Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Republican Politics’

On Friday at noon, the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Republican Parties held their monthly First Friday gathering at the Wood Grill Buffet in Harrisonburg.  The featured speaker was Pete Snyder who is heading up the Republican victory program in Virginia for 2012.

The meeting itself was a fairly ordinary affair.  About two-dozen or so local Republicans attended, most enjoyed lunch, while I just had several glasses of sweet tea.  However, once just about everyone had dispersed, I paid my bill, sat on the bench near the entrance and wept.

As we live in a society which typically discourages most public forms of emotion, especially from men, it must have been a strange sight indeed for those around watching a thirty-one-year-old person cry for no discernable reason.

So what, may you ask, caused me to act in such a fashion?  The answer is boiling anger, overwhelming frustration, and infinite sadness triggered by the actions of one local Republican.

I wept for the sake of the party.  In the meeting, one person declared that our goal should be to elect “anyone but Obama”.  Really?  Has our party become so vapid and devoid of rational worth that we will gladly rally behind any man or woman regardless of merit simply because he or she is not Barack Obama?  Heck, Hilary Clinton is not Obama; does that mean we should support her if she had an “R” by her name?  And isn’t there is an ocean of difference between Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich?  Don’t principles mean anything anymore?  And I started to fear that perhaps I was gravely mistaken to believe that they ever did.  Yet if we cast aside principles, what’s left to separate the parties other than a meaningless animal mascot and a color?

I wept for the state of Virginia and the nation as a whole due to the fact that we have so many leaders of both parties that seem to care nothing or at least very little about the values of the people and the society that placed them in their position of power.  Sure, we can criticize members of the other party who trample upon the Constitution, moral decency, or the rule of law, but calling out members of your own party who violate these ideals has become taboo.  Therefore, I must mourn the loss of political dialogue and freedom that have given way to strict and unthinking party loyalty.

Although it may sound selfish, I wept for my future employment prospects and myself.  As I’ve mentioned to many people over the last several months, there are few things that I desire more than the chance to make a decent living promoting my political principles among my fellow countrymen, the citizens of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  However, my rugged insistence of clinging to my values is likely seen as a liability.  Who wants to hire a passionate paleo-conservative when malleable yes men are available? Which kind of person will likely cause less headaches?  Unfortunately, most of the powerful and affluent politicians scoff at liberty-minded constitutional conservatives while those companies and people who do value us either have no money and can only offer volunteer opportunities or give little better than subsistence wages.  Does the easiest, and perhaps only, way to succeed involve selling out?  Again, I fear that blind allegiance to the party and its leaders trump standing up for the creeds that supposedly guide their actions.

Lastly, and more importantly, I wept for the demise of a former political ally, a person who supposedly once held the political principles that I cherish.  To be fair, I had known for some time that this person had jettisoned our shared beliefs, but I now realized that there was no turning back, there is no hope for redemption.  Conservative/libertarian principles have melted away and have been replaced with a zeal for the establishment.  Now the ideological drift is simply too great; today we have about as much in common as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky does with someone like Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina or Virginia Senator Steve Newman does with fellow Virginia State Senator Tommy Norment.  We might both call ourselves Republican but we likely have as many areas of disagreement as agreement.

This knowledge is particularly disappointing, but it alone wouldn’t have been enough to spur such a reaction.  However, after the Republican meeting was over, that same person savagely attacked me with an over the top tirade in front of a fellow activist.  At that moment, that person represented to me everything that is wrong with politics today; a person ruled, apparently not by principle, but self-serving ambition that is willing to use anything or anyone as a stepping-stone to greater influence.  Although I know that it only heightened tensions during the exchange, much like a scene from Fellowship of the Ring, I more or less inquired when did this person decide to “abandon reason for madness?”  This particularly ugly combination of events frays any past political ties and makes the hope of any future cooperation unlikely at best.

So, if you happened to have entered the Wood Grill Buffet in Harrisonburg on Friday and saw someone crying on the bench, now you know why.  I was overcome with grief and anger mourning the downfall of many things: the bastardization of my party, the way in which so many politicians continually deceive the public without recourse, the loss of a former ideological believer, the likely failure of my future, and the death of the principles which supposedly guided them all.

How would you feel if you discovered that so many of the activities and relationships you crafted over the past seventeen years might be meaningless?  What if your great passion created nothing but corrupted politics and false friends, and the only thing you had to show for your effort was a pile of crumbly ashes?  If so, you might say, as Lesley Gore wrote in her well-known song, “it’s my party…you would cry too if it happened to you”.

Read Full Post »

VC Note:  Earlier this morning, I wrote that Lt. Governor released a statement against the loyalty oath for Virginia’s March 6th 2012 Presidential Primary.  For the record, the oath states that by voting in Virginia’s Republican primary, you are pledging to vote for the party’s nominee in the November general election, regardless of which person emerges victorious and irrespective of what principles he or she happens to hold.  Shortly after posting this piece, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell offered his take on the oath, which I present, to you below along with some additional commentary:

 Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Proposed  Loyalty Oath for March GOP Presidential Primary in Commonwealth

RICHMOND– Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement this morning regarding the proposed “loyalty oath” that all voters seeking to participate in the March GOP Presidential Primary in Virginia would be required to sign in order to cast a vote.

“Over the past few days I have reviewed the issue of the proposal that voters sign a loyalty oath as a requirement for participation in our upcoming GOP Presidential Primary in March. While I fully understand the reasoning that led to the establishment of this requirement, such an oath is unenforceable and I do not believe it is in the best interests of our Party, or the Commonwealth. The effect of the oath could be one of diminishing participation in the primary, at a time when our Party must be expanding its base and membership as we head into the pivotal 2012 general elections this fall. For these reasons, I urge the State Central Committee to rescind the loyalty oath requirement at its upcoming meeting on the 21st.

It is true that for political parties to remain viable they must have some means by which to control their own nomination processes. I know the loyalty oath was proposed as a possible good faith solution to this issue in this primary election, but there are other ways. I would support legislation to establish voluntary party registration in Virginia. Such a reform to our electoral system would eliminate the need for any oaths or pledges and greatly simplify the nomination process in the Commonwealth.”

VC Note: I always welcome another nail in the coffin of the hated loyalty oath.  Even though odds are pretty good that I will support the Republican nominee against President Obama, I believe the oath attempts to strip away our right to vote our conscious as well as the idea of a secret ballot.  Sure, it is unenforceable, but it creates a situation whereby otherwise honorable people will refuse to sign the oath and therefore be denied the right to vote.  After all, if it is dishonorable to break the oath, then only 100% party loyalists and dishonorable people will show up to vote.  Should either of these two groups have complete control over the primary?  I think doing so is bad for the candidates, bad for the party, bad for the state, and bad for the nation. 

Then again, I believe the process is best handled through conventions rather than primaries.  If states held conventions and caucuses in 2008 as opposed to primaries, I’m pretty sure that the Republican nominee wouldn’t have been John McCain.  Were you happy with that choice?  I know that even though I am a Republican I was not, but then again, neither were a majority of the American voting population.  So how is that hope and change working out for you?

Read Full Post »

VC Note:  I just received this press release from Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling.  I’m glad to see that more and more people, politicians and activists alike, are taking a stand against the undemocratic loyalty oath forced upon voters in Virginia’s March 6th Presidential Primary.  Hopefully, with enough backlash, the party will get rid of this oath and never attempt to use it again.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BOLLING ASKS REPUBLICAN PARTY OF VIRGINIA TO RESCIND PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY LOYALTY OATH

RICHMOND – Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today asked members of the Republican Party of Virginia’s (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) to rescind the Loyalty Oath in connection with the upcoming presidential primary.

In a letter to SCC members, Lieutenant Governor Bolling wrote:

“In recent days various Republican Party leaders and activists have inquired about my position on the Loyalty Oath, so I wanted to share my views on this issue with you.  While I certainly understand the rationale for a Loyalty Oath and respect the initial decision the SCC made in approving a Loyalty Oath, it is my belief that the Loyalty Oath should be rescinded.

“I am concerned that requiring a Loyalty Oath may send the wrong message about our desire to grow our party and create an opportunity for more people to become involved in the party.  If we want to prepare the Republican Party for the future and build a robust organization that can defeat President Obama and Tim Kaine this fall, we must grow our party, make our party more inclusive and avoid any action that could be perceived as being exclusive.”

Lieutenant Governor Bolling added, “I realize that one of the challenges with Virginia’s current open primary system is the possibility that our primary could be influenced by Democrats or other voters who do not have the best interest of our party or candidates at heart.  That is a legitimate concern and that is why I have always supported and continue to support voluntary party registration in Virginia.  I know that the SCC’s decision to require a Loyalty Oath in the upcoming presidential primary was intended to try and diminish this possibility.”

RPV Chairman Mullins has called a special meeting of the SCC for January 21, 2012 at which time the committee will revisit the requirement for a Loyalty Oath.

To read the full text of the letter, click here.

Read Full Post »

VC Note:  This brief article regarding the 2011 election comes from the Republican Party of Virginia.

Election 2011: What it Means

 — GOP Supermajority in House, Majority in Senate, Solid Start for 2012 — 

The votes are counted. The canvass is done, and the dust has settled. What does it all mean?

First, let’s look at the lay of the land.

House of Delegates

* Republicans picked up 7 seats in the House of Delegates.

* Republicans now have a 68 seat caucus in the House, the most in history.

* Republicans won 13 of 14 open seats in the House.

* Republicans defeated 2 Democrat incumbents in the House.

* All 52 incumbent Republicans seeking re-election won.

 

Senate of Virginia

* Republicans have won a working majority in the Senate.

* Republicans gained two seats to make it 20-20 with Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling holding the decisive tie-breaking vote.

* Republicans won 3 of 5 open seats in the Senate.

* Republicans defeated 2 Democrat incumbents in the Senate.

* All 15 incumbent Republicans seeking re-election won.
 

So what does it all mean?

First and foremost, Virginians overwhelmingly voted for a Republican controlled General Assembly.

 

Just look at the numbers:

 

House GOP Votes: 757,000, about 61% of all votes cast

House Dem Votes:  419,000, about 33% of all votes cast


Senate GOP Votes
: 771,000, about 57% of all votes cast
Senate DEM Votes: 554,000, about 41% of all votes cast

 

2011 caps a remarkable three-year run for Virginia Republicans:

 

* In 2009, Virginia Republicans won all three statewide offices by massive margins and picked up 6 seats in the House of Delegates.
* In 2010, Virginia Republicans defeated 3 incumbent Congressional Democrats and came within a few hundred votes of defeating a fourth, moving the Congressional delegation to 8-3 and clearing the way for our own Rep. Eric Cantor to become U.S. House Majority Leader.
* In 2011, Virginia Republicans picked up 7 more seats in the House of Delegates and picked up 2 seats in the state Senate.

For three years running, the message from Virginia voters has been clear. We expect them to send the same resounding message again in 2012.

Read Full Post »

Gary Johnson is not getting anything approaching a fair treatment from the media.  The national press has constantly ignored him throughout the campaign season so far.

Now I can hear the response from some of you already.  But, he is a second tier candidate!  Why should we care?

To those sorts of statements I ask, who has a heavy influence as to who is labeled as first and second tier candidate?  The media!  How can voters decide whether or not Gary Johnson is their preferred candidate if there is little mention of him in print, on the radio, or on T.V.?   Let me give you a recent personal example.  When I mentioned his name at a local Republican gathering over the weekend, many of the folks had no idea who Gary Johnson is.

But, he isn’t some novice who has never held political office before.  He was the Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003.  Now shouldn’t the former Governor of New Mexico be treated with at least the same respect offered to a former one-term Governor from Massachusetts?

But why should you or I care?  After all, my first choice is Ron Paul and not Gary Johnson.  Well, although Johnson is not my favored candidate, I still respect his efforts to promote liberty.  It is certainly true that he and I disagree on a number of fundamental issues such as life and immigration.  Nevertheless, we should never squelch political debate just because someone happens to offer an opinion that runs contrary to our own.

I’ve seen the media try to screw over candidates before.  To tie in my own political experience, back when I worked for Ron Paul in 2007/08, we faced many of the same problems that the Johnson campaign faces today.  Perhaps the worst offense happened during a 2008 New Hampshire debate where Ron Paul was not invited because (I kid you not) the organizers informed us that there was not enough room on the stage.  Strange that there was room for both Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson even though they were polling beneath Paul.

What a waste of time.  Johnson isn’t polling well. 

To counter that sort of thinking I offer three suggestions.  Point number one: try actually including Gary Johnson’s name in the poll.  Listed candidates always do better than fill-in-the-blanks.  Point number two: give him a chance to articulate his position alongside the rest of the Republican field in the debates.  His time as Governor of New Mexico alone has earned him a right to share a piece of that stage.  Point number three: even if his poll numbers aren’t that high, it should be up to the American people to determine the Republican candidate, not pollsters and the press.

As this article indicates, I firmly believe that Gary Johnson ought to be given a fair shake.  That is why, when asked by the Johnson campaign, I agreed to collect signatures for them alongside my effort for Dr. Paul.

You may love Gary Johnson or you may not.  But that decision should rest with each voter and not the political pundits.  After all, if you never hear about him, how can you ever know for sure?

Read Full Post »

One simple fact that I’ve learned from the Republican Presidential primaries of both 2008 and 2012 is that Ron Paul will win any online poll.  Now, there are a number of reasons why he does so well in an online format that I won’t get into in this piece.  The point I want to make is that just about every time he emerges victorious, the major media outlets will explain away the results or simply and quietly take down their poll.

Today, the website Libertarian News shows another favored tactic.  Over at U.S. News and World Report, they offer readers a choice of Republican candidates including recent dropout Tim Pawlenty and a handful of undeclared candidates like Sarah Palin.  The field isn’t too surprising as the poll was created way back at the end of February.  However, when scanning the list of ten candidates, one cannot find Ron Paul’s name anywhere.  So has U.S. News found a solution to the presumed Ron Paul victory?  Were they thinking, “maybe if we don’t mention him then some other candidate will win”?  Well, take a look at the results as of 9:15 PM EDT tonight and see for yourself.

Seems like a lot of people (67.8%), prefer someone else than the candidates that they have listed.  Now, to be fair, Gary Johnson, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry are excluded as well. However, I have to believe that the vast bulk of the “other” vote has to be for Dr. No, Representative Ron Paul of Texas.

Here is a note to U.S. News and World Reports:  You can try excluding Ron Paul, but the results will end up the same.  All that you’ve succeeded in doing is alienating his supporters.  Therefore your poll is and ought to be considered a joke.

Lastly, here is the kicker.  It may surprise you to know that freedom is popular with the online crowd.  Of course, so is Ron Paul.

Thanks to Jim for sharing this information!

Read Full Post »

When I talk to Republicans about Ron Paul these days, I often get the response, “well, I like him…except for his foreign policy.”  Fortunately, it is true that Ron Paul is gaining more acceptance and respect in Republican circles these days.  Of course, it wasn’t so long ago that they were extremely hostile.  Back in 2007-08 when I worked for Rep. Paul, some Republicans stated that they strongly disliked Dr. Paul strictly based on his foreign policy.

But are Ron Paul’s foreign policy positions really that farfetched?  For the record, he supports a humble foreign policy, which includes opposing: nation-building, wars that are undeclared, ill-defined, and/or humanitarian, spreading our troops thinly around the globe, and using our military as the world’s policemen.  I’m sure that every Republican, with the exception of the zealous neoconservative, could agree with at least part of his stance.

I’ll admit it.  Back in the 2000 elections, foreign policy was not the most important issue to me.  After all, we had (and still have) dire domestic concerns that require our attention.  What people X do in country Y is of little importance…so long as the lives, liberty, and property of American citizens is not directly harmed.  I believed then, as I still believe today, that the purpose of our government and our military is to protect our people, not to “liberate”, “depose”, or “make the world safe for democracy”.

Nevertheless, I did oppose Clinton’s actions in Somalia, Bosnia, and elsewhere.  So too did a majority of Republicans, including future President George W. Bush.  Think back to the words of George Bush during the 2000 campaign.

It is strange.  George Bush could speak against nation building back in 2000 and just about every Republican would applaud.  Ron Paul uses many of the same words today as Bush did then, and some of the same people would boo.  Did the words some how change their meaning?  Or has the GOP I remember abandoned its principles?

What happened to this President?  What happened to the Republican Party?  Regrettably, it seems that both George Bush and the GOP became casualties of the attacks of 9-11, morphing into something scarcely recognizable.

I say that it is time to reclaim the limited government advocating, Constitution supporting, humble foreign policy promoting GOP of 2000.  Of all of the candidates running or rumored to be running for president, there is only one who has a proven track record of supporting these principles tempered with a commitment to protect the unborn and guarding our borders.  That person, like George Bush, is a fellow Texan; Representative Ron Paul.

I want a return to the GOP I remember.  Heck, I want a return to the nation I remember before little old ladies and children were molested at airports in the name of security.  Let me tell you that if you liked the foreign policy principles of 2000 George W. Bush, chances are you’ll love Ron Paul.  Now don’t think that Ron Paul can change our country overnight; after all, a President is restrained by the Constitution.  Nevertheless, he can get it heading in the right direction again.  I hope you’ll join me in supporting him.

Ron Paul 2012!

Special thanks to Nick for sharing the above video.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: