Let's tip over the Republican pyramid scheme...

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Before making a proposal, a sentence or two on how political parties work. As a registered member of a particular party, you have next to no ability to make a difference at the federal level, even if your party is in control of the House, Senate, and White House. This is because individuals are not created equal in a political party. It's a pyramid scheme of power, and you and I, itty-bitty voters, are at the bottom. We hear grand promises of the benefits we'll receive if we join ourselves to this scheme by giving our vote to the ones above us, but if you are a Republican, the promises never pan out. The recent Republican grandstanding at the hearing with Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, is a perfect example of our political superiors pretending to give us what they promised before they were elected, while doing nothing of the sort. The party has no heart for fighting abortion at the top. 

However, don't dismiss me as a cynic quite yet. In elections at the local level, in your county and city, you have a much bigger influence. And the people at those levels in the pyramid actually have influence with those directly above them, and so on. For the most part, people work their way up from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. The consequences of this fact are diverse, but among the more interesting are these two:

  1. The reason you shouldn't vote for a city dog-catcher who isn't truly pro-life is that he will soon be your state representative.
  2. If we all refuse to vote for Republican dog catchers, soon there won't be any Republican state representatives. In other words, if the bottom of the pyramid pulls out, the whole party is gone in the blink of an eye. 

The first fact is helpful to remember, but the second one is more useful for dealing with establishment types at the top of the party. You see...

we complain that all they care about is protecting their jobs, and that they don't care about abortion. And this is true, but that fact can be used to our advantage. You think I'm about to say that we can vote them out of office, but I'm not. You see, they're used to that threat. They think they have us over the barrel. After all, who else are we going to vote for, a Democrat? In that picture, the worst case scenario to the establishment politician is that the new Senate majority leader becomes the Senate minority leader. Sure, a few Republicans at the top lose their jobs, but the most crafty hang in there and take more of the power at the top of the pyramid for themselves. I propose a new mental image for them to contemplate: No party. No pyramid. No jobs at all for Republicans. 

I don't propose that we vote new people in at the primaries. I propose that we don't vote for any more Republicans, not even for city dog catcher, until the Republicans at the top use the power we've given them to effect real change.

Since voting for Republicans doesn't work, let's try not voting for them. If the city dog-catcher on the Republican ticket calls his party rep and says, "I can't even get my best friend to vote for me because of the stupid idiots in Washington," how long will it take that message to make it to the governor? "Sir, it appears that all elected officials in the state are about to be Democrats. The Republican base has called a strike until they get their demands." The governor's first question will be, "What are their demands?" Half an hour later, he'll be on the phone with the Senate Majority leader. How long would it take you to get the Senate Majority leader on the phone? 

So what would the demand be? At this point, the only thing I can think of that would convince me to vote for another Republican is impeachment proceedings against 5 of the Supreme Court Justices.

Yes, I recognize that this is the equivalent of holding a gun to the head of the party and saying, "Reach for the stars and hand me one." I know there are plenty of objections. Let me try to address some of them.

You really want me to not vote?
No I didn't say that. I just said, don't vote for Republicans. Vote Independent. Vote Constitutional. Write somebody in. Or don't vote. 

But that's throwing away my vote!
Take a penny. Cut it into 45 pieces. Take one of those pieces. That's how much your vote is worth.

But collectively our votes are worth something, aren't they?
Yes, which is why I think we should stop giving them to people who are useless.

But calling the bluff of the party is risky.
Yes, it is. Then again, if you aren't willing to take a risk, why do you expect your representatives to take a risk? I still don't see how voting for somebody who only watches out for their own safety and security will help you.

But your suggestion is all or nothing. Wouldn't it be better to go for something in between?
Something like what? The recent hearing with Cecile Richards? Potentially appointing a new Supreme Court justice or two that aren't terrible? If they won't impeach the ones that are clearly breaking the law, do you really think they'll have the guts to push a good judge through? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Please sir, may I have another?

You are completely powerless if you throw your vote away. 
That depends on how much of the rest of the base I can convince to join me.

You won't really do it. 
On the contrary. I wrote in Mitch Daniels for president in 2012. I would prefer not to have to do that again. If we get this movement off the ground early enough I might not have to in 2016.

Movement? It isn't a movement. It doesn't even have a name.
I'm taking suggestions. Here are a couple possibilities:

  • #Republican't
  • #RightOut
  • #Impeach5toStayAlive
  • #RightOnStrike
  • #onStrikeParty
  • #strikeforthebabies

Joseph and his wife, Heidi, have five children, Tate, Eliza Jane, Moses, Fiona and Annabel. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and Clearnote Pastors College. He is currently planting Christ Church in Cincinnati with several other families.