The Party belongs to the People, not the Insiders!
Bret Stephens wrote an interesting op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal, where he criticizes "extremist" Republicans who won't settle for anything less than the perfect candidate, so why not just Elect Hillary Now?
I think he is a little off the mark, and I wrote this response to Mr. Stephens today:
I read with interest your piece in today’s Journal. I wanted to give you my perspective from the trenches of the Republican Party, where I play a part.
I am an elected Republican committee person in central (conservative) Pennsylvania. We have 67 counties in Pennsylvania, each of which are supposed to have their own local committee, and they are all either completely dysfunctional, or completely corrupted by party leadership.
The local committee system is an opportunity for regular people to take back their party, recruit and elect good candidates for public office. Instead, it is a cesspool of conflicts of interest, filled with relatives and staff of elected politicians.
My goal is to recruit decent, independent-minded conservatives to fill these party positions who just want to fix the multitude of problems facing our country by implementing conservative policies.
All we, the rank and file of our party, see is the party elite trying to ram “moderate” candidates down our throats in every election. This manipulating of the process creates ill-will and bad morale within the party ranks, and chases good people away. Hence, we have the tea party movement, thousands of conservatives who have been made to feel disenfranchised in their own party, who are looking for a voice and some representation.
I am not saying that moderates should not be considered to run as candidates. They should. But the entire process must be fair and on a level playing field, not jury-rigged by a few at the top.
This can be corrected by restoring the party machinery back to its original legitimate function, which belongs at the local level, not controlled by a few at the top.
In my opinion, Mr. Trump is an outgrowth of this dysfunctional system. He is the regular “Joe the Plumber” Republican who feels he doesn’t have a home in his own party. He is giving this person a voice.
Whether or not Mr. Trump prevails (and I hope he doesn’t), it is a symptom of a problem that party bosses have inadvertently created by crushing the grassroots of their own party.