How to take (back) the Republican Party

On June 12, 2007, in General, by Neil Stevens

Today I take a marked departure from my normal political writing. Being a strident conservative with emotional tendencies toward libertarianism, the day-to-day machinery of politics suits me poorly, so I write better when look to our beloved Constitution, or the ideals it represents.

However political machinery is precisely what I intend to address here: the structure of the Republican party, and the means with which activists could steer it in a new direction. I will not address policy ideas.

Let us begin probing the party structure at the top. Once we peel past the official leadership: President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, and General Chairman Martinez, we get to the people in charge of the nuts and bolts of the party: Chairman Mike Duncan and Co-Chairman Jo Ann Davidson (take that Marxist-Feminists; she’s referred to that way on the site).

Here is an excerpt from Duncan’s official biography on the GOP website:

Duncan has worked for and advised Republican candidates and parties at the local, state and national level his entire adult life. He has held a wide variety of positions at the RNC, most recently as General Counsel and before that, Treasurer. During his career, he has served on the campaigns of five Presidents, including Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. He has been a delegate to six Republican National Conventions and is one of the few persons ever to serve on four standing convention committees.

….Chairman Duncan’s service has extended to the federal government. In 1989-90, during a sabbatical from his banking career, he worked in the George H. W. Bush White House as assistant Director of Public Liaison. President George W. Bush appointed him to the President’s Commission on White House Fellows in 2001 and nominated him to the Tennessee Valley Authority Board, a position to which he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate in March 2006.

And an excerpt from Davidson’s offical biography:

As Bush-Cheney ’04 Ohio Valley Regional Campaign Chair, Davidson helped direct a historic grassroots effort that enabled President Bush to win Ohio by a decisive margin. The Ohio Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign recruited over 87,000 Bush volunteers, held at least 3,946 parties for the President and made more than 4.5 million volunteer door-to-door knocks and phone calls to supporters and undecided voters in Ohio (with 2,373,167 volunteer door-to-door knocks and phone calls made in the final 72-Hours).

Davidson was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for 20 years and served as Speaker of the House from 1995-2000. She served as Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party Central Committee for 25 years and Chairman of the successful Taft for Governor campaigns in 1998 and 2002. As Chairman of the Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee from 1986-2000, she spearheaded the successful effort to return the Republicans to the majority in the Ohio House of Representatives in 1994, for the first time in 22 years.

What do these people have in common? They worked for campaigns and they worked at the state and local level to further the party’s interests. As a result, they rose in power, and got a voice in shaping the future of the party.

The trend continues down the line, too. When we look at members of the national committee, we see track records of state and local service. The same holds with state chairmen. Tina Benkiser, Texas state GOP chairman, lists in her previous party experience time as a Precinct Chairman.

Timothy Morgan, National Committeeman for California, was a Captain in the Army JAG Corps until 1979, and by 1980 he was Reagan-Bush County Chairman in Santa Cruz, a position he held in 1984, and then reprised for Bush-Quayle in 1988 and 1992. He now sits as Treasurer of the RNC, a position previously held by Chairman Duncan.

Yes, some top party members get their foot in the door of the organization by taking office at the local level, but a look at the leadership shows working for campaigns and for the party is a ticket in. There is a lesson to be learned here: those who work for the party shape it.

So, fellow Republicans, if you feel your faction of the party is underrepresented by the party leadership, or that the ‘party elites’ are ignored by the base, then you as a part of the base must get your faction involved from the bottom up. Only then will you see your views represented in the system.

Work for a campaign. Work for a city or county party. Take that first step. If enough people who agree with you do it, then it is inevitable that people who agree with you will eventually rise to the top of the party.


Comments are closed.

Nima Jooyandeh facts.