Saturday, May 19, 2012

Republican National Committeeman Jeff Johnson's Speech at 2012 Minnesota Republican Conference

Jeff Johnson gave an absolutely great speech emphasizing unity and working for common goals and benefits at the 2012 Minnesota Republican State Convention in Saint Cloud on Saturday May 19, 2012.  It is a speech that faces, proclaims, and celebrates the normalcy of the political process, its nature and its workings. If you think this is new, then I suggest you read the articles published (Federalist and Anti-Federalists, crossing between political parties) as our country was striving to form our Constitution, to disabuse yourself of such silly notions.  The managing of "factions" and the true forming of consensus amongst the people of differing thought.  Between the "traditional" and the "Ron Paul" activists there is almost certainly a far higher degree of agreement about core issues than seems evident in the heat of debate of passionate people.  A quote attributed to Ben Franklin makes the perfect summary: "We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately", and our principles will end up on "the ash heap of history".

This speech appeared especially problematic to a writer from the Star Tribune who it would appear added his own emphasis and feeling [or may I say, exaggerations], since the very positive message and tone of this speech was not very evident from that report.
Republican activists and libertarian-leaning Ron Paul supporters have spent two tense days at the state GOP convention wrestling with complex feelings about one another.
In a speech to 2,000 GOP activists,  finally took on what has at times been a seething anger between the two factions.
Seething … really?  I have passionate discussions about these issues almost daily with my Ron Paul friends, and seething anger really seems wholly inappropriate.  Did I mention … they are friends!  And that is really the message from Jeff's speech.

So to really see the wonderful nature of Jeff's speech, here is the video and the real/complete text of it.  The difference of those few words "paraphrased" from those really spoken makes a rather large and profound difference to tone and content.

The complete speech was:

Thanks Pat, and you know Pat kind of covered the substance of the RNC, and I would agree with everything she said. We really have seen a turn around, we're trying to keep our eye's on that, thats part of our job.  Its not just to trust that everything will go well, but to make sure its continuing to go well.  So we will do that.

I want to just talk about something else for a minute or two, because I find it a little ironic that we are the Republican party, and everybody up here, who has spoken, while I've been here at least, has kind of avoided the big old elephant in the room. Which is the tension that we're kind of seeing between the Ron Paul folks and the non-Ron Paul folks.  And I just want to touch on that. And see how many people I can make mad in the next couple of minutes before I run for re-election.  There is a tension, its a real tension.  Its not perceived.  Its what your all talking, its what we're all talking about, its what the Star Tribune writes a story about practically every day. There's a tension there, its real.  But'cha know what, it's not new, and its OK.  We always have tensions in this party [Ed: and anywhere politics exists, be it business, academia, or actual politics], we always have disagreements about what we should be focussing on, and which candidates we should be supporting, or maybe even some serious disagreements about the substance of actual issues.  We always have rules fights.  In fact our rules fight yesterday was one of the mildest I've seen in a while. [laughter] We always have disagreements about who we should endorse for important offices.  And as I look back to past endorsing conventions, yesterdays was probably LESS intense than a lot of them we have seen in the past. So its not new.  But it is real.  And I know that it is really bothering some people, kind of on both sides of that issue. So I want to say something to both the Ron Paul lovers in the room, and the Ron Paul haters in the room. And there's a whole bunch of us, I would argue most of us, are somewhere in between those two groups.  But there's a big chunk from both groups.  So to the Ron Paul lovers in the group, the one's who are here because of Ron Paul, you … [cheers] … wait till you hear what I have to say.  You know what the chatter is.  You know what the talk is.  You know there's a lot of anger. Some of the anger is from people who have been sitting in your seats for twenty or thirty years, doing hard work, and aren't here this year.  Because your here this year instead.  And so you've got to understand that anger, and you've got to appreciate that anger.  And the chatter is, fair or not, I think most of you have heard it, "they don't care about the Republican Party, they're going to lose interest, they're going to disappear, they're going to let someone else do the work, and some of them aren't even going to vote for Republicans".  That's what the chatter is out there.  And it might not be fair, but a lot of people are saying that.  And if that makes you mad, if that perception makes you mad, and I think it should, cause it would make me mad … then make sure it doesn't happen.  Don't disappear, don't let some one else do the work [cheers] don't loose interest. [cheering]  And, let me just add one thing, and I think its fair to say that if we're all part of the Republican Party, then we all need to vote for Republicans in November, period. [cheering, and shouting]  Now … let me make the other half of the room mad at me.  For the Ron Paul haters in the room, and that's a strong term, but its out there.  The folks who really just want to purge the party of the Ron Paul people, the folks that I've heard to say, I've heard say: "why can't it just be like it was 6 or 8 years ago.  My advice to you is …  get over it! [cheers and yells]  I am a ... I'm a strong ... I'm a strong believer in politics, business, whatever it is, that there's no such thing as standing still.  If you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards.  If we don't grow, we die as a party.  [cheers and yells]  And so I … I look at a lot of the new folks that I'm seeing here, the new Ron Paul folks and I see their enthusiasm, I see their passion, I see their ridiculous ability to organize, [hoots] and their work ethic, and I say thank God they're here and we should open, welcome them with our open arms, and we should help them succeed.  Because that's how we are going to grow as a party. [cheers] So… now that I have drawn multiple new opponents to my RNC race in a few hours, let me just finish with this.  I coach youth football, and the theme every year that I have coached to these boys has been the same. And that is "finish the job".  You haven't tackled some one when you have your arms around them, you've tackled them when you've driven them into the ground [Ed: well that analogy ought to get the Strib folks hackles up]  And yesterday, yesterday and today I think we've had a great convention.  I really do.  I think this has been a very positive convention. [cheers] But you know what, the easy part is now done, and now its time for us to finish the job. And we need all of us to finish job.  And I'm confident we can do it because there are two things that every one in this room agrees upon.  And I'd bet my kids college fund that every single solitary alternate and delegate in this room can agree on these two things.  We need to can Barack Obama, and fire Amy Klobuchar. And we need to do it together! [standing ovation, cheering]  Thank you very much.

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