“Oy,” I thought, “why did you have to say that!?”
“Oh, wow, what organizations are you involved with?” they asked.
My fear was immediately realized. After fumbling over my tongue for awhile I began to couch my answer with phrases like: “Well, I’m not your typical…”, “If I tell you, just hear me out for a minute…”, “I’m a reformer and my activism is more internal.”
It’s clear; my Republicanism does not stand at the forefront of my identity. Being in Los Angeles (especially as a Black man) saying, “I’m Republican.” is a declaration of war. I might as well say, “I’m a Klansman.” in certain circles. Rand Paul was right, “The Republican brand sucks!”
I went on to explain to my new Leftist friends that I wasn’t a “status-quo Republican” but was part of the “civil liberties wing of the Party”; an outsider working with anyone on the political spectrum where the advance of liberty brought us together. I told them how lacRLC has worked closely with the ACLU against indefinite detention (NDAA 2012) and LAPD drones. I concluded by reassuring them that I often get along with leftist better than many people within the GOP.
After all this, how should I answer the question of why am I a Republican? Honestly, I wouldn’t be a Republican but for the RLC. I like what others have said, that the RLC exists to introduce the Republican platform to the Republican Party. I stand with the platform that supported sound money, civil rights, individual responsibility and freedom of association. The Party that opposed an aggressive foreign policy but stood for the freedoms of citizens here at home; the Republican platform that defended the entrepreneur as well as the disenfranchised. These truly are the rightful positions of the Republican Party and I am proudly working to advance these positions.
But I can’t just look to the past because human understanding of freedom has expanded from age to age. The fight for freedom of the 20th century is not the same fight here today. But how do we take the principles of yesterday’s freedom fighters to defy the tyranny of today? Together with my friends in the lacRLC, I examine the past to carry forward the greater tradition of securing freedom and opportunity for all.
I believe that we are not just “the future of the Republican Party”, the Liberty Caucus and its positions have taken prominent place in the political discourse. The maturation of Ron Paul 2008 sign-waivers has born the fruit of success. We are no longer outsiders but a well organized and sizable force in the political and cultural spheres of the U.S. It’s an exciting time to be a so-called “Liberty Republican”.
My mother raised me with a memorable gem, “You can’t have a mutiny if you ain’t on the ship.” In a nation where two parties comprise the totality of reputable political discourse one has the choice either to ignore or to participate in the system. I have decided to participate so I can have my mutiny (nonviolently, in accord with the nonaggression principle, of course!).
If you are in the Los Angeles area, I encourage you to join us in this endeavor to reclaim the Republican Party for Liberty!