March 25th, 2008

Small in Numbers at the Caucus

I attended my precinct’s caucus this evening for the Republican party. I had planned to run for the vice-chair position (which is also a county delegate). I would have liked to have run as the chair, but will be out of the country during the state convention, so I would be unable to attend to my duties and cast my vote.

My wife and I arrived early, and by the time we got started, there were only five in attendance. Our precinct spans the entire Traverse Mountain area in Lehi, which is not a small number of residents. Out of that number, five voters were there this evening. A great percentage, wouldn’t you agree?

The other couple was an individual named Brad Green, who was also accompanied by his wife (and their baby). In talking with Brad, I discovered that he was the person who goes by Ellis Wyatt in the Free Capitalist project. I had heard him before on the radio, and he had read some of my articles on the website, so it would good to put faces to names.

I nominated Brad as the chair, he accepted, and beat the incumbent (by a 3-2 vote; individual votes count when nobody shows up). He then nominated me for vice-chair, I accepted, and was not challenged.

As the discussion continued, the defeated incumbent and her neighbor, who arrived late, discovered that I am a Ron Paul supporter, am against the Iraq war, and believe that the Republican party has largely lost its way. They then started referring to Brad’s and my victory as a “hostile takeover”, with the neighbor wondering if somebody else could jump in to challenge me. Ha!

While I still feel uneasy about being affiliated with the Republican party, I look forward to having a greater amount of influence in changing things to (re-)introduce the principles of liberty, limited government, and free markets into the party I’ll be tied to for the next two years. This should be interesting.

10 Responses to “Small in Numbers at the Caucus”

  1. Clumpy
    March 25, 2008 at 11:35 pm #

    I may never attend a caucus in Utah, as I have not registered with the Republican party. I’m not even an independent – my voter’s card actually sent back a null point error. I don’t like having the heart of my beliefs lumped into a category.

    Sounds like you ran into a similar situation. You’re probably more in tune with Conservative ideals than the Conservatives themselves, but the incumbent dismissed you on a technicality.

  2. John
    March 26, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    There are more and more who don’t feel like they belong. My precinct was pretty well attended (50-60), but there were groups of us that were really annoyed with some things that were said.

    Funny thing is, I didn’t really find any blaring inconsistencies in the stated party platform.

    I don’t know who is more out of touch – the party members, or the party itself.

  3. Daniel
    March 26, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    Are people embarrassed to identify as Republicans these days? The latest Pew Report says Republican self-identification is down quite a bit nationwide.

    I suppose it could be simple complacency — nobody showing up. But how could you blame anyone for not wanting to be in the Party of Bush/Cheney?

  4. Kelly W.
    March 26, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    I attended the caucus for the Constitution Party. There were only 11 people in attendance.

    I pictured Connor at a Constitution caucus, not a Republican!

    Somehow I wonder about the desire to try to turn the Republican Party into what the Constitution Party already is. Care to comment a bit, Connor?

  5. Connor
    March 26, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    Care to comment a bit, Connor?

    I registered as a Republican a few months ago in order to be able to vote for Ron Paul in Utah’s closed primary. Previously, I was registered as a member of the Constitution party.

    I was approached by the chairman of the UT Constitution Party to run for legislative office, but unfortunately I’ll be moving in a few weeks into a ne district. House and Senate rules dictate that you must have lived in your district for six months or more in order to run, so that disqualified me.

    So, in deciding what to do, I figured I would try to work from within the Republican party for now to see what effect I can have. We read the Utah Republican Party Platform last night, and I agreed with about 95% of it. A lot of it was grounded in solid Constitutional principle. I can stand by that (and recommend amendments to abolish the parts I think are wrong).

    So, I’m a Republican for at least the next two years. I don’t mind so much, since a true Republican is also a Constitutionalist. That’s where I see myself bridging the two. Ultimately, I think it matters little what party a person is affiliated with. I’m more interested in the principles upon which the person grounds themselves. We’ve all seen plenty of RINOs, so we know that even within one party there are various factions of belief and principle. We’ll see what effect I’m able to have on a limited level to smack some sense into the RINOs.

  6. March 26, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    Sadly, I would have to guess that your poor attendance at the caucus was the result of a countrywide syndrome called “fatdumbandhappy-itis”, a.k.a apathy. I have found, as I talk to those in my circle of influence that not only do many not understand the constitution nor the importance of their defending it, but they flat don’t care. They see no farther than the tip of their nose, thinking that as long as they and their families are good to go, everything’s gravy. I applaude people like Connor and other’s (whose comments I’ve read) for taking a stand and being “doers of the word.”

  7. Scott
    March 26, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    I agree with Mike. We had about 30 at my caucus meeting. That was about 10 fewer than last time. Almost half of the attendees were UEA operatives, and they were angry. They intended to take over the Utah GOP to punish those that had the audacity to vote for vouchers. Many had switched from Democrat for that purpose. Most of them wanted to be delegates. None of them won. But even with 30 present, I had to wonder where the heck all of the other hundreds of registered Republicans in the precinct were.

  8. Kelly W.
    March 27, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    Could it have been that the fewer numbers at the Repub caucuses is a result of more people who were in attendance at the Constitution caucuses?

    A few of the attendees at the Constitution caucus I attended were previous Republican attenders who expressed dismay at what the Republican Party had evolved into.

  9. Doug Bayless
    March 27, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    We had at least 30 at our precinct meeting which is more than triple what we had two years ago. Most of the Spanish Fork Republican meetings that I walked by (at the High School where we met) seemed similarly well-attended which really surprised me.

    I was heartened, however, by the number people who had the guts to say in their ‘candidacy speech’ (we had lots of nominations for the various delegates – 2 state, 4 county, etc.) that they were basically ready to leave the party because — although they were able to agree with most of the “stated party platform” — they didn’t feel that local GOP office-holders were upholding those ideals.

    I ran for vice-Chair early [on the mistaken understanding that it was a ‘state’, not a ‘county’ delegate position] and wasn’t nearly so open in my short speech (since I hadn’t expected to find like-minded people attending our meeting). I was just happy to get elected to something where I can learn more about how our local government works.

    I’m interested in the Constitution party (and very thankful it exists) but for now I’m staying with the Republican party out of sheer pragmatism. Similar to Connor’s statement, I don’t believe that specific party affiliation is nearly as important as principle-based action. In my area, at least, the Constitution party hasn’t gained enough traction to be viable and reform from within the dominant party seems the most effective for gaining a voice. Already my state senator has called my house claiming that he wants to get to know me, lol.

  10. Connor
    June 25, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    Looks like there were small numbers at the primary as well. Reports I’ve read indicate that 7% of voters turned out yesterday for the election. That’s dismal!

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