By Bryan Sutton
THE UNCONVENTIONAL CONSERVATIVE
I believe future historians will teach that August 24th, 2012 was the day the Republican Party died. This is the day that the Grand Old Party showed it was no longer grand, but merely a party of “Good Old Boys.” The actions of the Credentials and Rules Committees on this date clearly show this to be the case.
I am a 51-year-old, lifelong Republican. More than that, I’m the third generation (in a row) of my family to be active in the party. We have all held positions on our county central committees, been precinct chairs, county chairs, county, district, and state delegates. I will admit that none of us, to my knowledge, have served on the state central committee or in any national capacity. This is not for lack of desire, but those positions, historically, have required a level of financial independence and a time commitment that we have been unable to provide. I do think that having started as a junior delegate many years ago and the discussions my family has had gives me a unique insight into the history of the party and its recent actions.
Without going into history lesson, I will accept that modern politics are considered to have begun with the “primary” election process. While some states still use a caucus process, I think this is the point where “modern” politics is considered to have begun. This process was established to remove the power of the political “insiders” and give it to the electorate (voters). This is the process that I was raised in and believed in.
I was raised to believe that being a Republican meant having three core beliefs that shape all your political thinking: smallest government possible, governing at the lowest level possible, and thereby keeping taxes as low as possible. Historically, the rules of the RNC have fairly well followed these beliefs; they let the state parties determine what type of process to use (primary/caucus) and how to elect/apportion delegates to the national convention to represent them. The rules of the RNC had gone before the delegates to the national convention before those rules could be changed. The GOP also, historically, espoused that Republicans were persons who held high ethical standards, embodied personal integrity, and were personally responsible for their actions.
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