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Oklahoma State GOP Convention: Personal Reflections

My Lily
There is wisdom in allowing your blood to cool before you
put pen to paper, and let words fly. You can’t bring them back after they have
gone, after all. Saturday, May 12th, 2012 is a day which both
inspires many words and that I will always remember. For many, it was the day
of the Oklahoma State GOP Convention. It was also my youngest daughter’s
birthday – Lily Rose turned three.

Convention Hall, Left Side
 We all have differing motives for our involvement in affairs
of governance. For some it is the love of power. Others are drawn to the allure
of fame. Still more, all too common in these times, wish to capitalize on the
endemic corruption of the “system”. These are the nefarious reasons the public
attaches to those who participate in the political process. There are other
more noble goals – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, as the great
Declaration proclaims. These are rare, but they exist. My candidate – Ron Paul
- is one of the rare ones. For me, it is my family, and the future they will
live in. Will it be a world such as I inherited, or will it be the statist hell
that we seem to be headed towards? It depends on who wins, doesn’t it? 
Convention Hall, Center
I have chased my share of demons, including some of the
political ones. Somehow I managed to avoid corruption, and come out the other
side. I like to think God places us in situations to mold us to His will, and
that He has done that with me, like He does will all of us. Each day I try to remember
with humility the fragile nature of life and love and success, and be thankful.
I have much to be thankful for.
For 18 years I had a pointed avoidance of any political
activity beyond voting. Marriage and college, children and careers – they all
consumed me to one degree or another. One day you wake up and a decade has
passed. Another day you wake up and the world is on fire. Finally, you grab a
2012 GOP State Convention
I spent my daughter’s 3rd birthday at a
microphone all day. As one of two people asked to lead the floor debate by the
grassroots effort on behalf of Ron Paul in Oklahoma, I was rather busy. Since I
am a 41 year old adult, many years removed from my last parliamentary procedure
days, I was a little rusty. It was my intention to leave just prior to lunch,
and come back after the scheduled fundraiser, so I could be with my Lily for a
little while.  Events of the day
conspired to prevent my exit. My wife, who is not very political, was beginning
to text me and asked when I was leaving. I sent the following, at 2:30 pm:
It is a disaster –
major fight – they have not broken for lunch – chaos in progress
I am so sad I am not
Trying to hold it
Head hurts – no food –
have had people physically threaten me and attempt to call sheriff on me
As you can see, my day was not going well. This is how my
wife responded:
Everyone has left. No
need to hurry home. Don’t let those stupidheads bug you. They are blind, like
Lazarus. You are the light in the darkness. Some people like to be in the dark.
Party’s over. Lily is
ready for a nap.
My wife has a high opinion of me, it seems. She was
absolutely correct with her observation that “some people like to be in the dark.” The smartest one of all was
Lily, ready for a nap.
2012 GOP State Convention from right side
2012 GOP State Convention from back of the room
I will not go into the details of what went on during the
floor debate, or afterwards when the convention was continued in the parking
lot of the hotel. There are many stories to tell there, and they are being
told. In time, I will share my experience, but sometimes people aren’t
recognized for their efforts, so I will name a few of the unsung heroes of my
I would like to thank the volunteers for the Kid’s
Convention, and particularly Lori Steen, who organized it, and the donors who
paid for it. We were able to provide free child care to all Ron Paul supporting
parents, including a bouncy castle, magic show, lunch, games, and other things,
while Mom and Dad went to vote across the hall. 
I would like to thank the Embassy Suites Hotel in Norman,
who worked with me in difficult circumstances. They were caught between two political
factions, and performed admirably. Thank you Chelsea!
I would like to thank my fellow lovers of Liberty, who stood
tall and did not back down in the face of adversity. I am proud of your poise
and restraint, your class and your knowledge, and most of all proud to be
standing with you. There are too many names to list here, so please forgive me
for the general thank you.
I would like to thank those members of the “establishment”
or “old guard” who have demonstrated civility and respect to others who
disagree with them. The only meal of the day that I had was some crackers given
to me by a husband and wife who have a long history in the party, including
elected positions. Since kindness to “those Ron Paul” people might be
misinterpreted, I will keep their identity to myself, but I suspect they will
read this. Their gesture lifted my spirits when I was at a low point.
I would like to thank Dr. Ron Paul for showing us
the way. Your example of class, dignity and integrity is unmatched. We have
your example of decades of consistency in the cause for Liberty and the Constitution
to follow. It is an example that will be hard for us to live up to. We are
beginning to see just how difficult is it to force those in power to follow the
Finally, I would like to thank two more people. My wife, who is not a political person, and who has stood by me and helped me find the time to try and do our part. A meeting became regular meetings, a convention became many conventions, and phone calls, and conference calls, and on and on, not to mention we will be going to Tampa. I have tried her patience, and she has supported me at every turn. Last, I would like to thank my Lily, for forgiving her Daddy. Some day she will understand why I missed her birthday.
A sad Lily.

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You Do It For Lily

...and all the Lilies of the Field (Matthew 6:28). She is precious...as they all are.

I found this post so moving because it is the human side of the revolution and it is the human side that makes this so extraordinary...so integral to the intellectual and spiritual revolution.

The Children's Convention ...the offer of crackers (almost like communion) ...you even thanking the hotel who worked with you (humility in the face of earnestness).

Thank you not only for what you did, but also for this beautiful post of the "human side." Lily is very fortunate to have parents like you and your wife. You were away one birthday that may make all of her birthdays happier. Kudos to you.


Results contested?

Did you guys ever contest the results of the indoor part of the convention? Is legal action being taken? What are you guys currently doing in order to validate your "parking lot convention"? It seems like the OK GOP is ignoring it. Something MUST be done ASAP or none of you will count as delegates in Tampa!

Thank you Steve

I respect and admire you for what you have done. Thank you dear Steve, for fighting to preserve our country for your sweet Lilly and the rest of us who could not be with you - you and the others there carried us on your shoulders in OK. God speed.

so beautiful

I sit in tears. The sacrifices we patriots make can be unmeasurable, in your case, nearly heartbreaking. We will someday be able to smile on our children and grandchildren and know we helped save this beautiful America. Our time has come.
God bless you and your family, and thank you.

"If you want to know who is going to change this country, go home and look in the mirror."

Thank you...

and may God bless you and your family.

Here is someone that agrees with you 100%...


Rand Paul 2016 for Peace

Thank you Steve!!!

I was there! Thank you, for your sacrifice! Thank Lily for me!


When I stood in the chill campaigning for Ron Paul I couldn't help reminding myself than my sacrifice is nothing compared to what George Washington's men endured at Valley Forge to defeat the Establishment.

Thankyou Steve for your deidication to this most worthy......

endeavor. It is individuals like yourself amd so many Ron Paul supporters that Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson had referenced so many wonderful quotes. Together we can all take this peaceful revolution to its most beneficial conclusiom. Respectfully, Bob

***** Awesome! *****

Great job! and thanks for sharing this. Y'all did a great job in Oklahoma! Keep up the good and noble fight and Endure to the End (or in this case, until all the votes are Counted!)... I Hope y'all had a "happy mother's day" and got to celebrate your daughter's birthday (better late than never.).

Do you have any suggestions, recommendation, websites, ideas, etc. - in regards to "the best" parliamentarian training? I know some of Robert's Rules of Orders (am more than just "rusty" or "dusty") and have seen several websites and groups out there... wanted to get your "thoughts"/"opinion" and recommendation on that

"In God We Trust"
Galatians 4:16


Hey, Steve - I would like to Thank You for all you do, have done and will do!

Mahalo nui loa = Muchas Gracias = Do Mo Arrigato go zai mas = Fa`afetai = Malo aupito = dank u wel = gratias ago = Toda = danke = hvala = merci monsier (and any other language you like look up!)

[here's one suggestion - for the "House Rules" link - you may want to change the "google link" to this much more concise website: ]


[another quick note.... you may want to check your use of grammar and Commas - some are missing... like following dates, for example ] (if you are going to "formally submit" this to someone, that is).

"In God We Trust"
Galatians 4:16

Steve Dickson's picture

Suggestions for future conventions

First, know the rules - but not just Robert's Rules. Your state party rules are above those, and the National ones as well.

Second, stay "out of the weeds". You will lose people if you get hyper-technical, so try to not bog things down. If people see you as someone with a legitimate complaint, they will support you. If they think you are just up there to hear yourself talk, you'll get shouted down fast.

Third, have multiple people ready to step up. I would suggest a minimum of four, who are all on the same page as to strategy. A few backups doesn't hurt. Make sure your side follows their lead, and make sure they keep things moving forward.

Fourth, expect the unexpected. There is your side and there is the other side, the part I forgot about was everyone else. They have concerns too, and will be going to the mic as well. Doesn't hurt to help them out if you agree with them, and it will be appreciated.

Hope that helps, just some general thoughts. It is not so much what you know, but how you present it that wins over the crowd.

I have never been away from my child for so long. We had

plenty of arguments on the floor and I counted ballots all night Saturday night and continued on Sunday for ours. I would not have missed the experience. I am not saying I want to go and be back around those who do not realize that Ron Paul supporters are fighting for them, but, it was an adventure. Our county convention was miserable and we were objectified because of who we support. Shame on them.

Either way, I wanted to tell you thank you for attending, thank you for going to Tampa and participating....and thank your daughter for her understanding and you wife as well.

Steve Dickson's picture

Author's Note

I'm glad I went, and did what I did. I would do everything again. It's hard to write about this event - I wanted to convey a different perspective.

Due to the events that are still unfolding, I am not commenting on specific rules that were broken and procedures that were not followed. Since this is not over yet, I would not want to harm the actions that are being taken. I hope everyone understands - I certainly have a lot to say, but I can't say it, yet.