The Ron Paul Insurgency
& the Republican Party:
A Grassroots View
Following are some personal impressions of Ron Paul’s campaign for president, and the Republican Party at the grassroots level. The Paul campaign involves a lot more than one man. It requires money, savvy, efficiency, organization, and the active engagement of motivated volunteers across the country.
US Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Tex.)
I’m not familiar with the nature of the organization Ron Paul and his advisers have constructed over the years (Paul ran for president in 2008 as well), but the man is running a well-oiled machine within the Republican Party.
It’s reminiscent in some ways of Governor George Wallace’s (D.-Ala.) 1960s-era insurgency. The Paul campaign has less depth and breadth than the Wallace operation, but that’s true of all right-wing political efforts before and since. No rebellion in American politics since the Civil War has matched Wallace’s in scope.
Paul has been a sitting congressman throughout this period (he is stepping down this year)—in itself an enormous job requiring running for reelection every two years, serving constituents, etc. Paul is an exceptionally capable, energetic, and principled man. It’s remarkable in these days to see capability like his joined with principle.
Of course, Paul is no white nationalist. He does not oppose white genocide. In recent debates he declared that Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. are his “heroes,” claimed blacks are “victimized” by the criminal justice system, and complained that “rich white guys” never get the death penalty. His stereotyped racial views are no different from anyone else’s.
Still, liberty is supremely important. It is the single value all genuine foes of the System have in common whether they know it or not, because without the freedom to speak, associate, and press for social change without being killed, beaten, jailed, defamed, deprived of livelihood, impoverished, or having your marriage, family, or reputation destroyed by those in power, fundamental peaceful change is impossible. Viewed in such a light, there’s nothing mysterious about white racialist ineffectuality over the past half-century.
Born in 1935, Paul is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, not Texas. His ancestry is reportedly German (father) and German-Irish (mother). German was still spoken in his home when he was a boy.
Raised a Lutheran—two of his brothers are Lutheran ministers—Paul evidently converted to Episcopalianism at some point, because his five children were baptized in that faith. He has since become a Baptist. Married since 1957, he has 17 grandchildren.
Paul’s libertarianism is, and always has been, more temperate, sensible, and less outré than that of many libertarian ideologues. That’s why he’s been repeatedly reelected to Congress, and has developed a national following. Unlike any other libertarian I’m aware of, Paul has consistently and successfully reached beyond the confines of the movement.
Paul also possesses appeal as the last congressional maverick in an institution that formerly boasted many colorful, distinctive personalities. He’s out of step with the 21st century norm of ambitious, unprincipled, corrupt, but otherwise colorless apparatchiks. He’s not part of the monochrome rainbow.
The Precinct Caucus
I have not caucused or paid too much attention to electoral politics since I was a Democrat in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Whatever one thinks of “democracy,” we no longer have it. Freedom of speech and association are prerequisites for democracy.
Shortly before the day of the caucuses in my state, the Paul campaign mailed a form letter urging supporters to attend the upcoming event. (I’ve subscribed to his free newsletter for years.) I ignored it.
Just before the caucuses I received another letter.
Both missives explained the importance of the caucus and spelled out what was desired of recipients—voting for Paul in the straw poll, but, more importantly, becoming a Paul delegate to the county convention, the next stage in the political process.
The mechanics of how caucuses work in the state and the significance of becoming a delegate were simply and clearly explained. A URL to the campaign’s website was provided so recipients could learn the exact date, time, and location of their precinct caucus by inputting their residential address.
Caucusing takes about two hours in the evening and doesn’t cost anything. There was no reason not to go.
Our caucus was held at the local junior high school. The Democratic caucus was held simultaneously at the high school across the street.
About 165 people attended the Republican caucus—turn-out that was three times larger than usual. Everyone was (apparently) white, evenly divided between men and women roughly 40 to 70 years of age.
A schoolteacher at our table pointed to the only other schoolteacher in the auditorium. “All the rest are Democrats,” she said.
That’s a highly artificial distribution, but I knew it to be true from my days as a Democrat. Teachers and school administrators constitute a deeply entrenched, highly committed Democratic political bloc thanks to . . . patronage.
It provides a vivid example of whites artificially (lopsidedly, not due to objective merit) and uniformly backing a System and ideological agenda because it provides them with a satisfactory living, retirement benefits, health care, and various social advantages (e.g., summer vacations).
It’s closely akin to the invisible but massive immigration and social services and law enforcement infrastructures upon which the comfortable livelihoods of so many whites depend. A simple but powerful life lesson is that principle and morality will take a back seat to greed and self-interest whenever the appropriate incentives are present.
At the caucus you assemble and vote by precinct (i.e., with your neighbors). Delegates and alternates to the county convention are elected by precinct, not by the group as a whole.
After the meeting was called to order the group rose and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following a few preliminary matters, anyone who desired to do so was invited to come to the microphone at the front of the auditorium and say a few words on behalf of their favored candidate. Speakers were allotted two or three minutes apiece.
A female supporter of Mitt Romney stated that she had been “discriminated against” because of her religion. (There’s a local Mormon church now.)
I rolled my eyes at that rubbish, as I did in 2002 when the obituaries for JDL terrorist Irv Rubin claimed signs in Canada when he was a boy read “No Dogs or Jews Allowed.”
Liars to the right of them,
Liars to the left of them,
Liars in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
White nationalists are far more likely to be subjected to hatred and persecution than any Mormon or Jew.
Several participants spoke on Ron Paul’s behalf—more than for any other candidate that night. They were articulate and presentable. One was a former county Republican Party chairman, another an elected school board member.
A third said he’d attended a Ron Paul rally where the crowd consisted mostly of people in their late 20s and early 30s. Perhaps 40, he was demographically savvy.
A fourth speaker was a Vietnam veteran who objected to US wars and overseas adventurism (this was the Republican, not the Democratic caucus, remember). His dark (hybrid?), California-born son is a city councilman who was the lone “No” vote on an anti-white affirmative action measure that came before the council—unheard of here, where everyone favors anti-white discrimination.
After the speakers finished, a straw poll was held by secret ballot. The results were: Rick Santorum, 52%, Ron Paul 27%, Mitt Romney 15%, and Newt Gingrich 5%, mirroring results throughout the county and the state that day.
Next up was electing delegates and alternates from each precinct to the upcoming county convention. I was elected as an alternate. “Elected” is the technical term, but as a practical matter you simply had to volunteer. In this instance, I could have been a delegate instead (the same way, by volunteering), but did not do so. I’d done it when I was young. Also, I don’t self-identify as a Republican.
At that point there was a significant under-the-radar procedural maneuver that novices certainly missed—and the majority of caucus attendees are always novices. Even most who attend regularly do not understand such fine points, because their active involvement ceases at the precinct caucus.
Handouts asked attendees if they were interested in becoming a delegate or alternate to “either” the District (Congressional) or State Conventions.
If so, you were to submit your name, address, and contact information on the bottom of the form. Delegates and alternates would be elected for a two-year term at the upcoming county convention. Submitting the form did not mean you’d become a delegate, only that your hat was in the ring and you’d be contacted. In reality, insiders usually occupy the delegate slots to both conventions.
The same form admonished, “Candidates should be able to attend at least one convention in each year of the term. Delegates and alternates should be ready, willing and able to support the Republican cause and Republican candidates for office financially and by volunteering.”
Caucusing for Ron Paul is one thing; working for, or donating money to, the Republican Party or any candidates it fronts is quite another. Today’s headlines report that 2008’s oily Republican presidential nominee and current US Senator “John McCain Calls For US-Led Airstrikes On Syria.”
Supporting people and policies like that is a sin. If you sin you’ll go to Hell.
Lastly, resolutions to the party platform were proposed and voted upon.
A striking feature of the caucus was hearing open discussion (by the speakers—such informal discussion did not take place at the tables) of political issues and candidates. It struck me that years ago citizens commonly discussed politics and religion openly among themselves, often vigorously. Such matters were not restricted to periodic caucuses and conventions.
But that is no longer the case.
The County Convention
The county convention took place a month later.
A few days prior, I received a telephone call from Ron Paul’s campaign. A young man asked if I was aware that I was a delegate to the county convention. The caller emphasized the importance of delegates in the process. The organization obviously had its eye on the ball.
For a first timer, or someone deeply committed to the Party or the Paul campaign, such a call would have been very helpful. I was provided with the telephone number of the state campaign chair in case I had any questions.
Keep in mind that the caucuses were over in my state, and the candidates and media—and public attention—had shifted to other states. Yet the Paul campaign is doing everywhere exactly what it’s doing here. It remains focused and active in every state before, during, and after the spotlight hits. That should give you some idea of the scale of the operation.
County delegates and alternates received a 4-page mailing from the Party chair containing the Official Convention Call, Agenda, and Convention Rules.
We also received a phone call from the Republican Party chairman a day or two before the convention, asking if we were going to attend. This was in the nature of a spur or reminder. I guess people have a tendency to sit in front of their television sets unless prodded. And why not, if democracy is a sham? (Well, they could read a book. But they won’t.)
Organizing and running the caucus, preparing mailings, phoning delegates and alternates, and organizing and conducting the local convention (coffee and sweet rolls were served, among many other details big and small), obviously entails a lot of work.
County officers—we were told—served without pay. The work is purely voluntary. Officials are reimbursed only for out-of-pocket expenses such as mailing costs. At the convention it was announced that the county organization—as distinct from individual candidates or other Party units—has $4,000 in its till.
The meeting, which was held on a Saturday, convened at 9:00 AM (registration began at 8:30) and lasted till 1:00. Again the delegates were all white—roughly 70% male and 30% female.
The average age was perhaps slightly older than at the caucuses. Both crowds were older than you’d ideally like to see—because they have to be.
The convention opened with an invocation by a local pastor. He read a fair chunk from the Old Testament and stated—in so many words—that America was damned, immersed in sin, and headed for ruin. He prayed that politicians and leaders might heed God, and implored the Lord to set the nation upon the right path.
I asked several people who he was, but none of them knew. It turned out he was an Independent Baptist—a group more conservative than Southern Baptists.
The pastor was present at the behest of one of his parishioners, an older female party official, possibly the party secretary—I’m not certain—who helped conduct the proceedings. Whenever there was a lull she’d speak. She commended the works of Christian evangelical Republican David Barton and the website of neocon Bill Bennett, where (she said) Bennett discussed the relationship between natural law and God’s law.
This woman’s parents and ancestors back to colonial times had been Congregationalists and Presbyterians, but she’d become an Independent Baptist.
Thus, what appeared on the surface to be an expression of fundamentalist group religious conviction turned out instead to be the consequence of the intensity and activism of one woman.
Later, she failed to win election as a delegate to either the state or district conventions (which is usually routine for key officials as a reward for their service), and was selected as an alternate only to the district convention. Since insiders choose the delegate slate, this was a snub to a fellow official.
She remarked disappointedly to a party stalwart, “I didn’t even get elected as an alternate to the state convention. Well, I’m an alternate to the district. Anyway, I have my DAR [Daughters of the American Revolution] activities to attend to.”
I hadn’t known the DAR was still around.
She believes the Republican Party can be reformed from within. Initially she supported Ron Paul for President, then Santorum, but was currently leaning toward Newt Gingrich.
The meeting proceeded briskly and efficiently, pausing at irregular intervals to make time for candidate-speakers when they showed up. The candidates shuttled rapidly between numerous conventions in different towns, hitting as many as possible.
Speakers focused on standard Republican issues like government spending and gun ownership. The candidate for US Congress said he rises every morning at 5:00 AM and keeps going till late at night every day except Sunday—”that’s for my family.” He didn’t say God, or church, though he might attend. (Candidates and politicians really do work that hard.)
When the Republican state senator (a woman) and state representative (a policeman) spoke, they were vehemently assailed by several party officials and delegates, including the chairman, due to their support for public funding of a new sports stadium to benefit a pro team owned by a billionaire Jew. Although the senator and representative probably know the man is a Jew, and the significance of that, I suspect no one else did.
Public funding for a stadium is simply not popular at the grassroots level. The only delegate to speak in favor of the representatives’ position was a local banker.
Ordinarily I would not expect to see such public tension between local GOP officials and elected representatives. Yet the latter appeared indifferent, indeed, somewhat condescending in face of the emotional and unanimous opposition. Unruffled, they reiterated that they would seek taxpayer funding.
Late in the session a young (31), handsome, dynamic candidate seeking the Republican nomination for the US Senate breezed in—the only candidate to have his own photographer in tow, snapping photos as he addressed the convention. Just back from Afghanistan, he spoke earnestly for fiscal restraint and more war in the Middle East. He was the picture of the Aryan All-American, though I’d never heard of him. Sadly, he has a Scandinavian-sounding surname.
At the instigation of the Party chair, the crowd rose and gave the young soldier a rousing ovation—the sole candidate so honored that day. Only one person in the entire room didn’t stand up, or applaud. (Guess who.) If there’s one thing whites love, it’s war.
Looking up the candidate afterward, I discovered he had an unusual background. A native of our state, he’s a Princeton University graduate. He played on the basketball squad and was editor of the alternative conservative student newspaper there. He’s married (after a divorce) with two children.
A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, he served as a counterinsurgency instructor in the latter country, and is currently a senior counterinsurgency instructor at Fort Dix. (Extremely dirty business.) He has connections to Jewish neoconservative organizations both nationally and locally, and has appeared as a military analyst multiple times on national television. He has been in the pay of Fox News. Currently he’s completing his Master of Public Policy degree at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
The selection of delegates to the state and congressional district conventions—the important order of business stressed by the Paul campaign—was next. Up to nine delegates and 18 alternates could be selected to each convention—though, as mentioned, many individuals attend both, so there are fewer slots for delegates than are signified by the numbers.
Unlike delegates, alternates to the conventions (like me at the county convention) have a thankless job. Obligated to attend, they do not play any role because the stakes are higher and delegates more committed and unwilling to relinquish their positions unless compelled to do so (e.g., illness or death in the family). Alternates must sacrifice the same amount of time and out-of-pocket expenses—two days, including an overnight stay at the state convention—yet receive nothing in return for loyally sitting on their hands. If a delegate slot does open up, which is rare, alternates have a 1-in-18 chance of being seated.
Of key significance was a party “Nominating Committee,” the existence and role of which was not visible at the caucus level. The committee was composed of party regulars. It presented the delegates at the county convention with a full slate of “suggested” delegates to represent the party at the state and district conventions.
Delegates at the county convention were permitted to make additional nominations from the floor, but the persons so nominated were ultimately named alternates at best, and often not even that.
So, in essence, the slates of delegates were stacked with insiders chosen beforehand by local party officials who also put their own names on the ballot.
By “insiders” I mean party regulars, people who contributed money or volunteered, individuals the officials felt would go to the conventions (show up!), and those whose views were aligned with the officials’ or who supported the same presidential candidates.
The Nominating Committee’s choices, or some of them, might have been upset by knowledgeable people, assuming they organized and prepared beforehand, or by widespread popular opposition, but such hurdles are high as a practical matter and the Nominating Committee’s choices were approved by the delegates in toto.
The lone vocal Ron Paul supporter who was nominated from the floor failed to win election. He may have been chosen as an alternate to one of the conventions—probably the district.
The school board member who supported Paul at the caucus was elected a delegate. Possibly a few other Paul supporters were chosen as well. I can’t say for sure, because, oddly, there was no discussion whatsoever of presidential candidates at the convention. The caucus and convention differed radically in that respect.
As a result, it was impossible to know which candidates the Nominating Committee’s delegates supported. Of course, that information was certainly known to members of the Nominating Committee.
Lastly, platform resolutions were proposed, debated and voted upon. The only one that generated significant discussion was a proposal by a young woman to label genetically-modified foods. The farmers present did not like this. Nor did anyone else. The delegate’s own vote was the only one in the resolution’s favor.
As is apparent from the subtle organizational wrinkle of the Nominating Committee—which had far-reaching consequences—even something very close to democracy is never egalitarian. It is always hierarchical.
Indeed, a powerful elimination process occurs at the most basic level of all: attending the caucus, serving as a delegate or alternate to the local convention, donating money, or volunteering. The great mass of American voters, never mind citizens (many citizens do not vote), is completely eliminated at that stage.
Remaining are those who are confident, financially secure, well-connected, informed, energetic, and have the capability and willingness to organize and get things done.
This would be the case even in a democracy freed from centralized repression and corruption, a controlled media, and domination by an alien minority.
Democracy, like any other form of human activity, will never be truly egalitarian.
Another noteworthy feature of the process is that not a single word pertaining to race or immigration was uttered by anyone at either the caucus or the county convention. Given that whites are being mauled by replacement migration, a fatal demographic crisis, and institutionalized hatred and discrimination, that’s a gaping hole for a so-called “democracy.” It’s reminiscent of Conan Doyle’s dog that didn’t bark.
I speculate that it is the consequence of tightly-controlled media and educational apparatuses, the human tendency to conform and display blind obedience to perceived authority, and a psychological illusion of permanency.
To these factors I would add the justifiable fear of speaking out publicly on such matters, except that I do not believe these white people entertain politically incorrect thoughts about race or immigration even in the privacy of their own minds.
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