We are seeing one thing become manifest in Tea Party and associated activities everywhere: the demand that all federal government activities conform to the ideas set forth in our Constitution.
It’s not optional with the Tea Party folks. It’s an unconditional demand.
Look anywhere online or in face-to-face conversations and you discover citizen impatience with extra-constitutional measures either already enacted by our government or contemplated to be in place shortly. Worse, we also see daily arguments from the left about why the Constitution does not matter, or why the Constitution does not mean the same things in this era as it did for the preceding 200 years.
This will stop and it will stop this year. Citizens have had enough. Note that I did not say ‘liberals’ or ‘the left’ since many Democrats as well as Republicans have witnessed enough of federal government overstepping its bounds or refusing to provide protections that should be offered to every citizen in every state. Citizens of many persuasions have had entirely enough.
Enforcing border laws only in selected areas and opposing that enforcement in other areas is not something citizens are going to endure. We’ll see proof of that in November.
Selecting individual states as victims of ‘special’ federal policies is going to produce a strong reaction at the polls.
Enacting executive measures without congressional action such as net neutrality, cap and trade, selective ‘voting rights’ is simply going to cause voter anger to widen further until hardly an incumbent is left standing.
Most voters now seem to sense that they may not be able to name the exact issue today, but at some point in the near future, their state (by name) is going to become the target of selective federal action to suppress their rights or protections as free citizens in a free state. It’s simply the way that federal government is ‘expected to work’ these days in some circles, especially inside the beltway and even by some members of our own party.
In short, they expect the federal war initiated against the states to escalate, and escalate in a big way.
While we observe those on the left experiment with how best to motivate their base, we have been provisioned with the events that we know will motivate our own base.
Our Constitution has given us, and continues to offer one very simple and effective method to control our government. It’s a measure that we have not used much lately, but it’s the most effective arrow in our quiver.
It’s the fact that the entire House of Representatives is up for replacement every 2 years. This fall, many, many voters will be making unprecedented use of that right. But it won’t be enough.
The Tea Parties collectively have made GOTV a priority for this fall. Some, such as TEAPAC in Pasadena, CA have even made plans to promote the idea of populating our local central committees a priority after the election.
A few days ago, my wife had the opportunity to converse with a special visitor to our city. He’s known well here at RedState. He was in conference with TEAPAC’s Mike Alexander for several hours and he’s been promoting an idea that is essential for victory in 2010, 2012 and beyond. Of course I’m speaking of ColdWarrior and his idea of the ‘precinct committeeman’ or local ‘central committee’ membership.
The various local Teas Parties have exhibited considerable sophistication in their victory planning for 2010. They know about GOTV. They have been admonishing us that a third party is not the answer. They have been telling us correctly that our struggle must go far beyond election day.
Now, many such as TEAPAC are beginning to tell us that we must take over the GOP from the inside by filling all the empty seats on our precinct or district central committees – those committees that govern our party on the county and state levels. The Tea Parties that are encouraging this are doing their states and our country a huge service. Not merely yeoman service, but a signal service.
Why? Because all our political parties are actually governed from the grassroots.
And the grassroots simply is not there. It’s moving in the right direction, but it is not there yet.
As soon as all of our small, local party committees are fully populated at the precinct or district level (this varies state by state) we will begin to see the significant changes we need in our party. Changes that will make other members of our communities glad to be a member of our party. Changes that will make them glad to vote for our candidates.
We will begin to see our state and then our national party demonstrate the courage to vigorously oppose measures that can seriously harm our country. They will begin to see that they build rather than expend political capital when they stand up and filibuster measures that damage rather than promote individual liberties and equal protections for all citizens.
Best of all, the beltway insiders who advise our Senators and Congressman not to fight measures that should be vigorously opposed will learn that they are not welcome and they will depart for K Street and they will be replaced with ‘outsiders’ who possess the courage to stand for our Constitution. They will be replaced by people just like you.
How do you begin that journey? You call your local county party and you ask then what it takes to become a voting member of the county party committee. Ask about seats that are unfilled and ask for an appointment to one of those empty seats. Then learn and plan your work to become the elected occupant of that seat. The GOTV efforts you are already involved in take on an extra urgency and an extra authority when you engage as a party official.
We call this leadership in the circles I frequent. It’s grassroots leadership. It’s assuming a leadership among your peers who are working now to GOTV alongside you. You will find that the cost of entry into this leadership position is very, very low in most areas. You will most likely find yourself drawn in to fill a power vacuum that has been waiting for your interest.
TEAPAC in Pasadena did the best job of this that I witnessed during our primary cycle here in CA – they encouraged so many people to run for central committee that in many areas, Tea Party members ran against each other and thus benefited from the Darwinian selection process of having the best campaigners elected to the central committee. Others lost that campaign and are not serving this time around. But they learned. Other Tea Parties nationwide should be copying TEAPAC’s priorities.
Some of you will then explore the options of moving up to occupy seats on your state committee. You’ll probably find this journey quite easy because you will be propelled there by the demands of your new peers.
But for any of this leadership to be exercised, you have to take the first step: you have to investigate becoming a member of your local party committee and you have to take action based on what you learn. Make that phone call to your local county party. Quite apart from dreading your call, the party is eager for your call. They want you involved. Call today.
Then, between new Congressmen like myself and ascending party activists like you, the gutless beltway insiders will quickly and unmistakably get the message that their skills and values are much more welcome in another occupation.
Then we will reap the final reward: a growing party that attracts the members and funds that we have been hemorrhaging for a generation.