Conservative political clubs are proliferating following the 2020 election. Now we hear about such groups as “Republican Liberty Caucus,” “Community Patriots,” not to mention “Trump Clubs,” and even old Tea Party groups are going through a Renaissance. In the mean time, traditional Republican clubs are going through turbulent times as people are gravitating to the new clubs. One can only ask why.
To me, the Republican clubs are showing signs of impotency. They have evolved into more of a social committee as opposed to an activist group. I have been visiting the new groups recently and can readily see a sharp contrast between the old and new.
The new clubs appear to be more in tune with the issues and legislation. They are also more organized and enthusiastically make their presence known at School Board and County Commissioner meetings. Whereas the old GOP clubs are playing defense, the new groups are on the offense, something very important to those unhappy with the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Whereas the staid old GOP groups are content following rote procedures, the new groups are more proactive and think outside of the box. Not surprising, the enthusiasm at the new clubs is infectious.
Recently, I wrote about “Turning Nonprofits Upside-Down” where I suggest instead of top-down monarchies, bottom-up grassroots institutions are actually more effective. This is precisely what we are seeing in the new conservative clubs.
To illustrate, consider the principles of the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC), where all members must embrace a pledge (click for FLORIDA’s page). Further, they will not endorse any political candidate that doesn’t support the following “Liberty Compact”:
“I pledge to the citizens of this State, and to the American people, that as their elected representative I will work to restore liberty, not restrict it; shrink government, not expand it; reduce taxes, not raise them; abolish programs, not create them; promote the freedom and independence of citizens, not the interference of government in their lives; and observe the limited, enumerated powers of our Constitution, not ignore them.”
Those politicians who fail to take the pledge will not be embraced by the RLC, plain and simple. In fact, they will now have an organized group working to stop the politician.
The RLC also keeps tabs on the voting records of government officials and even has a “Hall of Shame,” complete with certificate for politicians who have really screwed-up, a clever way for their members to express dissatisfaction with specific politicians. All of this is pro-active as opposed to reactive as typically found in traditional GOP groups.
Because of such changes, some Republican clubs are cancelling party sanctions, and switching over to the new groups. As one example, the North Suncoast Republican Club (NSRC) in Citrus County, Florida recently had its charter pulled inexplicably by the Citrus County GOP. They were not provided anything in writing as to why this occurred. The club tried to appeal the action, but, so far, nothing from the Republican Party of Florida. Because of this, the group seized on the opportunity to drop the Republican moniker and go independent, as the “North Suncoast Conservative Club.” Remarkably, after switching over, they had a windfall of new members. Keep in mind, this had been the oldest GOP club in the county. Their message to the Republican establishment is simple, “Don’t tread on me.”
Such political shenanigans will haunt the Republican party as they are no longer the only game in town. In terms of activity, political parties would be wise to spend less time dictating policy and more time listening to their constituents. Failure to do so will only weaken the party. To illustrate, when was the last time a GOP club organized a simple poll to define constituent interests? I, for one, have never seen it. Such input is essential for political campaigns, as well as to help voters decide which candidates to support.
As I keep saying, it is time to “turn nonprofits upside-down.”
Keep the Faith!
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