Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Backstabbers – Worse than the O’Jays imagined

At the CD8 Convention I learned very well how back-stabbing and double-tongued politicians can be.  Better said, I met Ted Cruz supporters.  

I do not believe every one of Cruz’s supporters were snakes, but I know without a doubt that most of the Cruz people I met during the District Convention were neither Christian nor Conservative, or knew what it meant to be either.  They were dirty, they were tricksters, and after trying to discuss platforms and issues with Cruz-bots I realized all they wanted to do was bash Donald Trump for his sins.  Over and over again during conversations with Cruz-bots I reminded them that we all sin and we all sin daily.  They would agree with me and kind of hang their heads in shame, but only long enough to catch their breath and bring up Donald Trump’s sins again.  Most of the Cruz supporters I talked to spoke as if Donald Trump was the one sinner Jesus could never forgive.

Hearing how these people spoke brought great sorrow to my soul.  Not because of whom they were bashing, but because of Whom they were belittling, by discrediting Christ’s authority and sovereignty in His redemptive work.  I was ashamed of these people who professed to be my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Minnesota Republicans overwhelmingly voted for Little Marco during the Precinct Caucus (gag me).  Next in line of most votes came Ted Cruz, followed by Donald Trump.  Because of voter’s numbers the Minnesota GOP broke down Delegates and Alternates for the State and National Conventions as one Delegate and Alternate each per Congressional District and per Presidential candidate.   That meant that Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted and Donald Trump would each have at least one Delegate and one Alternate from all eight of Minnesota’s Congressional Districts.  Or that’s the way it was supposed to be.

Giving my speech during the CD8 Convention.

When the convention was over many attendees were shocked hearing that Ted Cruz’s supporters held all three Delegate slots and two of the three Alternate slots.  Cruz supporters had planned and schemed on how they could take-over the election early in the “game.”  During the GOP interviews in McGregor Ted Cruz supporters interviewed to become Lyin’ Ted’s Delegate and Alternate, Little Marco’s Delegate and Alternate, and Donald Trump’s Delegate only – no one interviewed to become Donald Trump’s Alternate other than yours truly.  

Lyin’ Ted’s supporters admitted during their interviews that they were Cruz supporters who would vote for the candidate they ran under on the first ballot only and then switch to Cruz after that – so I give them credit for admitting they were backstabbers from the start.  The backstabbers put a list together telling CD8 attendees who they needed to vote for to keep Donald Trump out of the White House, and left that flier on all the convention chairs.  Like most people I have a fairly good idea how deceptive politicians are.  What surprised me the most was how these people had been scheming long before I had a tiny clue of how deceptive low-rung, grass-roots politics can be. 

When the Congressional District Convention was over the three Delegates and three Alternates were asked to the front to have photos taken.  I stood among people who had weaseled their way into the positions they held and felt disgusted with all of them.  It was then that I learned the elected Donald Trump Delegate had recently switched from being a Democrat to being a Republican – a slap in face to all the hard working, long lived Republicans who ran for that position.  Thinking of all the true Trump supporters who were duped by this Lyin’ Ted supporter I was mad, knowing this dirt-bag would be heading to the Republican National Convention in July, and I would be his Alternate -- the only true Donald Trump supporter in CD8.   
Early Monday morning, less than two days after the convention ended, I decided to search the Internet and find out as much as I possibly could about attending a Republican National Convention.  Did I need to do anything special as an Alternate?  Were their rules about what was going to take place that I had no clue about?  Were there gatherings I needed to be prepared for?  What was expected of me?  What might I be able to volunteer for?  Where could I help?  This was my first trip to that rodeo and I wanted to make sure I stayed on the bull for as long as I could!

Then I saw it.   Paperwork that all Delegates and Alternates needed to complete and turn in "immediately" upon being elected.  It was an affidavit each person needed to sign in order to attend the National Convention along with a form stating they needed to pay their attendance fee the day they were elected.  Needless to say my heart sank.  It was early Monday morning and the convention had been over for one and a half days.  I had not signed an affidavit and I had not paid my fee to attend the National Convention.  Imagining my trip to the National Convention would be cancelled due to paperwork "technicalities," I could hardly catch my breath.

Emails started flying -- mine to anyone and everyone in the Minnesota GOP.  I wanted answers and wanted them now.  By 8:15 an answer came; print out the online affidavit, sign it and stick it in the mail with your check, making sure it gets "here" by tomorrow.  "Here" meant Grand Rapids, another small town in Minnesota.  

I don't know about anyone else, but the mail out of our small town leaves once a day, and if your letter isn't in the bag when it leaves town, it waits until the next business day.  And, the mail coming into our small town comes in once a day, and if your letter isn't in the bag when it comes to town, you won't see it until the next business day -- or later.  So the idea of me getting the letter to our Post Office in time was no big deal.  But the thought that my letter would go from Two Harbors to Duluth, then to St. Paul only to turn around and head north to Grand Rapids and make the trip over night was as likely as Santa Claus making the delivery for me.  

A second email arrived that said they 'Had to have the signed paperwork and payment in Grand Rapids today, because tomorrow they would be in St. Paul to turn in everything from the CD8 Convention, including all Delegate and Alternate paperwork.'  Panic mode set in.  Why had I not been told about this crucial paperwork?  Why when all the Delegates and Alternates stood to have their photos taken after the convention did no one mention filling out your affidavits and submitting your fees?  Why did I not get that information before attending the convention in the first place?  I was not only in panic mode, I was mad.  Were these people seriously trying to keep me from attending the National Convention?  Or were they so unorganized they created upheaval at every turn?  First I was running uncontested, then I was running contested, then I was running uncontested again.  Now I was attending the National Convention, but had God not gotten me out of bed early that Monday morning to research my role at the convention, I would have not known about the affidavit, I would have not known about the required payment, and I would have blindly been booted out of the convention.  Either these people were evil or stupid, and neither choice set well with me.

Although I had a full day of work ahead of me it all fell away.  Doug heard what had happened in hyper speed, and when I finally slowed down enough for my words to make sense I told him I was on my way to Grand Rapids -- a two hour drive one-way -- to drop off my paperwork.  

Two and a half hours later I reached the person who saw me sign the paperwork, and after asking who I needed to write my check to, included a note on the bottom saying it was "[My] payment as Alternate to Republican National Convention" (yes, a lot in a little space!).  Everything seemed good, but just to be sure I asked if there was anything else I needed to do and was told 'No.'

Two weeks later the check I wrote and dropped off that day came back to our house.  It was inside an envelope addressed to Doug, not me.  Included with the check was a letter from the Minnesota GOP saying, 'Thank you for your donation to the Minnesota GOP, but you made your check out to the wrong payee.'  My heart sank.  What in the world is going on?  How can things get so mixed up?  It was made out by me.  It had my signature on it.  It had a note on it saying exactly what it was written out for.  

This time phone calls started flying, but knowing how frustrated I was dealing with "those" people, Doug did the calling for me.  By the time he had talked to many people Doug felt sure all the details were worked out and I would be on my way to the Republican National Convention with no more snags along the way.  

My little piece of being a Donald Trump supporter among Republicans was interesting to say the least.  Watching Donald Trump topple insurmountable obstacles from his own Party everyday I knew -- I would be OK.

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