I’m working on a couple of blog posts concerning the controversies that occurred at the 2012 Republican Party of Texas held in Fort Worth last week, but thought I’d report on the oddest event of the week, which happened during the last few minutes of the Convention.
All week a small group of young men and women who claimed to represent college and high school students testified in several subcommittees (including the one I served on, the “Family, Life, and Health” subcommittee) and then at the full Rules and Platform Committees.
For the most part, the group members were super-serious and neatly dressed in suits and skirts or dresses. They all used very much the same language, telling us that we shouldn’t run off all the young people with our platform. They testified that college-aged voters have ‘moved on” and that we were dividing the party by making statements about life, marriage and homosexuality. They also were part of the group that wanted to record videos of all meetings and persuaded the Rules and Platform Committees to allow video and audio recording of our meetings. (I voted for this change, since so many people have the equipment on their phones and we wouldn’t refuse the local TV station if they asked to video tape us for the news.)
One young man, Ian Quisenberry, who calls himself “the Cynical One” on Facebook, appeared to be learning to wear his green suit and to translate his debate club experience to action in the real world. The 18 year-old, soon to be 19 year-old, red-headed delegate testified to the Family, Life and Health Sub-Committee and then to the larger Platform Committee on Wednesday. When encouraged by the Chairman of the Platform Committee and commended for his talent in speaking, Ian explained that he was a new high school graduate, about to turn 19, and heading for college.
During the last few minutes of the very last General Session, Ian twice attempted to get the attention of the Chair, Steve Munisteri by approaching the microphone and hitting the light switch indicating that he had an “interrupting action,” under Robert’s Rules of order. Each time Ian stood at one of the microphones asking to make a motion, Steve explained that there were no motions that would be appropriate, but allowed him to speak the second time.
The boy introduced himself by name and then said, “I’d like to motion for ‘We are legion, expect us,'” before turning to leave the Arena. You can watch the video, here. Ian’s statement is at about 14 minutes in.
That quote is a slogan used by anarchists, most notably the Anonymous group that “hacks” into the websites of its supposed enemies.
Now, I don’t know why these people didn’t spend their time at the Libertarian Convention, held nearby this weekend.They should know that we Republicans are conservatives and we respect laws and facts. We understand that the “egg” ceases to exist when fertilized, just as the sperm does. What exists then is an embryo, an organized organism. We know that “marriage” can’t be redefined for a political fad or social “eugenics.” We grow weary of their implication that the young are are better prepared to lead than the older, wiser, and more experienced. We certainly don’t want a tent big enough to include same sex unions or redefined marriage.
But how disturbing is it that an 18 year old boy would identify with a group whose symbol is an empty suit and whose motto came from the story of demons that committed suicide after Jesus cast them into pigs?
28And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes,e two demon-possessedf men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. 33The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
Many of us suspected that they were Ron Paul supporters, but it appears that at least one identifies with anarchists.
My personal opinion is that his motion at the end was damaging to his cause. I heard the collective groans across the arena. I also want to say that as a young person, I’m disappointed when other young people do things that cause us to lose credibility since young people are often characterized as one big group, as if we’re all the same.
But I do want to clarify that Anonymous is not just a bunch of people who “hack into websites”. Yes, some members of Anonymous do hack into websites, but many, many members know little if anything about cracking and focus primarily on civil rights issues.
Also, as one of “the young”, I think I speak for many of us when I say we don’t think that we’re better qualified than those who are wiser and more experienced. It’s that we don’t believe that age alone makes one wiser and more experienced. We want an honest discussion — even an honest debate — about the facts. Many young are pro-life. Many old are pro-choice. Though with age often comes wisdom and experience, age itself does not make one more or less conservative, more or less wise, or more or less experienced.
We want a voice at the table, even if it’s just to ask for an explanation about why someone older disagrees with us. We don’t have to run the show, but we want to know that our concerns are heard. Unfortunately, young people are marginalized and criticized for our age frequently enough that some choose to go to drastic measures in an effort to get attention.
For all, it’s one man, one vote.
It doesn’t hurt to do your homework and to realize that ther’s a process. This was the first time I’ve been on a committee, in spite of years of work and even attending committee meetings unofficially.
What irritates are the implications that any special group should jump the line, without doing the work and having a history of giving service.
To “lifa” or “synthetic darkness,” I did quite a bit of research. You’re the one making assumptions.