anything that might be challenged and you can effectively stall long enough to be sure nothing happens.
OK – so what did my full day, $40 in gas and $20 in convention fee tell me?
You MUST get people who want to change things involved at the county level. You take the county meetings, you can take the state. I was thinking, for example, that if all the Ron Paul supporters had showed to the county meetings (or pick whatever group cares to make a difference), we could have had complete control of the floor (made it so only Ron Paul delegates were the ones seated at the convention). There, we could have passed our own resolutions and determined who would be the delegates to the national convention. I think, that there are many other states where we could have made a difference.
So, what does this mean? Or as a friend of mine elegantly asked, “So what?” It’s a fair question.
What if we could have controlled a significant minority of the county organizations in the country?
- We’re stuck with McCain (I believe).
- We could make a stink at the televised national convention.
- We could own what happens in the party for the next four years at the local level.
Great experience. I’ve learned a lot. I think, as we watch our freedoms erode these next four years (McCain or Obama - there may be a difference in degree, not in principle), we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves. My little token effort doesn’t absolve me from being an accessory to the crimes this country is committing.