Two important points to make regarding any proposed "Red State" convention:
This is not meant to be a Constitutional Convention. As Glenn Beck warned, we should be wary about any convention that would alter the constitution in wholesale fashion. It goes back to "who" is actually running the convention. The wrong people could spell doom for the country. The is part of the problem seen in the current Republican party.
Secondly, the idea behind the convention is not necessarily "to form a third party." True, a replacement party might be the ultimate end result. If it happens, it happens. But, the goal is to "identify and organize a coalition." If all goes as it should, the Republican Party will be gutted, the Democrat Party castrated and Independents will have a home at last.
It begins with identifying which elements are with us.
Let us start with the TEA PARTIES. There are certainly more than one. All seem to agree on "lower taxes and less government." For now, we must make certain that the discussions don't turn to Abortion, Gay Marriage and Agenda 21! If they do, the remaining groups will identify the convention as a "far right bitch session" and walk away. For the sake of unity, these critical constituencies must stay on theme.
EVANGELICALS were originally brought into the party through Jerry Falwell's "Christian Coalition." The C.C. was especially active during Ronald Reagan's reelection campaign in 1984. Leading spokespersons including Christian Broadcaster, Pat Roberson, presented a conservative message based on traditional family values. Opponents were classified as "Secular Humanists."
Andrew Card, George W. Bush's Chief of Staff may have alienated these voters in 2008. Card later admitted to the mistake. The Massachusetts native now rates as another questionable Bush cabinet appointment. In the 2012 Presidential election, according to former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, only 30 million of the known 89 Evangelicals voted. 22% broke for Barack Obama.
LIBERTARIANS account for as much as 20% of the country. Ron Paul brought them out in force in 2008 and especially 2012. Critics remind that it was through them that the Tea Parties were co-opted. Still, a growing desire for less government and more individual freedoms top the Libertarian agenda. Paul effectively introduced questions surrounding the Federal Reserve. His son, Rand has apparantly accepted the Libertarian mantle from Dad and may be a 2016 Presidential candidate.
The remaining groups represent some crossovers. They are as follows:
(a) Reagan Democrats. These voters were first identified during the eighties. While generally favoring a progressive tax structure, a solvent Social Security and Medicare, Reagan Democrats want government only when they need it. These voters were turned off by what they perceived as the "excessive liberalism" of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. Today, many have departed the Democrat Party. Some joined the Republican Party. Others became Independents. In the 1980's Reagan Democrats in the South were often referred to as "Boll Weevils."
(b) John F. Kennedy Democrats. Slightly older on an average than Reagan Democrats, these voters are feeling left behind by the current Democrat Party. Like Reagan Democrats, they favor a strong national defense. Unlike, Reagan Democrats, they tend to be "pro choice" and slightly more to the left on social issues. To JFK Democrats, "small business and the working man" should be their parties' primary consideration. The fact that they are no longer on the Democrat parties' radar, has created a restive mood within their ranks. West Virginia Senator, Joe Manchin is JFK Democrats' "poster boy."
(c) Fiscal Conservatives. The voters could care less about Abortion and Gay Rights. What they want is an America that "lives within her means." Ideas that help business top their wish list. They are also interested in reviving the American Middle Class. It begins with "trimming the fat." Curtailing and eliminating government waste is seen as the number one priority. "Fiscals" almost universally support a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. Donald Trump and Steve Forbes are classic "Fiscals."
(d) "10thers." This growing constituency represents the purist of Constitutional Conservatives. The "10thers" are the original "strict constructionists" of the constitution. In short, "if the 10th amendment didn't designate a responsibility to the federal government, it automatically falls under the individual state's auspices." 10thers support nullification. They believe that issues such as "abortion, same sex marriage and Marijuana legalization" should be handled at the state level. Texas Governor, Rick Perry stands as Americas' most renowned 10ther.
Democrats rank "10thers" with Tea Party members as "right wing nut cases." So do Republican "Neo-Cons." Yet, both 10thers and Tea Partiers promote a smaller central government. This creates our needed benchmark for creating something new.
Fiscals have no problem reducing the "size, scope and cost" of the Federal government. Libertarians are likewise in agreement with the idea. Yet, to effectively attract the JFK and Reagan Democrats, there must be attention aimed at preserving the safety nets. There must also be discussion relating to both short and long term immigration reform. Not to mention "Health Insurance" reform. Ideas such as "English as official language and voter I.D. cards," are greeted with enthusiasm by both JFK and Reagan Democrats.
Evangelicals, to the surprise of many, are often registered Democrats. In fact, the United Churches of Christ are generally liberals on all fronts. The good news for coalition builders is that Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, even Episcopalians, and Disciples of Christ(Christian Church), consider the members of the United Churches of Christ, "Christian nut cases."
Evangelicals can and will embrace the 10ther quest to "defer abortion and gay rights" to the individual states. They would welcome "public school prayer" to likewise be left to the states. Evangelicals, with the exception of the United Churches of Christ, believe that "separation of church and state" refers to "keeping government out of the church." Not visa versa!
Members of the Roman Catholic Church have historically voted Democrat. But that support may be eroding. The Church universally opposes abortion and same sex marriage.
It is been said that getting conservatives to agree on anything is similar to "herding cats." The "10ther angle" may serve as the "long awaited vehicle" to attain compromise. It's unlikely that conservatives will agree on any one theme or candidate. But, it's very possible to shove ideas not agreed upon back to the individual states. In reality, that's what our founding fathers intended.
The convention should begin with a review of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson's historic debate. Hamilton did not trust the common man. He believed that government should be left to the better educated, best connected and more affluent; preferably from a central location.
Jefferson favored the common man. He reminded that most had fled Europe to escape an entrenched aristocracy. He saw Hamilton's vision as nothing short of the "creation of an American nobility." Jefferson's remedy was "decentralization." He concluded that the common mans' greatest safeguard was "more decision making" at the state level.
"10thers" sometimes refer to themselves as "Jeffersonians." In studying the memoirs of Thomas Jefferson, the need for limited government on the federal level is easily understood. The third U.S. President was all about individual freedom. Perhaps his greatest assessment of government can be noted by his following quote:
"When people fear government, you have tyranny. When government fears the people, you have liberty."
This paradigm obviously amounts to the printing of "exit visas" for "Neo-Con" Republicans. In truth, these "Republicans" are more philosopically in step with the national Democrat Party. Their control of the current Republican Party has brought us to where we are today.
The "Red State" Convention can change this absurdity, once and for all.
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