I’ve never been noted for my brevity, but I’m going to attempt to keep this short so that ya’ll will actually read it.
Folks, the country we love is in deep kimchee. We’re spending our children’s and grandchildren’s money like it’s ours. We have a President who believes that he can defy court orders at will (cf. among others, the Gulf oil moratorium) and whose nominees to the courts and to Administration posts reads like a Who’s Who of the radical Left. The Middle East is a bubbling cauldron and our President’s solution is for Israel to move back to its indefensible 1967 borders. The dollar is being debased by trillions of dollars of spending and we can’t get $100 billion worth of cuts from a $3.7 trillion budget (btw-speaking of trillions, were you aware of the fact that it would take you 37,000Â yearsÂ to count to a trillion one second at a time?)
So here’s the $14 trillion question: What are you planning to do about it? Today? Tonight? Tomorrow? Next Week? Next Month?
If you’re like me, you’ve spent a fortune in time and money calling your Congressmen and Senators, writing letters to them and toÂ the Editor, and contributing money to candidates only to see them go to Washington and vote for the same garbage they said they were going to take out.
So what did I do about it? I wroteÂ moreÂ letters, madeÂ moreÂ phone calls, sentÂ moreÂ money, yelled at my TV set, and started complaining in person, by phone, and on various blogs about conservatives who weren’t conservatives, Republicans who always managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and the utter lack of testicular fortitude among our so-called ‘leaders’ to anyone and everyone who cared to listen (and proably to a lot who didn’t).
In other words, I did absolutely nothing.
Until 3 years ago.
In 2008, anyone who bothered to read or investigate Barack Obama’s background knew what was coming if he ever got elected. And I got scared. I got scared for my wife. I got scared for my children. I got scared for the country that I love.
So for the first time in a life filled with political activism, I put on my coat,Â got in my car, and drove to the school where the 2008 precinct caucuses were being held. And nothing’s been the same since.
Today I am the Chairman of our GOP County Board; I’m a delegate to our Congressional District convention; I serve on our CD’s Central and Executive Committees and on the State Central Committee. I also serve on the State Candidate Search Committee.
And how did I accomplish all this in three years? It’s simple:
I showed up.
Oh…and I raised my hand.
That’s right. Does anyone want to serve as a Precinct Delegate to the County convention from Precinct 2? Sure, I’ll do that (there were more slots than there were ‘candidates’. EvenÂ IÂ can win those kinds of elections).
Who’s interested in becoming a delegate to the Congressional District convention from your Commissioner District? Hmmm…I’ll give that a shot. Have to give a short ‘speech’ to about 10 people as to why you want the slot? I can do that. Five minutes later and, voila, I’m a delegate to the CD Convention.
How did I get to be County Chair?
I showed up…at parades, lit drops, lit stuffing, sign staking, and candidate forums. Next thing I know, our state representative is recruiting me to run for County Chair.
The rest of the stuff? Same ol’ same ol’. I’m living proof of the veracity of the old adage that 90% of life is just showing up. State Central Committee? Sure, I’ll be one of the two names nominated for the two positions. Congressional District Central and Executive Committees? Yeah, you can put my name down for those, too. You need volunteers for the State Candidate Search Committee? (looks around room waiting to see how many hands among the 60 activists at the CD Central Committee Meeting go up and, seeing none, says “sure, I’ll do that)
So after 30+ years of beating my head against this amorphous wall called the Party, I made an amazing discovery: It’s a lot easier to change the PartyÂ if you are the Party!Â Now I don’t have to try to get my elected officials and Party leaders to take my calls or answer my letters.Â TheyÂ callÂ me.Â I get to vote at our state and congressional district nominating conventions forÂ who willÂ be our congressional candidate and all of our nominees for statewide offices (heck, I get to play a role inÂ recruitingÂ who our nominees will be); I get to vote for the officers of the Executive Committee who run the State Party, and I get to choose who will be our RNC Committeemen.
Guess who gets phone calls from people who desire those postions? Guess who gets to tell them what his views are on issues and what they need to do to obtain his support? Guess who, until 3 years ago,Â neverhad that kind of influence and input despite a lifetime of “activism.” Guess who said countless times “Boy, would I love to give them a piece of my mind?” Well, now I can.
Still not convinced about the impact you can have on “the game” by gettingÂ intoÂ the game? Ya know that “election” I won to be a delegate to our CD convention (which is really how this snowball began)? Well, the other person running was a 30 year veteran of the State Senate who was serving at the time as Asst. Minority Leader. He happened to live in my precinct. I didn’t evenÂ knowÂ that until I went to the precinct caucus. He was probably the most moderate member of the State Senate. He was also one of the most powerful. I almost withdrew my name from contention when I found out he was running thinking there was no way I’d beat a guy with that high of a profile.
But you know what? HeÂ lostÂ because a whoppingÂ 10Â conservatives became precinct delegates, who bothered to show up for a 3 hour meetingÂ and whoÂ decided that they had had enough.Â TenÂ people! A 30 year State Senate veteran who was the Asst. Minority Leader in the State Senate.Â TenÂ people!Â Three months later he announced his retirement and we elected a staunch conservative to take his place. I have zero idea whether losing an election to be a delegate from his own precinct to a CD convention is what led him to believe that his time had come, but I’d like to think it did.
Bottom line? Folks, if you’re tired and scared…if you fear for the future of your country and for the future of your family…if you are sick and tired of Party leaders saying one thing and then doing something else…if you wonder why things never change (ya know, that old saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?), then get out from behind your keyboards, put down your phones, give up 2 or 3 hours of TV, or puttering in the garden,or the garage, or the kitchen, or reading, or whatever.
Quit complaining about the Party andÂ becomeÂ the Party.
It’s as easy as showing up.