I am usually not a political person. I prefer to leave that to people who believe their contribution will make a difference for good, and most of the time I didn't see much difference between the two parties or think raising my voice against the seas of conformity would help.
This year however, I had to take a stand. I had to let my voice be heard against the tide of evil infiltrating our country. When President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, on New Years Eve, allowing for indefinite detention of American citizens with the least suspicion of any "anti- American" sentiments, I knew that line had been crossed.
Not only does it throw the Constitution away, but it could directly harm the innocent who all they did was have a different opinion of an issue and face-booked about it. Then, this week a sneaky portion was added to bill to make it illegal to protest anywhere near secret service protected politicians (whether you know they are there or not).
Romney originally got my attention this year. I like him. He's a nice guy, but he has yet to stand for anything. I believe his back ground in turning failing businesses around would serve him really well in Washington. However Romney has yet to call any one to attention of the desecration of our individual rights and freedoms.
Ron Paul has stood up to be counted as a Constitutionalists. He wants to restore the limited constitutional government our founding forefathers had envisioned when the wrote that great document. I also have a great appreciation of his plans for eliminated the Federal Reserve and getting out of/staying out of other countries affairs.
So because I feel that Ron Paul is one of the last great hopes for our Constitution. I went to the Republican Caucus.
Going to the Republican Caucus for someone who eats an organic diet, drives a prius and owns a house that heats itself is an interesting thing. In many ways I am the young modern hippy- I want to permaculture-farm my yard and home-birth my babies, so it strains many ideological areas of my brain to sit in a meeting where everyone votes for oil drilling in the arctic wildlife refuge.
When I walk in, there are a lot of neighbors and friends that wave me down. Most of them are about twice my age.Flannel is abundant, but that just shows that most of these Northern Minnesotans think it is a dressy occasion. I was voted as a delegate from our local caucus so I get a seat in the voting section, meanwhile I look around wondering how I will possible know who else is there that might be supporting Ron Paul.
The meeting opens with a prayer from a local pastor and then the Pledge of Allegiance. It feels good to say the Pledge of Allegiance. We don't do it much in our country any more. It reminds me why I am here. I am here to support this great country and keep it's flag flying over the land of the free (and not the land of the indefinitely detained).
Typical meeting business commences. The squeak of a permanent marker distracts me. One of the volunteers is writing names on a large pieces of paper and hanging them up front. I realize these are names of those who have already been nominated to be delegates at the next caucus up. I compare those names with ones on an email I received so I know which ones are Ron Paul supporters. There are 14 nominations so far. It is pointed out by the speaker that our caucus can send 15 delegates and 15 alternates to the next caucus. Then she points out where to sign up to be nominated. I make my way to the back table and add my name on the list of possible delegates.
Meanwhile, the state senate candidates start to speak. Most of them are new. The smart looking guy sitting next me goes up next. His name is Mark Anderson. I was about to ignore him when his second sentence that got my attention. He pointed out that we are all Americans, rather then going on the typical anti-Obama rant. I decided I like him.
After more speakers and committee reports all the potential delegates get lined up and each of us have to give our 1-2 minute speech. When I gather at the back of the line (there are now 34 of us nominated) I see a man in a suit with a Ron Paul sticker on him. I cheered inside. He talked to each one of us that are known Paul supporters. We are the youngest people there, each trying to use the silly 2 party system to elect somebody that stands for something. One pair is father and son. They decided to act upon supporting Ron Paul when the homeschooling curriculum showed them the state of our nation. Another couple supporting Ron Paul is young and pregnant and just started a new little church.
As the nominated speakers talked, my eyes glazed over. Each introduced themselves, Most of them mumbled. I was glad I had a cheat sheet on who to vote for in this sea of quiet, polite Minnesotans. Well, I hate being in front of a crowd without deserving their attention. I was going to change that when I got up there. "I can't believe I'm doing this." I said to myself. "I hate politics, meetings and a large majority of basic Republican policies." But I took a deep breath and stepped up there.
"Hi, I'm Round Belly," I begin. (not my real name for sake of a little anonymity here on the blog). "I am the mother of 6 beautiful children. I had a small business but had to close that when one of my kids ended up spending months at the Mayo. Today I am here to stand for something. I am here to stand up for our Constitutions! For our Freedoms! We have the right to bear arms, we have the right to Freedom of speech. I will support the Constitution. Please vote for me." It had some passion and energy- not too bad for a quiet, backwoods Minnesotan. Mark Anderson said I did a good job when I sat down. A few minutes later a lady at the end of my row whispered "Are you pro-life?"
I had forgotten that Republicans have a tendency to be single issue voters, I thought that would be obvious by the fact that I have 6 kids.... but I guess one can not always remember those type of details on 34 candidates, so I assured her I was. She said she voted for me.
The ballots, little papers with the numbers 1-34 on them, were all collected. I sighed, hoping we were mostly done. I had forgotten about the resolutions. The Resolutions are where the Republicans get their party platform. It is a place for individuals to put forth (usually very poorly written) concepts of what they want the party to support.... (see part 2)