A few years ago conservative grassroots activists surprised the nation when we rose up together to protest the increase in spending, the creation of new regulations, the addition of new methods of taxation, and particularly, the possibility of Obamacare. The mainstream media and the establishment quickly got used to seeing Tea Party activists everywhere they went – at Town Hall meetings, at local speeches and just about anytime the politicians came home, we were there to question them about these horrible policies being handed from Washington. Many of us smelled change in the air, how could they ignore millions of us across the country protesting and demonstrating as one? But ignore us they did.
Sure, we got a few electoral victories here and there; Mike Lee in Utah, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Ted Cruz in Texas, Marco Rubio in Florida, Scott Brown in Massachusetts (yuck) and many more in the House… but has it really changed anything? I don’t think so.
The problem is that while we were active publicly and on the national level, we forgot that real change starts in our communities and in our state. From home we can build a platform to affect change on a greater level, but without first winning locally, any gains we make nationally will be short-lived. For example, we might win a big victory like getting a Tea Party Senator elected… but what good will that do if our state leadership is beholden to the establishment and only willing to allow establishment candidates the chance to run for office? Sooner or later that one Tea Party voice will get drowned out.
What we need to do is first win our states, then launch our assault on the national establishment… and one state is showing us the way.
Grassroots conservatives won a major victory this past weekend when in North Carolina the conservative base won stunning victories over the GOP establishment for control of the state party!
In what has been described as a political earthquake, conservative grassroots party activists took control of the North Carolina Republican Party on Saturday at the state party convention in Raleigh, handily winning both of the races up for election, chairman and vice chairman.
The conservative grassroots proved to be more interested in changing the system and dumping the moderate/liberal establishment than continuing to allow the party to operate as a “lite” version of the Democrat Party. The establishment backed favorites in both the race for chairman and vice chairman of the state party were soundly defeated by conservatives with little or no support from party leaders.
In the chairman’s race, conservative Hasan Harnett of Cabarrus County became the party’s first black state chairman as he defeated the establishment’s Craig Collins by a vote of 700 to 562*…
The vice chairman’s race was a very clear cut ideological contest, and conservative Michele Nix, three term county GOP chairman of Lenoir County easily triumphed in a landslide over establishment candidate John Lewis, former 8th Congressional district party chairman…
Historically, the North Carolina Republican Party used to pride itself in operating from the bottom up rather than the top down, but that had changed for the last two decades where a small group of party insiders repeatedly anointed a new state party chairman every time there was a vacancy. Now the party is back to its roots and back under the control of the grassroots party activists.
Now we need other states to follow North Carolina’s example and then we’ll start seeing some real political change.