“With this two-party system, it’s like an abusive relationship. We’re making excuses for our abusers, when we need to just walk away. Together, this is how we move forward, with the solutions we deserve.” –Jill Stein (2012 Green Party Presidential Candidate)
Last year Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein likened the two party system in America to an abusive relationship where the people make excuses for their abusers. She also expressed concern that the voices of ordinary people are locked out of the two party system because lobbyists and wealthy donors pull the strings and call the shots.
While I disagree with Stein on many issues, she certainly hit the nail on the head here and her thoughts are even more true today than they were a year ago.
Those who are involved in the (D) and (R) parties are expected to act as useful idiots. People who do what they’re told when they’re told without questioning anything. They’re asked to canvass neighborhoods and circulate petitions but only for candidates and issues that have been chosen for them to support.
How many times in 2008 and 2012 did those of us in the liberty movement hear:
“What! You’re a Republican and you want to campaign for Ron Paul? Don’t you know he’s not a real Republican, he’s a kook! An extremist! Line up behind chosen candidate X now!”
Being registered Republican and having worked within the Republican party and seen what really goes on inside, it’s easier for me to focus on Republicans than Democrats but I know that both are guilty of trampling independent thought and crushing free thinkers.
I remember Bruce Barton, husband of LD6 State Representative Brenda Barton getting very upset with me at a Romney/ Ryan event last October. He knew my wife was running for Chair of the Coconino County Republican Committee and said that if we ever wanted to get anywhere in the Republican party we needed to distance ourselves from Ron Paul. I was tempted to leave the Republican party that night. Throwing away principles for political gain has never been appealing to me.
You would think that after losing the presidency, losing the Congressional race in AZ CD1, after losing countless races across the Country, the Republican party would start reaching out to voters to try to bring them in. Instead they have been doing the opposite and have been quite successful at it.
The recent passage of HB2305 by the Republican controlled legislature has united Greens, Libertarians and many Independents against the Republican party. HB2305 makes it nearly impossible for third party candidates to achieve ballot access and that means less choices for voters. I have talked to many people (even Republicans) who say they will not vote for any Republican candidates in 2014 because of this bill.
Last week the RNC met in Boston and one of the items on the agenda was a discussion on last year’s rule changes that crush grassroots candidates. These rule changes were forced through to ensure that the establishment’s chosen candidate becomes the presidential nominee every time.
RNC Chairman Reince Preibus and many others in the Republican party have been fighting to keep these rule changes intact. If Republicans do keep the rules in place there is no reason for activists and supporters of non-establishment candidates to even try to work within the Republican party. The voice of the people is at stake and GOP leadership wants to do away with the voice of the people.
Closer to home in Coconino County, the Republican leadership recently joined together with the local tea party to keep Ron Paul supporters and libertarian Republicans from holding elected positions inside the party. When a couple liberty people slipped through and were elected as State Committeemen a secret recount was done and the liberty people were illegally removed.
Countless calls and emails to Arizona GOP Chairman Robert Graham and other Republican leaders were ignored. Put simply, nobody in power in the GOP cares about corruption and broken rules. They’d really just like for us libertarian Republicans to go away for good.
Perhaps most disheartening is the way many elected Republicans have alienated voters by obeying orders from their leadership rather than their constituents and voting to violate the Constitutional rights of all Americans. Recently Congressman Justin Amash (a libertarian Republican hero) proposed an amendment to defund NSA spying on Americans and more Democrats than Republicans voted with him to defund the program.
Libertarian Republicans often get yelled at by party apologists for pointing things like this out. We’re expected to defend our abusers and excuse their vote because they’re on our team and we have to support our team. Well, principles matter and I’m starting to sense that the GOP team spirit is crumbling heading into the 2014 election cycle.
I was recently contacted by a leader in the Republican liberty movement in Arizona who wanted to give me a heads up that they were strongly considering a switch to the Libertarian party. This person is not the only person who has hinted about leaving the Republican party. I talk to people everyday who have had enough. When I circulated HB2305 referendum petitions the majority of the people who signed were Republicans and every single one of they said they were extremely upset at the Republican power grab.
Earlier this week several prominent Republicans in Maine made national headlines when they wrote a letter of resignation and abandoned the party. (This kind of thing is happening all over). They closed their letter by saying:
“Therefore, for the above-stated reasons, we can no longer allow ourselves to be called nor enrolled as Republicans; we can no longer associate ourselves with a political party that goes out of its way to continually restrict our freedoms and liberties as well as reaching deeper and deeper into our wallets.”
Even the Flagstaff Tea Party has joined the dissent by posting an article on their website suggesting that people assist with the election of House Speaker John Boehner’s Democratic opponent. The article says that Republicans need to realize that they don’t have the tea party vote in the bag.
I think this just might be a trend that we can expect to see much more of. The Republican establishment has become experts at alienating the grassroots and pushing voters away.
A recent tweet from the AZ Republican Party (click to enlarge). If the strategy is to destroy the grassroots and alienate potential GOP voters then they are certainly making it happen.
Adam Henriksen [send him email] is the state chapter coordinator for the Arizona Tenth Amendment Center. Originally from Georgia, Adam has lived in Arizona for 15 years and has been with the Tenth Amendment Center since 2012.
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