For those thinking about a delegate rebellion, for those thinking about what the delegates to the Republican National Convention in July should do, and for those of you who have read about the movement I represent in the Daily Caller, Washington Post, or anywhere else, this is for you.
As for me, I often start my thoughts about the upcoming convention thinking of those who fought in the War of 1812. Seems like an odd place to start, but It was a war that had a lot to do with trade restrictions, a lot to do with freedom, and is often misunderstood. A lot like the Republican nomination of 2016.
A small paragraph off to the side in the history books when I was growing up, the War of 1812 took on special significance to me around a decade ago when I learned that my Tennessee ancestors found their way to Illinois because of their service in the War of 1812.
Just after launching SaveOurParty.com I found myself in the very interesting position of being called an establishment Republican. As a 26-year-old communications director for a successful black businessman who was refused a Republican endorsement by the establishment when running in 2000 against U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, I know what it’s like to be on a campaign rejected by the party elite.
While The Don was writing checks to the Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid and New York Communist Chuck Schumer, I was shot at by an unknown hatchback just days after my Republican outsider candidate made the ballot, defying the powerful GOP governor of Massachusetts.
I know what it’s like to oppose the establishment.
In 2002 I led a movement to unseat another liberal Republican governor in Massachusetts in favor of a political unknown named Mitt Romney. After helping him beat her I was relieved of my position on Romney 2002.
I was too conservative, didn’t play well with the GOP establishment, and didn’t want to work with Democrats.
After moving back home to Illinois, I ran for congress as a Tea Party candidate in 2013 against a man who wrote a $1,000 check to Barrack Obama. I remember my pitch while begging the establishment market makers on the phone, “but my opponent gave money to Obama!”
Who knew that was a possible prerequisite for being the standard-bearer for the anti-establishment conservative movement?
Kidding aside, as the heat turns up on Donald Trump I have to admit a certain sense of respect for the man. I often get defensive when he’s attacked, as most of the time I tend to agree with him. But in the end I wish more than anything that the man was running for governor and not president.
Trust is earned. Not given.
To set the record straight I’d like to make a few points about Save Our Party:
1) The Tactics: We’re suggesting essentially a boycott of the first few votes as a way to unbind delegates. This is the only way to ensure that a vote is not automatically cast for anyone.
2) Automatic voting: The RNC has already said that any delegate showing up on the floor of the convention is an automatic vote for whoever they are bound to.
3) Can’t Vote if You’re Dead: While any delegate on the floor can certainly be “counted” as a vote by a floor manager, if you register for the convention on Sunday and get hit by a bus Monday morning, you can’t be counted as a voter on Tuesday. This is why not showing up is the only way to not be counted.
4) The Chair Has Incredible Power: It’s worth repeating: not showing up is the only way not to be counted. I once attended an NLRB meeting where a labor union failed to properly identify an entity where they were trying to organize a union. The hearings officer didn’t care and let it move forward anyway. Had the union not shown up the hearing couldn’t have gone forward.
5) The Voters Have NOT Spoken: It’s important for people to understand that the voters are the delegates. The argument that a movement to get delegates to vote for Cruz and not Trump is somehow circumventing the will of the voter makes no sense. The voters are the delegates.
6) It’s Not About Trump: A lot of us enjoy Donald Trump’s ability to shut down entrenched politicians, personally I love it, but this isn’t about Donald Trump. This is about the Republican party and the rules say that a delegate has to vote. This is about the rules.
Freedom is fragile and the taste of tyranny is always only a generation away. Those who disengage often pave the way for it. We must allow the delegates to engage, debate, and decide.
So if you’re a delegate, an alternate, or just want to stay plugged in; if you’re a Trump supporter, Cruz guy, or a Marco Rubio fanatic, go to SaveOurParty.com.
We must remember that “doing the right thing” is not always clear or easy. Or popular.