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Where Is Our Party Going?

By Joe Maynard

This past Saturday’s Republican State Committee Meeting was very disappointing. I do not refer to the results, but rather the apparent direction we, as a party, seem to be headed.

After decades of committed work by many of the original Republican promoters in the state, we have arrived at a point in which we need to redefine our goals. It is not that we disagree in any large measure on those goals, but rather the goals of running a majority party and an organization. There are many talented young people doing a lot of good work, and there are loyal members that continue putting in time. What is unclear is if we are going to be effective in putting those principles, I thought we agreed on, into practice in policy and in the party organization.

Although the Chairman handled a complex meeting in a reasonable and respectful manner for his part, what I witnessed Saturday was far from what I would expect from a party that purportedly values civility, honesty, the rule of law, and power resting with the people.

Point 1: The budget process seemingly did not comply with the party rules.

This may or may not turn out to be the case, and may or may not matter in the end, but an objection to that was met with a deflection to the “rules” committee and subsequently approved as presented.  What is that? Not following party rules because “we’ve always done it this way” and declining to get a ruling (or at least an explanation) before a budget was adopted? May not a big deal, but consider that as a process for something YOU do not find acceptable. “Rules apply to some but not others,” sounds strangely familiar.

Point 2: The dissemination of power to the districts and county committees.

We talk about power a lot. It seems that as we accumulate power in individuals or at state party levels, the perspective on power changes in a person. It was stated that there was a struggle or quest for power in the committee. It seems we should revisit our coveted principles to help clarify the arguments. If we truly believe in resting and retaining more power at a higher level, how is that different than the opposing party? I may have wrongly believed that we as Republicans would want power distributed amongst the people closest to the issues. Be that as it may, vigorous and respectful debate on the subject should be widely, if not universally, accepted in this committee. It was definitely not on Saturday! It appears to me and others that once we select our leadership, we too willingly cede or continue to concentrate power to those with the most power already.  (See House Speaker & Term Limits History) This seems opposite to our professed doctrine and unworkable to grow a party–that is unless we desire more lemmings to cheer on the “elites”.

In either of the above cases there was, by any fair observation, considerable disrespect, deflection, hostility and, I would argue, disunity displayed by too many in leadership roles as well as the body.  Members objecting to procedures or order were dismissed, mocked, or ignored when a simple hearing of the objection and a competent ruling would have been much easier and more “unifying.” Being heard and wrong is better than being dismissed and right, agreed? Comments from members were very disparaging to anyone who had the temerity to desire a rigorous debate. Assigning motives to others seems rampant even after hearing, but not listening, to other viewpoints. Since when have the terms Patriot and True Believer or even MAGA Republicans become pejorative?

If a desire to put more power closer to the people, have vigorous but respectful debate, listening to other viewpoints without disgust in your heart are not the objectives of the party, but simply concentrated power for R’s is better than D’s, we should rethink our platform. If our position becomes that we must unify, but only around what those in leadership desire, we cannot have the best ideas to serve the cause of freedom. We must begin to walk the walk and talk the talk. Otherwise, we can never grow this party beyond those who quest for and blindly follow that power.


“Point of Order!”

Grab Power or Share Power – Republican State Committee Meeting

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