A CONSERVATIVE CONVENTION (PART II) - DEFINITIONS AND STRUCTURE
Over the past several days I've received a number of emails from people regarding the subject of my previous article (1), in which I advanced the idea of creating a 'Conservative Convention' in the coming year, for the purpose of sending a "wake-up call" to the leaders of the Republican party prior to the 2008 presidential election.
While I expected a more than a few people to respond to my idea, I never thought that so many of my readers would misinterpret the essence of my proposal, and I have only myself to blame for that. Indeed, I was far too vague in my initial presentation to reasonably expect that many of the folks who read it would truly understand what I had in mind when I wrote it.
Most of the people who responded to me about my piece seemed to think that I was chiefly concerned with creating a conservative third-party, since political conventions are traditionally held by formal parties, and their common aim is to nominate presidential candidates.
How I could have deluded myself into thinking that my proposal would be taken in some other way, generally, is a mystery to me... but then, lots of things are a mystery to me, so I've decided to cut myself a little slack and get on with the task of advancing the ball down the field, so to speak.
And so, without further ado, I submit to you the following clarifications and definitions.
The Goal Of The Conservative Convention
The goal of the proposed convention is to promote conservative ideas on a national level, put pressure on our government to stop ignoring the will of America's conservative majority, and provide right-wingers with a launch-pad for taking back the Republican party from the "moderate" elements that are currently eating away at its very core.
It is NOT the goal of the event to form a new political party, nor should it be to attack any particular Republican lawmaker, although fair criticism of certain policies embraced by the Republican party's leadership would certainly not be discouraged.
Instead of each state choosing delegates by means of a primary or caucus system who would then be sent to the convention to support a particular candidate for president, each delegate of the conservative convention would support a bill proposal designed to provide our nation with a realistic conservative solution to one of the various challenges facing it, and those delegates would be chosen based upon the strength of their arguments and the soundness of their logic. Suffice it to say that the state from which each delegate hails would be irrelevant.
Each would-be delegate would submit a written proposal concerning a specific issue to the convention's administrative panel (see definition below) and the two best proposals on each of the eight topics of consideration (see list of bill proposal topics below) would be selected for debate at the convention.
Every accepted pair of proposals would be debated between spokesmen for each side, and afterward they would be voted upon by the entire assemblage on the convention floor.
Once a proposal has been voted on and sanctioned by the majority of conventioneers, the administrative panel would be charged with submitting it in the form of a bill to Congress in the months that follow.
The Administrative Panel
The convention's administrative panel would be composed of seven (seems like a good number to me) of the most well respected and experienced conservative political activists/speakers/writers we can find who would be willing to volunteer their time to this endeavor. While these men and women would, of course, be prohibited from submitting their own bill proposals for consideration by their fellow panelists, they would, however, be permitted to address the assemblage at some point prior to the floor votes, and promote up to three of the proposals accepted by the panel.
Bill Proposal Topics (tentative list)
Immigration & Border Security
Federal Tax Structure
U.S. Energy & Environmental Policy
Balanced Trade Agreements
Other Aspects Of The Itinerary
Aside from debating and voting on various bill proposals, I believe that a certain amount of time should be set aside at the convention to show support for America's military troops overseas, and that any conventioneer who is currently serving in any branch of the service should be permitted to address the assemblage on any matter they choose.
In my previous article on this topic I listed several key issues to be considered at the convention. Among them were the following:
Judicial Activism And The Supreme Court
The Threat Of Terrorism And Nuclear Rogue Nations
The American Left's Assault On Christianity
International Free Trade Agreements And America's Manufacturing Base
The Plague Of Political Correctness
Harnessing Government Spending And Regulation
Overturning Roe V. Wade
Although they may not be among the subjects considered for formal bill proposals at the convention (since the number of subjects must be limited, due to time constraints) I believe that the above topics are of vital importance to conservatives across the United States, and should be addressed by as many prominent speakers as the event will draw.
Furthermore, like any convention, this one requires a keynote speaker, one who embodies the spirit of modern day American conservatism, and who is capable of generating considerable media coverage. Of the several possibilities I've considered thus far, the leading candidates for this important role are (at least in my mind) author/former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (2), author/social activist David Horowitz (3), author/former presidential candidate/former UN Ambassador Alan Keyes (4), author/legal correspondent Ann Coulter (5), and author/constitutional scholar/radio host Mark Levin (6). Of course, I welcome any suggestions that my readers might have on this matter.
As far as other speakers are concerned, I think it would be a good idea to have representatives from several right-wing activist groups such as the Christian Coalition, Citizens Against Government Waste, and the National Rifle Association address the convention on the topics of their respective specialities.
Location And Date
While no particular date has been chosen for the commencement of the convention, it has been suggested that a day in early autumn of 2007 would be a good time to hold it. As for the location, it is my considered opinion that a medium sized city in the mid-west like Kansas City, Missouri or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma should be considered, because such a place would afford people from both the west and east coasts relatively equal travel time to the event.
In closing, I want those of you reading this article to keep in mind that nothing written above is etched in stone, and that I encourage anyone who wishes to be involved in this project, at any level, to share their ideas with me. I'm sure there are a lot of red-staters out there with innovative minds who have opinions on the matter, so don't hesitate to drop me a line at your earliest convenience at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Edward Daley was born to American parents on a U.S. military base in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada, and moved to the United States as an infant. He became active in politics in 1984, the first year he was old enough to vote for the President of the United States. He is currently a political op-ed columnist for upwards of 38 on-line conservative journals and magazines, and a landlord of rental property. Edward has been a salesman, bar doorman, typesetter, and security guard. He is a college graduate with a number of hobbies and interests, including reading, writing poetry and short stories, web designing, watching professional football, and drinking 12-year-old single malt scotch.