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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Me and Thomas; Frustration Showing

I went to a meeting last night of the Muskegon County Ex. Board. We had a pretty good turnout. I didn’t count but I estimate between 30 and 40 attended. I was surprised by the turnout. I was optimistic.

I soon became less optimistic. We do seem to have our own little civil war going on at the county level. It has been there since I’ve joined always simmering in the background. A difference of opinion about trying new things may help to explain the differences. Perhaps it goes deeper to an issue of whether we can trust new faces. Being one of those new faces I admit to my fair share of bias in this regard.

Let me plow ahead regardless. We formally set up a new Precinct Delegate committee. It was already a done deal Pat Uriarte is the Chair of the new committee. As Pat isn’t too computer savvy, apparently our County Co-Chair will handle the emails and communication.

I keep hearing the idea that everyone will wait and see if there are any Precinct Delegates who will show interest before we get too involved. Back to the glass half empty idea. I tried to make the point that the County Party needs to get behind and push this idea. Push the idea, the concept, not formulate every aspect of it ahead of time. Be an enthusiastic facillator.

I also try to push the idea that the “Party” should let the volunteers for this and other things have the freedom to try new things and control their piece of the party. In current jargon allow them to become invested in the Party so they will feel a part of it.

Individual Freedom is what I’m about. I don’t need an overregulated leadership in the party. Not in the party that I see as the last bastion fighting against an over regulated government.

Before I get too involved in my passion; let me share an article by Thomas Sowell.

The title says it all. The Republican Civil War.

While I tried my best to find the good in John McCain last election I had to struggle. I found myself arguing for a more middle of the road Republicanism. I didn’t like it. I did it but I didn’t feel comfortable. I should have listened to my instincts. Some of my friends warned me I should have listened. Instead for the sake of party unity I went along to get along.

I found myself more often than not arguing against the everyday voter coming in off the street that had misgivings about McCain. I thought it was my duty to stand up for the party candidate.

I’m still conflicted about that idea. On one hand I think it was better to vote for McCain than Obama. McCain did represent more of my ideas than Obama did. I think the lesson I have drawn from this is that I should have been more involved and active working for a candidate I believed in from the very start.

Nick at Right Michigan a long time ago posted about finding a local Conservative candidate and pushing hard from the beginning. I should take that advice more to heart.

Perhaps in my heart I know I didn’t fight hard enough to allow myself to feel content supporting the lesser of two evils. I think that from now on I will try to put my effort into fighting for what I believe in and then perhaps I won’t feel so guilty if I lose knowing I fought a good fight. Then again maybe I’ll win. Miracles do happen.

Anyone out there interested in setting up a loose network to find and promote true Conservative Candidates; Individual Freedom candidates? Give me a holler.

Back to Thomas Sowell, I do not agree with or want Meghan McCain to be my spokesman, but whatever floats your boat.

From the following quote from the article, it sounds as if Mr. Sowell is getting as fed up as I.
The only time John McCain led Barack Obama in the polls last year was after Governor Sarah Palin joined the ticket. The economic collapse doomed their candidacies but McCain would have had no chance at all with another inconsistent and inarticulate Republican like himself on the ticket.

I think Thomas like me couldn’t sleep well last night out of frustration with his own party. He continues to let it all hang out.

-----Another quote------
Yet many in the Republican Party seem to have felt as embarrassed by Governor Palin as they have been by others who articulated principles, instead of trying to be in step with the fashions of the time-- fashions set by liberals.
Maybe those Republicans who put a high value on being accepted in elite circles should be embarrassed by the narrowness of their elite friends, who disdain or demonize people whose principles they disagree with, instead of answering their arguments.

Ever the optimist Mr. Sowell finishes up by showing the way out of our civil war.
There is certainly a lot to be said for inviting wider segments of the population to join you, by explaining how your principles benefit the country in general, and those segments in particular. But that is fundamentally different from abandoning your principles in hopes of attracting new votes with opportunism.

He further points out the glaring chasm between what the Democrats have promised their base and what they have actually accomplished. That which is our opportunity. How their most ardent supporters have been let down the most. The complete failure of the inner city educational system and high crime rates should be the place where Republicans can attack with alternative solutions solidly grounded in conservative theory. Thomas said he had hoped Michael Steele would be the one to articulate those ideas, he has not but again to optimism; he hopes he may still be able to.

At our meeting when the group was talking about outreach I brought up the notion that expanding our PDs into Democrat areas could be a function of the PD system. Someone said that “the number of PDs in the Heights could fit on my lap”. That got my juices flowing. I fail to see why Democrat areas should be off limits to us. Outside of the fact that we have been milking a dwindling base for too long, I fail to be shut out because a Democrat hung a Democrat only sign up. Another talking point for me about civil rights to go along with the civil rights of children not getting equal education, the civil right to walk your sidewalks without being afraid of Crime. Freedom is what I’m talking about.

As the party of free enterprise, I wonder what McDonalds would do if they came to Muskegon and saw no McDonalds. Would they decide that it is obvious that they shouldn’t put up a McDonalds: or do you think they would look at Muskegon as a golden opportunity?

I realize the difficulties. My Precinct is 5-1 Democrat. My problem is I can’t move to the Burbs. A friend of mine moved to the Heights. He is my first recruit from the Heights. This new PD will fill the lap of the aforementioned naysayer by himself. I don’t call that a waste of time, I call that progress.

The only thing I fault Thomas Sowell with is that while he is correct that we don’t have anyone who can articulate a conservative message well on the National level; he fails to point out that there is no one articulating the middle of the road Republican message either.

So with my rant over, I look to the positive. We have a PD Committee. We have a chairman, I also joined and one other old friend joined also. You’ve heard it before. Where two or more gather together…..

I did get a glowing email btw from Marlene Chockley former Grassroots chair about the article I wrote about her PD Workshop in Livingston County. She said I fired her up and she was going to give another workshop in Washtenaw County. I’ll pass on the details when I get them. Even I like a pat on the back now and then.

Back to work.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

ps. Phyliss Schafley link
Notice the part where she said. "Obama has learned how to organize the grass roots, get them together in small groups (in the old-fashioned way) and then urge them to "spread the word and build support" (with 21st-century Internet tools)."
The small groups and technology is the combination we need. Not just one and not just the other.

PPS. Here is a couple of links. A way to get involved at different levels.

(UPDATE 3/18/09 2:pm) We surged ahead of Illinois from an 8/2 deficit to a one point lead 12/11 Thanks for answering my email blast. Blast your friends. Keep up with the game see the link below. Thanks to Nick at Right Michigan for picking it up too. As we enjoy the competition we are building a network for 2010.
-----sweet 16 link-----

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