Newton GOP doesn’t want my vote

On Friday, I spoke to a friend running for local office about his and other races that will be on the ballot in the fall. Because of how local politics has been here in Newton County and seeing as how they are no Libertarian candidates running, I plan on pulling a Republican ballot during the primary, so naturally, I want to learn more about the people for whom I may cast a ballot. My friend advised me to come to a meet-and-greet at the Newton GOP office in Covington the next day to meet some of the folks running.

After speaking to my state senator, Rick Jeffares, when I arrived yesterday, I took a seat to listen to the Newton GOP chairwoman, Delia Fleming, talk about their new office and some of the things going on in the local party. After a few moments, Mrs. Fleming started ripping on the “Ron Paul supporters and libertarians trying to take over the Republican Party” and proceeded to slam them in every way possible. She pointed to some things that went on at the state GOP convention. Of course, I wasn’t there, and I’ve only heard second-hand accounts from friends from both those sides — more establishment-leaning Republicans and Ron Paul supporters.

Keep in mind that I didn’t know most of the people in the room, and I walked in realizing that I was probably not going to be welcome should I let people know my political leanings. However, I wanted to observe and discuss issues with some candidates, particularly those running for BOC chair and Sheriff; the latter being very important to me since my home was burglarized twice — once in December and again in January.

While I’ll admit that there are Ron Paul supporters who are not very good representatives of the Liberty Movement and obviously don’t paint the rest of us in very good light, I get that, though it’s not like shady things haven’t gone down inside the Republican Party; however, it’s a mistake to cast every libertarian with a broad brush. I tried to keep my best poker face, but my friends in the room could see that I was disappointed.

Unlike many of my friends in the Libertarian Party, I didn’t get involved in the local parties and the delegate process, nor was I even involved in Ron Paul’s campaign here in Georgia. I did vote for him in the presidential primary, but that was about it. But yet, I was essentially told yesterday, because of my political viewpoints, that my vote in these local races wasn’t wanted.

11 Comments on “Newton GOP doesn’t want my vote”

  1. As one of the “Ron Paul/Libertarian” people that Delia thinks is trying to hijack her party, I am not surprised by what Jason allegedly witnessed on Saturday.

    She has been this way since the MPM’s back in February. But to keep on it at this point? It’s over! The Establishment won last week in Columbus, and they rubbed our noses in and yet Delia is still stuck on it. What gives? It makes no sense. It’s like she’s obsessed or something.

    Some people involved with the party really need to get her attention and pull her aside and say–“look, get a grip, it’s time to start bringing people together, not excluding them.” Because this is the rub–how many Libertarians or Ron Paul Republicans are running for BOC, BOE, GA House, GA Senate, Sheriff, etc.? How about zero. However, we will all most definitely be voting, and Ms. Fleming is doing her party no favors in terms of getting our votes with these types of antics…

  2. “But yet, I was essentially told yesterday, because of my political viewpoints, that my vote in these local races wasn’t wanted.”

    Funny, I felt the same way back in 2002. I was essentially told that the libertarian party didn’t have room for someone who didn’t agree 100% with the party’s platform. Then watching how Libertarians ostracized their own members who were in favor going into Afghanistan I started to believe that I wasn’t welcome due to my personal views on that and other issues. Until that time in all state and local races where I had the choice I voted for Libertarians and after I haven’t voted for any Libertarians for any position since.

    I’m a fiscal conservative with social moderate leanings which means I have no home and I have to be comfortable as an independent. You see the social conservative movement in the Republican Party turned me off as did Socialist in the Democratic party.

    I would say sorry for your experience but I don’t feel that way. What I do think is you should look inside your own party for similar attitudes. I think you will find Libertarians are much less tolerant of those with differing views.

    Raleigh

  3. Haven’t been what? Looking inside your own party for similar attitudes or ostracized by your own party? You are after all a card carrying official member and a leading writer for the Libertarian party are you not?

    1. Yes, I’m a Libertarian Party member; however, I don’t speak for them, nor do they always speak for me.

      I’ve always pushed for a “big tent” for the LP and pushed back against the notion that some have that we ought to be a social club.

  4. You may very well want and support a “big tent” but from this outsider and one time potential members perspective the Libertarian party is one of the most closed groups there is. Even though the Republicans have their zealots I have found then to be somewhat accommodating of others views. For disclosure I was once a card carrying member of the Republican Party but no more.

    I have to ask where in the recent past have you openly disagreed with the party platform? I read your work quite often and I can’t think of anything.

    1. I’m not saying that Libertarians aren’t closed-minded. I think that it’s a minority now compared to 10 years ago. I know it has changed a lot since I joined back in 2005.

      I don’t often write about the party platform, largely because it has been changed to more my liking since I’ve been involved. I tend to have an issue more with party by-laws than the platform. I don’t appreciate the emphasis on certain parts of the platform, though I don’t necessarily disagree what we’re saying.

      But again, I’m not, nor do I want to be, a mouthpiece for the LP. I tend to enjoy writing about politics in general, not just about a particular party.

  5. I’d have to disagree, Raleigh. I’m basically a 70% LP guy (by that, I mean that I agree w/ approx. 70% of the LP platform) but still identify as a Libertarian; but for that matter, I’m basically a 50% GOP guy and I’m involved with my local GOP as well.

    Regarding the LP, like Jason, I became involved in 2005, so I can’t really speak to things in 2002; however, I know that I’ve always felt welcome even though I’m not a “hardcore” Libertarian, as it were. Perhaps it’s time to give it another shot. The thing with just being an independent, to me, is that it is solely a reactive political endeavor. By joining with like-minded people, you become more proactive and can work together to reach common goals.

    Just my 2 cents…

  6. Jason,

    Ok, you for the most part like and agree with all of the party platform. That’s fine and I have to take you at your word. Now for me if I were a member and took issue with some of the major party platforms I dare say that I would not be welcome in the Libertarian corner. I have taken some serious shots at Republican Party elected officials and the party platform. Some on this very board. Specifically about their stated goals of less government and lower taxes which at the state level they ignore and I have not been made to feel that unwelcome with Republicans. Some may disagree but judging from the Republican Presidential primaries they will compromise and come together. Except of course for a small group of rabid Ron Paul supporters, some not all.

    Marshall,

    I do from time to time engage with Libertarians, Republicans, and Democrats. Just not the Green Party…… I do have at least a very few standards 🙂 Because I’m an Independent does not necessarily mean I’m anymore reactive that any other actual members of political parties. However I am someone that most of the political parties spend much effort to convince me I should vote for their person or join their cause. That’s really not a bad place to be.

    Raleigh

    1. You weren’t the only person to send this to me this morning. Listening to it now. About 10 minutes in. Not knowing Friedman was behind the income tax withholding was pretty bad. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of the Mises Institute (I prefer the work of Cato and Reason), but at least I understand Austrian economics. However, Wenzel comes across like a bit of an ass.

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