Hudson says: “Stay free my friends” and is there really a better phrase to use in a vital time when the very freedoms on which this country was founded upon are being threatened and diminished each day? Perhaps another great one is “Freedom is Popular” from the Rep. from Texas, Dr. Ron Paul, you need not look further than the crowds of supporters he draws with each appearance, as such it appears Dr. Paul is spot on: Freedom IS Popular! Remember when Ronald Reagan warned us that “Freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction” These men did not create “catch phrases” they envisioned and passed on a vision of what freedom is to us, and allowed us to find it in ourselves to protect those freedoms, for all. The words, and there are many great quotes about freedom, are principles, and principles don’t merely fade away. They aren’t seasonable and should not contain a shelf life. The reason I begin this way today, is because of my experience at the Republican National Convention last week. There was some good, some bad and some ugly times over the course of the condensed 3 day schedule due to the hurricane that fortunately did not hit Florida as anticipated it might. The “Rules Committee” of the RNC proposed, and passed a couple of rules which up until this past convention had been unprecedented in the RNC’s history. One of which will enable Presidential nominees in conjunction with state parties to have to final “say so” in selecting, or rather approving delegates. I believe the terminology used was “dissavow”. As an elected Alternate Delegate, I was chosen by the people of my Congressional District during the district convention in April of 2012. I was happy and proud to have been selected by friends, neighbors and strangers alike. It frightens me to think that the opportunity to serve as a delegate, or alternate could have been taken away in the future, from someone like me; who had never been to a National Convention before, and who held so much pride in our “fair” and “just” process of delegate selection and convention business operations. I am not alone in fearing the rules changes which passed in Tampa could cause, in future elections, an impasse of any Grassroots activists to be engaged in the state and national convention process. How did we go from freedom, to “force” and I utilize “force” metaphorically here, the idea that a delegate will not only be voted in by fellow delegates of their district, or state, but will later be subject to a vetting by presidential candidates? Does this not essentially violate the “We The People” ideal that this country was founded upon? Why should the power be given to the candidate? Also, another portion of the rules changes involved assigning delegates to the presiendial candidate they “run” for or “pledge” for when they initially cast their name into the ring of delegates to be voted in. Delegates will be “bound” and allotted to these candidates based on presidential primary votes. That is the way I understand it. Basically this means no mind changing when the delegates go to the National Convention to do the very important job they were elected to do: Choose the party’s presidential nominee. What would happen for instance, if prior to the National Convention you had a candidate such as Herman Cain, and a scandal (or rumored scandal) broke regarding an extramarital affair, and a delegate then felt it would not be their best moral choice to vote for him, even if they had been “allotted” to him after the primary. What I am saying here, is what direction are we headed here? The GOP is always trying to recruit youth, young voters and volunteers, and rightfully so, they are needed. I for one, was welcomed by my country and state when I initially became involved, they were happy to have me join the team and were always very welcoming, and fair. What I saw on the National level, is not what I feel is fair, nor welcoming. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunities in the GOP I have had, and I feel I have worked hard for them, but still I remain concerned about the future of the party, which seems to be breaking apart into various groups. I am just not sure we were afforded a fair convention, as there were many who stood up against the rules changes and followed the RNC procedural guidelines in order to file a “minority report”. IN pragmatic terms, what becomes of a duly elected group of people who do not have a majority but are in opposition to a move or change initiated by the RNC Rules Committee. I have heard that this minority report was not voted on, although it was properly presented. I was not there so I will not exaggerate this point. This relative information has come to me from trusted resources and fellow delegates I have come to know. Recently, Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin and Rep. Justin Amash have called for an audit of the RNC, and at this time I personally support their dilligence in gaining more information. We, as elected delegates, at the very least could have some concrete answers and a model of transparency. I will leave you with this: Benjamin Franklin said: “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve either one.” So we have “given” the RNC the freedom, but at what cost?