By Phil Orenstein, October 21, 2021
We are witnessing an unprecedented assault on our freedom and way of life as Americans. Vaccine mandates have infringed on our freedom to choose. Our system of fair and honest elections has been corrupted. A small minority of LGBTQ activists can change the rules and the language and impose their will on us all. The Justice Department brands parents speaking out against critical race theory at school board meetings domestic terrorists, while Antifa and BLM commit violence and mayhem with impunity. Refugees from the former Soviet Union and immigrants who fled communism seeking the torch of liberty and justice in America are terrified and losing hope.
How did this happen to our country? We sat back, became spectators, and let it happen. We left a void that was filled by a highly motivated evil minority. We neglected our civic duty as upstanding citizens to give our “consent of the governed” as our founding principle of self-rule proclaims in the Declaration of Independence, that to secure our rights, governments are instituted, “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” But civics education was also missing from our public school curriculum, and our political party leadership suppressed it to keep themselves in power permanently. We excused ourselves, saying politics is not for me, and were too busy with work, family, church, weddings, and golf outings enjoying the fruits of America’s freedom, opportunity, and prosperity to get involved in the political process.
So now, a small minority of progressive leftist Democrats and entrenched bureaucrats control the levers of power and the political process. A few people make the decisions that control our lives. They control everything from the school boards, the media, big tech, academia, community boards, local government, the Board of Elections, to our entire political system. The so-called silent majority allowed this to happen by sitting back. Now the minority rules and they trample the rights of the majority.
But now we must get involved, and fight like it’s 1776, or we won’t have a country left. As the quote from Plato goes: “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” We are the silent majority no more, who now must get involved in our local PTAs, Republican clubs, and civic associations. We need to run for school board, local community boards, run for State and County Committee seats in the Republican Party, and run for public office.
We need to understand and get engaged in the political process that was developed before the founding of the Republican Party itself in 1854. The system was set up by Abraham Lincoln who was involved in local Whig party politics after winning the election to the Illinois state legislature. Lincoln outlined the County Committeeman system to organize and win elections:
“The whole state must be so well organized that every Whig can be brought to the polls. So divide the county into small districts and appoint in each a committee. Make a perfect list of the voters and ascertain with certainty for whom they will vote. Keep a constant watch on the doubtful voters and have them talked to by those in whom they have the most confidence. On Election Day, see that every Whig is brought to the polls.”
This is the same system in place today. In Chicago, it’s the Ward system, in other parts of the country it’s the Precinct Committeeman system, and in New York it’s called the County Committeeman system. It’s the process of self-rule designed to get people involved and to have a say in their local representative governments. It’s the conduit for local community feedback, to give voice to people’s issues and concerns, to run for party and political office, select the best candidates, petition and get on the ballot, and get out the vote. Without the widespread involvement of American citizens, the political system turns into a one-party monopoly that tramples the rights of the majority, and that’s the reality today. But fortunately, it’s changing as we speak! The silent majority has had enough, and finally getting engaged in the political process.
The Republican Party has suffered the same fate, coming under the control of a self-serving establishment minority seeking their own perpetual power and keeping outsiders out. But this is changing as a new patriotic grassroots movement is sweeping through the Republican Party across the country. President Trump warned us instead of creating a third political party, rebuild the Republican Party in your local neighborhoods. Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon echoed the message and convinced Trump supporters across America to take over the GOP “precinct by precinct.” Dan Shultz, Arizona Republican Party activist has for years been spreading the word that the Precinct Committeeman is “the most powerful office in the world” because they elect the leadership of the Republican Party and select talented candidates at the Primary level. They are the political Minutemen of the Republican Party. They are the eyes and ears of the voters in their neighborhoods, and the watchdogs against election fraud at the poll sites. He’s been saying that the “Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy” is the way to “take back the Republican Party and then America at the ballot box,” and implored us “please, if you care about the future of your country, become a precinct committeeman. Now!”
1000’s of Republicans across America are now filling the many vacant Precinct and County Committee seats. Recently it’s been reported that “people are coming out of the woodwork” to run in Florida and other states and now there’s a Red Wave surging way beyond the scale of the Tea Party. Now’s the time for all active Republicans to organize locally, unite politically, and run for County Committee, and on Election Day, see that every Republican is brought to the polls.
Phil Orenstein is the president of the Queens Village Republican Club. Established in 1875, it is America’s oldest Republican Club www.QVGOP.org. Historian, Jerry Matacotta, founder of History Seminar Series at Queensborough Community College and High School American History teacher, was the advisor for this article.