For a recap please see Part 1 and Part 2. They are lengthy but will give insight as to the purpose of this post.

I do believe history is written by those who fight for lost causes.

“I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine. All you people don’t know about lost causes, Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for, and he fought for them once, for the only reason any man ever fights for them: Because of one plain simple rule: Love thy neighbor. And in this world today, full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr. Paine. And I loved you for it just as my father did, and you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others. Yes, you even die for them, like a man we both know, Mr. Paine. You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked. Well I’m not licked, and I’m gonna stay right here and fight for this lost cause, even if this room gets filled with lies like these!” – Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

The fights that changed the world were always lost causes, but in every case, some man, woman, or group decided it was worth their very life to take up that cause, and they fought. Many, if not most, lost their lives, but they did not perish. To perish is to suffer complete ruin, to lose the qualities that make something what it is, but those who die in the fight for lost causes gain something their oppressors do not.

On the Handling of the Convention

Ron Paul supporters convene outside the Marriott Hotel in Norman, Oklahoma

I sincerely hope that what I witnessed last Saturday is not the modus operandi of all political meetings, especially those within one party. It’s my understanding that this year and the last couple of elections have been out of the ordinary. What’s happening is there are a lot of people that are waking up. Some of them are young like me, some younger. Others are older and have seen that the same old tactics that got us into the mess we’re in as a country aren’t going to get us out of the mess any time soon.

There are a number of things that happened at the convention that I would expect. With two energized “factions” getting ready to meet for now the 4th time (Precinct, County, Congressional District, and now State Convention) there would naturally be some tension. Probably some debates, close votes, and hard feelings. What shouldn’t happen, however, is people loosing their cool to the point that they are in fisticuffs.

What I saw take place Saturday was the 3rd convention in a row where the people running it couldn’t figure out how many people were there. The county convention involved mostly a question of whether the delegates were in fact registered Republicans. I can understand that one. We voted on it and decided as a convention to allow them in. Great, welcome aboard. Then came the 5th Congressional District meeting. It happened again, although I don’t recall it being such a hoopla. Now, here we are, at the grand state convention with all the big wigs in. It’s the state chairman, the governor, US Congressmen and Senators. We’ve got the top party players in the state all involved in this thing, and somehow, getting an accurate count of delegates was off by somewhere between 83 and 200. I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous. I worked the registration booth checking people in. It wasn’t hard. All you had to do was make sure the settings were right and click check-in. There were, to be fair, some older individuals at the helms of some of the laptops, and I know precisely what they did wrong because I watched it. But again, to be fair, this should have been thought of months ago. Years ago, even. This ain’t the first time around, people!

I have some beef with the chairman, too. Marc Nuttle is his name. He sounded like he was going to be fair, he really did. I knew there was a minority report to be discussed, and a challenge of one of the congressional district conventions. I also knew the Ron Paul supporters had a slate of delegates to attempt to bring to the floor for a vote. So did Marc. He was approached about this ahead of time and agreed to let it be heard. When it came time for this to take place, at first it seemed things were going well. A roll-call vote took place in which a motion to vote on the executive slate vs. the Conservative Values [Ron Paul] Slate was defeated. Sort of. I’ll come back to that. But when it came time to vote on National Committeeman and the executive slate itself, this was done by a standing vote. Party and convention rules specifically state that is to be done by roll call! That really did it for me. I had had enough. A disagreement is one thing, but breaking your own rules to get your way is just unacceptable.

The last part is the worst. Adjournment. If you’re reading this article you probably already heard about it. I already wrote about it, too. It’s one thing to be under time constraints and be held back by unforeseen circumstances, but it’s another thing entirely to know ahead of time how contentious the whole process has been, and not account for the time. I cannot confirm this, but I was told that the hotel staff were instructed to cut the lights and get everyone out at 5 PM no matter what was going on. We would be had to believe that it was the other way around and the hotel was telling us to leave. The hotel gladly let us stay in their parking lot until well past 10 when I left.

In short, I had a transition of thinking, a changing of paradigm. For the deep intellectuals also note my changing terminology:

  • At the precinct meeting I thought the Paul’ers were weirdos and fanatics.
  • At the county convention I thought the Paul supporters were somewhat justified, but doubted the party was really trying to oppress them.
  • At the 5th district convention I was furious that these Paulistinians were so organized and were going to subvert the party rules in order to get their way, against the will of the people!
  • By the time of the state convention, I learned that the supporters of Dr. Ron Paul were outstanding citizens, and it was, in fact, the party leadership that was way out of line.

Lost Causes

Oklahoma Representative Chalres Key speaks at a Ron Paul rally.

The Ron Paul supporters may have a lost cause, and all of us may witness that loss in Tampa, but they have a just cause. Just because they are more honorable than their opposing Republican brethren, following the rules and staying over 10 hours to finish business. Just because they fight to uphold the Constitution, even if that might have certain social implications. Just because they fight for what they believe in.

It may be a lost cause to fight for freedom, but it is no more a lost cause today than it was when 56 men signed a document on the fourth of July, almost 236 years ago. It is no more a lost cause than when William Barrett Travis drew a line in the sand, and almost 190 men chose to fight to their death at the Alamo in the Texas War for Independence. I am not suggesting that we are facing invasion by a foreign army or tyrannical rule by government which does not represent us (although as I write this it’s starting to sound more and more like we are…).

We must continue to fight. The non-Paul Republicans need to understand that Dr. Paul’s supporters are not crazy, but for the most part, they’ve just woken up. They read 18th century political philosophy, research current issues, and monitor their representatives to hold them accountable. What the Ron Paul supporters need to understand about most of the other Republicans is that if they knew what you know, they would feel the same way!

My opinion completely changed because one man befriended me and eventually invited me to a pre-convention rally the night before the State Convention. I decided to go and that’s when it started clicking for me. If I closed my eyes, I thought I was at a TEA party. Then I opened my eyes, and realized that I was.

Open your eyes. Open your hearts. Let us fight together, for divided we shall be conquered.