Thursday, October 14, 2010

Should Conservatives Try and Take Over the Republican Party?

Simple answer:  NO!

I think trying to take over the Republican party is a mistake. I think what we need to do is take control of our own representatives. If we hold our congressman's and senators' feet to the fire, we better control what's done to us by Congress.  We need a second party to use as a whip to steer our legislators.

If my representative is a conservative, then I vote for him, whatever party he belongs to. This tells BOTH parties what I want. If the Republicans want our vote, they need to prove they'll do what we ask them to. As Tea Party members, we put the screws to the people we vote for with the threat of the vote.

It's a waste of time and, I believe, may be a mistake altogether to try to take over the Democrat or Republican party - at least for a typical American voter who's running his business and trying raise a family.  Who has time for party politics?  It's much better to whack 'em on the nose every couple of years with a rolled up ballot and then get back to work and let them figure out why their noses are swollen.

Parties care about keeping the party in power and the Republicans have shown as much lack of courage as the Democrats in that respect. Frequently they have shown even greater cowardice than Democrats in standing for principle, preferring instead to take nice media-safe positions, compromising principle in order to hold onto their elective offices.

As a mainstream American, I vote for the person. If a Democrat will do ya' better, send a message to the Republicans by voting for the one who believes most like you do.  Once the representative or senator (or whatever sort of representative he or she is) gets moved into his new office, then, you hold his or her feet to the fire. That's the beauty of the two party system.  If they don't do what you want 'em to, you vote 'em out.  If we all do that, you can bet the parties will get the message. 

It's up to us as voters to be decisive about what we want.  As few as a dozen phone calls and letters have been known to change a politician's vote.  Write 'em.  Call 'em.  Raise hell in their local offices. Threaten to give money to their opponent. As much as they might take lobbyist money, it doesn't take many letters from real voters to get them to back away from their lobby favoritism if they know that real voters are watching with disapproval.

I once was asked by a senator if I had organized some sort of letter-writing campaign about an issue when he got bombarded by letters and calls from voters about an issue in his committee. The thing that got his attention was that each letter was individual and NOT a form letter.  A dozen handwritten or composed letters and phone calls trumped hundreds of contacts obviously spit out of a fax machine or e-mail spammer by a professional lobbyist.  I told him I'd simply told friends about the bill they were considering.  He was impressed with the response and the bill passed from his committee to the state house floor and was one of the few local community issues acted on and passed by the house that year.  Support was bipartisan and individual.

Don't waste your time signing on to fax blitzes.  Know who your representatives are and write, e-mail or call their local offices when you care about something they are doing. 

Politicians' ears are particularly sensitive to the sound of the villagers gathering at the gates with pitchforks and torches and tar and feathers. 

Just one man's opinion,

Tom King - Tyler, Texas

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