Last weekend I attended the Texas GOP convention. Yep, one of the biggest state arms of the national party. I don’t know what I really expected, but it exceeded everything I imagined. It was educational, inspirational, and fascinating.
**Disclaimer: I am a registered member of the Republican Party of Texas and have been since I was 18. I doubt I will change my status any time soon, much to the dismay of my #NeverTrump allies. I feel an even stronger necessity to be engaged in the party at the state level than I did before, but will continue to vote Independent or Libertarian as I see fit, like I always have.**
I do not feel a strong sense of loyalty or devotion to the national party. I do, however, feel a need for involvement and activism in the political climate on the state front that is best achieved by being involved with the GOP of Texas, along with other organizations and grassroots efforts.
My mom (you’d like her!) got involved in her local precinct and district. She was named an Alternate Delegate to the convention and asked me to go with her as a guest. I am sad to say that for as much as I wax political on Twitter and otherwise, I have never been involved in the manner in which she is now. She pretty much rocks.
So here I was, sitting in on district caucuses, general session speeches, and roaming the exhibition booths. And I loved it.
Let me give you a few of my observations:
The message throughout was solid. Conservative principles. Texas traditions and values. God, family, Texas, country. Not always in that particular order.
The main event was obviously former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Senator, Ted Cruz. Let me take this moment to say that I have always valued Cruz. I have revered his unmatched resume and remarkable understanding of our Constitution. He was not, though Texan, my first or second (maybe even third?) choice for the GOP nominee for a multitude of reasons, but that is neither here nor there. I had never heard him speak in person, but I finally got that chance.
His wife introduced him and she was...impressive. All politicians’ wives should take a solid look at Heidi Cruz and try to match her eloquence, sincerity, and grace. She spoke of their disappointment in the failed campaign, the effect on their family, their gratitude for the American people and our storied democratic tradition. She contended, and I’m paraphrasing, that our government may work in four year segments, but God does not. She and Ted would continue to be “vestibules of God” and His work for this country, despite the upcoming and subsequent elections. She talked of our rights that were not bestowed by a king or otherwise unelected judged on a court. That they would continue to fight for that which is beyond the authority of any man or government.
Yes, we’ve heard it all before, but it really took on life in that room. People cheered and I got goosebumps. Call me cheesy, but her message resonated.
Then came Senator Ted Cruz. The energy in that room of 8,000+ was unlike any I’ve felt, save an ‘N Sync concert when I was 16. He spoke in a way that was so endearing that I couldn’t believe this was the same “preachy” man I’d seen say similar things on TV. It was different. It came across so very genuine and his thanks so heartfelt. This is his home state and constituency, after all, and he expressed deep gratitude for Texans who started it all and helped him on his rise to the candidacy for President. It was electrifying.
I left the convention on Saturday (amidst much drama with districts that took 8 hours to get to the final general floor vote on various pressing matters) and felt invigorated. This is the heart and soul of our process. These are the people that take time and much effort to ensure we continue in our democratic endeavors as a state and a nation. Our republic depends on these incredible citizens. I left with an overwhelming sense of pride.
I am truly honored to be an American and a Texan.
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Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.