Saturday I attended the Cobb GOP Breakfast. It was my first one since primary season, seeing as though I was still weeping and eating birthday cake for the August one. These breakfasts generally have the same schedule every month: some time to mingle, formalized prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, introduction of present elected officials and then on to the main speaker. This time, all was status quo until the elected officials were introduced and you heard several loud, overarching boos. They continued during each briefing by elected officials. When I turned around to see the boo-ers standing in a small group wearing Ron Paul shirts, I was overcome with disappointment.
I proudly supported Ron Paul during the Primary as well. I am a staunch Constitutionalist, I believe in the smallest form of government and vehemently disagree with many of the policies that have been implemented over the last few years- the NDAA, Obamacare, and ARRA to name a few. I sometimes feel misrepresented by parties and my elected officials and more often than not, feel many freedoms are slowly slipping away. But I’ve also accepted that Ron Paul is not the Republican nominee and if I would like to participate in Republican activities, whether it be on a personal level or a professional level, I need to be respectful of their causes, initiatives and goals.
During the booing, you could just see the Republicans in the room seething and becoming more and more irritated with every shout, cackle and disruption. It was truly disrespectful. I was sitting close enough to the gentlemen to overhear Congressman Phil Gingrey stop them on his way out. He said he appreciated their attendance and to please call his office if they would like to set up a meeting to discuss some of their concerns. The gentlemen shook his hand and then snickered and made even more nasty comments as the Congressman walked away. After the meeting as everything was breaking up, I walked up to the group of gentlemen and asked them why they attended the events if they hated Republicans so much. It immediately escalated to one gentleman yelling at me about my beliefs and shouting about my ignorance which drew a “You don’t KNOW me” from me. After explaining my disconcert with his delivery and my thoughts on party rejection of his message because of his delivery, the man admitted that he could be a bit brazen, brash and ‘in your face’ but that if he ‘changed’ one person, he won. I stated again that he is on Republican breeding ground and suggested a few different ways to garner different reactions. I extended my hand for a handshake at the end of our heated discussion and asked them to please consider my points.
But here is the thing: The venue is all wrong. You have to know your audience, man. We were at a REPUBLICAN breakfast to rally for REPUBLICAN ideals and to initiate a REPUBLICAN grassroots effort. I don’t attend Democrat events in an attempt to alter their opinions on gun control (or the lack of need for it), abortion, affirmative action or any other issue. It wouldn’t make any sense. It’s like yelling at a brick wall. My mom always told me you get further with honey than with vinegar and I certainly never received any recognition for throwing a temper tantrum. If you’d like pancakes for dinner, instead of saying “I WANT THE ******* pancakes you *** ** * *****!!!!” maybe try “I’d like to have pancakes for dinner some time this week. Is that something we can discuss?” Compromise. Act like adults.
Republicans shout that a write-in or 3rd party vote is a vote for Obama. Ron Paul extremists shout that Romney=Obama. But the cold hard reality is that both groups need each other if they want to make any progress.
Do I believe that the Republican Party, on a local and state level, should make a more concerted effort to address the issues and concerns of Ron Paul supporters? Yes, I do. Do I believe that many Ron Paul supporters have been acting like children and therefore discrediting the rest of us? Yes, I do.
So let’s recap.
I support their message.
I believe in dissent.
I don’t like boo-ers.
I don’t support their method of delivery.
I don’t condone disrespect or temper tantrums.
I want real change.
I want Obama out of office.
The options are a) incremental change with the Republican party or b) full-on revolution.
Which is going to stabilize things for our country that we so desperately need?
Well said, well said!
Every group has its fringe. Maybe Cobb has more of the dissident strand than other counties or maybe they even have less. Politics is nasty & it’s only getting worse it seems. But I can hardly take serious a party that calls out disrespectful behavior when Establishment party activists themselves cannot respect the process either. Changing National Convention rules governing the number of states required to place a name into nomination *on the same day* & unseating duly elected Delegate slates (Maine comes to mind) is akin to changing the rules of the NFL on Superbowl Sunday. This is not respecting the process anymore than the hecklers at the local meeting. It too is insulting, demeaning & smacks of cheating & using an unfair advantage at the expense of the duly established process. Politics is a rough & tumble state of affairs and it always has been. If one expects to experience decorum & all heads peacefully nodding in agreement, I suggest party leaders look where they might be throwing stones in their own glass houses.
Dukes, while I agree with your statements and concur that we cannot expect or demand nodding heads and decorum all the time, when there are offers to open discussion and those are mocked, you lose credibility and show that you want to go about things in an uncivilized fashion. Dissent and disruption are very different. Regardless of their message and goals, these gentlemen will never be taken seriously because of their childish behavior. THAT is the point of the blog.
I have always had 2 questions of Ron Paul supporters:
1. If my candidate loses in the Primaries and your candidate wins, I will support your candidate. Will you reciprocate if your candidate loses?
2. He is not a young man. Who will replace him as your leader?
You see this has become about a MAN since the message has not gotten traction. Political messages about Persons are both short-lived and sometimes dangerous.
Like I mentioned in the article, there are two very distinct groups of Ron Paul supporters. The civilized group will absolutely support the Republican nominee.
As for the age comment, I didn’t know we were discriminating because of it. I also think that’s a weak argument. that’s why there is a long line of people for replacement, should something like that happen. Any President could die during term, regardless of age. Car wreck, plane accident, heart attack, stroke, cancer. The list is endless.
Despite the above mentioned points, the Republican party cannot continue to ignore Ron Paul supporters. They need them and need to be more open. They shouldn’t live up to the stereotype of intolerance.
I would also argue that this has nothing to do with a man, other than the fa that he has an unwavering loyalty to his country and the Constitution and people respect that. His message is clear: stop trampling our freedoms and uphold the damn Constitution. Obama’s campaign IS about the person not the message and he certainly isn’t short lived.
At this point, the main goal should be voting obama out of office. Bickering like children does nothing to further that common goal of everyone in that room. I too have beliefs which are more consistent with Ron Paul’s than any other candidates’, but the threat of a socialist regime holding power for four more years truly keeps me awake at night. Also, I’ve noticed over the last few years that the general public has resorted to uncouth tactics in making their voices heard. Come on people, show some class.