Reposted as history. Originally posted in May of 2005.ASHEVILLE - The North Carolina Republican Convention held this weekend celebrated the success of the party at the national level. It also celebrated having mostly national officials from North Carolina, with both of our Senators and the majority of our Representatives being Republican. The convention also addressed the disappointments that are the source of future challenges for the North Carolina party. We desire to convert the reality that Republicans get the largest number of votes in our state into a Republican state legislature and Republican Governor that reflects that vote advantage. I was privileged to attend as a delegate from Bertie County.
This convention was more fun than most in large part because of the convention chairman, Bill Miller. Conventions have been known to be derailed by factional fights which the podium leader failed to properly manage. Bill did a great job of balancing the technical needs of getting all the work of the convention done, while keeping it interesting and on schedule. His sense of humor and timing were also great additions.
Bill Miller, Convention Chairman
Political party conventions are always an interesting exercise. From the earliest days of our nation, the founders were surprised at how political parties became major players in government. They should not have been surprised. They created a democratic republic but could not alter the need for a governing coalition to make it work.
Ferrell Blount (on left) Was Re-elected State Chairman Of The North Carolina Republican Party
The question is always, how do you go about putting together a governing coalition? We are a nation with numerous ideas about how to govern. Everybody has one..... on every subject that government touches. Since they are all different opinions however, compromise is a critical part of this. The trick is organizing the compromise. That is where parties have always been effective since it is unrealistic to expect that everybody can negotiate with everyone else.
Convention Floor Is Jammed, While Guest Balcony Is Empty
In most cases the existence of a party is representative of a movement that backs it. Republicans are the conservative party. It is also the reason that every party has to have a platform, to explain the movement. This is the statement not just to the outside world, but to the party members of what they have agreed to in principle. So party conventions are always concerned with what the platform will say.
Richard Burr, Keynote Speaker, Received A Standing Ovation, Both Before And After His Inspiring Speech, This Group Loves Him
Chairmen's Organization Breakfast, With Jim Burgio, Lance Barrett, David Rickard, Kyle Puryear, Bob Pruett, Dale Rankin And Joe Jones
Platforms are no longer a short statement of basic philosophy (such as the 10 commandments) but have evolved over time into fairly specific statements. The North Carolina Republican platform covers family, economic policy, individual liberty, sanctity of life, state government, election laws, education, justice, environment and national policy. Though there were some spirited discussions in getting the platform adopted, the end result seemed to satisfy the delegates who were present. You can read the details of the platform here.
Chairman Joseph Avery Of Johnston County Greeted By DeVan Barbour Upon Arrival Conventions are also a place where movement leaders are asked to motivate the organization. This year we had speeches from two great leaders of our conservative movement, Dr. Mike Adams, a North Carolina college professor who has become a national leader of conservative education and restoring free speech, and Dr. Jerome Corsi, co-author of "Unfit For Command", who is leading a movement to democratize Iran. Mike had the convention stomping and cheering. We also had a great speech from our new Senator, Richard Burr, who really moved the crowd.
Another major issue of interest for the convention was the selection of state party leadership for the future. Two impressive individuals were vying for the top post of State Chairman, Ferrell Blount and Vernon Robinson. The party has two types of people that must be motivated; those who have committed to the party operation, the party activists, and those who vote. The individual who serves as chairman is usually the person who best can balance representing the party philosophy while emphasizing the practical aspects of party operation and management. Ferrell Blount was the winner.
Dr. Mike Adams (on right), Author of "Welcome To The Ivory Tower Of Babel"
There were several other positions that were filled, both at the state party level and in various groups within the party organization.
One Of The Dinners That Are Constant During The Convention, (from left) Duval Smith, Jacqueline Pearlman, Zach Clayton And Delegate From Johnston County
As the convention came to an end, the one thing that was clear was that enthusiasm remained high throughout. Republicans can sense that they are in tune with North Carolina's people, and they believe that things will only get better in the future.
The major impressions I have of the 3 days is a constant swirl of activity; frantic reading of one more document that you are going to have to vote on in a few minutes, climbing the steep hill to the Asheville Civic Center (best exercise I have had in years), rushing to dress for another dinner with another great speech, remembering names of another dozen people met one after the other, trying to get a sense of what the various people you are to vote on are like when you meet them, networking at the hospitality suites and finally, the overwhelming energy that comes from these institutions of American democracy. If you have never been to a party convention, it is your loss. They are amazing.
Spirited Entertainment Kept Enthusiasm High, Here The "Toe Jam Time Cloggers"