Let’s assume we are a member of a large Protestant Church, who is in the midst of making several important decisions concerning the future of the Congregation. Since there are no rules against it, some in the membership decide it would be advantageous to invite members of other denominations and faiths to the important decision making meeting.
So, in attendance for these most important decisions, are different protestant groups as well as Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and a few from the Wiccan fellowship camped out in the woods behind the church. Again since there are no rules against it all, in attendance at the meeting, as long as they sign the guest book on entering, are allowed to vote along with the regular membership.
Is there anyone in his or her right mind that would not have a problem with that scenario? I understand that we live in a pluralistic and politically correct society, but no one, except those with a destructive agenda, would think this is a good idea.
Well welcome to the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) be sure to sign the guest book on the way in so you can cast your votes when asked.Nothing else is required of you.
No allegiance to Republican principles.
No accent to the Republican Creed.
No devotion to Conservative ideology that animates the party membership.
If this problem is not dealt with and soon, I would be very comfortable predicting that it will cause the Republican Party of Virginia to lose its membership at an ever increasing rate and will eventually become our century’s example of the Whig Party.
Let’s explore the political strategies at work here. I’m referring to this beautiful, all inclusive attitude of allowing anyone with a pulse to vote in our primaries and mass meetings.
First, let’s understand why incumbents would favor this kind of arrangement. By asking their Democrat friends to support them in Primary Elections or Mass Meetings, they can insure that any challenger(s) will never be successful, especially when the incumbent just needs a plurality of votes (less that 50%) to win. This discourages any challenger to consider dethroning the incumbent.
Second, it allows the incumbent to ignore their constituent’s wishes. The incumbent is thereby insulated from accountability to the voters that elected him. The office holder can chose to vote contrary to the wishes of the electorate with no consequence. Combine that with heavily Gerrymandered districts, the incumbent, once the threat of a primary challenge recedes, is guaranteed re-election because the opposition in the General Election is by design, a minority.
Finally, keeping RPV in the dark about their membership directly plays into the Establishment’s game plan. A weak RPV allows for certain self-serving politicians to maintain their power and control. Why does the party allow elected officials such as the Speaker and Governor to have their own PACs? It’s elementary; they can determine who runs for office and provide critical funding support to the money starved candidate. When the candidate is elected, guess to whom the elected official is beholden? It is not the electorate.
So how do we fix this? The mechanics of the fix are fairly easy. Good membership accounting software is available over the Internet for a reasonable price; especially with a potential membership base of 2 to 2.5 million.
It is having the courage and will to make significant changes to the status quo that is hard. It does not require a new law by the General Assembly and Governor; it does take the political will of the Party, mainly the State Central Committee, to decide that it is important to determine actual Republican Party membership.
Once implemented, all party functions will require photo identification and membership in good standing. Primaries and mass meetings are private. Party functions and membership in the Party is required to attend and participate. Look at labor unions as a model for membership tracking efficiency. No one votes in union elections unless you are a union member and they do require photo identification in order to vote.
Most of the available information is maintained at the unit level already. RPV may find that Party membership will increase because membership will actually mean something. Having the privilege to vote without having to compete with non-members from off the street is worth a lot.
A well maintained and effective statewide membership list will provide a measurable dimension to RPV’s continuing success. By that I mean, is RPV growing or contracting in their membership? Today who knows? Elections are very imprecise ways to measure membership. Get out the vote (GOTV) is an important measure of success in an election. All we have today is the term probable Republican Voter, a very inaccurate way to measure membership.
By comparing our membership list to the voter history records maintained by the State Board of Elections, it would be easy to measure our GOTV success, as well as, how well we are doing in GOTV among other non-members, minority, and newly registered outreach efforts.
Party membership registration and tracking is not a panacea, but would go a long way in improving the efficacy of our nomination process and stop aggravating the Party’s base voters to the point of leaving. Incumbents and their minions will not be happy, since their self-preservation strategies will be much less effective and they will become much more accountable to the Republican electorate; always a good thing.
By not making these changes and implementing an elementary solution, RPV is sending a message, loud and clear. The base be damned, we don’t need you. We are very comfortable being a personality, candidate, and political consultant driven Party, always weak, starved for money, and losing elections.
Mr. George is a founding member of the Fair Lakes Area Tea Party. He is also a member of the Northern Virginia Tea Party, Fairfax County Republican Party, as well as, the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation. Currently, Mr. George is involved in establishing the Virginia Voters Alliance which is a state wide organization devoted to improving the voting process by sponsoring legislation, recruiting election officials/poll watchers, and combatting voter fraud in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Voters Alliance is empowered by the True the Vote organization located in Houston, Texas where it was successful in reducing fraudulent voter registrations in Harris County.
Mr. George is a Management Consultant specializing in strategic planning, post-merger integration, enterprise system architecture, and project management. He resides in Chantilly, Virginia with his wife and daughter.