A pressing issue. Please read. It needs our attention.Submitted by couture.t on Thu, 12/06/2012 - 03:10
My website just incase... www.traviscouture.com
Well first let me say despite some bickering here and there within our movement I am extremely proud to be politically awake and I couldnt be any happier than to be doing it with such a fine group of patriotic, intelligent, and principled people as those that encompass the many parts of the liberty community.
That being said I have a few suggestions that I rarely see or hear about, atleast here on the Daily Paul.
I am a Navy Veteran and followed the Ron Paul R3volution in 2008 casually. It wasnt until 2009 or so when I started feeling like it was time to get off the sidelines and actually join the fight. As a former political idiot, I came to listening to Ron Paul mostly due to his foreign policy, I had too many friends die in Iraq. From there I immersed myself in his book, Revolution: A manifesto. It not only opened my eyes but I felt as though it unlocked a secret part of my heart I never knew existed. The joy and simultaneous anger I felt was brimming over at the seams and was making my naval career almost unbearable.
I opposed Naval detention and torture in Guantanimo Bay, the sensless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Nuclear weapon hoarding, "humanitarian missions", and a plethera of other things the Navy is involved in. I read and read and read, faster and better than I have ever done so previously in my life. It lead me to new found inner strength, conciousness, and intellect.
In Dec of 2011 I exited the Navy, this time having been involved in Pauls Campaign since before he decided to run. I worked my tail off and I felt like I was mostly alone, no meetups listed, nobody around to help out. I decided that maybe I would some day want to run and keep the torch of liberty flickering in my area. I started learning about state politics and legislation. How the districts worked, how the political structure was set up here, and I even found out that my two state reps were some of the most liberal spenders in the state here in Washington.
The next thing I did is try to find out if someone was already running for office. The first name I found is a Republican named Dan Griffey. I dug up everything I could find on this guy, I ended up finding a video of him talking about Jefferson, eliminating departments, protecting property rights, etc. All the good stuff. So I took the leap and called the man up, I grilled him on the issues on the phone for almost 2 hours.
He was very patient and you could tell he was excited about having someone to ask him this stuff, a real political junkie. I ended up not running but instead playing it smart and learning how to run a professional campaign. Im a quick learner and us liberty folks arent known for being slack asses or lazy slobs when it comes to grass roots activism. We knocked on thousands of doors, made thousands of phone calls, stuffed mailers, went to all the debates and forums. I loved it! And still do! There was alot more than met the eye in local politics.
The most frusterating part of it all was how most people could care less. They wanted to know if you were Republican or Democrat. Or they lived there their whole life and didnt know who there 14 year incumbant democrat legislator was. Well, never fear though, we kept on trucking with our small little group, hell bent on changing the world and we said it to eachother quite often. I remember asking Dan later on what he thought about Ron Paul. He said that the Paul supporters in the '08 convention scared him away, so he never knew what Dr. Paul even stood for. I was floored! Here is a man who espouses most of the same views and never knew Ron. After a long chat and some vetting on his part he became a happy Paul supporter. This is when our local GOP started acting like the terrible ones you heard about during the caucuses. No one got hurt though.
Well it turns out in my county in liberal western Washington Paul tied Romney in the caucuses, this was after admitted fraud from our chairman, a man who will be gone officially after our re-orginization meeting this saturday. They caused many problems for us and I couldnt help but feeling like I was to blame but we kept working. The best part about caucuses was I got to find out about all the RP supporters that I never new existed anymore. We organized a PCO drive that we officially won, 16 liberty PCO's to their 10 mainstreamers.
Here is what really perplexed me. By this time I knew alot of Paul supporters, even across county lines. But of the 170 or so that caucused for Paul in our district caucuses, only about 15 ever helped out locally. Even after the National convention. Some of them refuse to show up to the meetings and will not even answer their phone or show up to a BBQ. It was one of the saddest parts of the campaign to me. We worked our selves to the bone, I gave up a part of my soul and a small fortune to scratch in the eyes of the establishment.
I then decided to try my hand at running for county comissioner. It was open and only a lesser known Democrat (turns out he worked for the UN on the presidents council for sustainability AKA Agenda 21, a big issue here in WA). So I was more than pleased to give this guy a run for his money. Well no one but a small amount of people really knew me and I did alot of work myself with my wife and Dan and his wife assisting me. Well just before filing week was over another guy jumped into my race, a former republican who went independent. This guy is a true smake oil salesman and an actual used car dealer that lost his business due to selling crap cars (think that movie matilda). He had run for a handfull of other positions before. He had been running of and on for around 10 years. Later I found out that my own party convinced him to run against me because I supported "he who must not be named amongst RINO's".
I felt betrayed, but I pushed on as usual. Only caring who I could touch with the message of liberty. Debate after debate I could sense people were coming around to what i was saying. My opponents started thrashing me on things that they just made up on the top of their heads. Well, I ended up losing the primary (we do a top two system here)by 100 votes out of 7,000 cast. Did I mention that I am 24? It was a real success even though I lost. The people that moved forward espoused alot of my policy ideas. I couldnt be anymore pleased, especially because I never expected to win. But in the back of my head I always wondered..."What would it have been like if just half of those that caucused for Paul helped me out?". I then went back to helping Dan Griffey for his general election campaign. I managed his campaign this time (for free) and we somewhat unified alot of the Paulers and the mainstreamers to work together to finish out the campaign.
We met every tuesday in a warehouse and hammered out alot of campaign stuff and taught our new PCO's how its done. A handfull of the melevolent mainstreamers never showed up. By this point no one liked them anymore and they were kind of pushed out. Well election night came and in our little county, no one cared about mitt, or the senate race, or even really our congressional race. The only thing we cared about was winning these local races, and the state races. Our rural community has been decimated by taxes and regulations, killing our timber industry, our unemployment is around 20% functional. Dan lost his race in a real close one. His opponent beat him by 2 percent or so. It was one to many striking blows.
We have since recovered and are planning for 2014's state senate and legislature races. I will always wonder what we could have accomplished with all the very intelligent and capable Paul supporters that I know we have here. The ones that participated are top notch folks.
My plea to anyone who happens to read this post, dont let this post die. If we truly believe government should be bottom up then we have to have bottom up grassroots activism. We must get more involved locally and on our state levels. The key to changing the whitehouse is changing our local and state parties, electing good local and state government officials, and above all staying active. I rarely post on the DP, I mostly just read. Mostly due to the fact that I am always doing something out in the field. Trying to wake people up. Pushing for a better tomorrow. No more presidential glam, instant gratification, politisization, or narrow mindedness. It saddened me to watch some on this site bicker about writing in RP or voting mitt or johnson. IT NEVER MATTERED! But there was excellent liberty warriors who could have used your attention in your home state or county.
Please, get involved in your party, unless it is that unbearable, run for office locally, learn the system, support your local liberty guys. we can deffinately make a difference here.
As for me I will be running for State Senate in 2014. I have a good chance this time and I have more support and backing than I thought was possible. In a legislative race here you have to raise around $100,000 just to keep up with the teachers union and "green" special intersts. Wouldnt it be awesome if we had a money bomb for local and state candidates? With the liberty movements fundraising prowess we could be a force to be reconed with. Just a little food for thought.
Thanks for reading!