(Pat Kerby) – In 2008 I was introduced to the Caucus process. The caucus is a party function where people go out and meet others in their communities, and together people become politically involved in their neighborhoods. Precincts get together and elect the people who will represent them at the county conventions, where delegates are selected to represent the counties at the state conventions, and in turn, national representatives for the state are selected to move on to the National convention.
At first it seemed cumbersome and complicated, and it required a lot of effort. But once I learned the rules, and the process, I am convinced that there is no better method for true representative government. This was the Republican Party grassroots.
This process favors the candidate who can capture the hearts and minds of the people. It is an example of the Jefferson quote: “We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” As harsh as that sounds for those who choose not get involved, this process creates the statist politicians’ worst nightmare, an “informed electorate”.
An informed electorate is the best foil there is for bad government. Although some have tried, on a level playing field there is no way that even a well-connected candidate can compete with a candidate who has a grassroots following simply by throwing money at a ground game. You cannot buy the effort and enthusiasm that a dedicated grassroots following brings to a campaign.
This process insures that the people who are dedicated and informed will be the ones making the decisions about who the nominee will be, and gives ownership of the party not to a few in Washington DC, but to the people in communities around the country. The grassroots is the heart and soul of the Republican Party. The Grassroots has all but been taken away from us by recent political maneuvering.
Great effort has been taken by those at the top to nullify this process. Primaries, the binding of delegates, winner take all status, last minute rule changes, and RNC delegate selection practices are all attempts to undermine the role of the Grassroots. It was relatively easy to convince short sighted establishment people to (illegally) adopt restrictive rules when they saw upstart candidates able to do so well against them, but in doing so, they turned their backs on the process that gives us a real representative government, which is the very foundation of the American system.
It was a trick to steal our soul, and we fell for it.
In 2012, the Romney campaign lobbied for rule changes that will change our party forever, and the RNC leadership went for it hook, line and sinker. They ignored their own rules, made last minute rule changes and steamrolled their agenda, basically stating that all of the hard work it took people to get there did not matter, and that it was all about wielding the power, and none about the underlying principles.
The Maine Delegation, a group of young patriots who the party should have been proud and honored to welcome to the fold, were callously discarded for political reasons. It was an ugly display that I equate to standing on their necks, and stating that “your hard work and dedication is not appreciated here, we only care about the power wielded by those at the top”.
Who knows what great things those young patriots would have brought to our party in the future that we threw away, as many of them grew disgusted and left the party.
One must remember that my mission statement for being in politics is “Good Government”. The display I saw in Tampa was the opposite of that. People think that the action of breaking my binding to Romney was about supporting a different candidate, but they are wrong. It was my only way to protest the death of good government in our party.
In Nye county, most knew me well enough to trust my judgment when I returned from Tampa and said “believe me, you didn’t want to vote for this guy”, and it has not been a big deal. Perhaps I was naïve in thinking that over time, the rest of the State party membership would come to understand without a detailed explanation.
I hate being at odds with people who I know are my philosophical allies. I always think that if I can just say the right words and explain my position well enough, that everyone will understand and we can move forward in our quest for good government. I don’t know if this message has the right words, but this is my attempt.
It should be added, that once Romney was our party’s nominee, Nye County increased our voter turnout by 11 percent, and Romney decidedly won our county. I cannot personally take any credit for this except that perhaps my “get out the votes” efforts for Danny Tarkanian and our local candidates in my own precinct might have netted some votes for Romney.
I did not actively denounce him once he was the nominee. He might have been a lying, cheating power hungry dictator with no thought toward the future of our party, but he was our lying cheating power hungry dictator with no thought toward the future of our party.
So if you want someone who will tow the party line, and represent Nevada as a cheerleader for whatever the party leadership decides to shove down our throats, then I am not your man. But if you want someone who will fight for good government, and has dedicated his life, his fortune (or at least part of it), and his sacred honor to a return to Constitutional principles in our country, then please consider Pat Kerby as your national Committeeman.
(Mr. Kerby is a candidate for the Nevada Republican National Committee position. The election will be at the Nevada Republican Central Committee meeting in Fallon on February 15, 2014)