Another shot has been fired in the war between the establishment Republicans in Oklahoma and their libertarian-leaning counterparts.
Last year, the advocates of liberty in Oklahoma County thought that they had won a battle with the election of Cheryl Williams as its GOP Vice-Chair. These activists further thought they were gaining strides when Mrs. Williams appointed many of them to the county executive committee. This is the same executive committee, by the way, that I resigned from in November (see Elephant Off My Back). One of the reasons that I resigned from this committee was because I did not feel like the executive committee was helping to mend the poor relationships between the establishment that have held the positions of powers in the GOP for decades and the libertarian-leaning Republicans.
The fact is that the election of Mrs. Williams was not the major victory for the Republican liberty caucus folks that they thought it would be and that she is just as much a part of the establishment as the liberty-confused state GOP chair himself, Dave Weston.
Why is that? What caused this new rift between the establishment and the libertarians? What shot am I talking about that has been fired?
Former County Executive Committee member, advocate of liberty and economic professor Craig Dawkins was removed from the committee recently by Vice Chair Williams because she did not “tolerate the kind of liberty” he was “pushing.”
Mr. Dawkins recently requested that a resolution be passed by the committee to condemn Governor Mary Fallin for her recent executive orders that banned the use of electronic cigarettes and vapor devices without first seeking approval from the legislature and for her executive order to deny benefits to same-sex couples in the Oklahoma National Guard which clearly violated these service members’ constitutional and civil rights. The resolution simply asked that Governor Fallin withdraw her executive order in regards to the e-cigarettes and that she allow the processing of benefits to all National Guard members.
His request to have this resolution passed resulted in his removal from the county executive committee.
This is a warning to all libertarian-leaning political activists that have chosen to align themselves with the Republican Party here in Oklahoma. If you do not tow the line and stay in lockstep with the establishment, you will be, for lack of a better term, black-balled. If you advocate for things that the establishment does not like, they will get rid of you. They do not want you in their little club if you are not their to grow their party and help advocate their “conservative” ideals. They do not want you if you want to build a libertarian movement within “their” party. They want you to move on and concentrate your libertarian efforts elsewhere. If you are unwilling to work with them, that is, if you are unwilling to submit to their authority and assimilate into their social conservative ideology, you will be asked to leave as Mr. Dawkins was.
I cannot stress this point enough. A statist is statist. You cannot be an advocate of individual liberty and a statist at the same time. It just doesn’t fit. You can not be an advocate of tyrannical authoritarian-style politics and be a libertarian. These ideals are contradictory.
There is a war brewing in the Oklahoma Republican Party and it might be a good time to choose sides.