The Definition of Party Unity?

flflagBy Kristi Dunn
Republican Liberty Caucus of NE Florida

In Florida’s Republican Party, like many around the country, we are told that unity is always supporting the Republican Candidate who wins their primary race. When attending Republican Party functions, we are told that we are to “come together at election time” by the leaders of the party.

It is rare, however, that these same party leaders do not see their candidate win in the primary. The win allows them, with immunity, to demand total support for the candidate that so many in the grassroots were working to defeat, which often leaves these workers in a state of utter confusion and wondering how they can be expected to so drastically change their support.

In the case of Governor Charlie Crist, many of the Republican Party leadership, who knew exactly what Charlie stood for, supported him and his decisions to the end.

That end, of course, was when Charlie changed parties, and now Charlie is despised. He has become a talking point for Republicans in the 2010 state elections for what is wrong with Florida; however, many of those same Republicans supported and demanded that others support him before his party change.

Did Charlie’s actions or beliefs change? Did Charlie suddenly morph into someone that aspired to beliefs that were not in line with the Republican Party? The Answer is no. Charlie did not change; rather, simply his affiliation with the Republican Party changed.

In Duval county we have a mayor that claims to be a Republican, yet has proposed tax increases the last two years. These increases were supported by the mostly Republican City Council, but were protested by many of the hardworking, grassroots people of Duval County.

Meanwhile both years the Republican Party leadership declined to participate in the discussion, because to do so would have been to go against a fellow Republican. What issue pertains more to the Republican Party than low taxes? Yet, Republican leaders would rather remain silent, then true to principles.

At a time when so many within both parties are disenfranchised and ready for another option, perhaps demanding loyalty to a party is short sighted. It is because of these types of demands that so many organizations and groups have sprung up. From the Tea Parties and 912 groups to the Republican Liberty Caucus and Campaign for Liberty, these groups are now standing for what the Republican Party was always supposed to be: The Party that represented small, limited, Constitutional Government, less taxes, a strong national defense, and State and National Sovereignty.

Now is the time to examine the political system to determine if, perhaps, the idea of loyalty to an organization or party, that often asks the people to dismiss their personal convictions and standards and offer their blind loyalty to the title “Republican”, is somehow missing the big picture.

Does supporting someone like Charlie Crist, only to have them prove that they have always stood for different principles, lend credibility to the Republican Party leadership?

Many serving on the executive committee take a loyalty oath to support the party. This oath has often been enforced with a stern hand. Meanwhile, who is enforcing the oath to the Constitution that our elected officials take? Should their failure to uphold their own oath to their constituents void any oath to unconditionally support them? They have forgotten that they serve the people, and their primary duty is to uphold the US Constitution. If we continue to blindly support them, forcing loyalty on those working to get them elected, we are creating an infrastructure that will collapse on itself.

To pretend that America’s problems started the day that Obama was sworn into office is to dismiss the damage that Republicans, such as John McCain and Olympia Snow, have been doing to the party for years. It was the Republican Party that supported them and enabled them to continue their harmful ways without accountability.

The Party needs to figure out what it stands for and what it stands against so that the people working to get “Republicans” candidates elected in the fall will know exactly what these candidates stand for.

Organizations such as the Republican Liberty Caucus stand for accountability within the party at all levels and with every elected official. When officials fail to uphold their oath to the Constitution, or to support the principles that the stated Republican platforms claims to uphold, they deserve to be called out and in turn voted out.

If those in party leadership would unite under principles, they could harness the growing power of the Tea Parties, the RLC, the 912 groups, and thousands of disenfranchised voters.

Now is the time to decide if uniting under a title is more important than returning this country to its roots and seeing real change take place in our cities, counties, states, and Nation.

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