Newton GOP doesn’t want my vote

May 27, 2012 14:03 pm

by Jason · 40 comments

On Friday, I spoke to a friend running for local office about his and other races that will be on the ballot in the fall. Because of how local politics has been here in Newton County and seeing as how they are no Libertarian candidates running, I plan on pulling a Republican ballot during the primary, so naturally, I want to learn more about the people for whom I may cast a ballot. My friend advised me to come to a meet-and-greet at the Newton GOP office in Covington the next day to meet some of the folks running.

After speaking to my state senator, Rick Jeffares, when I arrived yesterday, I took a seat to listen to the Newton GOP chairwoman, Delia Fleming, talk about their new office and some of the things going on in the local party. After a few moments, Mrs. Fleming started ripping on the “Ron Paul supporters and libertarians trying to take over the Republican Party” and proceeded to slam them in every way possible. She pointed to some things that went on at the state GOP convention. Of course, I wasn’t there, and I’ve only heard second-hand accounts from friends from both those sides — more establishment-leaning Republicans and Ron Paul supporters.

Keep in mind that I didn’t know most of the people in the room, and I walked in realizing that I was probably not going to be welcome should I let people know my political leanings. However, I wanted to observe and discuss issues with some candidates, particularly those running for BOC chair and Sheriff; the latter being very important to me since my home was burglarized twice — once in December and again in January.

While I’ll admit that there are Ron Paul supporters who are not very good representatives of the Liberty Movement and obviously don’t paint the rest of us in very good light, I get that, though it’s not like shady things haven’t gone down inside the Republican Party; however, it’s a mistake to cast every libertarian with a broad brush. I tried to keep my best poker face, but my friends in the room could see that I was disappointed.

Unlike many of my friends in the Libertarian Party, I didn’t get involved in the local parties and the delegate process, nor was I even involved in Ron Paul’s campaign here in Georgia. I did vote for him in the presidential primary, but that was about it. But yet, I was essentially told yesterday, because of my political viewpoints, that my vote in these local races wasn’t wanted.

seenbetrdayz May 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

They want your vote, just not your input. Come in, sit down, shut up, and vote as you’re told. Someone will hold up a red or green card to let you know how to vote on issues. Nevermind the debate on the issues, just make sure you hold the party dearer to you than your own conscience.

Jason May 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

It’s not like I was even there to discuss the issues pushed by Ron Paul or his supporters. I was wanting to discuss some local issues important to me. The experience was just strange, but I really can’t say I’m surprised.

Buzz Brockway May 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

Didn’t they know to never tick off a blogger?

Machiavelli May 29, 2012 at 2:32 am

The current leadership does not really care for technology or social media very much. Yet again another BIG mistake and not productive towards the goal of victory for their candidates. That is the one thing about Republicans that is very consistent: in a year where it should be an easy victory due to the current economic climate and other factors, however, if anybody can beat the Republicans it will be their own selves.

Still not understanding why the Chairwoman would harp over these issues at qualifying? I would think that intraparty issues should be dealt with during an actual official meeting and not at a public meeting. If I were holding a public meeting, I would take into account that people who may not be loyal to the party but seeking candidates that are more in sync with their beliefs could be present (like Jason).

Machiavelli May 29, 2012 at 2:26 am

For those who do not know who the Newton GOP Chairwoman is watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alYmOwmIkQU (watch beginning at 4:18)

Also, the Rockdale GOP Chairman Don Williamson is the guy waving his arms and screaming in the beginning of the video. Delia Fleming and Don Williamson work together really closely (watch 5:13 in the video above) and both have the same opinions voiced by Fleming at the meeting Jason attended. Rockdale GOP even went so far as to only allow paid members to their meetings & by invitation only & approved by the Chairman, which has really proven effective in increasing their membership (NOT)!

At 5:24 in the video you can see a man by the name of Edward Tracey (he has a little blog and filmed part of the video but was not in agreement with those who made the video). This is a guy who just recently talked the Rockdale Young Republican Chairman into cancelling a meeting with Joe the Plumber (took months to get him to come to the meeting) but Edward and others thought it would be better to film a local forum that is held yearly for his blog. Personal interests over what would have been best for the local Young Republican party it appears.

Personally, I agree with Jason that some Ron Paul supporters used tactics that were not helpful to the liberty movement. However, chasing them away from local politics is just not very smart. From my perspective the major differences in the Republican Party and Libertarians is foreign policy and some social issues. Last time I checked the local Sheriff, County Commissioners, etc… were not in the business of foreign policy or social issues! So why chase off people who can agree on local issues?

22bons May 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Jace — We Republicans also have among us those who “are not very good representatives” of what we believe in. On behalf of the GOP bureaucratic apparatus I apologize. If your local GOP leadership acts like a bunch of jerks get rid of them at the next party election.

Jason May 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Meh. I’m not a Republican, so I’m not overly interested in who they elect as their officers. This was solely an attempt on my part to learn about some of the candidates running locally.

Jane May 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

There are those so radical that to change your positions to win their support would cost you move votes than you would gain.

Harry May 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

“It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice.” – Deng Xiaoping

The Republican Party is a pretty good mousecatcher, the Libertarian Party is not. Jus’ da facts.

David Staples May 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm

The Republican and Democratic Parties also set the rules for the design of the mousecatcher. The Republicans take it a step further… Free markets are great unless you’re talking about elections. Jus’ da facts. :-)

Harry May 28, 2012 at 12:12 am

“It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.” — Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Harry May 28, 2012 at 12:14 am

“Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.” – Joseph Stalin

Harry May 28, 2012 at 12:36 am

David, if you don’t like the present political playing field just wait awhile. In the next 10 years or so the US will become a one-party state due to demographic trends. And yes, that one party will be the Democratic Party. In one-party states there certainly exist political factions, power struggles, purges – just as the case with multi-party systems…so nothing new there. The biggest problem with one-party states is the tendency to devolve to personality cults and/or hereditary. Anyway it’s the reality. Relax, enjoy. :)

seenbetrdayz May 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

Frankly, I’d love to see about 5 or 6 political parties with a fairly even shot at winning offices. The republicans and democrats have been getting a bit soft, frankly, in keeping to their principles. The reason, as far as I can tell, is due to the fact that they don’t really have any competition. Both major parties know that they can do pretty much anything they want to do and get away with it, because at the end of the day, you’re either gonna support the them, or you’ll stay home.

With little more to show for their several decades in office than a $17 trillion debt and near-complete deletion of the Bill of Rights from a constitution neither party respects, yeah, I’d love to see some real competition.

At worst, nothing would ever get done.

Taylor Bryant May 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Unless the mice donate to their campaign or push their pet projects. Then, not so much.

Jane May 28, 2012 at 1:07 am

I expected the new found activism of the Ron Paul supporters to be seen in qualifying, but most stayed at home. They spend most of their time acting like critics and causing problems for the “Men in Arena”. If they truly beleived in their ideas they would have ran for office and pushed them. Instead, they are”Sheeple” letting others fight against statism and oppressive government. Relling on the Old Guard to carry the day. That is why they are not trusted or accepted by the party loyal. Not because of ideological reasons, but because the Ron Paul supporters are wimps and cause more trouble them they are worth.

seenbetrdayz May 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

It’s hard to get on board the fight against statism when all that happens is that you end up pushing someone else’s brand of statism over another’s. I know that in the Republican world, everyone thinks they’re fighting the good fight, and Republicans are saints and Democrats are demons; but the very moment that someone points out that Republicans haven’t exactly been for limited-government as they say, all we hear is, “Oh no! you don’t support the party! Obstructionist, rock-thrower! You just want to see us fail and the democrats win.”

Rather than take that sort of abuse, or be meshed into the folds of such blind partisan hackery, most Ron Paul people will stay home.

wicker May 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

And why should they, just FYI? Or to put it another way: why should the Republicans embrace libertarians any more than the Democrats do? And why are so many libertarians absolutely convinced that the GOP wanting nothing more to do with libertarianism than Democrats do constitutes some intellectual or moral bankruptcy of the GOP?

The only people who want the GOP to seek libertarian support are A) libertarians and B) Democrats. And why do the Democrats want the GOP to become more libertarian? Because they know that such a development would A) protect the Democratic social agenda without B) truly harming their economic one. On social issues the libertarians in the GOP would join ranks with the Democrats, and as for economic ones the new libertarian-friendly GOP would constitute no threat because they would come no closer to earning a majority in the House or Senate than the pre-Reagan/Gingrich Rockefeller Republicans did.

The GOP doesn’t want your vote because A) they know that they can win without it and B) they know that they can’t win with it. And the amazing thing is that everyone seems to recognize this – especially the New York Times editorial page crowd that was BEGGING the GOP presidential primary voters to consider Gary Johnson, who is to the left of Obama on social issues – but the Libertarians.

Jason May 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Yes, I’m well aware that you don’t like libertarians. However, libertarians represent a sizable swing vote, one too important to ignore, as you’ll see in the studies below. But these facts run counter to your anti-libertarian bias. I don’t expect them to change your mind.

http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/libertarian-vote
http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/libertarian-vote-age-obama

seenbetrdayz May 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

The GOP doesn’t want your vote because A) they know that they can win without it and B) they know that they can’t win with it.

That has yet to be proven (or at least, it’s being taken for granted). I’d say that McCain should have been a warning sign that the GOP is hurting for voters. Neoconservatives have wrecked your party’s image among independent voters, and most of the GOP remains (willfully?) ignorant that the party was slowly infiltrated years ago. The GOP is worried about small-government folks taking over its party in one fell swoop, and neglects to realize that the big-government folks have been running the show while hiding behind a platform of local & state control that the GOP in general has obviously long since forgotten. If Romney loses in November, I’ll consider my theory confirmed. Let me also add that I expect the GOP to lose the majority in the House.

Logically, the fear of libertarians among the GOP makes no sense, and here’s why:

At the rate we are going, in the direction we are heading, an army of 5 million outright-anarchists (who somehow . . . vote, let’s pretend) wouldn’t be able to stop the growth of the federal government, much less shrink it back to a manageable level. And yet the GOP shuns libertarians (who are not full-blown anarchists) like they have the plague. It’s gonna take a lot more than your standard ‘yes man’ Republicans to ever curtail the growth of government. But if the GOP wishes to proceed on without people who actually believe in limited-government principles, you can expect them to start getting crushed in elections by losing the support of people who simply have had enough.

wicker May 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

“I’d say that McCain should have been a warning sign that the GOP is hurting for voters.”

Even if that is true, what is the evidence that libertarianism would increase their # of voters? For that matter, provide proof that libertarianism would gain the GOP more voters than it would lose by driving off the significant percentage of the GOP that does not agree with libertarianism.

That is the most frustrating thing about the whole deal. Libertarians presume that the folks in the GOP who disagree with libertarianism would keep voting for the GOP. Why would they and why should they? It is the same as presuming that were the GOP to advocate libertarianism, the GOP would turn this huge percentage of independent voters into reliable Republicans.

Libertarians exhibit the classic “everyone agrees with me” mindset, and keeps doing so despite all available evidence otherwise.

seenbetrdayz May 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

Man, I don’t think it’s possible to ‘drive off’ GOP voters.

I mean, look, of all people, Mitt Romney rose to the top and the party members are still rallying behind ‘Anyone but Obama’. The partisanship is so bad, I sometimes think that if Barack Obama had run as a republican and won the presidential nomination, I suppose 9/10 republican voters would still pull the lever for the (R).

The basic idea of the libertarian party is that people just don’t want to be bothered by their government. I think that’s a more popular concept than either major party gives credit to.

I mean, I could walk through my neighborhood right now and knock on doors and this is about how it would play out:

-I could introduce myself as a republican and doors would be slammed in my face.
-I could introduce myself as a democrat and a few people would talk to me.
-Or, I could start smearing republicans and democrats and talk about how the people in Washington have ruined this country and *most everyone* would talk with me.

Jane May 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Ron Paul did generate a mandate, but with less than 10% of vote it is a mandate against his possitions that are outside of the GOP mainstream.

seenbetrdayz May 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm

He’s polling better than Romney among independents, though (probably because of the very fact that Ron Paul is *not* a typical republican). And, with a base of lock-step republicans who will, by their own admission, always vote “R” no-matter-what, and the fact that you must get independent votes to win elections, it seems Paul would have been a wiser choice than Romney. I suppose there will be enough time to analyze the math after the election.

The fact that Ron Paul is out-of-step with the GOP is obvious, but the question Republicans should concern themselves with, on the national level, is: How out-of-step is the GOP with the rest of the country? For instance, 2/3 of the American public supports ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the GOP is hell-bent to press on full-steam-ahead to its doom in November with a pro-war platform. At least Newt understood enough to admit that it is past time to call the job finished in Afghanistan.

Harry May 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm

The defense lobby is huge, probably the equal of the union lobby and entitlement lobby. So, yes it’s a problem for the GOP but ask yourself, why did Obama change his position? It wouldn’t be because he’s beholden to the same special interests? I would think that by now we’d have been out of Afghanistan.

seenbetrdayz May 29, 2012 at 6:33 am

Well, you’re right about that. It’s hard to find candidates with the ability to withstand the powerful influence of special interests. You’d have to find one which lobbyists don’t even bother stopping by his office.

Harry May 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I mean, the Dem administration controls defense right now. Maybe just maybe Romney would move defense policy and foreign policy in the right direction if he becomes president.

USA1 May 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

How does the Newton GOP establishment feel about their candidate for the 4th congressional district, Greg Pallen? His platform echoes that of Ron Paul’s.

John Konop May 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Problem with libertarians is they would rather smoke cigars and sip their drink while having a debate on issues at a party than actual campaign. :)

Taylor Bryant May 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Not even remotely true in my case, at least.

Jimmie May 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm

This is a rather odd statement. Libertarians can talk issues with both sides

John Konop May 29, 2012 at 6:21 am

Let’s be honest, if you look at the amount of people, with libertarian leanings and the under performance durring elections, it is clear they have a problem.

seenbetrdayz May 29, 2012 at 6:38 am

Actually, you’re right about that in my case. When D.G. posted here, I told him all the time, I’d rather be at home playin’ fetch with my dog. Politics is nothing more than a world where will people viciously attack each other in order to claim the right to put a chosen bunch of careless idiots in charge of an entire nation. I’ve never felt dirtier than the day I walked into a GOP meeting (I would have been feelin’ the same way about the democrats, though). A man feels like he’s selling his soul getting involved in this bloodsport of politics. In a way, I felt a lot freer back when I didn’t vote.

But cigars, drinks, debates, and parties?—now, that sounds like an all-American concept.

David Staples May 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

Replace the word “libertarians” with “humans” and I’ll agree. You see, there are plenty of people who don’t affiliate with politics period who would rather do anything than actually campaign for a political campaign. There are also plenty of “Republicans” and “Democrats” who would rather do anything other than campaign. It just happens that the L party is smaller than the other two parties, so you don’t quite see as many campaigns from the L’s as you do the D’s and R’s. However, having worked on several Libertarian campaigns, I can assure you that those of us who are interested in actually winning work our tails off. Perhaps I’ll have more to say on this in the near future as the filing deadline for independent candidates and political body candidates approaches and we know who the Libertarian slate is going to consist of this election cycle. :-)

Jimmie May 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm

<~~Independent that voted against Neo-Con McCain and nitwit Palin. Started to actually listen to Ron Paul's message and learned that he was not crazy, and was correct on most of what he warned us about and continues to warn us about. Once I became enlightened to the billion B.S. War on Terror, the billions and billions we send over seas in foreign aid, the facade the 2 Parties put on to mask the real groups that run this Country and the world, there was no going back to the Team Player nonsense that most of America still plays. Bush was Sh*t and Obama is Sh*t. Romney will be no different. There's a reason the Parties won't allow a fair Election that involves a legit third party.

Harry May 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm

How can you predict Romney will be no different?

eschristian May 29, 2012 at 3:12 am

:( Jason I hate this happened to you. I hope it was just a misunderstanding but even if it was I feel bad you felt uncomfortable due to this dialogue during the event. I was planning to attend this event but was unable due to my little one (14-months-old) still being a night owl and not sleeping. I think he woke back up about midnight or 1am and we went back to bed about 5am that day, therefore we were asleep during this meeting. If I would have attended I would have been happy to see you and all the interested voters there wanting to get to know the candidates. I know I am not in leadership with the Newton GOP but if I were there would always welcome you to attend. You bring a very strong argument to debates and can agree to disagree on points. Maybe in the future we can work to bring together a coalition of like minded people that agree in limited government, lower taxes, and maximum freedom in the area like we have spoke about in the past (like the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation).

Jane May 29, 2012 at 8:53 am

Jimmie and other RP supporters would have you believe that the road to victory for the GOP would be to kick out “anti-communist Reagan Democracts”, called Neo-cons by the RP croward, “Gay”, targeted in the 1980/90′S’s RP Newsletters, “Black”, as targeted in the 1980′s RP newsletter and the Stormfront faction of the RP coalition, and “law and order Republicans” who oppose legalized Drugs, and “pro Isreali Jews and Evengalicals”. Somehow I am expected to beleive destroying the Reagan coalition that brought us victory in 1980, taking over the House in 1994, and taking over Georgia in the last ten years would be good for the party. At 6 or 7 percent the dope smokers somehow would lead the New GOP to victory and more than compensate for the lose of the above mentioned coalition partners.

Come on, you must be smoking somthing. LOL they probably are.

benevolus May 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Ah, just wait until the primary is over and then you can participate. Even though we have “open” primaries here, there is still a sense of ownership by the Parties during the primary season.
I don’t think I am opposed to a closed primary- register by party.
edit: Although I can see when you have a jurisdiction dominated by one party how it could be less than ideal.

eschristian May 29, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Just fyi – I spoke with Delia (Chairman of the Newton GOP) today – she reached out to me requesting contact information for Jason. I was happy with the conversation we had and hope the situation is resolved. It was a very positive conversation and just as I had hoped, Delia felt it was a misunderstanding and the intent was not focused on Jason but was in response to prior situations and wants to grow the party with all who want less government, lower taxes, more freedom, and not disruptive during meetings/conventions. I understand both sides from the conversation I had with Delia and a member of the Newton GOP who is a Ron Paul Republican (not Jason) who also reached out to me via fb & hope that all can come together to help stop statists & decrease the size of government. ; )

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