Over these past few days, I had the privilege of attending the Republican Party of Texas Convention and seeing this man – the Honorable Ted Cruz! He spoke on Saturday afternoon along with a full slate of other speakers – mostly state Republicans, but also Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. It was encouraging to see so many conservatives (over 7,000 delegates and alternates!!!) with roughly the same belief system as I have. The purpose of the state convention is to vote-in representation for the state and national party governance and set the party platform (those ideals and legislative directives to which GOP elected officials can be held accountable – I will post more on that another time). In the Republican Party, we have a State Republican Executive Committee which consists of one committeeman and one committeewoman from each state senatorial district as well as a National Republican Committee which also consists of one committeeman and one committeewoman from each state. There are a State Chair and State Vice-Chair for the party, too. And because this is a presidential election year, we also needed three delegates and three alternates to the National Convention in addition to a representative for the electoral college in November. So, lots of voting…
Voting isn’t so bad when it moves along and accomplishes something. These votes did neither, not really. Almost every incumbent re-upped their “contract” with the Texas delegates. Yet, the attitude around the convention was that we, the People, weren’t being well-represented by the national party for at least the past four years. I wondered, if people felt this way, why would you choose to return the same two people to the national party as committeeman/woman if you aren’t happy with the results??? I don’t know much about either representative Robin Armstrong or Toni Anne Dashiell or their challengers Rick Figueroa and Denise McNamera, but I do know that if something is not working well, you should fix it. It seemed that there was an established elite who ran things, and they had overwhelming support. This even happened in my congressional district’s elections for National Convention delegates and alternates. For each “anointed” candidate, two highly-visible, well-respected party members or elected officials spoke in favor of their candidacy, and the candidates were summarily elected without much fanfare with one exception. I honestly am not plugged into enough of the fifteen or so meetings that many of the other delegates attend each month, so I probably do not have a clear picture of the process or dynamics yet. However, it seemed that a small handful of people were doing everything, getting elected to everything, and controlling everything. Isn’t that the problem everyone was railing against?
I will say that I am very lucky to live in a state where our “establishment” is probably the most conservative on the planet. I certainly live in a senatorial district and congressional district that supports conservative ideas, thankfully. So, to wrap up, I will offer my highlights and low points of the convention:
Highlights – hearing Ted Cruz/Dan Patrick/Greg Abbott speak, meeting Dan Patrick, getting a picture with Ken Paxton, listening to debate on the general session floor over Texas secession (next post, I promise), wondering how many of the attendees had been in ‘Nam, meeting some really amazing fellow conservatives
Low Points – listening to two hours of debate on the rules of the republican party, hearing people complain about establishment politicians, the length of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in which the convention took place (walking around that place hurt my feet), maneuvering around the hundreds (maybe more like one hundred) scooters/rascals/etc. along with the 6,000 others who weren’t riding them