ryan hill instagram picture“Follow the rules! Follow the rules!” was not a chant heard at the Oklahoma State Republican Convention this year. There was no parking lot rebellion (except for this one at Shorty Smalls), there were no fistfights. And furthermore, there was no Governor Fallin referring to Ron Paul supporters as “Obama lovers.”

In fact, I didn’t have much of anything controversial to film or write about all day. We finished 30 minutes ahead of schedule, and even shared some laughs when some voice votes were completely unanimous with over 1,000 people in the room.Needless to say, the AP and local news channels did not show up to see what was going on. Other than someone filming for Matt Pinnell, I was the only one in the whole room I saw with a video camera; and I saw one reporter from The Oklahoman.

So the overall feeling I took from the convention was one of cooperation. But don’t mistake that for unity.

We may not exactly all like each other at this time, but we have learned that we can peacefully coexist. After all, it’s a little frightening for some long-time Republicans to see a new breed of people come in such droves. It would be like 4 out of every 10 of your neighbors all moving in four years. You might start wondering whether you’re living on a fault line!

Republican Convention Delegates in the Lobby

Notice these delegates are not hitting, grabbing, or yelling at each other.

We didn’t all get everything we wanted, but I think everyone who attended should at least realize we have a lot of common ground. Ron Paul people disagreed with and even debated each other, along with “regulars” on both sides of issues. I took notes. I sat in front of our new vice-chairwoman, openly expressed my political views at times, and shook her hand at the end of the day. I spoke with Richard Engle and Dave Weston both, and even smiled.

My next few thoughts – to come this week – will likely not be as nice and bubbly as this one. I’m ready to work together as a fellow Republican because we have some serious issues as a party. Although our state has increased its number of Republican voters and elected officials, maybe you haven’t noticed but we’re losing pretty big on the national scene. Of the last 20 years, 14 of them have been under Democratic Presidents. Though I was born in the Reagan years, I’m only old enough to have intelligent opinions about the last three Presidents, so that means in my lifetime the “norm” is Democrat control. My generation sees things a bit differently, and a good number of us proved last Saturday that we want to do something about it.