One week ago I was a delegate at the Clark County (Nevada) Republican Party (CCRP) Convention. This was my first experience as a delegate and will most likely be my last so those who would argue that I "just don't understand" please feel free to make that argument and I will not take offense.
And before I let my "poison pen" wander too far afield, let me say that there are some damn fine people at the CCRP and let me also say that the volunteers who manned the caucus were spectacular considering the unmitigated cluster-**** that they had to deal with.
Interestingly enough, I was supposed to be on the Republican Party Platform Committee. I sometimes think that God smiles on me every once in a while, undeservingly so and this was one of those times. Not thirty minutes before I was due to go to the first Platform Committee meeting a neighbor had a plumbing emergency and so I missed the meeting. I had read and studied the proposed platform and made notes and I was pumped up - raring to try to guide my party into the future.
A day or so after the Platform Committee meeting, the revised platform was distributed. And when I read that revised platform I said a quiet "Thank You God" for making me miss the meeting and I never attempted to attend the subsequent meetings.
The final version of the platform had noticeable union fingerprints all over it - not surprising given the nature of Las Vegas. Disgusting but fair enough. The platform also contains two planks, 20% of the total, that I have never supported and never will support.
During the convention the platform was brought up for discussion. The first person to speak made a motion that the two planks that I do not support be dropped from the platform. Such a (pre-arranged?) roar of protest rose up from the crowd. Once the discussion was opened it followed a predictable path of open hostilities between the those in support and those against.
I left the convention in disgust as the battle raged on with the realization that there is no hope for the Republican Party.
And here is the interesting part...
When the motion to drop those two planks was made, a "show of hands" was taken. A quick "eye-ball" survey indicated that between 30% and 40% of those present agreed that the two offending planks be dropped from the platform. And I know from personal conversations that not all of those who agreed that the planks should be dropped stood up and assert their opinion.
And what are these two planks that such a significant portion of those who think of themselves as Republicans do not wish to support?
In simplistic terms: Defense of Marriage and A Woman's Right to Choose.
Where I stand on these two issues is of no importance whatsoever.
What is important is WHY I and so many others oppose these two items being part of a political agenda.
The answer is just above ^.
These things are ISSUES - NOT PRINCIPLES!
PRINCIPLES UNITE - ISSUES DIVIDE!
These two topics elicit the most deeply felt emotional responses in almost everyone.
Just this past week I nearly ripped the heads off two of my dearest friends trying to encourage them to understand the difference between principles and issues. They would not give an inch and neither will I and yes we are still the best of friends.
The Republican Party is so fractured that there is no hope for unity ever returning.
Yes, We The People of the Tea Party Movement have had a great deal to do with that and in a good way.
Let me be clear. This nation was founded on Judea-Christian VALUES and I have lectured since forever about the importance of religion in the identification and continuity of a civilization.
"God" is not mentioned in our Constitution and I believe that this is no accident.
And the word "God" appears once and only once in the Declaration of Independence - in the opening statement:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
I believe that the Course of Republican Party Events, it has become necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separate.
It is time to retire the name of "Republican Party", like the Wig Party before it.
For those of us who believe strongly in the Constitution, unqualified, we should go our own way and if that means forming another political party (in process) - so be it.
And for the rest, those who insist that their religious beliefs and convictions be codified into enforceable laws, I would like to suggest a more appropriate name: The American Taliban.
EPILOGUE: The "Yellow Dog" Form
Following the floor fight at the CCRP convention - and I was not there so there may be some inaccuracy in this reporting - apparently a great number of people, like myself, left the convention. Then and only then did they attempt to elect a new executive board.
If this was intended to be a reenactment of Isaac Asimov's Second Foundation, it backfired.
It seems that the majority of those remaining following the floor fight were Ron Paul supporters.
It was reported to me that the Ron Paul supporters and with one exception that is who was elected to the Executive Board of the CCRP.
Then in a maneuver that I do not understand because I was not there, it was decided that there was not a quorum present so that election was set aside and another election would be held at the monthly meeting which took place on Tuesday March 20th.
I showed up early and was pleasantly surprised that the turnout was MASSIVE compared to other monthly meetings. I stood in the long line for the better part of an hour and when I reached the head of the line I was told that I had to be in another line because I was not on the list for this line.
I dutifully stood in the next line for about twenty minutes and when I reached the head of that line, I was asked: Did you fill out your "Yellow Form" at the convention? What Yellow Form?
I was told that there had been a "Yellow Form" in our packets at the convention and that if it was not filled out and turned in then I had no standing with the Republican Party.
I have worked diligently for the past two years for the party - hundreds of hours of volunteer work.
I was a voting member of the Executive Committee.
I have walked for every candidate that I could - regardless of what district or office they were running for.
I was a caucus chair at the Clark County Caucus.
I was a delegate at the Clark County GOP Convention.
I was GOING to be a delegate at the Nevada State GOP Convention.
I left the meeting.
I left the Clark County Republican Party - as per their mandate, re: "The Yellow Dog Form"
I have left the Republican Party.
In the days since, I have been contacted by a number of others who experienced expulsion from the CCRP in the same manner as was I. Many of them have donated thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to the CCRP and the Republican / Conservative cause. We remain conservatives. We are no longer Republicans.
May God have mercy on our nation.
Las Vegas, Nevada