Yesterday was the the caucus in MO. This was the first to be held in MO since 1996 and to say that the voters are out of practice is saying it mildly. For those that know me you know that I enjoy politics and grassroots activism. I have worked several campaigns, from local to national races. In the last six months I have gained more life application skills that I would have ever dreamed of. On top of that I’m pretty well liked in our county. I’m easy going, laid back, and for the most part pretty happy-go-lucky, but I am red headed and with that comes the natural red head temper.
They saying goes that you can talk about me, but don’t talk about my family, right? Well, it applies in politics as well. Naturally, being involved in campaigns you get to know a lot of people and in time, those people become family. Some of my best friends have become more like sisters (shout out to Kim), some of the people have become the dreaded step-family, we have our crazies, and we have those that we only see at family reunions, like at yesterday’s caucus. We (generally) love them all, but like most family reunions, you have the crazies that show up just to show out. Again, reference is made to yesterday’s caucus, especially in Christian county.
**Before I proceed I need to put my disclaimer out there….I have a lot of friends who support Ron Paul for President. I respect those that carry themselves like adults and who choose to remain civil even though we disagree. However, adults who act like children because they don’t get their way do not have my respect, or sympathy because their “slate” loses.**
I have looked forward to Caucus Day, 2012 for a long time now. Working for Herman Cain’s campaign got me geared up and taught me to stand for what’s right. I went in yesterday prepared for the long-haul. I had my computer, my water bottle, snacks, notepad, etc…I forgot my boxing gloves though, something that I didn’t think that I would need in such a small county. Generally speaking everyone I know in the Republican group of folks in Christian county gets along. Sure, we have our family disagreements, but again, what family doesn’t? I was not expecting a divorce though yesterday at our “family reunion”, a.k.a. the Christian County Caucus. I was very disheartened by the maturity level of some of the supporters of Ron Paul’s. Yes, prior to the caucus the Republican Committee had created their slate of delegates to go to district and state. I happened to be on the list, but more on that later. But guess what? The Ron Paul folks had one as well. Funny how that’s one of those details left out of the argument. From the get-go it became very apparent that it was going to be a long day when every dot and tittle was analyzed, discussed, debated, and ultimately voted on. We even voted on when we would take a bathroom break, how long it would be, and how often. Yes, every 55 minutes I was allowed to go to the bathroom and my bathroom break would last 10 minutes, thanks to the vote of the people in the Christian County Caucus yesterday. My bladder hasn’t been on a schedule since high school when I had only 5 minutes, guess since I’m an adult now so I get longer breaks, but I digress…seriously though, EVERYTHING was debated and voted on. It quickly became apparent that this was a power struggle and that certain individuals were upset because the 400 or so of their closest friends didn’t show up at the caucus. This resulted in a certain side not having a majority, hence another battle. What determines a majority? 2/3rds or a simple majority (we have more people than you). Well, you guessed it, this debate lasted about 2 hours or so determining a majority. Somewhere in there I had my 10 minute break, thanks to the previous vote. After awhile we got to the fun stuff…the delegate list.
On the Republican Central Committee Slate we found members from the Republican Central Committee as well as people who are involved in politics in the community (that’s where I find myself). There was a pretty good mix of folks, and as stated by the Chairman of the Caucus, some were Romney supporters, some Santorum, and I’m sure some are Newt. Here’s what I can say about how this list was put together; the Committee members were naturally added and those not on the committee were people who have worked hard for past campaigns and are tried and tested Republicans. The process of picking the latter of the two categories was similar to how one would probably “vet” their presidential candidate, through research. Speaking for myself, prior to being placed on the Delegate Slate I had several conversations with various Committee members, phone conversations, Facebook messages, emails, etc asking how I would vote, asking for my vote, etc. Also, I have my past involvement record working for me as well. So even though I don’t go to the meetings I still am involved and informed. I have taken that responsibility upon myself. I have not waited for someone to spoon feed me like a baby information and then whine about it later when I don’t know what’s going on. It’s called being an adult.
Well, on the other side of the coin we have the “Restore America” slate which was clearly made up of Ron Paul supporters. Now, I’m not going to stoop myself to the low levels of name calling (some of which I heard yesterday) but I will say this, that it was evident that it was one sided, just as much as what could have been assumed by them for the Republican Central Committee Slate. (Oh yeah, there was another about Newt yada yada yada, but that got a whopping 2 votes so I’m going to “go there” on that one.) However, since the Central committee had the majority of the vote they won by over 100 votes to pass their slate. It wasn’t even close. Here’s what I will say about the slate issue though. Had the 400 or so people that promised to show up for the Ron Paul group actually followed through with what they said things would have went the other way. They would have had the majority and us the minority. We would ahve fought the battle just as well and probably have lost as well, but there wouldn’t have been name calling afterwards or going on local news networks complaining that things weren’t “fair and just”. Get your panties out of a wad and move on. There comes a point where you have to grow up in life and move on, this is one of those times.
What I find disgraceful is the name calling by some, mostly coming from the Ron Paul side. During the caucus someone yelled out “Shut up, Old Broad” from the Ron Paul side. This was while an elected official was speaking. Since then I’ve seen bloggers refer to the Republican Committee members as “old fogies”, “the establishment”, “cronies”, “un-Christian”, and fuddyduds among other things. Again I say, GROW UP already. If you’re mad, that’s one thing, but don’t be disrespectful.
What I learned from the process is that just like in a normal family, the political family is drama-laden and full of interesting distant cousins who only show up because they have to. I also learned that you should know your opponent inside and out, not just on surface level. From this point forward, I will be even more involved. One of the tactics used by our local Ron Paul supporters is to show up at various county meetings and make things complicated. I’ve decided to do the same, I will show up at their meetings and if given the chance I will make it complicated for them as well. I will not roll over and accept their agenda. As long as I’ve got breath in my body I will work with whatever candidate that is running against anyone associated with the fiasco that happened in Christian county on March 17. (I know that your “group” is prepping candidates to run against our “old-fogie” leaders.”) I’ve also learned that my voice is loud and clear in the form of one vote. You can bet your bottom dollar that my voice will never go cold on that one.