Impolite Company: A New Year, A New Opportunity
Welcome to a New Year, and another Presidential Election Year! I hope that you and your family, and loved ones had a wonderful Christmas, and brought in this New Year of 2024 in with all the vigor and excitement that we have come to expect here in Texas! Speaking of fireworks, we should expect an explosive year in the political realm going forward. Many Americans have become disillusioned with politics, particularly National and Presidential politics. However, instead of slinking away, or merely complaining about the process, I would challenge you to get involved in the process instead. In this month’s column of Impolite Company, we shall discuss how you can become involved in the political process without running for political office.
Your first and greatest opportunity comes on March 5th here in Texas, for that is the date of the Primary Elections. The Primary Election is conducted by local County Elections in all 254 Counties across the Lone Star State. Texas runs an open primary, meaning that you don’t have “belong” to a political party as a registered Republican or Democrat (or any other Party) to vote in the Primary. When you show up to your voting precinct (you can check your voter registration as well as where to vote at https://elections.mctx.org/vrlookup.asp?curLang=English) you will be asked what Primary Election that you wish to take part in. You will then be given instructions on how to vote if needed. Now, this is the bare minimum that each citizen should do. If you have not registered to vote, your deadline is February 5th, and you will not be able to vote if you have not registered by the deadline.
Assuming that you have registered, and you do vote on March 5th, then congratulations, you have done the bare minimum! While this is completely acceptable, there are more options for you after that! Once the polls close on March 5th, immediately following the end of voting there will be a Precinct Convention held at the place that you just voted. It will (or should) be run by your local Precinct Chair. If for some reason, your Precinct Chair is not present, then anyone can run the Precinct Convention, all you must do is run the meeting using Robert’s Rules of Order and fill out the paperwork afterwards. Poll workers may offer to assist in this process if needed. If you are unable to find anyone to help in this situation, the instructions can be found here. (https://texasgop.org/precinct-conventions/)
The Precinct Convention allows delegates to offer resolutions at the to be forwarded up all the way to the Republican National Convention. This is where it all starts, and anyone who voted in the Republican Party Primary is eligible to attend their Precinct Convention. In addition to voting on resolutions, the Precinct Convention also elects delegates to go on and serve at the County/Senatorial District Convention. Many of the 254 Counties here in Texas are all contained in a Senatorial District, however, here in Montgomery County, we have three, so we hold Senatorial District Conventions. If you are selected as a delegate to this body, you will serve to represent your Precinct at your Senatorial District Convention. It is very similar to the Precinct Convention, except the body will be made up of delegates from the Precincts within your Senatorial District.
The Senatorial District Convention will establish Rules for the Convention, as well as consolidate all the Resolutions that were voted on at the Precinct Convention. For example, there might be ten different Resolutions on School Choice. The Resolutions Committee will take all ten Resolutions and draft a single Resolution that incorporates all the Resolutions on School Choice. Additionally at the Senatorial District Convention, delegates will be elected to go and serve at the Republican Party of Texas State Convention, which will be held on May 24th-25th in San Antonio. The State Convention will follow the same process that the Precinct Convention and Senatorial District Convention did. Rules will be established, Resolutions will be unified and consolidated from all the County and Senatorial District Conventions, those Resolutions will then be voted on by 8,000-10,000 delegates from across the Lone Star State.
At the State Convention however, a couple of different and interesting things will occur. The Legislative Priorities will be voted upon and established, which will instruct our State Legislators on how to vote and what political issues should be prioritized. The State Party Platform will be argued and established that will remain in effect for the next two years, and the RPT Rules will likewise be established that will govern the Party for the next two years. Delegates will likewise be elected out the State Convention to go on to serve as delegates to the Republican National Convention, which will be held between July 15th-18th in Milwaukee, WI. Finally, the Presidential Electors who will cast their votes in the Electoral College (assuming that Texas Stays Red… don’t worry, it will!) will be elected by the delegates at the State Convention.
Delegates who are elected to the RNC will have to travel to Milwaukee, where they will essentially go through this whole process one last time. They will establish rules, vote on the GOP Platform, create new legislative priorities for the National Party, and elect the candidate that will run for the general election in November. After the election in November, the results will inform the States on what slate of Electors will vote at their respective State Capitals. This vote will happen in December of 2024, and the results of that vote will be certified and sent to Congress to be read in January of 2025. Vice President Kamala Harris will open the certified copies of the results of the Electoral College and read them aloud. If a Presidential Candidate receives at least 270 Electoral Votes, then they will be elected President. If however no candidate is elected by this method, the House of Representatives will elect the next President by State delegation (however many congressmen a State has, they will cast one vote within the State delegation, and the majority vote goes for either the Republican or Democrat).
In this scenario, the Republican Candidate for President would likely win, however, the Senate votes (one Senator gets a single vote) for Vice President, and in this scenario, the Democratic candidate for Vice President would be elected. So, if this were to play out with the polls where they are currently, Donald Trump would be elected President, and Kamala Harris would serve as his Vice President! While this is fun to think about, it is unlikely to play out this way, but that is the Constitutional process in such an event.
So, there you have it! The challenge for you to get involved. It is understandable if you cannot make it to the RNC, or even the State Convention. The expenses are on you, the hotel, gas, food, and air fare, as well as the ticket cost to go to the conventions, all of it is on you. Yet, it costs essentially nothing at all to go to the Precinct Convention, or even to the Senatorial District Convention. Nothing except your time that is. Our argument here at Impolite Company is that the political process is worth your time. This is your State, and your Federal Government. Take ownership of it. Get involved instead of just complaining about the way things are going. You would be surprised how easy it is to get plugged in.