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Lou Rose: Politics and Party Loyalty

There are some folks who think you can say you are a member of a political party and attack your own party's candidates during an election. I disagree.

We have a multiparty system in this country. Not a two-party system as some would say, for anyone can form a party. If you don’t like the one you are in, you can find another.

The preferred method of gaining political power is to organize the voters and deliver them to the polls on Election Day. You do this by first committing to organize your neighbors and your friends. This means you talk to each one and find out who agrees with you politically, and work on convincing those who don't. You ask them if they will vote with you when it is time to vote.

The next step is to organize your block, and get someone to agree to be a block captain who will find those who agree with you politically, and work on convincing those who don't. Then you organize the next block, and so forth. After that you organize a phone chain or email list or text message blast, or twitter group of the voters who agree with you politically. None of this requires that you belong to a political party.

If you are a true believer and totally committed, eventually you will have organized so many blocks and friends and email addresses that you will be able to marshal all the voters in a precinct or maybe in several precincts to go and vote with you. At some point somebody decides to hold a meeting. When you get up to the size where you become a viable recognized party the objective is simple: Elect your people at every level to every office so that your program will be implemented, and your members will be hired for all non-elected positions so your program will be supported.

What is required now is for you to maintain party discipline. How is this done? You have to control who the candidate is. It is essential that the candidate is someone who agrees with your members politically, because if they don’t it is nearly impossible to get everyone in the group to support and vote for the candidate. This is where in my opinion the major parties have fallen down on the job.

Candidates should be vetted and approved by the local precincts in the executive committees before they even dare run in a primary. They should be known quantities, not only by the rich and powerful, but by the rank and file. It is the rank and file through their representatives at the Executive committee who should choose the candidate, because they are the ones who will make phone calls, give money, walk precincts, and vote for the candidate. The primary should be a contest between two well-vetted candidates.

Nevertheless even if the party has fallen down on its responsibilities to keep ideology pure, maintain consensus, and properly vet candidates it is the responsibility of the member to work within the party to set it right, and to work to elect party candidates. If you cannot do that the only honorable thing to do is to resign and go somewhere else. You cannot claim to be for the party, and then work against it.

No one is more critical of the process and candidates than I, and as all know I am merciless with elected officials of our party. During the primary season I go about as a raging bear. But, after the primary process is over, I know that our candidate is the best candidate that the Republican Party has been able to produce. The alternative, usually a Socialist Democrat is absolutely unacceptable.

Election time is a time for unity. I will wait to criticize Republicans after they are elected and in a position to do something about it, and they will hear me because I have done whatever I can to support them with my time, my money and my vote. If I absolutely abhor a candidate, I will shut my mouth because voting for him is still better than voting for a Democrat. I will go and work for another Republican candidate I do like. When Republicans win, the Party wins and we move closer to our goal of establishing republican philosophy and practice in government here and in Washington.

All men are imperfect. But as Ben Franklin said "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." The people on the other side are presently seeking our fortunes, but it seems to me that if they become firmly entrenched, they will soon be seeking our lives. All that is left to us is our honor, and this must be expressed either as party loyalty or our resignation from it. I am a Republican, I know what it means to be a Republican, and if my party occasionally forgets, I will remind them, and be happy to do it while working to elect Republicans, and only Republicans, to political office.

Louis William Rose is a political philosopher and the Parliamentarian of the Republican Executive Committee of Duval County. You can contact him at louisrose@yahoo.com

9 Responses »

  1. I agree Louis that if the process occurs as you outline in your article - election time should be a time for Party unity. Unfortunately that process is not taking place.

    Very few are organizing their blocks and precincts - present company included. Big Money, the Corporate Media and the Establishment are doing most of the "vetting" of candidates. Occassionaly a true grassroots candidate advances like a Rand Paul or a Mike Yost.

    As a result, today when we get to the general election we are left with Party candidates who supported bailouts, tax increases and generally don't refelct the values and principles of our party.

    My position is that the next best thing we can do (to make-up for the lack of due diligence between elections) is call these candidates out. Make sure rank and file voters as well as the candidates themselves realize that there is a growing number of people who find their style of Republicanism - unacceptable.

    Afterall, at the end of the day it is our city, state and country that we want to see win not necessarily a political party.

    • I might consider your position if you could tell me that your own block was well organized.

      We start by taking the most humble position after voter, Block Captain.

      Only then may we be justly forced by our fellows to run for chairman, or city council.

      • I still believe we need a contingency plan for when that does not happen. Saying what "should have happened" when you are looking down at a ballot with a Republican Tyrant vs a Democratic Tyrant isn't very comforting if you are one who refuses to ever vote for tyrants.

  2. Wonderful article (as usual), and I agree with you totally. The time for unity, in this very important election, is and has been upon us for several months as republican candidates fight the good fight to be elected and represent us.

  3. Great article, Louis. Fitting that the Sponsor on this page (at least when I visited) is Ander Crenshaw....because that's exactly the kind of representative that the method you just publicly supported will produce.

    This process caused the GOP to produce the Obama administration by nominating John McCain....who, you supported (at least publicly).

    Louis, are you part of the problem? Can your way (which on paper is infallible) lead us to freedom? Or, will your "honor" get in the way?

  4. Billy Bob,

    John McCain is running for re-election in Arizona and I heartily support my fellow Republican hope everyone in Arizona will vote for him. Perhaps on November 3, I shall write an article completely devoted to John McCain and what I think about him.

    I would suggest to you that the process I describe did not produce these candidates because presently it has been abandoned.

    I call for a reinstitution of grass roots politics and an abandonment of big money politics. Big money, power politics is Facism, as bad as Communism and both are forms of totalitarianism.

    I have said before that you can win elections with money, votes, or bullets.
    I prefer votes. I think using money to decide elections is just as contemptible as using bullets to decide elections. Besides I don't have any money. Hmmm what should an honorable man do? Or perhaps I shouldn't let my honor get in the way? Sometimes you know, you just can't help it.

    By the way Billy Bob it is my experience that honorable men do not remain anonymous but give their real names when they appear in print.

  5. While I am at it let me also say that I heartily support the re-election of Ander Crenshaw to the Congress. He is a great Republican.

    Recently at a political meeting I asked Ander the following philosophical question?

    If Congress does not closely conform to and obey the restrictions placed upon it by the Constitution, why should I or any of my friends conform to or obey any Federal or State statute?

    Congress Crenshaw was quick to respond that Congress did indeed need to return to a close observance of Constitutional restraints. I have every confidence that he full intends to do this because he said so in public, and a gentlemen of his obvious intelligence must clearly realize the profound implications attached to such a promise, or a failure to keep it.

  6. Louis,
    Your position fails to take into account the complexity of reality and the fact that all voters of a particular party do not necessarily share the same ideas - or even if they do, they may not share the same ideas about how those ideas should be implemented.

    I'm a Republican, but I have never and will never support Marco Rubio with his current political positions. While I support fiscal responsibility for the right reasons, I cannot accept government telling me how to run my personal affairs. Rubio's general demeanor, to me, is scary.

    I voted for Charlie Crist, because I believe that he better reflects true Republican ideals, absent some of the recent fad-frenzy surrounding Mr. Rubio, who has gotten far out of control.

    Must we enforce party loyalty to the point of supporting tyrants, or people who we feel may become tyrants in the future? Isn't it the job of the party's rank-and-file to, even in the general election, NOT support candidates who may potentially be dangerous?

    Since when are we Republicans first and Americans second?

    • We are lovers of Liberty first and Americans second, Republicans third perhaps but it father down the list I think. The simplicity of my position is the beauty of it. We do not enforce party loyalty, we encourage it. It is only in ourselves that we excercise discipline, and maintain our own loyalty to the party. The party is the tool we are using today to secure liberty. Should the day come when we choose another, it is important to focus firmly upon it, as we now focus on the party, and to make sure it is clean and well oiled a machine as it can be.