Tuesday night I attended a tea party meeting. An Assistant County Attorney (what district attorneys are called in Arizona) was giving a lecture on the basics of the Constitution of the United States. He allowed for a lot of impromptu questions from the audience. Several men and women in the audience asked, essentially, the same question: "How do we get the Republican senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress to follow the Constitution?" (Implicit in the focus on "the Republicans" was that none of the Democrats would follow the Constitution.)
The speaker's answer seemed to follow this logic: If you know what the Constitution says, when you call or write the public servants, you will be able to point out to them that you know that almost all of the legislation they are voting on is unconstitutional.
Apparently, then, somehow, magically, the elected servants will follow the Constitution.
I raised my hand. I said something along these lines:
If you want to change the conduct of the Republican members of the House of Representatives, for example, you have to either elect better people or demonstrate that you have the power to elect better people in the upcoming primary elections. Every incumbent faces two elections, and the most perilous, potentially, for the incumbent is the primary election.
The Framers made sure that "we the people" could get rid of ALL of the members of the people's house of representatives every two years. All of them. The way to "change" the Republicans, for example, is to demonstrate to them that "we the people" have the power to take out every one of them in the all-important primary elections. We can do that -- YOU can do that -- by getting involved in party politics and making sure that more people get to the polls to vote for your candidate. Becoming a precinct committeeman is the BEST way to do that. It doesn't take a lot of time. Or money. But the time you spend doing it will give you real political power.
For example, in a typical Republican Party primary race for congress, only about 20 per cent of the Republicans will vote. In the general election in 2010, only about 55 per cent of registered Republicans here in Maricopa County voted. And, in the Republican Party in Maricopa County, in 2008, over two-thirds of the precinct committeeman slots were not filled and, even now, despite all that has gone wrong in this country since the Marxist was elected president, still over half of the precinct committeeman slots are unfilled. Some of the people in this room, since 2008, have become precinct committeemen.
The real question is whether those of you asking how to change the Republicans are going to do your civic duty, now that our country is in a political crisis, and get involved in party politics as precinct committeemen. If you do that, you will be able to directly help elect better Republicans to public office and also to the Party leadership positions And, you will help demonstrate to the incumbents that "we the people" are capable of replacing each one of them if necessary.
Not one of those people approached me after the meeting to learn more.
Will the Republicans in the House and Senate, over the next 18 months, fight for our individual liberties tooth and nail? I think not. Unless . . . .
Currently, the incumbent Republicans have no incentive to fight for us (with rare exception -- Orrin Hatch might have an incentive) , because the status quo is not changing back in their home districts and states. Why should they fight for us if they do not see us fighting for ourselves? I do not think the incumbents will have an incentive to fight for us until conservative Republicans demonstrate, in a big way, that every incumbent may have a real, credible threat from the right in their next primary election. If you fight, they might fight. And the best way to demonstrate that threat is, you guessed it, by having conservatives fill up all of the vacant precinct committeemen slots in the Party as soon as possible.
In my opinion, the "public interest group" strategy to change the behavior of the incumbents, alone, will not work. The "blogger" strategy, alone, will not work. What will work, in my opinion, is The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy, which could also be called The "We the People" Strategy.
Once we conservatives get into our precincts, another new tool exists that we might want to use to help organize our Get Out The Vote efforts: www.rvotes.com.
Will things get much worse in our country before people finally start to act? Sadly, I think so. But, if enough of us conservatives get involved at the precinct level inside the Republican Party, maybe we can prevent things from getting worse. I hope and pray more of us will act.
Will YOU help make 2011 "The Year of the Precinct Committeeman?"