Today, Parts 1, 2 & 3.
Now that moderate former Massachusetts Governor Mitt is the presumptive Republican nominee for President, many conservatives are asking “What should I do now that it looks like Republicans will not nominate a conservative candidate for President?”
First, don’t be Mitt Romney’s cheap date.
The grassroots movement conservative voters who powered the Santorum campaign can not be taken for granted. During the 2006 congressional elections some 4 million conservative voters stayed home, producing one of the greatest defeats for the Republican Party in the modern era.
Some conservatives were quick to endorse Mitt Romney now that the nomination looks settled. They got it exactly backwards – conservatives should not be rushing to embrace Romney; Romney should be rushing to embrace conservatives.
No one wants to stay home during this important election cycle, however, Mitt Romney has given little evidence he wants, and is willing to work for, conservative support.
If Mitt Romney wants the support of grassroots conservatives and Tea Partiers, the next six moves are up to him.
So far there’s no new sign that a Romney administration will result in the kind of fiscally sound, constitutionally conservative government that conservatives saw coming from the other candidates in the race.
In fact, during the campaign Mitt Romney sent every signal possible he wanted to get the nomination without owing conservatives or the Tea Party anything.
Before conservatives give their support to Mitt Romney we must see concrete action. We must see that Romney will campaign as a conservative, govern as a conservative and that a Romney administration and a Romney White House will be dominated by conservatives – anything less means that even if conservatives support him and Romney is elected, we will have merely exchanged one set of Washington insiders for another in DC’s halls of power.
Second, redouble conservative efforts to takeover the Republican Party.
Time after time during the Republican primary election cycle grassroots conservatives and Tea Partiers saw establishment Republican Party officials put their thumb on the scale to tip the balance in Mitt Romney’s favor.
From the arbitrary abuse of the winner-take-all rules in Florida and Arizona, to the post-election delegate allocation changes in Michigan, to the burdensome ballot access process in Virginia the establishment Republican Party did everything possible to thwart grassroots conservative activists and keep the power to choose the Republican nominee in the hands of Party insiders.
To prevent this from happening again, and to build a Republican Party leadership that truly represents its conservative base, Tea Partiers and grassroots conservative activists must redouble their efforts to takeover the Republican Party.
This means running for positions in the Republican Party organization – starting with precinct committeeman or woman – and getting involved in the local Republican Party organization. Getting on your local Party Committee is the only way to make sure that your Republican County Chairman, and your State and District Committeeman and Committeewoman, are conservatives who will not tilt the process in favor of establishment candidates.
Go to your state Republican Party’s website to find out how to become a member of your local Republican Party committee. You will likely have to run for election in your precinct, but often no one files and the positions are filled by appointment by Party insiders. To ensure that does not happen, when the last day for filing rolls around be prepared and submit your paperwork – if no one else files you will automatically become the precinct committee member for your precinct.
Third, run for or support conservative delegates to Republican local, state and national conventions.
In many states the delegates to the Republican state and national conventions have yet to be chosen. Very often there is a multi-step process for choosing the delegates to the conventions and it may not be too late to run for delegate or alternate, or to support conservatives who are already running.
Assuming that the establishment Republican Party represents us only ensures that we get four more years of business-as-usual insider government. The only way to ensure that conservatives and Tea Partiers have their voices heard and that our hard work actually pays-off in conservative government is for us to be there on the Convention floor when the roll is called and the votes for the Republican presidential nominee are cast.
In some states Republican Party insiders have set steep filing fees or other financial hurdles to running for delegate. Raising financial support for conservative candidate for delegate may also be important in your state. If you plan to seek, accept or make donations for a delegate campaign be sure to determine what, if any, state campaign finance rules apply.
The Republican National Coalition for Life has published a list of the filing deadlines and other information on how to become a delegate or alternate. The dates for filing for delegate and alternate vary vastly from state-to-state – for example, Florida’s was back in January, while Idaho’s doesn’t close until May 22.
The Republican National Coalition for Life also has good information on the delegate selection process in general on their website at http://www.rnclife.org/convention-delegates/become-a-delegate for the list of state-by-state dates go to the Republican National Coalition for Life website at
Today, Part 1 of 3, Thursday, Part 2, Friday, Part 3
Next: Part 2, Remember the Difference Between Republicans and Conservatives