Frequent Reagan Wing commenter, “Steve” (I honestly don’t know if he is Steven Spielberg, Stephen King or Stephen Colbert) just made a comment under the most recent “John McCain Quote of the Week” that deserves in-depth treatment. Steve said:
I don’t want to be fooled again. And we were fooled in the 1990s.
One of the things I see as critical next year is we really do need a “contract”. It can’t be next year, ‘well vote for me because I am not an incumbent.’ We need to demand that they stand for stuff.
So, what stuff should they stand on? Because there is a wave coming and someone is going to surf it. We just need to make sure this time it is REAL conservatives surfing.
A contract, a platform, is going to be a key first step. We just can’t allow them to win on a slogan and a smile.
Steve said it: “A contract, a platform, is going to be a key first step.”
What he has described is the operation of a political party. What Steve (and every sincere activist that has actually thought about the process) wants is for the freedom-loving people of America, that are rising up in various ad-hoc venues like “Tea Parties” to act like a political party. No “wildcat” movement can ever win more than a handful of seats or an elector or two in the electoral college. It will be co-opted by the major parties.
A political party is a large mass of people, organized, drawn together by ideals, expressing their most significant points of political principle in a written document that becomes the central organizing contract, the purpose of the organization, the manifesto of action for, and an objective measure of the worth of, its candidates: a PLATFORM.
That is what the Republican Party started out to be. And our central organizing principle, the top priority, in the beginning, was the abolition of slavery.
That thrust of energy, organized around the 1854 Republican Platform, resulted in a Party that went from NOTHING to electing the President of the United States in SIX YEARS.
In 1854 and 1856 and 1860 we were opposing the racially discriminatory enslavement of black people.
Today, we would be opposing the non-dicriminatory enslavement of ALL people.
We would fight SOCIALISM at its root, in principle, and any expansion of government, contrary to our principles, would be so anathema it would not seem like nit-picking to reject “moderate” mixed-socialist candidates.
We would NOT be producing a “Republican Alternative” to accomplish the same, unconstitutional purpose, only watered-down and “cheaper.” Nothing of that kind would ever, or has ever, proceeded from the grassroots base of the Party. It turns their stomach. They call the organizers of such treachery, like McCain and Romney, “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only). The grassroots would never put that patronizing fertilizer in a real platform.
That’s why RINOs hate the Platform.
The deconstruction of the Republican platform has been a central battle in the GOP for more than the quarter-century-plus I’ve been involved. And the deconstruction of the platform and the platform process has been central to the deconstruction of the whole Party.
In 2006 I asked (now-current King County Chair, then-current Vice and Platform Chair), Lori Sotelo, what she thought the purpose of the platform was. She said, “it is an expression of the beliefs of the grassroots,” nothing more. The idea that it was a “contract,” a document binding the action of its officers and candidates, had never occurred to her (or it had occurred and she had rejected it). She and her wing of the Party, the unprincipled compromise wing (like 2008 State Platform Chair Mathew Manweller) , have always done everything in their power to take the teeth out of every platform, minimize its issues, and reduce it to a collection of unenforcible, emotional platitudes. To that end, they work hard to eliminate its consideration on the floor of every convention because the grassroots inevitably make it stronger.
In 2008, Lori’s KCGOP accomplished this by rules trickery. The Convention was prevented from even discussing its own platform. And discussing it was the only reason to have a convention. In 2004, they broke the rules four times in succession to prevent the convention from choosing its own working document.
At the State level:
- In 2008, the GOP Left tried to shut platform discussion down completely, by walking out, depriving the body of a quorum.
- At the 2006 State Convention, they had tried to shut platform discussion down completely, by walking out, depriving the body of a quorum (sound familiar?).
The tactic is a violation of Roberts Rules. In both cases, however, despite the failure of the tactic, itself, the time their attempt wasted, defrauded the body of valuable platform discussion time.
- They always put “Platform” at the end of the convention and use every delay tactic to wear out the body, looking for a motion that will end discussion and adjourn the convention.
The leaders of that movement are totally unscrupulous.
I could give you a blow-by-blow history of the attempted ruination of the platform process by the GOP LEFT, every two years, going back more than two decades and including manifold rules violations in their strategy. Vote fraud, censorship, rules violations, legal infractions breaching State Law governing political parties and State Constitutional violations of free speech are the normal course of action for the GOP Left that has run our Party that way for more than three decades.
And yet…. the (unused) structure of majority rules and representative government of the Party is still in place. All it would require is enforcement. All it would require is a people willing to demand ethics by Party leaders.
We will not restore Constitutional freedom to the nation until we have a political party dedicated to it. We must offer Constitional freedom, as a practical choice, to the whole electorate. That means running candidates for a majority of offices. That means supporting them. Because simply running good candidates is not enough. They must be able to reach the electorate with their message. And that means overcoming the lies and distortions of the liberal media. And that means a massive, ORGANIZED, COORDINATED effort.
And we will not do that until we have leaders who believe in the rule of law within the Party, leaders who will empower and inspire the grassroots, not continually meet in secret to plot against them.
Last week the State Executive Board met in secret, again. They voted to exclude legally elected Republican Precinct Committee Officers from even seeing what they’re doing in their meetings (unless specifically invited by Luke Esser). They did it without even notifying the State Committee (who has complete authority over them) and without any delegation of that power by the bylaws.
A political party so constructed and operated can never, NEVER lead or inspire its own grassroots.
So what is to be done?
We must either build another party, from scratch, outside the Repubican Party or clean up the corruption in the GOP.
Let’s compare the two.
Abandoning the GOP:
Starting outside we would have to come from behind. We would not be a “third party,” we would be a 26th Party.
Behind the Democrats and Republicans, but ahead of us (in experience and organization) are (listed alphabetically):
- The American Patriot Party,
- The American Reform Party,
- The American Synthesis Party,
- The Communist Party,
- The Constitution Party,
- The Democratic Socialists,
- The Founders Party,
- The Green Party,
- The Labor Party,
- The Libertarian Party,
- The Light Party,
- The National Socialist Movement,
- The Natural Law Party,
- The New American Independent Party,
- The New Party,
- The Progressive Labor Party,
- The Prohibition Party,
- The Reform Party,
- The Social Democrats,
- The Socialist Labor Party,
- The Unity Party,
- The Veterans Party, and
- The Workers World Party
Most of these began with the idea of eventually displacing one of the two major parties and becoming the “other” player; one of the two among whom voters choose. Some of them believed they would be replacing the Republican Party and some the Democrat Party while a number of them, the Communists and National Socialists, for instance, expected to replace BOTH parties.
Since the return to Constitutional Government via a “new” Party is not a new idea, and, in fact there are several already started, which would we choose? Constitution? Libertarian? Natural Law? Who would decide? In reality, wouldn’t we just split up and disperse into the various attempts? I watched this play out in the ‘90s in the exasperated responses to the departure from Reagan conservatism of the Party Elite. They had never believed in conservatism, but when he was strong they went along with it as pragmatists. When he was gone they went right back to business as usual. And so we saw repeated attempts at a break-away party.
It just split up the conservative movement.
There is nothing to tell us, as a vast and widely dispersed group, where the “new” party will begin. We’ll just break up.
Wouldn’t most conservatives, then, remain in the Party with Sarah Palin and Ron Paul and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Bobby Jindal and Peter Schiff: the Republican Party? And whouldn’t they then be so much weaker because of the departure of their allies, somewhere among the “third” to twenty-sixth parties?
There is no question in my mind. Until some charismatic “Moses” unites a majority of the Party and leads us in one dramatic, announced, historic “Exodus” to another SPECIFIC Party, as Reagan could have done in 1980, no “third Party” (26th Party) can succeed. If it could, it would have happened in the ‘90s.
How hard, by comparison, is the alternative?
Cleaning up the GOP
All that is necessary, here, is for the Freedom Movement, the Tea Parties, Glen Beck groups and Campaign for Liberty, to flow in to the Republican Party and, in defiance of social convention, forcibly return the mechanisms of the Party to majority vote; to representative process according to rules.
All it really requires is being willing to confront the Parliamentary cheaters,
- in the caucuses,
- in the conventions,
- in the Party meetings and elections, and, as need be,
- in court
What hangs in the balance is American Freedom. What depends on American Freedom is the hope of mankind to escape World Tyranny.
We are quickly facing the circumstances prophesied by the conservative British Prime Minister:
If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.
~ Winston Churchill