I’m a registered Republican, and I’m ashamed of the GOP.
I’m a Republican, because Pennsylvania says I have to belong to one of the two major parties in order to vote in the Primary elections. Primaries are the most important elections, because after the primaries are over, Americans usually have a choice between who is the “least worst” of the two candidates. I’d like to have a say in that choice.
Since Pennsylvania makes me choose a party in order to participate in our electoral system, I chose Republican because in the old, and classic definition of the word; I’m a conservative. Conservative used to mean you wanted sound money. Conservative used to mean balanced budgets and spending within our means. Conservative used to mean you didn’t care what people did in their bedrooms; because it is none of your damn business. Conservative used to mean pro-small business. Conservative used to mean a foreign policy of non-interventionism. In other words, “Trade with all and entangling alliances with none” as our Founders intended.
However, today I find my definition of “Conservative” to be a bit of a throwback. When I hear a guy like Rush Limbaugh proclaim himself to be conservative, but then in the next breath advocate things like a giant military and government involved in all aspects of people’s private lives; I get confused. Same with the front runner Republican candidates. When Newt Gingrich gets a standing ovation in a room full of “Republicans” for advocating “killing all of American’s enemies” and Ron Paul gets booed for mentioning the Golden Rule (do onto others...), I have to wonder, who are these Republicans? They aren’t Conservatives as I understand the definition.
But I’m not one to just complain. If I don’t like something, I do something about it. So I decided to run for Delegate to the Republican Convention, so I could go to the Convention in August and tell the party that I think the Republican’s have gone off track.
But when I got involved, I’ve discovered that the GOP machine is even more entrenched and prohibitive than it was even 4 years ago. Redistricting is one reason.
Redistricting is the process of carving new lines around the state that produce areas that make up a district. In the 2008 election, our district (then district 10) was primarily the surrounding areas. This assured that the Delegate from this district would be representative of the area (a rural resident with rural sensibilities) Apparently this did not suit the GOP establishment in 2008, and as a result, new maps have been drawn. The new districts guarantee that rural people WILL NOT be represented in PA. Each district has been created to make sure a portion of the district includes urban areas. By doing this, the GOP can select and groom the Delegates they want to represent them at the Convention. The “Common man” no longer need apply.
The GOP has tapped some of their stars to become Delegates this year. John Gordner and other local elected people are running as Delegates. Isn’t this a bit of a contradiction from the intent of the Convention?
The Convention is supposed to be used to select the Republican Candidate for President and to help shape the party going forward. What new ideas will the party get by only allowing the most connected of their insiders access to the Convention? What improvement should the party expect if the only opinions they hear at their Convention are the ones they hand-picked during the Delegate election process?
If you are a Republican (like me) that thinks the GOP is out of touch with the people; send me to Tampa Bay to tell them for you. I’ll tell them to get back to the traditional Conservative platform. I’ll pay my own way. No tax payer expense will be incurred.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org I will send you an email with locations where I will be collecting my 300 signatures over the next 3 weeks. Or, we can make arrangements and I will stop by your location if that is more convenient.
You’ll know me because I’ll be the guy wearing the cowboy hat or the powdered wig.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Letter by David Decoteau, candidate for Delegate in the New 11th Congressional District.