Miller County Republican Party

The Miller County Republican Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at the New Haven Golf Club. A social hour starts at 5:30 p.m. with a meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Sep 10, 2015

Republicans - The Cool Party Again!

Republican Cool Picture
picture from:
It seems like everyone wants to be part of the "Grand Old Party" these days!  It is suddenly "Cool" to be Republican again.  But as that love of the GOP spreads, people have been noticing that Democrats are suddenly becoming Republicans.  As the President, and the Democratic Party, continues to make strong stands against the values of many Americas, we find more Democrats have suddenly become Republicans at heart.  In Arkansas they are leaving on levels from state representatives, down to county and local positions.  The problem is not everyone is happy about the tide moving in to Republican territory.

The major feeling among long standing Republicans is that these "New Republicans" are simply coming over to the party because they can win as Republicans.  That may be true in many cases.  However, Republican can not assume it is true in all cases.

Over the years many Republican party members have complained that often people will tell candidates, "Oh, you need to file as a Democrat.  You'll never win as a Republican."  This attitude has been almost a routine type in the south until recently.  Now that attitude is changing, and people are starting to say, "Run as a Republican, if you want to win."  Loyal party members on both sides have disliked this policy, but they have rarely complained about it when the candidate running wins and holds the office as a Republican or as a Democrat.  It has been a simply fact of politics going back to the first elections in the United States-Nobody walks in and says, "Hi, I'd like to run for office.  Which party can I run on that has the least likely chance of winning?"  No, they have always sought to run on the winning ticket.

Basically the Republican party has no real rules to deal with Democrats leaving their party to join.  Traditionally the National RNC has accepted new members without question.  The state Republican Party of Arkansas has also welcomed people crossing from the Democrats to Republican with open arms.  For the most part the county committees across the state of Arkansas have welcomed the switch.  In many cases the party switch adds to the number of delegates each county committee has for state or district events.  The formula to determine how many delegates each county has is based on the number of Justices of the Peace on one level and Constitutional Officers on the next.  However, there are always those that do not like the switch.  Ultimately there are only a handful of  likely reasons that someone switches parties.

The first, and at least the most glaring potential reason in Arkansas at this time for a Democrat to Abandon ship is the election process itself.  In many cases it is completely plausible that Democrats leave their party because they have seen the shift in Arkansas.  They realize that more Republican candidates are being elected.  They want to continue to hold their current office, seek a higher office or a different office, or run for a first time on a winning ticket.  To be blunt, some of them may have had Republican ideas at heart all along, but it is more likely these individuals simply had winning an election at heart all along.

The second reason that someone might change parties is a change of the party platform or views.  Ronald Reagan changed parties around the early 1950s.  He had been a Democrat and was influenced to change, most believe, by Richard Nixon.  Reagan made the change saying that the party had left him.   Nobody in the either party can deny that the last DNC meeting before President Obama was nominated again was filled with disagreements.  One of the major disagreements that became glaring, and to this day can be watched on YouTube, was the placement of the name "God" in the platform.  Many people did not want that.  In the video most are adamantly opposed to the word "God" being used in anyway.  The DNC took three votes and finally, on a verbal vote only and with a pastor calling the vote, declared that the DNC accepted the terminology that would include "God".  To many Americans, it did not appear that that the vote carried as the pastor declared.   While Republicans may often feel they have a cornerstone on love for "God", the fact is there are many on the Democrat side who are also supporters and love "God".  With the platform almost changing, you could see that many supporters were upset.  So often a person may leave the party because like Reagan, the party left them.

The third reason that someone may leave a party is purely historical.  Perhaps for years the Democrat has had Republican views, but he or she grew up Democrat.  Maybe the Democrat has voted with Republicans, supported Republican ideas, and even found himself or herself close friends with Republicans.    In the words of many Reagan fans, this person may be a "Reagan Democrat".  It's possible that early in their political career they were told, "The only way you will win is as a Democrat."  They took that advice to heart and won.  Now they see the tide is turning and for the first time they have an opportunity to still do good and work for society, but to do it as a Republican - where their heart has always been- instead of a Democrat.  One of the things that Ronald Reagan did, that I actually did when I left the Democratic Party was make a list of all the political figures, and views that I admired.  Like Reagan (that's exciting for me to type!) I also found that most of my heroes of politics had been Republicans since the party came to life.  I also found that all my views lined up with the views of the Republican Party.  I had grown up in the south where it was traditional for your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents to be Democrat.  So, I was a Democrat, but when I looked at how I had been voting, and how I had been in my support, the truth of the matter was I was being a Democrat by name only and a Republican by heart.

So, in conclusion, you can see there is likely only three reasons a person would change.  They are either jumping ship from the Democrats simply to win, the Democrat Party has truly "left them behind", or they have always been a Republican at heart and now have the opportunity to still serve as a Republican or came to the conclusion that they are a Republican.  While those appear to be the only reasons someone would want to change, the bottom line is that we as a party, and as individuals, can not truly know why someone wants to change.  We can suspect they want to change because of the changing political climate, such as Arkansas'.  However, in truth all we can do is accept the person at his or her word when they state why they have decided to change and move forward....we are not mind readers, and to date the Republican Party does not have a test that will decide if a person is a true Republican or not.  There are those, many close friends of mine and people I love and respect, who believe that Democrats are abandoning ship just for the votes to win.  They may be right, or....they may be wrong.  With at least three potential reasons listed here, and one of those reasons the reason I changed parties years ago, we must admit that we do not have access to anyone's inner thinking and therefore we can not know what people truly feel and think when they change to the Republican Party.  Maybe we just have to accept, move forward together as a party, after all, in politics isn't it always about having the numbers to win the vote in the end?

Aug 2, 2015

Can a Trump Ticket Win The Presidency?

Current polls show Trump as leading the Republican field for the Presidential nomination.  Those same polls also show that Trump would lose to a Hillary Clinton ticket.  To further complicate things there is division within the Republican party on Trump.  Some fully support him regardless of his past comments and stands and others point to those comments and stands to say he is just "playing" Republican but is really a Democrat.  Those people may need to remember that even Reagan was a Democrat at one time.

Regardless of what the polls say right now or the feelings within the party, the old saying must be applied that says "It ain't over until it's over".  The fact is we are a long way away from the elections and anyone could get the nomination for either party.  Another fact is that those polls showing Hillary Clinton defeating Trump do not take into account running mates.  A running mate can make or break you on several fronts.

When it comes to running mates, consider the last election.  The Democrat ticket had a Caucasian everyman type and an African American.  Voters could relate to the ticket.  Minorities could look to Obama and say, "he's for us!"  Voters could also look to Biden and say, "I bet I could have a beer with that guy!"  Democrats presented what in their mind, and apparently the voters as well, was a dream team.

Now, look at the Republican ticket.  Republicans put forth a former governor of a small northern state who happened to be rich,  and Caucasian.  The running mate was also from a northern state, Caucasian, and considered to be a rich, inside Washington guy.  Add the fact that neither of these candidates appeared to know how to talk to everyday folks and you have a disconnect with the voter.  In other words the ticket did not appeal to voters as much as the Democrat ticket did.

Fast forward to a potential Trump v Clinton battle.  Clinton has the advantage already.  She has a popular, former President as a husband, she's a woman, she has a long history of Washington service, and she brings an impressive resume along with supporters and potential cabinet members to the table.  Trump on the other hand appears to talk straight, he doesn't seem to play politics, and he knows how to run business....something our government as a whole does not appear to be able to do - if you don't believe me, just look at the shape of the United States Post Office compared to FedEx or UPS or any other delivery service.  Clinton alone has a clear advantage; however, a running mate decision could tip the balance.

For a moment disregard who Clinton might select as a running mate.  Let's just assume that it is someone from the political world - perhaps another Senator, etc.  Most people will not focus on her running mate.  Trump on the other hand will have a focus on who he selects.  If for example he selects another rich, upper class, person (whether in Congress or not) to run with him, he will likely lose the election.  However, that is not likely to happen with Trump.  Remember, Trump likes to win.  He has built a fortune on winning in business and he's not likely to turn that winning spirit off when it comes to selecting a running mate.  Trump will likely select a running mate who is considered the everyman, or who can connect with minorities, but at the same time has a strong service history in government.  He's going to look for a Colin Powell, Condoleezzza Rice, or a Marco Rubio as a running mate.  He's going to do the same thing that Obama did- he will look for a running mate that connects to people that he cannot or perhaps does not connect to as easily.

If Trump selects the right running mate, then the election will be anybody's at the end of the day.  Voters who call themselves Democrats, Republicans, or others and often vote for who they consider to be the best candidate regardless of party, will have a decision to make pending Trump's selection.  Naturally, party hardliners will vote for Trump regardless of his running mate just as Democrat hardliners will vote for Clinton no matter what her negative and questionable escapades have been in recent years.  

In the end, if Trump and Clinton receive the nominations from their parties, the battle will be for the undecided voter as it almost always has been.  That undecided voter will ultimately be more affected by the running mate selection of Trump than by Trump himself.  If Trump wins the nomination, he had better use that genius business mind of his to select a winning combination for the Republican ticket or American will be in for at least four more years of Democrat rule from the White House.

Jun 2, 2015

Gun Liability Insurance and Your 2nd Amendment

A house Democrat, Carolyn Maloney, has just taken another step toward further gun control in Washington.  Maloney has introduced a bill that is highly backed by the insurance companies (more money for them...there's a no brainer) that would require gun owners to have liability insurance.  If gun owners do not have liability insurance, they could face a fine of up to $10,000 for each gun.  Naturally, little to nothing is being said from the Maloney camp about these insurance companies contributing to her campaign, but plenty is being said about this new insurance need in America.

Now let's step back and think logically about this for a moment.  A gun owner who decides to have liability insurance is likely a smart guy.  It's not a bad thing, it's simply not required.  It's much like having a public get together where you want to practice your free speech.  Let's say you want to make a speech about stopping the lumber industry from cutting down trees.  You set up your wooden platform, you get your wooden speaker boxes out, and you set out your wooden chairs.  You fill out all your documents on paper made from trees, using pencils made from trees.  You feel like it's going to rain so you have a cover constructed over the platform using wood as supports.  You're all ready to go!  Except!  You think, "Wow, there's going to be a large crowd here to hear me talk about how we need to stop the lumber industry.  I'd better have some liability insurance."  So you go out and purchase a million dollars worth of liability insurance.  Now, were you required to purchase that liability insurance to hold your public speech?  No.  Was it a good idea?  Yes.  But, there was no law saying you had to get this insurance.

Let's say a church decides to open for services.  There's no mortgage on the building and no issues to be concerned about.  However, the church decides it would be a good idea to have building insurance. In the process, they also decide it's a good idea to have liability insurance since there will be hundreds of people attending church.  Did the church have to have building insurance?  No.  Did the church have to have liability?  No.  Was it a good idea for both?  Yes.

Insurance is a good idea.  But when it comes to our rights under the Bill of Rights, having insurance should be optional.  Imagine if the government required you to have liability insurance for any free speech forums?  Imagine if a church was required to have liability insurance before they could have a service.  To take this further, what if a newspaper was required to have liability insurance before they could publish an article about how bad the Democrat party is acting over liability insurance.  Let's say we let this gun liability insurance go through.  How long will it be before we face liability insurance to have a church service, or to hold a public meeting, or even to publish a track of information in the paper?  How long until you have to pay for your rights?

You might think I'm going overboard on this.  Maybe you think, "Well, liability insurance is okay."  Consider this, when was the last time you saw a significant drop in your home owners insurance, or your car insurance or your health insurance?  Further consider who is going to set this "gun liability" rate plan?  Will it cover one gun?  One owner?  You and your family or just you?

Once you allow any right within the Bill of Rights to require insurance you limit the right.  Today they want liability for guns, tomorrow it may be for your right to pray, or speak, or they may even require you to have liability insurance against illegal search and seizure.  When and where do we draw the line?

They have proposed a $10,000 fine per gun for failure to have the insurance.  One final thought for those who may think liability insurance for guns is long do you think it will be before they raise the rates to a level where you can no longer afford to have a gun?  What if each gun carried a minimum liability premium of $5,000 per year?  Do you really think the average gun owner could afford to exercise his right to bear arms anymore?  It's time to stop the attack on the Bill of Rights.  We do not need liability insurance for any of our rights.