Chairman’s Blog: Prickly Paths

roadrunnerWho knew there were so many types of cactus in the world? I didn’t, but I found that out in Phoenix, Arizona when I had a few minutes to explore the grounds of the hotel that was host to the May 2015 Republican National Committee Spring Meeting. I spotted a “Cactus Garden” which peaked my southern interest.

My limited knowledge of the cactus family is what I recall seeing on the “Coyote and Roadrunner” cartoons as a child – tall, prickly, green two-armed plants that seemed to serve no useful purpose in the world. We live in the home of magnolias, pine trees and azaleas, with no cactus to observe.

I was amazed when I saw dozens of types of cactus that I never knew existed. If it couldn’t get any more interesting, a little roadrunner ran by on the pathway later in the day. (Note: No coyote or falling Acme anvil spotted nor did the roadrunner say “Beep! Beep!” The biggest letdown was that he was not 6 feet tall, which was a total conflict with my childhood cartoon memories.)

Screen-Shot-2013-03-04-at-3.45.27-PM-220x178But it was a lone sign along the cactus garden pathway that really caught my attention when the paths split in two. It simply said “Lower Pathway Easier”. Honestly, my brain immediately said, “Take the easier route!”, but the curious part of me said, “Take the more challenging path and see why it’s more difficult – must be some good things there or it wouldn’t be worth the extra trouble.”

I chose the more difficult path. Yes, the hill was steeper. Yes, it took me longer to walk. Yes, I spent more time in their desert sun. But I didn’t miss out on an opportunity to learn and experience something new.

In the political world, it’s way too easy to take the less traveled path. “Not my problem.” “Let someone else do it.” “I don’t’ understand all of that stuff.” “They’re all alike.” “No one listens to me.” “I’m not giving them any money.” “They don’t’ need my help.” “I just want to be left alone.” “I’m too busy!”

What if our fine men and women in the military thought that way and didn’t sign up to defend our nation? What if good caring citizens didn’t step up to run for office to help direct our nation, state and cities? The “not my problem” syndrome can be contagious if we aren’t cautious and become complacent.

founding fathersThat simple sign in the cactus garden reminded me of the Founding Fathers. What if they used the excuses that many people do now to stay out of our political system? They were willing to have long and loud conversations to form the greatest nation the world has ever witnessed despite having every excuse not to: they traveled by horses, wagons and foot; they hid their families from harm; they were considered traitors to the King of England and would have been jailed or killed if found. It was truly a difficult path to take but they knew liberty and freedom were worth the journey.

Was their process of forming America frustrating? Absolutely. Did they fuss and fight, lose their tempers, storm out of meetings and have major difference of opinions? Sure did. Note the excerpt from the Wall Street Journal called “The Feuding Fathers” by Ron Chernow, June 26, 2010.

Despite their erudition, integrity, and philosophical genius, the founders were fiery men who expressed their beliefs with unusual vehemence. They inhabited a combative world in which the rabble-rousing Thomas Paine, an early admirer of George Washington, could denounce the first president in an open letter as “treacherous in private friendship…and a hypocrite in public life.” Paine even wondered aloud whether Washington was “an apostate or an imposter; whether you have abandoned good principles, or whether you ever had any.”

Such highly charged language shouldn’t surprise us. People who spearhead revolutions tend to be outspoken and courageous, spurred on by a keen taste for combat. After sharpening their verbal skills hurling polemics against the British Crown, the founding generation then directed those energies against each other during the tumultuous first decade of the federal government. The passions of a revolution cannot simply be turned off like a spigot.

cactusGeorge Washington an ‘imposter’? a ‘hypocrite’? ‘treacherous’? Yes, they had their differences but they plowed through them for the betterment of their new country, America.

These brave men took the more challenging paths regardless of the conflicts because the mission was bigger than themselves. They compromised by walking a path of give and take, yet didn’t abandon their core principles or their heart reminders. Along their journey, they formed our nation. We need to remember their trials and challenges as we still struggle to guard, protect and grow America. It’s the least we can do now for what they built for us and generations to come.

In our quest to be examples of good conservative Republicans and to stay engaged in our system of government today, may we always be willing to rise to the occasion of taking the more challenging roads to address our issues and responsibilities. That road is worth the trip even when it’s harder, louder and at times frustrating. We need to travel those roads together by staying involved, sharing our opinions and fighting for what we believe is right. It’s worth the view.

 

TALLADEGA DAYS

It was the summer before the real world started and, the deal was we would get to go, if we cleaned it up, and got it running, Daddy’s old Winnebago and wing and a prayer down 65, five best friends on four bald tires -Eric Church 

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It starts here >>>

Get ready to invade the Talladega Superspeedway as the Alabama Republican Party hosts our “Race to 2016” Summer Luncheon and Executive Committee Meeting on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Purchase tickets and find the schedule information here.

We will release the name of our very special guest speaker soon. Expect a “red” flag day of fellowship and fun before the Executive Committee members open their meeting and get down to the business of the Alabama Republican Party. All guests are welcome to stay after the luncheon and see our organization work together.

We are planning a large silent auction, where proceeds go toward the county parties that participate, along with a “Jelly Bean” presidential poll. As the summer fades, all eyes turn toward qualifying our candidates and pushing our Republican team across the finish line in 2016. More to come.

Note: We have lowered the individual ticket prices for this event, so get yours today. Be GOP fast! Expect another sellout. Available here or by calling our headquarters at 205.212.5900

 

CALLING ALABAMA

CarsonNext up, we have presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson in our series this Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 7:15 pm CST. Haven’t submitted your RSVP? There is still time, click here. We look forward to a wonderful conversation and direct non-filtered communication with another outstanding GOP presidential candidate.

BushWe had a great call with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on May 25. Governor Bush was in Michigan but called into our phone conference with members of the Alabama Republican Party. He shared his vision and answered challenging questions that were submitted by Party members. The national news picked up on the call. We appreciated the time that Governor Bush shared with us.

In case you missed it, listen to the audio here.

 

MARCHing to 2016BillSigning

The Alabama Presidential Primary will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. All candidates will be on the ballot in their respective primaries. With input from both major Parties in our state, Secretary of State John Merrill and his team successfully submitted the legislation to the Alabama Senate and the Alabama House of Representatives. Governor Robert Bentley signed the legislation and another part of our ALGOP history was made. It will be here before you can say “I want a GOP ballot.”

The Alabama Republican Party will set the qualifying open and closing dates for our candidates at the August 22 ALGOPEC meeting.

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Click here to check out the calendar of upcoming County Party meetings.

Thursday, June 25 – “Coffee & Conversation” featuring ALGOP Chairman Lathan
The Greater Birmingham Young Republicans will be hosting a roundtable discussion with Chairman Lathan. They will focus on the Republican Party’s goals for the 2016 election cycle. For more information, click here.

Thursday, June 25 – Calling Alabama featuring Dr. Ben Carson
Join us for our second call in this exciting series. RSVP and submit questions by clicking  here.

Sunday, June 28 – Christianity in America Celebration
Briarwood Christian Church in Birmingham will host Dr. Ben Carson at the end of the month. Find out more information here.

Friday & Saturday, July 24 & 25 – National Federation of Republican Women Meeting
The NRFA will be hosting a weekend of seminars, workshops and speakers in Huntsville. Find out more information here. Register by completing and submitting this form.

Saturday, August 22 – Race to 2016 – ALGOP Summer Luncheon
Join the Alabama Republican Party at the Talladega Superspeedway for our annual Summer Luncheon and Executive Committee Meeting. Our speaker will be announced soon, stay tuned! Tickets and sponsorships are available. Find out more information here.

Tuesday, August 25 – Tuscaloosa County’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner
The Tuscaloosa Republican Party will be hosting Senator Ted Cruz at their annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. Tickets and sponsorships are available. Contact Jim Zeanah at jim@zeanah.com or at 205.345.8753

 

(NOTE: This new series will allow us to recognize and celebrate our Alabama Republican friends’ accomplishments and victories. Please send your suggestions, shout outs and congratulation mentions to megan@algop.org – Pictures are welcomed.)
– Congratulations to Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) for his appointment to the Council of State Governments Justice Center’s Board of Directors. The board is comprised of 18 bipartisan leaders from across the country aimed at reforming and improving our criminal justice system.

– Be on the lookout! Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) filmed an interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. The episode will air this week.

– Congratulations to Will Motlow on being appointed by Governor Bentley to serve as the Probate Judge of Lauderdale County.

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