Late last year I had the pleasure of attending an event sponsored by a local 9/12 Project group and was incredibly impressed – especially with their tenets, posted proudly and prominently on the wall. In short, their principles perfectly mirrored the Republican Party Platform.
Yesterday evening I drove down to the Will County Tea Party Alliance’s “Stop Mark Kirk Express” event. As a veteran of countless Republican Party gatherings over many years, I can tell you there was a stark difference between what I saw at the 9/12 Project and the TEA Party events I’ve attended and what I witnessed at the vast majority of the stale, old GOP “Grand Old Party” meetings.
Grand? Maybe a long time ago. Old? Yes. Party? Not in the good sense of the word, certainly.
Like that 9/12 Project sponsored candidate forum, yesterday the parking lot was crowded, the room was full, and the energy in the air was not the kind that helps prop up or promote failed political leadership. In both cases, the attendees were there for the right reason – to do what they can to help put their state and nation back on the right track.
What makes meetings like yesterday’s so important is that there is a great deal of work that needs to be done and the GOP has a long way to go before it will accomplish what it’s supposed to.
Obviously, not all local Republican organizations are failing to accomplish their mission – but the evidence is clear from government policy and election day results that most are.
The good news is people are stepping up to involve themselves in politics who are truly committed to the principles of limited government and traditional values outside of the GOP.
Many people who have stepped up to get involved in their local GOP have run into stale, backwards, or dysfunctional entities that will probably wind up in the short-run being more of a deterrent to the kind of volunteerism the right candidates need to win.
There are many variations on that theme – one of the worst is what a good friend tells me about his own Chicago area Republican township organization – two members of the leadership team are having an affair with each other while married to others.
So what do you do about the radical political left and the ineffective GOP? Throw up your hands? Throw things at your TV? Resist the urge to throw up while listening to Republican leaders who know the rhetoric but not how to succeed?