“When the Republican Party issued a clarion call last week for its grassroots supporters to submit ideas online to build the party’s platform, Republican National Committee officials probably weren’t expecting a concerted push for the dismantling of the Federal Reserve and a return to the gold standard,” writes Wired.com.
However, “Ron Paul supporters have made themselves at home on the the GOP platform site, sounding many of the themes that turned the Texas congressman’s doomed run for the Republican presidential nod into an internet cause célèbre. ‘Get rid of the unconstitutional Federal Reserve, and go back to a sound gold and silver based currency,’ wrote Cathy, a contributor from Stevensville, Montana, in a post to the ‘Jobs and Economic Growth’ section of the site.”
Cathy’s comment is just one of pages and pages of comments submitted by users complaining about the Federal Reserve, the USA Patriot Act, REAL ID, NAFTA, and No Child Left Behind. The RLC encourages you to use the automated search tool at the site to see exactly what Republican voters want their platform to say. And, believe it or not, their wishes don’t include a whole lot of meddling government.
The RLC is interested in documenting the impact that grassroots RLC members have had any on the platform debates at state GOP conventions in 2008. Across the nation, county Republican Parties have had their platforms amended to oppose the PATRIOT Act’s warrantless wiretapping provisions, the Iraq War, the Federal Reserve, the federal income tax, and REAL ID, among other changes. What impact have these local changes had at the state level, and to what extent was the RLC involved?
In March at the Alaska GOP Convention, delegates supporting Ron Paul were able to amend the state GOP platform to include a provision affirming Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights against the USA Patriot Act and REAL ID Act. They also added a plank supporting fully informed jurers. Among the resolutions that passed: Abolition of the IRS, repeal of the federal income tax, abolition of the Department of Education, and against implementation of REAL ID in Alaska.
In Idaho, where libertarian-friendly Norm Semanko was elected Chair, Ron Paul supporters (many of whom are members of the Republican Liberty Caucus) were able to add a provision to the state GOP platform demanding the abolition of the Federal Reserve bank.
In St. Charles County, Missouri, the largest Republican County caucus in the state, libertarian-leaning Republicans won 128 of 137 slots. According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ron Paul delegates “snagged roughly a third of the 2,137 Republican delegates” in the state. Similar events took place in Jackson County and Greene County. In Jackson County, delegates changed the county platform in fourteen distinct ways, including abolition of the Department of Education and affirming that Congress only can go to war with a declaration from Congress.
In Oklahoma, the candidate endorsed by the libertarian-leaning faction of the GOP for National Committeeman, attorney James Dunn, was also selected by the majority of Convention delegates.
In Texas, RLC Board member Dave Nalle was able to stop two proposed resolutions, one condemning homosexuality and one opposing any form of gay unions.
Last May in Spokane at the Washington state GOP Convention, delegate Bruce Morton was able to pass a resolution affirming the that the GOP supports a formal declaration of war passed by Congress.
Attempts to change the platform in some states, such as Hawaii, Maine, and Nevada, were diffused by the establishment Republicans ‘leading’ the Convention.
In short, the RLC’s active grassroots membership is having an impact. Please let your voice be heard in the National GOP platform debate.