Shamed by the Republican Convention

Both American political parties are failing the people.  While President Barack Obama’s Administration fluctuates daily between corrupt and communist; Republicans are no better and in this first person example of events Saturday at the Tulsa County Republican Convention neighborhood Nazis seem dedicated to their own destruction.  They prove no good deed goes unpunished with politics more personal than principled.

As Republican Precinct 30 Chairman, I volunteered to serve on the Platform Committee for this year’s convention.  I have served before and have long advocated a summary platform over the fastidious fascination with obscure detail the County Party has used for decades.

This year for Lent, however, I have focused on giving up anger and argument which is not easy personally or as a public policy writer.  I said so at the Platform Committee meetings while offering fundamental compromise.  I volunteered to chair the Statement of Principles or Preamble Subcommittee.  I was elected by the Platform Committee and in meetings drafted a new Preamble for the Platform.

The name “Preamble” was used for accuracy.  Statement of Principles implies a closed set of positions encompassing all.  Preamble is an introduction which is, in fact, how this section of the Platform serves – to introduce the greater body of detailed positions.

The one page document developed by the Sub-Committee was approved with one change suggested by the full Platform Committee.  There was no conflict or complaint and the final document passed unanimously.

Arriving at the Tulsa County Convention, I noticed first that the Preamble did not receive the appropriate formatting – shown in three-column format rather than the traditional single column reserved for previous year’s Statement of Principles.  Several paragraph breaks were not correctly done making it hard to read.

Then as the Platform debate began, a Minority Platform was submitted to totally set aside the Preamble in favor of adopting last year’s Statement of Principles.  No warning of this was provided.  The people that submitted this reversal had voted for the Preamble in the Platform Committee.  The primary advocate was Steven Roemerman a local blogger and failed candidate for City Council.  Speaking against the Preamble was another failed candidate, pontificating blogger, and angry anti-everything favorite Michael D. Bates.

Bates has publicly published mistakes of fact.  Most notably he was forced by threat of legal action to publicly apologize and, at his own expense, correct the public record.  Bates lied with drama at the Tulsa County Republican Party Convention Saturday.  He asserted that the Preamble abandoned social conservatism.  A simple reading of the document proves that claim bogus.  In particular, “individual rights come from Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and “justice and opportunity for all human life regardless of age, race, creed, sex or disability” are pro-life for all of life position statements.

In my opinion, Michael D. Bates is a demagogue.  He has written of his deep seated ambition to be a “leader of men,” but has not shown the emotional capacity to lead.  Embittered by frequent failures; Bates has repeatedly demonized honorable elected officials for no purpose beyond advancing his political ambitions.  I invite Bates to debate this in public or in a court of law if he feels this analysis is in factual error in any regard.

You decide.  Does the Preamble below abandon social conservatism in your opinion?

After Bates; I spoke to the Convention to correct his mischaracterizations.  However, this Platform consideration was after lunch when many Republicans had left the Convention as Tulsa enjoyed the first day of sunshine after a week of rain.  Mostly the John Birch Society and Ron Paul folks remained and they carried the vote on the floor.

Here is the shame.  Because I served as Chair of the Sub-Committee, my name will remain on the official Tulsa County Republican Party Platform tied to a Statement of Principles that, I believe, is poorly written and not the result of the committee’s effort.  This shame I will suffer for years until another platform is approved by another Convention.  A professional writer, this is what I get for writing for free – an intended unselfish good deed turned to shame.

Thus for the coming years, I will in public speeches mention this story of the Preamble (may pass out copies) to civic, social and religious groups as a part of my frequent presentations on local politics.  I will note this betrayal of effort to help the County Republican Party better its communications – a battle won by the few that reduces opportunity of the many to win the greater political conflict.

However, I am already working with the First District Republican Convention Rules Committee and may serve on the State Republican Party Platform Committee.  Tulsa County is just the lowest level of party politics and it is unlikely that I will support any fundraising effort by Tulsa County Republicans based on this adventure.  (I’m not the first which is why they are broke.)

Many at the Convention were stunned by the outcome, but the juvenile nature of what must be a personal attack absent supporting fact again proves some Tulsa County Republicans would rather eat their own than advance in cooperation.  I doubt I will work on any of their committees until reason returns and look forward to adult considerations at the First District and State levels.

No wonder Democrats think they may win in this upcoming election cycle.  

Here is the Preamble as approved by the Platform Committee, but rejected by the Convention.

Tulsa County Republican Party Platform Preamble
Approved by Platform Committee, March 17, 2012

We believe individual rights of life, liberty and property come from Laws of Nature and Nature’s God and that governments are formed to protect those specific human rights.

We believe the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America together establish the supreme basis of law for the nation and all subsequent judicial rulings must be subject to those foundational documents and intent.

We believe in justice and opportunity for all human life regardless of age, race, creed, sex or disability.  We believe the strength of our Constitutional Republic lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability, liberty and responsibility must be honored.  Failure by the Federal Government to limit itself to authority specifically found within the Constitution removes the obligation of union from the sovereign states.

We believe Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution requires Congress to maintain the value of the currency and, should that value crash, Congress must immediately return the U.S. Dollar to a commodity based standard.

We welcome legal immigration and recognize the tremendous benefits new immigrants have contributed to America.  We oppose illegal immigration.  We believe the federal government has an immediate duty to hold secure our national borders.

We believe the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least.

We believe that the most effective, responsible and responsive government is closest to the people.  State and local governments should be encouraged to address challenges with creativity and without undue federal influence, regulation or restriction.

We reject the European Union model of abdicating national sovereignty to gain economic success.  We recognize that the United Nations is failing and in specific cases has degenerated into harmful ineffective bureaucracy that must immediately be reformed or rejected as an agent for world peace.  We believe America should continue efforts to extend peace, freedom, individual liberty and human rights throughout the world.

We believe individual initiative in free enterprise provides opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.  We oppose socialism in general and specific entitlement programs lacking incentives to grow personal productivity.  We believe government must practice fiscal responsibility by reducing spending and the total tax burden on all citizens.

We believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.