I want to take a minute to just vent my frustrations, both as a Republican and a Republican that’s trying to make a difference.
I am one of the precinct chairmen for Stanly County’s republican party. I’m also a delegate for our county’s republican party. Don’t get too impressed. It just means that my vote counts when we have county and district republican events. It’s not a big thing and there are 76 other delegates within our county as well.
Today was the 8th Congressional District’s Republican Convention. Again, for those that don’t know what that means, it sounds way more grandiose than it is. The convention is simply a meeting where we either re-elect officers or elect new officers for the new terms. The meeting’s purpose is to elect Chairman, Vice-Chairman, alternates and the like. That’s it. In essence, it can be a really short board meeting.
Most of you out there don’t know what a republican district meeting is. Why would you? I didn’t know myself until I got actively involved in politics. But those that DO know, and who DO attend, and who DO actively support the candidates or run for offices or positions within the party – well, they’re working professionals. Most of them already work at least one full time job, plus their political career, plus have to juggle being a father/mother, husband/wife, etc.
Today’s meeting was scheduled for a Saturday at 2 PM. By all accounts, that meeting should have been over and done with by 3:00 PM, possibly 3:30 at the latest. It’s a business meeting. Bang the gavel, get on with business, close out the business, bang the gavel again, go the hell home. Right? Nope, not around here!
Our party already suffers from a bad case of apathy. Sure, lots of people say they’re republicans and by the book definition they are. But they’re the republicans that sit home and might possibly vote once every couple years. That’s the absolute most they’re going to contribute to the cause with the possible exception of telling people how f&*$#%d up thing are from the comfort of their keyboards on social media. It’s like the difference between saying you think forest fires are bad and being the one to actually jump on a hose-line and fight them.
Most republicans – they’re not working with candidates, supporting candidates, working phone banks, knocking doors, or even bothering to show up to meetings to express their concerns or to show support for those that do. They’re mostly useless except that once every couple years when they might be inclined to go vote.
If that hurt your feelings, you’re probably one of them. If that didn’t hurt your feelings, then you’ve probably been to a meeting and seen the numbers yourself so you know I’m telling the God’s honest truth.
I clarified that for a reason – bear with me. It’s difficult to get people to show up to local meetings. Of those that do, most of them are likely selected to be delegates for their county/precinct/district, etc. That means they’re likely professionals with busier-than-average lives already. Then you have to tack on the time it takes to be actively involved within their party.
That brings me to today…
Our District convention started around 2 PM. Our chairman, Kelsey Brown, decided to stand up and ramble on for a good 10 minutes or about nothing related to the actual meeting. After that, an entire parade of everyone and anyone that wanted to speak was paraded in front of the entire assembled body of delegates.
The event necessitated the appointment of a time-keeper, to keep speaker’s comments to less than 3 minutes. Ok, that’s a good idea, right? I watched the first parade of speakers come up and not a one of them paid any attention to the timekeeper. I know they saw him because I could see him waving at them from 40 feet back and I saw them take notice and keep right on yammering. After the first six or eight speakers, Kelsey turned it over to the convention chairman. (I don’t remember his name; AJ something or other.)
The event chairman paraded another couple speakers up, with not a one of them paying any attention to the time limit imposed by the convention’s rules. They culminated with Richard Hudson speaking for a time. He wasn’t timed. It was already planned for him to speak and out of respect for his office and what he feels the need to share, he had as much time as he wanted. He was courteous with the time however, so I appreciate that. After all… it’s been an hour into the meeting and the actual meeting hasn’t started.
After Hudson concluded his speech, the chairman decided a 10 minute break was in order for people to meet and shake hands with Richard Hudson. Wait a minute? You think we came here to chat it up with good ‘ol Dick? No, we came here to elect officers. Now I’m starting to get pissed off.
You’ve killed over 3 hours of my day and you’ve literally done NOTHING yet. (It’s a 48 minute drive and we had to be there an hour early to get registered, take a seat, etc).
The 10 minute break actually took 15, plus another five for everyone to get seated and get back on track. What I’ve learned thus far is that no one in charge of this meeting can apparently read a clock and they have absolutely zero respect for time these delegates took out of their day to attend.
During that 10 minute ass-kissing portion of the meeting, I was approached by both the chairman and the time keeper and expressed my intense dissatisfaction at having our entire afternoons wasted for a bunch of campaign speeches. This isn’t a campaign event. It’s a f&$#%@g business meeting and we’re over an hour in and have conducted ZERO business. Everyone I spoke to commented on how they couldn’t believe we were still going on with this bullshit an hour in. The comments could be heard throughout and every other head had long ago began glancing at their watches or phones to note the time.
After the event chairman finally took over and we began the next portion, I figured we were going to get things going. After all, I had to leave at 3:45 and this meeting shouldn’t have taken an hour in total.
Nope, this….. (really wants to throw in an expletive here but will refrain)… this guy…. brings up ANOTHER 10 people to speak, all with the same 3 minute timer. (Do the math, that’s another half hour minimum). Some of them actually felt the need to make a grand entrance and slow-walk the stage. The fake-smiling debutante? Oh my God! She just needed a set of pom poms to complete her speech and it would have been perfect.
Sure, take your time. It’s not like anyone here has anything better to do with the one day off a week they might have from their otherwise crazy-busy lives.
Others felt the need to regurgitate our republican values for the 15th time that day, as if we had somehow all suffered amnesia and forgot why we were here. I started to count the number of times people pulled out their cute little copy of the Constitution and speak about how they carry it around with them everywhere.
Dude.. I carry a smartphone… I have the constitution at my fingertips 24x7x365, just like every other human being on the entire planet! The fact that you carry a copy with you doesn’t mean a thing to me except to reiterate the point that you lack memorization skills.
You know who didn’t get to speak today?
None of the people who were vying for spots for the actual offices we were here to fill. If they did, they didn’t do it before 4:00 PM when I finally had to leave because of a previous appointment in town at 5 PM.
The entire meeting’s purpose was to elect a few people to a few seats within the 8th District Republican party. None of those people spoke.
They spent two hours holding the entire audience hostage for their vote and subjecting them to one bullshit speech after another. One guy got up there…. I think he’s running for the office of chairman for the state party… but you know how I know he’s a combat veteran? Because he f-ing was sure to bring it up THREE different times.
I have a LOT of amazing people in my life that are combat veterans. You know what makes them all so incredible? You never hear them have to pound their chest and say it. If you want me to LOSE respect for you, stand up there and brag to me repeatedly about how you’re a combat veteran just one more time.
I guarantee you that’s one gentleman I can do without meeting. He might be a great republican leader, but he’d have had a better chance at getting my support if he’d talked about anything else except that fact that he’s a combat veteran. Tired of hearing me say Combat Veteran yet? Yeah, that’s about how I felt! You know, I literally can’t remember a single other thing he had to say because I was too busy being shocked at how much he thumped his own chest like a.. well, I’ll just move on.
What’s wrong with our party?
At our level, down here where the actual people are that make things happen – there was no respect shown for anyone’s time today. Apparently they have no idea how to run a business meeting efficiently. If they did, they’d have done so. Instead they selfishly held everyone’s duty to vote over their heads until they had finished letting every blowhard that wanted to get up there and yammer on with no respect for the time limit they themselves put into place. Out of about twenty speakers today, I can think of three that didn’t run over on time.
The proper way to have that meeting was to have the voting done first. We could have been out of there by 2:30 with our duty to the party having been duly performed.
Then, if anyone wanted to hang around and hear political bullshit, they could choose to do so. I personally have a business to run, a family to try and see this weekend, about 7 acres that really needs to be cut, a horse with a hoof injury that might wind up causing me to have to put her down, and a wife at home struggling to run a business while she’s still physically recovering from a fairly traumatic injury.
Instead, like a few others, I was forced to sit and listen to anti-democrat rhetoric for two hours. There are so many things my party COULD be spending time talking about to help the party grow, but no. Those items never came up. We were there to elect officers, but never heard from any of them. In the end, I had to leave before the voting even started because they wasted so much of everyone’s time – time they apparently don’t consider valuable, at all.
I was very much looking forward to participating in my first district-level republican party meeting. Some a$%*at blowhards with no time-management skills decided to monopolize that time with meaningless crap instead.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Other Chairman, and all the rest of you that put that meeting on today – you owe the entire district and the entire republican party an apology for your gross misuse of our day, our time, and our votes.
And I hope that someone with some influence chews all your asses out for that shit-fest of a meeting you held today and that you have the sense to never do that again. Because if that’s how you think a meeting is to be conducted, you know nothing about business.