Why would a trans-partisan movement get involved with the OK GOP?
If we are to build and energize a grassroots movement to bring people together and transform Oklahoma into a free state, we need to concentrate on the principles of liberty above any political party allegiance. Divisive politics, fostered by the political class and the media they control, keep us apart, and keep the elites in control. So we are “trans-partisan,” not beholden to any party. We want to encourage involvement by all interested citizens, not just those from any particular party.
That said, the political structure as it exists is the reality we have to work within. That most often means working within the existing political parties to make the changes we desire. While we encourage involvement in both parties to bring about the change, there are some distinct advantages to being involved at this time with the GOP.
So, why are we starting with the GOP?
Since we’ve launched the OK Grassroots Project, we’ve encountered a lot of enthusiasm for our plan to build the grassroots through precinct organizing. Many are fed up with the direction our county is headed, and like the idea of working locally to transform Oklahoma into a free state.
At the same time, we’ve encountered our share of critics and cynics. That’s especially true regarding the project to get involved with the Oklahoma GOP. The criticisms include:
- There is no value in getting involved in party politics.
- The GOP will never change. We’re just wasting our time.
- The GOP will cheat, just as they have before.
- It doesn’t matter who chairs the County and State party organizations.
The process for changing the political landscape is straightforward: To change the laws, we have to change the legislature. To do that, we need to recruit and elect better candidates. To win elections, we need to change the culture and get out the vote. To change the culture, we have to change the conversation about crucial issues. None of this will happen automatically. But it can be done, with systematic, intentional planning and execution.
Now let’s address the objections.
Objection 1: There is no value in getting involved in party politics.
The most expedient way to change the laws in Oklahoma is to exert influence through the GOP. That’s where the power is. Moreover, the OK GOP Statement of Principles is based on individual rights to life, liberty and property, as our Founders intended. When we change a majority of the legislature, we can change the laws.
The Democrat Party needs even more work to shift their principles to individual liberty, self-responsibility and limited government. Independents and third parties have no track record of success in Oklahoma and face stiff roadblocks erected by the Democrats and maintained by the Republicans. In the future we intend to partner with a variety of groups with a vested interest in Oklahoma's freedom, but the GOP offers us the most fertile ground available to plant these ideas and see rapid changes grow.
Objection 2: The GOP will never change.
Critics using this charge fail to grasp that the GOP has changed several times in my lifetime. The candidacies of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Pat Robertson and Patrick Buchanan have brought in new blood that changed the party’s direction, just as has the influx of Ron Paul supporters over the last 8 years. The critics also forget an important formula: 50% +1 wins any election for any office. Winning at politics means turning out the vote. It just takes dedication, persistence, and effort. As the precinct organizations develop, the change will be much easier. One way to ensure the GOP doesn’t change is NOT to get involved changing it.
Objection 3: The GOP will cheat, just as they have before.
I wish I could say this is a misperception. But it’s not. I’ve seen cheating and chicanery inside the party at almost every level. In 2012, the RNC cheated numerous times against Ron Paul. The 2012 State Convention was the most egregious local example. The answer is to know the rules, insist they be followed, and expose the cheating. Best of all, show up at every election with more votes than the opposition. It is extremely important to get representation on the Rules and Credentials Committees. That’s where much of the cheating can be prevented. Also, make ample use of cameras to record documents and proceedings. (For what it’s worth, the Democrats are no different.)
*Here’s what you can do to combat this behavior: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Fill out EVERY document completely, have ballot votes for EVERYTHING, make sure they are signed and dated, and document them all with a smart phone, or tablet camera. Volunteer to coordinate collection of all the photos. Then you will have the documentation necessary to help the credentials committee if their numbers don’t seem correct.
If you, or someone you trust is not your precinct or County Chair, make a motion to do every vote by ballot. They may object due to time limitations, but no rule exists limiting the length of precinct or convention meetings. We are not suggesting obstructionist behavior, simply careful adherence to the rules and thorough documentation. In the case of an appeal, these documents may prove invaluable.
Objection 4: It doesn’t matter who chairs the County and State party organizations.
I’ve heard this one from long-time activists who should know better. The truth is that the chairmen of each county and state party have enormous discretion in where they apply their efforts. We need chairmen who will actively work to build self-sustaining, functioning precinct organizations in their counties. They also need to follow the rules, play fair, give everyone a chance to participate meaningfully, and operate transparently. If they will do that, then we have a chance of making the GOP the true party of the People.
As it stands now, the chairs run from excellent in some counties, where inclusiveness and transparency reign, to terrible, operating in almost total secrecy, above and beyond the rules, to maintain their tight control of the process. The State Chair could make a huge difference in whether the grassroots are developed, or the party remains in the hands of political consultants and special interests.
We need your help with the precinct meetings and conventions.
We can all think of things we’d rather do than to engage in political activities; just as we’d rather do other things than to fight the mugger, rapist and thief on the attack. The truth is, if we don’t engage in effective political action, we will not change our political situation. It won’t happen on its own.
If you are registered Republican, we need you to help us restore the party to its principles. We need you to commit to attend 3 meetings: your precinct meeting, your county convention and the state conventions.
In the long run, these meetings are not about the Republican Party. They are about the future we will leave to our kids and grandkids. That future depends on our actions today. The door is open; will you join us in taking the next step towards a free Oklahoma?
If so, find out about your precinct, we have a list of all available times and places. Here are all the resources you need to prepare yourself for precinct meetings and conventions. If you do not find what you are looking for here, please do not hesitate to contact us.
[If you are a Democrat, their precinct meetings are all scheduled for Thursday, March 12. The county conventions are scheduled for Saturday, April 11, and CD Conventions for May 9. For more info, visit the OK Democrat Party website.]
OK GOP precinct and conventions times and places (if yours is not on the list, call the OK GOP State HQ at 405.528.3501.)
If you are in Oklahoma County, go here to request a list of people in your precinct (tell us your name and precinct number)