Precinct Committeemen and The Unavoidable Work of a Political Party

This is the third article in a series about running for the political office
of Republican Precinct Committeeman.
 (Read part 1 HERE, and part 2 HERE)

Written by John Biver

Among conservatives there is a great deal of anger with the current Republican Party leadership in Washington, D.C., and in many state capitals. A lot is being written on this topic by commentators this summer because of the popularity of “outsider” candidates running for the GOP presidential nomination.

In many quarters this anger has turned into rage. This discontent with the Republican Party is not new. Countless people have already left the party, many a decade or more ago. It is clear that the level of frustration is growing, and more than ever we hear talk about the heightened civil war within the GOP, as well as the possibility that the Republican Party would cease to exist as a viable political entity.

Sounds like a great time for a series of articles calling for more conservatives to run for the office of Republican Precinct Committeeman, eh?

Let’s do a little intellectual exercise. With a wave of a magic wand the Republican Party no longer exists. That’s right, let’s pretend the GOP is gone. Dead. Off the stage.

Instead, one or more new or existing parties have vied for chance to fill the new gaping hole in the American political scene, and one has arisen. A new, fresh, clean political party is now in place that is without blemish.

Okay, now what will be needed?

A lot of people. Many very good leaders. An effective structure and organization. A great deal of skill on the part of all new party members to get the job done that parties exist to accomplish.

Party chairman will be needed at all the various levels. Central Committee members will be needed. Candidates for government office will need to carry the party’s banner. Oh, and yes, among many other things, precinct committeemen will be needed. Many thousands of them.

Here’s my question to those out there who have left the party or are threatening to. If you’re not a precinct committeeman now, will you be in this new party? Or will you sit on the sideline and declare that you’re going to wait until this new party proves worthy or your support?

Rather than give you my prediction about what most of you will probably do, let me tell you what will happen: all the rejects and failures and idiots and corrupt people that populated the ranks of party activists of the now defunct Republican Party will be looking for a new party home. And guess what. All of the above will fill out the ranks of the new party because conservatives will return to their former habit of treating American politics like a spectator sport rather than what it is — an arena where participation is both a duty and obligation to fulfill as a citizen.

Okay, let’s close out that exercise. Here’s some good news for you that should help to encourage you to stop waiting for a new, pure party to arise. There are thousands of vacancies to be filled right now in the Republican Party. Those vacancies exist at the level of Republican Precinct Committeeman.

Republican News Watch has tracked a couple of election cycles and tallied up just how many open precinct committeeman posts there are — you can find that web page here.

In both 2010 and 2012 roughly half of the spots were open — fifty percent! Let me assure you, the numbers are similar today heading into the 2016 elections.

If the Republican Party died tomorrow I wouldn’t care a lick because the fact is, whether it’s called the Grand Old Party or the Grand New Party, the work still has to get done — and conservatives will still have to engage in sufficient numbers to steer it in the right direction.

The fact that we’re off course now is the same reason a new party could follow suit: Lack of participation by conservatives.

Let’s paraphrase Patton: political parties are run by people who actually go out and do things.

We’re not done here. More next time.

Up next — Part 4: Running for Republican Precinct: What You Need to Know

Read Part 1 HERE.

Read Part 2 HERE.

(This is the third article in a series about running for the political office of Precinct Committeeman. These articles were originally published in 2015.)

John Biver is a Christian, an American citizen from Illinois, and works in the arena of applied political science. He is a writer, activist, and analyst with over twenty-five years of experience in the political arena.  John has worked in politics and government in Washington, D.C., and in Illinois at the state and local level. He is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College, where he studied political science and political philosophy.

His personal website is

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