Politics is a nasty business. A Really dirty business in which a select few are qualified to engage. Even fewer can do this and retain their own integrity and principles.
Those who watch from the outside tend to romanticise the process. This is probably because those who write about history and current events rarely give the general public a peek into the sordid affairs of politicians that does not involve naked women or bribes. Parliamentary procedures and party rules aren’t that exciting.
A prime example of how the media has, from time immemorial, missed the entire point, can be found in the Republican nomination process. You know, the one where Willard “Mitt” Romney has been named the presumed nominee months before the nominating convention has even been assembled.
But before examining this recent example, let us examine the process of a rag-tag band of colonists who were attempting to shrug off what they considered bonds too tight to bear; bonds which by today’s standards would be laughably inadequate to justify a bloody revolution.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, as a result of parliamentary procedure and reputation, was commissioned to write a draft list of grievances to be presented King George III; a literary gauntlet to be thrown down in response to a growing, oppressive government which considered its subjects chattel for its own hegemonic designs and even mere protestations, acts of open rebellion.
The draft was to be reviewed and revised by a small body of men who had tenuous grasp on power and credibility as representatives of the 13 colonies’ citizens. A Continental Congress sent to Philadelphia to try reason with the Crown after many trips across the ocean to petition the people’s representatives in London had netted nothing but scoffs, more taxes and bullets for the effort.
Politics is a nasty business.
Jefferson, upon pondering all of the ills committed by the King’s agents, provided a litany of transgressions, not the least of which was slavery itself.
[H]e has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.
The nasty part of this was not that Jefferson wrote these words, but that the Congress struck them out for political expediency. A unanimous decision was required for passage of the declaration and this passage was not acceptable to all of the parties. New York and the Carolinas objected, which Jefferson later noted was for commercial considerations as they profited the most from the slave trade, and the Congress succumbed to the passage’s expulsion. Ironically, New York’s representatives abstained from voting even after their objections were placated.
This example proves also the poor historical reporting of the past events. Until some kind soul decided the general public should be privy to Jefferson’s attempt to abolish slavery, by making the draft available in electronic form, the fact that a super-majority of colonial representatives favored the abolition of slavery was only known by a select few students of history. The common myth, that an elite band of white supremacists rebelled against the Crown because they wanted to oppress blacks for their own fiduciary enrichment, is what was taught in most public schools.
Certainly it wouldn’t be noted that this passage’s principle had enough influence on George Washington that he freed his own slaves. He had to do this by including a clause in his will as it was the only legal means he had to do it. Virginia’s legislature had, since Jefferson’s attempt, made it increasingly difficult to free slaves. By the time Jefferson died, it was no longer legally possible to do.
Had any similar compromise over principles been arranged in this day and age, based on recent events, it seems that some watching the Ron Paul campoaign, were they transported back in time to Jefferson’s era, would have cried out for a public flogging. At the very least they would call him a “sell-out”. But then again, most sideline observers of politics, especially if they are informed by modern journalists, don’t seem to have a grasp on the political machinations or the compromises required to move forward an agenda.
Returning to our modern-day Republican candidate nominating process, witness recent events in the process which speak not only to the poor reporting by media outlets as to how it actually works, but to the misconceptions and immaturity of quite a few who are not actually involved in the process (and some who are as you will discover).
If you aren’t aware, Ron Paul’s strategy for the 2012 election cycle was to raise enough money and momentum in the early part of campaigning to outlast his 11 opponents and win the nominating process at the end without requiring the vast sums of money usually spent by media-based candidacies. This was a strategy that accounted for reality. Paul would never have access to the large corporate donors his opponents could tap. Nor would he be able to borrow as this would tend to discredit his long-standing principle of paying only with funds in the bank, unlike any of his opponents.
In order to make the goal a reality, supporters would have to become involved in politics. They would have to become delegates at the precinct, county and state levels to ensure that the national convention in Tampa would be packed with Ron Paul supporters.
The strategy has proved to be more than brilliant and perhaps, even if Ron Paul is not elected to the Presidency or even nominated for that matter, provides a means to restore liberty in the United States. Paul has won a plurality of delegates in at least 5 states. In at least 16 states, Paul supporters have almost completely remade their state parties, and we are still 2 months away from the Tampa convention.
By becoming delegates and active party members, supporters will be the future politicians and representatives of their communities. They think and act for themselves and carry the founding principles of this country with them. They are independents, former Democrats, and disgruntled Republicans who are fed up with the debt and slavery being handed to them by a bureaucracy in Washington that views them as human capital for their designs on remaking the world. Sound familiar?
Then there are the side-line watchers. These people, bless their hearts, post on Facebook, Twitter and the Daily Paul cheering on the delegates and the candidate and donating their hard-earned money to send Mr. Smith to Washington.
Things started getting rough (political) and the ugliness of politics is exposed.
In Nevada, after a 4-year-long battle had been waged by Ron Paul supporters there, a plurality of Ron Paul delegates were elected at the 2012 state convention and the Nevada state chairman seat, vacated in scandal, was taken by a Ron Paul supporter.
The new chairman’s first act after being elected was to publicly call for the National Chair’s resignation, an act of grave political naivete. Where an olive branch was required, a spiked club was offered instead.
This spurned Ron Paul’s campaign chairman Jesse Benton to offer an olive branch. Benton had to walk a very fine line in order not to throw the Nevada chair under the bus. However one may perceive the delivery, it was not well-received though it was certainly intended to smooth over relations with the national party leadership and to cut off a move by Romney’s campaign to completely throw out the Nevada GOP and replace it with a shadow group which would take its place in Tampa (thereby undermining Paul’s strategy of remaking the GOP into a party which takes the principles of liberty seriously).
Another firestorm erupted. This time, however, some supporters became so angry, that they began venting their frustration by attacking anyone who suggested that the endorsement, an age-old political move designed to curry favor, was a shrewd move, going so far as to post very nasty comments on Carol Paul’s Facebook page. Really? Carol deserved to be the object of ire?
Alex Jones and Adam Kokesh, two pundits who were formerly friendly to the Ron Paul movement, decided to turn on the Pauls and on Jack Hunter, accusing them of “selling out” their principles and going so far as to claim that Ron Paul himself would soon be endorsing Romney and throwing the entire movement under the bus.
While it is tempting to use the word irony for this turn of events, the correct word is ‘coincidence’. Again, those who have very little political acumen have jumped into the fray to slam politicians for being adept at politics.
And while one could probably spend a few thousand words arguing over political realities and trying to convince those who have not had to rub shoulders with sleaze and still accomplish the advancement of liberty, it is a waste of time. This is because those who have had to work in the dirty system, and who still believe that the restoration of liberty is the sole reason to continue, have paid no mind to the external soap opera that is the political couch potato’s realm.
Just recently, In a state where the GOP State chairman was forced to resign in disgrace after falsifying or omitting results that would have shown that in Iowa, the real caucus winner was Ron Paul, the state GOP Convention participants elected the remaining 13 delegate positions representing Iowa in Tampa. 12 of them were for Ron Paul, bringing his total of Iowa delegates there to 21 of the total 25 available. Oh, and some weeks ago, that empty chairman’s slot was filled by a Ron Paul supporter.
What the media had declared were Romney’s delegates in Iowa, are in reality Ron Paul’s delegates.
While the couch potatos and Facebook warriors cry foul and “sell out,” the real warriors soldier on in the hopes that one-day, it will never be necessary to endorse a candidate who wouldn’t know liberty from the family dog on the roof of his SUV.
They engage in the nasty, dirty politics of Ron Paul so you won’t have to.