Brian’s Column: “The Shot Heard ’round the World, II” (?)

… or certainly the state of Michigan

IntroFrom liberty Republican David Lonier’s email 8/15/2014:

“As many of you may have heard and/or witnessed, the 11th Congressional District achieved a milestone victory for true conservatism at the [Oakland] County Convention last night by electing Matt Maddock as our Chairman. The result was the removal of a preselected slate of establishment delegates to the State convention and the approval by a two to one majority (204:115) of a more representative slate.”

Detroit News report here. And the Detroit Free Press report here.

Personal Impressions from a Public-Party Precinct Delegate Newbie

CountyConventionAwesome! Dave Lonier states the journalistic reality succinctly. But I want to add a few comments from the street level, base on my own perspective as a longtime Libertarian Party leader and now official publicly elected (at the August 5 primary) precinct delegate for the city of Novi’s 3d precinct.[1] I had been to a preparation meeting the previous night of the new ‘liberty Republican'[2] contingent in Oakland County of the newly reenergized grassroots, freedom-minded participants in the Republican Party of Michigan. Note: the map at right shows some of the key geographical points of interest especially for non-Michiganians. [You’re on your own to find Michigan inside the United States. ;)]

I surmised from that gathering that the main organizing force of the Oakland County liberty Republicans was in my Congressional district, the 11th. Further, the Lakes Area Tea Party seemed to be in the driver’s seat last night in terms of setting up the meeting and assuring that liberty precinct delegates would come more or less prepared. The veteran-insiders of ‘grassroots vs. the establishment’ know the score. They’ve been up against the establishment Republicans—they tend to call them RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), also country club Republicans; I call them power, corporate, or ‘suckup'[3] Republicans—several times, some since before the Ron Paul primary in 2008. And the establishments have always won decisively….

Last night, at the Commerce Township Library, the leaders were thrilled to see more than 200 freedom delegates gathered from all districts to learn what best to do at the real convention tomorrow. None of them was optimistic that the liberty contingent would prevail in any district, but there were enough of us in the 11th that three leaders—Matt Maddock, Sarah Ledford, and Shane Trejo—from the 11th set to prepare an alternative slate from their list of liberty delegates. (They had help, but my impression is these three were the head ramrods at this particular interface.) Matt and Sarah had been to a few rodeos already and Shane was a sophomore. [Please forgive the mixed metaphors. 🙂 ]

Arriving at the Taj Mahal Gates, August 14, 2014 AD

TajMahal

It’s a crystal clear day, beautiful, low humidity, slightly breezy, one of the two or three days of any given month where the Air Force isn’t assaulting Michigan life forms with aerosol poisons. I’m feeling exactly like the day, free and easy. Nor was that to change appreciably as the evening wore on. Registration and credentials go smoothly, no challenges or roadblocks to the liberty delegates that some had anticipated. I’m rather pleased that most of the faces I see I recognize from last night at the mock convention or from other activism.

We file in and get the lay of the land. I seem to be among friends, meaning that of the roughly 550 delegates to the county convention, well more than half are liberty. Again, rough numbers by Congressional district: 11th: 320, 8th and 14th: 100 ea., 9th: 50; but I may have a couple of the non-11th districts’ numbers interposed. No matter. The deal is that the overall liberty/establishment (l/e) ratio is not evenly distributed. From what I hear later, the l/e ratios per district are 11: 2/1, and the rest <less than 1>/1. So in the 8th, 9th, and 14th, unfortunately, the centrally-picked establishment delegate slate is approved… though very contentiously; in one of the district caucuses the liberty/establishment ratio is like 46/54. Which shows you the value of a single precinct delegate vote.

Split

The mechanics of victory—what delegates will go to state convention—rest entirely on majority rule and who will chair the convention and caucuses here at the county level. The appointment of chair is crucial; and if, say, your caucus has an l/e of 54/46 (a very small majority), with that small a margin it is very difficult paliamentary-procedure-wise to dislodge the default establishment chair (and officers). Tough Bippy, as they used to say on Laugh-In. The good news is that in the 11th we have a) a 2:1 majority, and b) a willing and capable chair (Matt Maddock) with helpers (chiefly Sarah Ledford).

The Other Foundation of Success besides Votes

Exactly. That was the concern I had going in to the 11th district caucus. I could see we had an overwhelming majority of votes, but did we have anyone who would be willing to ‘take charge’ and lead the majority effectively. That’s the often-unheralded requirement for liberty that goes along with having the masses on board. I thought, “I can just see how the establishments think, ‘It’s one thing to be the opposition, but do you have the cojones and the smarts to actually function if you win?’.”

So it was a huge load off my mind when the motion was made to nominate Matt Maddock for chair—the establishment lady temp chair, a Ms. Fazio, and the others in the minority were completely BLOWN AWAY, they didn’t expect the liberties would ever have the votes (or the candidate to do the job)—and he won, then he was mostly effective.[4]

It’s clear now that the liberties can have the votes and the leadership to achieve full victory, if not this year, then soon. I estimate now we have more than half the delegate allotment of Oakland County who will be going to the state convention on August 23 in Novi. To do what? Well, on the surface the business isn’t that crucial: selection of the Republican slate of educational boards and lieutenant governor. Only two positions are contested: One of the two University of Michigan Board of Regents slots and lieutenant governor. And candidly only the LG poses any real controversy: the establishments want their own sitting LG, Brian Calley; the liberties are running a Constitutional conservative named Wes Nakagiri.

Significance of Tonight’s Victory

TapewormNow Brian Calley is a rollover Republican who has voted to enable ObamaCare, ObamaEd (Common Core: federal takeover of educational curricula countrywide), and other federal statist measures such as minimum wage. He’s a yes-man to the governor, Rick Snyder, who is a yes-man to the Washington-led, bipartisan, bankster-elite tapeworm government that’s killing, maiming, and disemploying Americans without mercy… and without respite. Both of them are nice guys and say good things. You can even partially attribute Michigan’s improbable 2013 right-to-work law to Snyder’s decision to sign it. But like all the insider-corporate Republican component of the ruling class, Snyder and Calley stand on the wrong side of the battle of the individual vs. the Leviathan State. The liberties feel qua Republican we all need to stand on the right side of that fight.

Also keep in mind that the Republican Party in Michigan has controlled both houses and the executive branch since 2010! What possible reason does the Republican Party in Michigan have to cave into the Democrats on anything, especially unconstitutional edicts violating the 10th Amendment—Obamacare, Obamaed, NDAA, NSA surveillance, federalization and militarization of police, violations of posse comitatus, etc. ad infinitum—sent our way by the current Democratic dictator du jour, Barry WTF, and his rollover Republican chums in the Congress?

So there you are. On to the state convention August 23…

On the afternoon of the county convention, Adam DiAngeli,[1] one of the principals behind the precinct delegate leverage strategy in Michigan sent an email out to his personal political list, which I’m on. I’ve uploaded it here. It stated basically that a) Adam was not coming to county-con and b) the time was not right for the liberties to make their move because on the LG contest, either way we lose: Nakagiri loses, we lose; Nakagiri wins, we lose because it weakens the Republican ticket… meaning the Democrats may beat Snyder who beat back the job-and-business-killing beast of union compulsion. So keep our powder dry. Stay ready, but don’t pick this particular battle because it will weaken us strategically.

I have a lot of respect for Adam, but I am too far along on the path to turn back, personally, and at least will be going with the flow to push for victory by the liberties with my new patriot-citizens. I seek out Shane Trejo and describe the essence of the message. Shane isn’t having any of it, really: a) re: keeping our powder dry: “… we don’t have any time; look at what the police state is doing in Missouri now,” and b) re: Snyder might be compromised if Nakagiri wins: “… you really think the Democrats and the establishment Republicans are any different?” Highly mature observations for such a young man.

“That’s what I thought,” I say, “no sense getting on their good side, especially now.”

Fact is, the die is about to be cast and we, the liberties, are going to stand our ground, just as in Lexington and Concord, April 1775. Though tonight the only shots needing to be fired are yays and nays against a bunch of sour-faced establishments, used to having their way with ‘us crazy redneck libertarians.’

Are we elated? Damned straight. Do we gloat? Not at all. Indeed, I can read the faces of a very few of the less plugged-in establishments, and they show resignation with a willingness to learn new things. They sense a new sheriff in town, if not this cycle, soon. And we liberties are more than happy to enlist them in, to many, a true Republican mission: individual liberty under the Constitution and America’s First Principles. Welcome home.

On my drive back to Novi, I feel wonderful. I have a hard time containing my excitement. When I reach my condo, I send a few paragraphs of respectful text message back to Adam (entire message here), ending with:

It was something. Really significant, based on my considerable experience with the LPM [Libertarian Party of Michigan], which I realize is only third party. In fact, I suspect tonight could be the contextual shot fired round the world: this is about saying no to power and the suckups to power. It’s a symbolism that won’t be lost on the ones who feel they belong in the saddle on top of us.

It doesn’t really matter that there are only two contested races, the point is ‘the people’ are throwing off the reins and spurs and rider. In principle and en masse. And you were key, if not THE key, to the precinct delegate process that made it possible, so I feel especially bad that you were not on hand for what I think quite possibly is the launch of your sterling achievement. It feels really good to be right .AND. to have more than enough votes.

Thank you, Adam, maybe I’ll see you at the state convention, where I’m actually a delegate. (!)

What does it mean? What happens now?

In terms of the Michigan Republican State Convention, the liberties still may come up short in splitting the ticket by nominating a constitutional conservative for lieutenant governor. But on the level of energy and spirit, liberty is moving with a sure gait: The establishments have lost the ‘will to power’ just as any ruling class does over time. They’re old, fat, slow, and bereft of joie de vivre. Live free or die. Live free and flourish. Liberty, the Freedom Philosophy, that Ron Paul exemplifies, that makes the bells ring and angels sing, is the only course for victory—for Republicans, for Democrats, for humanity. The sole way.

You can’t predict the future, but thanks to the hard work and courage of a burgeoning SunFLOWergroup of ordinary freedom-loving citizens, the reclamation of the Republican Party has begun. Who’s to say the Democratic Party—after all, the party of Thomas Jefferson himself—won’t be far behind. As my spirit-brother and charismatic leader Russell Means used to say: “Freedom is for Everyone.”

[1] Not sure who made the key discovery, but roughly at the time of the first Ron Paul presidential race, during the primary season, someone figured out that one of the legacies of the Progressive Era—whose big deal was giving the people more direct influence in public affairs of a state, and in its political parties (contra the ‘smoke-filled room)—was to make it easy for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to get in on the ground floor of the political process: become a precinct delegate. In Michigan, I learned of the idea to exploit that legacy to leverage grassroots Ron-Paul libertarian Republicans into eventual control of the party from a Mr. Adam DiAngeli. The precinct delegate imperative became especially urgent following the 2012 primary and Republican convention in Florida, where suckup Republicans dictatorially bashed the libertarians and Ron Paul. New battle cry: “Remember the Tampa Bay Times Forum!”

[2] I use the phrase liberty Republican to designate the group of individuals who have coalesced, many thanks to the Ron Paul presidential primary campaigns of 2008 and 2012, to work through the Republican Party to restore Constitutional limited government based on the Freedom Philosophy. These individuals call themselves constitutional conservatives, Tea Partiers, or libertarians/truthers—it seems to me—in about equal proportions. We’re definitely a potpourri, and as a secular libertarian myself, the only ones in the broad coalition I would hook horns with ideologically are rabid anti-choicers or militant Christians (whom I’d estimate as one-third to one-sixth of the Tea Party set). Thus, I think that works out to 15/18 to 17/18, for the mathematically inclined, are copatriots working for exactly the same ends I am: to be left alone by the state so we can live our lives better. They’re willing to stand up and fight for their freedom. Real people, for whom liberty isn’t just something they read in a book or see in a commercial on July 4th.

[3] Yes, I know that suckup sounds harsh, but I really don’t mean it personally or in any demeaning way. Most Republican public officials and supporters are establishment-oriented, and they’re good persons, at least they perceive themselves as performing valuable service. But what happens to a lot of people, especially when money comes into play, is that they forget the First Principles that distinguish and sanctify America. Indeed, they work against these principles of liberty, because it’s easier to go along to get along (i.e. suck up) with the special interest mob(s) that increasingly direct their actions. For Republicans the mob is usually the corporate oligarchy, which pays quite well to keep public officials from asking any questions. [Look at the death meter (‘smart’ meter) business: DTE, Consumers Power, and big central-bank money roll out compulsory wireless electric meters that violate health, safety, and privacy. It takes a person of honor and principle to forgo all the ‘power’ benefits that come with rolling over and letting themselves and their constituents be continuously penetrated up the ol’ wazoo by the 1%.]

[4] It did seem Matt fumbled a bit. For one thing he should never have attempted a recount after the establishment side made a point of order that the first tally (counted by the establishment tellers) of 204:115 did not jibe with the total number of delegates. We lost a valuable 15 minutes or so retallying with the new tellers to reach a recount number of 202:105. Also, for whatever reason when it came to nominating our liberty slate to go to the state convention, which I believe included some of the establishment slate candidates, Maddock was up there reading the names, instead of having an electronic copy to display on the viewing machine. That took a lot of time… and also made the establishments even more angry (basically because they didn’t have a list or document of the names… of 121 delegates and 121 alternates). [I kind of agree with the establishments there, but you have to consider that the establishment slate was presented first time to the body that very night, without any handout list, by the soon-to-be-outgoing chair Fazio. In other words top down by the party hierarchy for the delegates to just rubber stamp.] But all ’round, Matt was like Rocky Balboa defeating Apollo Creed. Kudos


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