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The Civil War in Oakland County, Michigan

After being involved in Oakland County Republican politics for nearly 8 years, I have seen a lot. Nothing surprises me. Although I have been quite outspoken, there is a new battle brewing. Unfortunately, this has been growing for quite some time. The Republican civil war is most noticeable in my hometown county of Oakland. Our county has been under stellar Republican leadership for over 40 years and has had one of the greatest county executives in the country, L. Brooks Patterson. However, as Mr. Patterson gets older, the thought of who will be replacing him has come up more. Actually, no it hasn't the County party has been stuck in neutral struggling to find its identity. The reason for so much confusion is that the county like many others has trended more Democratic in recent years and the party has to decide how to win elections. Does it continue to push a very socially conservative view or does it moderate? To make things matter more difficult, the rise of Ron Paul Libertarians have brought a voice (sometimes very loud) to the party. These past few months there has been what can only be described as an all out war between all the different factions.  

At one meeting, a resolution was passed to confirm as an executive board the national party platform. The last time I checked, we are supposed to try and find and grow our party on a county level, with county issues. Our job is to grow the party. The libertarians wanted to pass an asset forfeiture resolution and some other things as well. In the meeting that I have attended the discussions of how to get any and ALL republicans elected has not been discussed. We have become so fractioned that we are incapable of getting anything done!

The civil war rages. The libertarians have lost any control over being respectful and have pushed back and become an unnecessary and uncooperative thorn in the county party. The Conservative end is too rapped up in social issues to care about the moderate end of the county, which we need to win county elections and the moderates (myself included), have give up being nice to the crazies from all spectrums. There are good people in all parts, but all sides need to chill out and shut their mouths for a second.

The national and State parties must heed this warning and understand that Oakland County is a microcosm if Michigan and the United States and not just the Republican Party. As Oakland County goes, the state goes, and the county goes. In a Presidential race, Oakland county determines, republican or democratic presidents. It would be wise for the State Party to realize that while we have not lost Oakland County yet, within a few short years, it will be completely blue and will have everlasting effects on the national race. --Michigan will switch from a shade of purple to deep blue.

What can be done?

We need to stop being one issue voters. As much as we want to say that we view all issues and vote for the best candidate, we don't. In our county, if you don't believe that abortion needs to be stopped, that the federal government is evil, or that we all need to arm ourselves, than I won't vote for you. Let me be clear, I don't give a rats ass what anyone actually believes in their personal lives. However, lets start getting ALL republicans elected. Different cities and areas will elect different republicans. That is ok. On a county level, we need to find leaders. Where are our leaders? Where are the people that are able to bring all sides together and create a strategy to win?

The answer at the moment is, nowhere.