Attacking the messenger while ignoring the message
The politics of personal destruction is a tool that is often used in the political environment when people get too close to the truth. In calling out the actions of the Executive Committee the response from them has not been to step back and review the process to see where they have overstepped their bounds. It hasn’t even been to listen to the concerns of the people. Instead they have identified myself and Pat Braden as Tea Party Anarchists who are seeking to divide the party and then went so far as to imply that we defend spousal abuse.
An anarchist is an individual with no regard for the rule of law. An anarchist a person who believes that government and laws are not necessary; a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power; a person who believes in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy; especially one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order. Furthermore the law defines violence as the unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.
The bylaws of any organization are a rule of law that have the ultimate authority over the actions of the individuals in that organization. Those bylaws are the established order and in the case of the Lebanon County Republican Committee, the bylaws were established by the consent of the greater committee. The leadership of those organizations are accountable to the authority of the rules. Its not the other way around. The rules are never subject to the leadership, the leadership is always subject to the rules.
Our actions have pointed out where certain members of the executive committee have exceeded their authority and we have requested a restoration of integrity by following their own rules. There was nothing violent in the actions of the demonstration and we followed the rules of society in conducting that demonstration. The Pennsylvania Constitution, Article 1, Section 20 states: The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes by petition, address or remonstrance.
We made sure to keep a clear path so as not to obstruct pedestrian traffic or vehicle traffic in the alley next to the Lincoln Republican Club where duly elected representatives entered the building for their meeting. Considering the frustration of those attending the protest, it was entirely in order, peaceable and respectful. Our message was a simple message: Our voice matters and our vote counts. We are asking that the bylaws be followed. While there is so much talk about party unity it would appear that unity requires a blind allegiance to those who would violate the breach of trust with the voters by continuing to allow them to ignore the bylaws.
Consider that the following went out to members of the Young Republicans after we have addressed our of grievance concerning the bylaws (August 21, 2014): It’s that time of year again, time to knock on some doors for Bob MaCateer in the 102nd. We will be meeting this Saturday at the Kumm Esse diner at 9:30 am for breakfast and will be going door to door in Richland, Schafferstown and Newmanstown. Please let me know if you are able to join us.
The bylaws are clear that during a general election no member of the Lebanon County Republican Committee may publicly oppose the winner of the Republican Primary election. They have already publicly circulated petitions and now they are launching a door to door campaign for an independent candidate and still Casey Long is insisting that the bylaws are not being violated.
Who is really the ones rejecting authority of a rule of laws? Who are the ones who are dividing the Republican Party? Are individuals who hold elected positions public servants of the people or are they really an authority figure over us that require our blind allegiance regardless of their actions? Do we now define an Anarchist as person who seeks to adhere to the rule of law and is willing to stand up to those in elected leadership positions who disregard that rule of law?
Go back and read that definition of an Anarchist again and then ask yourself who that definition applies to.
James Madison said ““I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
Jefferson said” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
In regards to the implication that because we oppose the actions of the Executive Committee this means we favor spousal abuse: this is an insult to the intelligence of the community and the people they were elected to represent. Furthermore, it is an absolute lie.
I made it very clear during the Lebanon 9-12 Project meeting this past Tuesday that I find spousal abuse to be a reprehensible act. I also made it clear that when this matter came forward during the Primary those now yelling fowl did nothing when their bylaws allowed for them to take a position and they chose not to. The matter of the PFA’s has been debated in both the press and on the air through the Laura Lebeau Show. I have no doubt that it will continue to be a part of this debate. In that process the people will hear out this issue and the people will ultimately decide the outcome of that at the polls in November. It is not up to a handful of people to make that decision on behalf of the people.
Domestic violence is a serious issue. It is about control, intimidation, a disregard of the worth of those being abused; It is about ridged authoritarian positions where the aggressor alone defines the roles and rules instead of a relationship of combined commitment and agreement. In many cases those rules will change and always to the advantage of the aggressor while utilizing verbal attacks to diminish the self-esteem of the individual they are abusing. Mental abuse always accompanies physical abuse and often the mental abuse takes place before the signs of physical abuse begin. In my opinion, no reasonable human being thinks such actions are excusable.
As this issue moves forward the debate on the PFA’s will continue. My opinion on those PFA’s is relevant to me as it will be to each individual who hears this issue out. Ultimately the people will decide and that is exactly how it is supposed to be.
Regardless of anyone’s opinion about the PFA’s, there is no excuse when it comes to violating the authority of the rules in an organization’s bylaws. Actions have consequences.
Attacking the messengers is a deflection. It is an attempt by them to divert from the problems and actions of the executive committee so they seek to respond by personal attacks rather than address the issue at hand. That issue is their actions in violation of their own rules. Those are the actions that are dividing the party. There can never be unity within the party if those in leadership have no regards for the rules and change those rules whenever they choose since members on the committee will always be uncertain when the rules apply and when they don’t. Those rules can be suspended but that requires majority consent by the entire body of the committee. That was most certainly not the case here.
Just as the PFA’s have been a stumbling block for some voters, the support by individuals who are blatantly violating the bylaws will become a stumbling block to the independent candidate and a public who is outraged by the actions of some on the executive committee. Their connection to the candidate will become an issue as this moves forward. As they continue to arrogantly disregard the rules of the committee, I believe that problem will escalate as we continue to watch the 2014 election cycle unfold. As more people become aware of the fact that these people had every intention of disregarding the bylaws since they began planning this course of action before the primary election was held that discontent with the Leadership of the current LCRC will grow. That could easily translate into poor voter turnout which could negatively impact the Governor’s race in Lebanon County for Republican’s especially considering Governor Corbett’s polling numbers.
Both Pat and myself are far from Anarchists as we call for adherence to the rule of law. Neither of us supports Domestic Violence. There will be those who do not accept the candidates explanation on the PFA’s and there will be those who do. That’s part of the process. Furthermore, just because someone accepts the candidates explanation does not mean they think that there is nothing wrong with domestic violence. Those who do not accept the candidates explanation can still be offended by the actions of the executive committee. As evidenced by those protesting on Wednesday night, the people out there represented both sides of that spectrum. While we may disagree in our opinions on the PFAs we all agreed that the actions of the executive committee were wrong. We see this as an abusive usurpation of power by those individuals pushing this agenda and we find it offensive in their blatant rejection of the rule of law concerning those elected to represent us.
When it comes to Pat Braden and myself, these abusive and insulting claims have no basis in fact and it can be said that such actions are exactly what they claim the candidate is guilty of. As I stated on Tuesday night, such claims should come as no surprise to the voters of Lebanon County, there is a long history of this sort of thing in the political realm in Lebanon County. We’ve seen it in the misrepresentation of the truth in every election cycle including elections for committee members and school board. Behind these actions it is always the same players. We the people of Lebanon County deserve better than this
As the election moves forward we will have to ask ourselves if this is the type of leadership we want in Lebanon County. That sentiment should extend to each of the candidates. But let’s allow the people to decide and let’s adhere to the rule of law in the process.