The resignation of Tina Benkiser from the Republican Party of Texas provides a great opportunity for Texas Republicans to begin to right the ship. While the proper purpose of a political party is to support its grassroots in making its platform a reality, grassroots activists in Texas have become acutely aware that, in many ways, our party has been little more than a vehicle to rubber stamp the actions of leaders and officials obstinately pursuing absolute power and maintenance of the status quo. The departure of both the communications director Hans Klinger and chair Benkiser to work for incumbent candidates who have spent decades making a mockery of the platform only affirms what many already knew: There’s been a growing abyss between the grassroots and the leadership.
The real suspense swirls around the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC). Will the SREC resist the political pressures sure to be applied to choose another special interest leader or will they instead seize the opportunity to begin to rebuild the party by choosing a leader whose loyalty is to the platform and the people?
The Republican Party of Texas is in serious trouble, and more of the same will not save us. Now is the time to elect a fair chair who will promote Republican values and hold candidates and elected officials accountable to their oaths of office, the constitution and the party platform.
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I agree with Medina’s view of Benkiser and “officials obstinately pursuing absolute power and maintenance of the status quo.” But I don’t think that the solution is “a chair who will ‘hold candidates and elected officials accountable to … the party platform.’” You’re just trading one boss for another. The solution is to recruit candidates who know their communities and represent them according to their own best judgment, not according to some ideological litmus test. Representatives should act as trustees of the public interest, not as delegates.