Patrick Archbold is fed up with the Republican party...
I am almost there.
For years, I have advocated involvement in the Republican party by conservative Catholics as the best means of creating an effective group dedicated to the principles we hold dear. Among these principles are life, liberty, and subsidiarity.
Many of the like-minded have had their frustration with the Republican party's feckless, cowardly, and ineffective leadership in which show votes with no chance of becoming law are the a means to keep the base happy with the leadership and a sizable portion of the party go along with the progressive legislative agenda of the day.
We have have pinned our hopes on the American people to wake up, rise up, only to be disappointed time and again. We have put our hope in men elected with a promise no compromise with our governing elites, only to have them co-opted before even taking the oath. We have gone along with compromises and losses portrayed as victory because we were told that it is the best we can do.
All the while the party moves further and further away from the principles we hold dear and has shown itself ineffective and unconcerned with stemming the tide. All this while party elites look down on me and my ilk knowing that we have no place else to go.
I share his frustration. In the latest immigration bill, I see Republicans who I thought were rock solid like Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake folding like a cheap suit. These people are cowards of the first order. If they think these illegal immigrants are going to vote for them once they're legalized, they have another think coming.
However, I don't share Patrick's dispair. I recently finished collecting signatures on my nominating petition for Republican Committeeman. This is an unpaid position, but it is the most powerful in the Republican party. I help elect local leadership who helps elect county leadership who helps elect state leadership who helps elect the national chairman. The national chairman serves at the pleasure of the committeemen.
There are two ways you can get on the committee.
1. Gather 5% of your district's Republican census in siguatures (currently for me, 21).
2. Be appointed by leadership. (They changed the law in NY in 1911)
The second way has contributed to leadership's hammerlock on the party positions, as they appoint their toadies to committee positions to support them. The minute they turn on their leadership, they lose their position. If you are elected (the first method), the only people who can kick you out are your constituents.
I was elected specifically so I could support who I wanted. The establishment candidate (if they were good), or an alternate TEA Party candidate (if they were not). My leadership can be pissed at me, but they can't kick me out of my position. If I develop an adversarial relationship with leadership, they can undermine me by not sending my petitions (they make me print them myself, keeping up with current election law). They can issue challenges to my signatures, or they can set someone up to primary me out.
Currently nationwide, 45% of Republican committee positions remain unfilled. That means if you can walk around your neighborhood, and convince a small number of your neighbors to nominate you, you can slide right in without an election. If your local committeeman is a boob or an establishment toady, you can primary them out. Don't expect any support from the party leadership if you do (though if you looked up someone like me, you could find a like minded mentor to help you out, even walk your district with you helping you out).
So I as ponder all this I must ask myself, if the party will not stand for the principles I hold dear, if they have proven an ineffective block on the march of progressive death fetish, why can't I go some place else. Isn't it time?
I am now officially open to a 3rd party. I am ready and willing and able to renounce any affiliation with the Republican party. If my vote is nothing more than symbolic, which it seems to be, shouldn't that symbol stand for something better than the weak and pathetic Republicans?
Your vote is symbolic because you don't nominate those who are going to run. *I* do. I'm the one walking the district, getting signatures on nominating petitions, talking to my neighbors and hanging literature on their door.
When I'm considering who to support I ask them:
"Are you pro-life?"
"Are you pro-family?"
"Are you a strict constitutionalist?"
"Do you believe in limited government?"
Sometimes the candidate for dog catcher will ask me: "What does catching dogs have to do with being pro-life" and I answer: "You are a larval politician. You may be running for higher office some day. If I missed my chance to nip you in the bud I would never forgive myself".
That is something to remember. Good candidates for town council make good candidates for state senator make good candidates for U.S. president.
As an added bonus, I meet most of my local leadership at the "rubber chicken dinners" that they use to pass out petitions and collect the signed ones. When I call my representatives, they know that I not only can vote for them, but I am in contact with 417 other Republican voters in my district. I also sign my correspondence with them with "6th district Republican committeeman".
I am done with them. Yes the Democrats are mostly worse and I will never support them. But my support of the Republican party has done nothing to advance the principles I hold dear or to slow the progressive steamroller. I think maybe it is time to consider a 3rd party. Maybe a 3rd party cannot win, but perhaps I can help the Republican party die. It deserves it.
If you have done everything you can at a committee level to change things locally, I'd say: "Godspeed, I hope you find what you're looking for." If not, I'd say: "You haven't done near enough to help the Republican party. What makes you think your new party won't devolve into establishment politicians after a few years and you are left in the same boat?"