Re: Trouble in Nebraska

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Lew: The article about the Nebraska GOP bringing in more “security” to protect delegates from the Ron Paul supporters caught my attention. The quoted individual holds the same job in the same party that I held fifty years ago. I was a very active Goldwater supporter, but kept that separate from my official duties. At that time, the Goldwater people were in control of the party organization, and the principal challengers were the Nelson Rockefeller/Bill Scranton advocates. Unlike the GOP establishment in most states today, Nebraska GOP officials — such as myself — made certain to take a non-partisan approach in our duties. (I even helped set up a meeting between GOP state central committee meetings and Nelson Rockefeller.) Part of my job was to organize state conventions, etc., and had I gone public and announced that we were hiring extra security to protect the Goldwater delegates from disruptions by Rockefeller/Scranton supporters, I suspect it would have been my job in need of security!

That “delegations” from other states encouraged this beefing up of security forces at the Nebraska GOP convention is not at all surprising. Does anyone believe that such advice was being offered by Ron Paul supporters in these other states? A reading of reports as well as videos from other GOP state conventions reveals the establishment forces using “disruptive” means of denying the Paul supporters to be seated and/or heard. I sat in on the Minnesota state convention in 2008, and witnessed party officials using the kinds of tactics that would make high-school debate team members blush with shame. (I wrote an article about this experience at the time.) Whenever a Paulian tried to speak, he/she was greeted with a chorus of “boos”; the convention chairman went so far as to try to adjourn the convention prior to considering the “other business” item on the agenda, knowing that the Paulians wanted to have a discussion on the Iraq/Afghan wars. This move so offended even many of the McCain delegates — who still retained some semblance of respect for “Roberts Rules of Order” — that it was voted down.

What we are witnessing today is the Republican party — and “conservatism” generally — in its death rattle. Fifty years ago, these elements could still make a pretense of supporting liberty, free-markets, and individualism by opposing the Soviet Union. But now that this “menace” is gone, these people have no philosophically-principled base upon which to stand. They now worship state power as an end in itself, and those who — like Ron Paul and his supporters — favor peace, liberty, and the end of corporate-state machinations of the economy as well as the expanded police-state, must not be heard. As we witnessed in the televised GOP debates, there is nothing more disruptive to GOP/conservative ambitions — as well as the lockstep mindset of Boobus Americanus — than people who want to (gasp!) question all of this from a principled perspective. When a GOP audience can roundly boo Ron Paul for suggesting that America adopt one of the central points in Jesus’ teachings, it is evident that the party is in a terminal state.

Conservatives and the GOP establishment just don’t get it! These people seem dedicated to the belief that their future is to be found in a rapidly-diminishing group of octogenarians in their “U.S.S. Missouri” and “World War II Vet” baseball caps. The Ron Paul phenomenon informs us to the contrary: it is the under-forty people — the kids who see where their country is situated, how it is going to get worse, and who want fundamental alternatives to the policies of the Gluttonous Oppressive Plunderers now running both major political parties. If the GOP establishment thinks it is going to attract any of these kids by party tactics that insult, degrade, ridicule, and hold them up as “disruptive threats” to be subdued by added security forces and state police, it is kidding itself.

The current GOP reminds me of the dinosaur known as stegosaurus. This creature was of such enormity — and with a sluggish nervous system — that it had two brains: one in its head and the other in its tail. It has been suggested that a tyrannosaurus rex might have attacked and “killed” its rear tail, even as the frontal brain continued its efforts to consume the branches of a tree. Perhaps the GOP should adopt a new mascot: replace the elephant with the stegosaurus!

10:39 am on July 9, 2012