Two Conventions – Lifelong Lessons…

I thought I would bring to your attention an article that I recently wrote for a local rag called the Idaho Observer.  I have been a subscriber of the IO for a year and a half now and hold it in high regard. When I was presented the opportunity to write an article from my perspective about the Washington State Republican Convention, I was honored by the request.  Though it took some work to get the article into a mangeable length, I was rather pleased with the end result.  You can check out the article here in it’s entirety – or, for convenience, I have copied the body of the article below.

And of course, here’s a video of the Spokane, Washington Ron Paul march that spontaneously erupted moments after the convention ended.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I found myself in the improbable position of being a key coordinator for Ron Paul’s national delegate effort at the Washington State Republican Convention. I was on the inside, amongst the most trusted, dedicated and capable Ron Paul supporters in the state of Washington. This group was amazing. Like me, they were willing to deny themselves sleep, spend months of man-hours and do whatever it took to give Ron Paul a fighting chance of getting national delegates at the Washington State Republican Convention.

Together, we had planned out almost every possible scenario, locked down hundreds of details and pushed this State Convention well beyond where any had been before. We had a strong delegation – nearly 40%, or about 450 people. We owned the perimeter with a decked out Ron Paul RV command center, a glow-in-the-dark Ron Paul van and hundreds of Ron Paul signs deployed in the surrounding area. We even had our very own Ron Paul bottled water and an awe-inspiring Ron Paul display directly across the street from the convention center. It was a masterpiece of the grassroots. We were ready.

So were they. During an executive session a few days before the convention the Washington State Republican Party (WSRP) illegally passed an executive rule, ultimately ratified by the Washington State Republican delegation, that essentially controlled the ballots and prevented legal voters from fairly electing a large number of national delegate positions.

Undeterred, we hit the convention floor running – we were prepared to challenge the rules, the credentials report, and the order of business – essentially, we intended to lay down an intellectual fight at every level. It was clear early on that this would be no easy battle…and in hindsight, what we wanted never would have happened. The deck was stacked and the other side was willing to break laws to maintain its position.

Despite being outright denied any semblance of fair representative elections, our delegates were able to win 10 national delegate and alternate positions for Ron Paul. But then something unexpected began happening: At the cost of adopting by acclimation a so-called Soviet style “Unity Slate,” the tide began to change. We were then able to utilize core conservative values to break up McCain leadership’s stronghold and methodically cause their delegates to vote against their conservative conscience in the process of Resolutions and Platform. This caused a crisis in the ranks of the party faithful. Leadership had led them to vote against things like right to life and 2nd Amendment rights just to oppose Ron Paul supporters. If we could claim one major victory during this convention, it would be this: Members of the party who believe in the system discovered that it is a closed system, that your voice will be heard and your vote counted only if they are in agreement with leadership.

As we broke for lunch, there was a definite shift in the attitude among many McCain supporters. It was as if we were no longer the enemy. McCain campaign strategists on the floor were sensing the shift and made a deal with us. They agreed to make no attempt to block our resolutions so long as we did not resolve to withdraw from Iraq. They warned that they would leave the convention and deny us a quorum if we brought up our war resolutions.

Just two hours before the end of the convention, the John McCain leadership began instructing their delegates to leave the convention floor when we resolved to oppose Real ID. Delegation chairmen and McCain leaders, like sheep in the fold, followed orders and began evacuating their willing delegates. Hundreds upon hundreds of delegates sheepishly stepped out of the room. Their plan was to deny the Ron Paul delegates a quorum (a majority) and consequently end the convention right there.

What the McCain camp hadn’t anticipated was that our previous methods had worked. Those who remained, all 700+ of them, established a quorum…we had won over the hearts and minds of the majority. What time we had was only able to be used for passing a resolution that requires the WSRP to officially observe the Constitution when declaring war, thereby requiring an official declaration by Congress. We were about five minutes away from approving a motion to extend the convention until all business had been completed when the McCain people started filing back in and diluted our 2/3 majority. Nonetheless, we had accomplished our goal all along – to cause McCain delegates to question their leadership, realize their hypocrisy and rethink everything they had been told about Ron Paul and his supporters.

In conclusion, the most important thing we accomplished was a political education for hundreds of new people in the state of Washington. I can only pray that these individuals, further resolved by their treatment at the convention, realize the imminent need to further the Ron Paul Revolution, with or without Ron Paul. This is the only hope we have for regaining control over our country and avoiding tyrannical big brother government, bent on keeping us in a prison without bars.

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