My Declaration of Independence from the Republican Party | Jen Kuznicki

I got involved in the Michigan Republican Party in November 2008, right after Obama was elected.  Having identified with the Republican Party my entire life, I wanted to find out why we nominated John McCain and why our side seemed to not be able to tell the truth about the man who is now our president.

I must step down as chair of my beloved Presque Isle County Republican Party, but not because anyone has asked me to, nor because I do not like the Republicans in my locale.  I have to step down to be able to continue to speak the truth.

The leadership of the party, paranoid about the insurgent tea party, have changed national rules to shorten the presidential primary process, a key to moving an establishment pick forward with less time for conservative contenders to mount a decent primary challenge.  The primary challenge is what Reagan used to create a choice for those who believe the establishment pick was not at all what the country needed.  The primary challenge is what the tea party uses in races big and small, and certain moves by the state and national party have desecrated that avenue, and it needs to be addressed.

For instance, as I mentioned, shortening the primaries is the opposite of what you would do if you wanted a robust debate on where the party is headed, and how current officeholders are reneging on their election promises.  It is a top-down authoritarian action by a party increasingly becoming as intolerant and controlling as its supposed counter-part, the American Left. The other thing the party has done to desecrate the primary process, is put paid members of incumbent Congressmen in district chair positions, like here in the First District, namely Jesse Osmer.

Jesse is being paid quite nicely by Congressmen Benishek, so, actually, he’s getting paid by us, since the Congressmen draws a check from us.  I was very helpful in the installing of Benishek in office in 2010, and if I had my way, I’d take it all back.  Benishek has gone back on every campaign promise he ran on, even the one where he promised only to be in office for two terms.  There is speculation he changed his tune to wanting three terms because his pension would vest after 5 years of service, which he would be eligible to draw in 2016, if he is re-elected.  Now, I can hear the screaming of every member of the Republican Party, asking me why I’m trying to help the Democrat.  I am not, I’m simply telling the truth, and that is why I can’t be in the party anymore.

But I do not believe Jesse should be chairing the district either, because the information I and others have on his boss would be useful to a primary challenger, and Jesse’s job is to protect the incumbency of Benishek.  If Jesse was not employed by Dan, he would have to take a neutral position on any primary challenges, and as you can see, he cannot do so.  He is in charge of the message of all the county parties in the First District, and since he is, and since he works for the Congressman, a primary challenger has little chance, which is why they set it up that way.  These types of moves by establishment types prove they are not confident they can win on the field of ideas.

Not only that, but Jesse destroyed the Alpena County Party by his strong-arm tactics there, criticizing people who would use the primary to draw a contrast between conservatives and moderates, and bragging that he was able to commit far-leftists to vote Republican when those lines are not drawn.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want far-leftists to vote Republican if they are coming to us because we show ourselves to be leftists like them.  We don’t want them to come to us on their terms, we want people to come to us on ours, the principles of limited government, a civil society, strong national defense, family, and honor.  But if people like Jesse have their way, more fine lines and leftism will continue seep into our direction as a party.

The American Left has a completely different idea of governance.  They want to control the people, not allow them to control themselves, and that should be a key difference between us and them.

Jesse and others are doing some destroying in the district now as well, whether it is his idea or his Congressman boss’ idea, by using tactics to silence conservative insurgency, clearly trying to have every conservative purged from the state committee, and the district executive committee.  I am sure if they could find a way to remove me as chair, after my criticism of Snyder and Calley, Benishek, Camp, Miller, Upton,(my gosh is Upton terrible) Casperson, Walker, Foster, (he’s another one that’s gotta go) Pscholka, Bolger, and the rest, they would have by now as well.  But the party’s problem is that there are few who even understand how many of their own policies hurt everybody because their policies head us all in the same direction as the Democrats, just a tad slower.

It comes down to a simple truth.  Either the Republican Party remains a home to conservatism, or it doesn’t.  And if it doesn’t, it will never be a viable party again.

In my view, and after last weekend’s State Committee meeting I clearly could see I was right, that there will be no coalition-building going on in the Michigan Republican Party.  Jesse, after a cordial relationship these past many years, would not even look at me, deliberately avoiding me for daring to put up a conservative to fill a district executive position.  That sort of childish behavior is easy for a mother to spot.  This is not how we build coalitions.  A person in such a position shouldn’t play favorites, and ostracize.

The Republican Party as a whole has a difficulty fighting for principle and a difficulty telling the truth.  If they did both, they would operate from a position of strength and that would invigorate the party and attract newcomers.  As it stands, the platform is being ignored and the testing has commenced to do away with key principles within it.

Rick Snyder is singing Hillary Clinton’s song on government-run healthcare.  He is awful.  I couldn’t support him after Medicaid expansion.  But now all the Republican leaders and cheerleaders say that I must or I can’t be a Republican.  I think differently. I don’t support him because his policies are dubious as Republican policy, they are more like Democratic policy, and when a Republican acts like a Democrat, they lose conservative support.  If Rick didn’t want to lose conservative support, he wouldn’t have strong-armed legislators to vote his way, heck, he wouldn’t have entertained the thought in the first place.

Not to mention the fact that Rick isn’t strong on pro-life matters, which is why the grassroots of his own Republican Party had to scramble to get enough signatures last summer to do what he should have done if he wanted this party to unite.

So I’m not so sure he cares if people like me don’t support him, and that’s a problem for the party going forward.

I’m leaving my positions in the party to be able to speak the truth, but I would be back if this party openly welcomes the tea party or constitutional conservatives, and embraces the policies of limited government.  I applaud all of the conservatives suffering in their positions now, and hope their involvement will turn the party toward a more conservative path.

I have not stopped being a Republican, I’ve stopped voluntarily promoting the Michigan Republican Party.

I feel it is important to make this point.  When Reagan ran against an incumbent in ’76, and the establishment in ’80, he too was ostracized and treated very poorly.  They withheld matching funds, they played little games all through both battles, but in the end, Reagan’s conservatism resonated with the American people with two landslides in ’80 and ’84.  When Reagan picked George Bush, an establishment Republican who was not a conservative, and mistook conservatism for being mean-spirited, the same tripe heard from liberals of both parties today, it was seen as a very bad day for the future of conservatism, but needed to unite the party.

Since then, the Bush family, has continued in the leftward lurch of this party, continuously refusing to draw lines where they should be drawn.  G.W. Bush was quoted as saying that there is no “conservative movement” because he “whooped Gary Bauer’s ass” in his ride to the top.  Since G.H.W. Bush, and the influence of people like Karl Rove, this party has gone so far left, that we actually have GOP Senators who stand for corrupting the 2nd Amendment, and the whole of the establishment wanting amnesty for illegals.  We have Bush acolytes in Washington DC declaring that limited government is an impossibility and are embracing the massive expansions of FDR and LBJ even as these programs and policies are consistently described as unsustainable.  A few years from now, they too will accept all of BHO’s tripe as “the new direction” of politics they will happily try to build a political home within. Too many don’t understand the problems with Common Core, or central planning or the liberty extinguishing government/private partnerships.  Reagan knew we needed to get back to our constitution and our nation’s founding form of limited government, and the fastest route there is to decrease the size and scope of the federal government, and give the power back to the people. Too many forget he wanted to abolish the Department of Education, and because he had Republican “rabbits” instead of conservative “tigers,” he couldn’t get it accomplished.

The party has been under the control of the “Bushies” for far too long, and it is why there is such unrest.  The top-down authoritarian nature of those in control of the party is foreign to the liberty-lovers within it.  The power should come from the grassroots and move up, since it is the people who represent the party in each city and village, who know the folks, and who can reach out to them better than the one-size-fits-all power being consolidated in Washington DC, and distributed downward.

The tea party represents the Reagan coalition of disaffected conservative Republicans, conservative Democrats, Libertarians and constitutionalists– they are well-informed and frustrated with the Republican Party for their refusal to fight the far-left who now control the Democratic Party.  The Republican Party today, instead of representing one philosophy to all people, as conservatism well articulated does, are looking at the differences between us, whether race, gender, or ethnicity, and trying to give us some piece of the pie.  They are too busy mimicking the Democratic Party to realize that the winning philosophy stands in sharp contrast instead.

Bring on the primaries.


30 Responses to My Declaration of Independence from the Republican Party

  1. says:

    […] Read more.. […]

  2. MaggieMae says:

    I admire you for your courage, Jen. It couldn't have been easy to do what you just did or write what you just wrote.

    • Jen Kuznicki says:

      No, it isn’t Maggie, thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness.

    • PhilC says:

      I could not have written down my thoughts any better Jen. I too have become VERY disenchanted with the Republican party. Recently I voiced my opinion on Facebook to our local Republican group and was met with suspicion and degradation . They thought I was some kind of operative from the other side. The establishment Republican party is no better than the democrats. Politics as usual does not work for me but they are stinking to their tried and true colors and of course the MONEY that follows.

  3. Jennifer Lawson says:

    You always put into words what my mind/heart knows is the truth. Thank you!
    Love how you're able to put, on paper, the workings and the truth about what the
    Republicans have done—–all to their demise, and maybe our way of life. :(

  4. says:

    The Michigan Republican Party lost a good conservative this morning,…I hope Jen's honesty and clear messaged is heard and the necessary changes take place, as soon as possible!!!

    We cannot afford to loose ANY member and volunteer, let alone a solid conservative county chair like Jen!!!

    Randy Bishop – Chairman
    Antrim County Republican Party

  5. polly940 says:

    Agree with you 100% Jen.. The E-GOP (Establishment Republicans) refuse to recognize the huge underswelling of Conservatives that are taking the same position that you so eloquently expressed in this article.

    I made a similiar evaluation of the Oakland GOP party as you and came to the same decision – that I could not support Snyder or any one with a "yes" vote on Medicaid expansion and Common Core. No way could a true Conservative even consider voting "yes" on these critical issues. Snyder should have been a forefront leader in the states fighting Obamacare.

    Karl Rove and the rest of the E-GOP can huff and puff but they're not going to blow down true Conservatives. The 2014 primaries and elections are upcoming battles. And if we Conservatives don't win them – we keep fighting. We will never shut up and we will never go away.

  6. tom says:

    An obvious example of what I told Preibus in my one and only e-mail and contribution to the RNC…"WE ARE your conservative base, use us…or lose us."…

    Apparently, they feel they can win elections without us. On the other hand, quitting the party limits our voice from within it, which is their ultimate objective…silence…

  7. Linda Birgel says:

    Yes, we have problems. Yes, we have 2 divided groups. Both claim to be Republican. Reminds me of the story of two little boys standing toe to toe pulling on an apple, both saying it is theirs. The apple rotted, neither side got any. Think what would have happend if both had said, Oh, let's share it. IF we don't find a way to get along and realize neither siad can have it their way, we won't have anyone except people like Obama, Hillary/ Come – we have to work together on the points we both agree on. After we have some power, we wan work out the best wayws to go. No one is ever completely right or wrong. I have been at this for almost 60 years. This is not the first time we have had factions in the party. We worked it out, and we were better for it. Let's work together to elect Terri Lynn Land and a new Republican President.. Every Republican we have is better than any Democrat.. Linda Birgel, Chair Gladwin County Republicans

    • Jen Kuznicki says:

      Thank you Linda for your thoughtful post. There is too much control of the apple on one side to believe it will be given up, sadly. But I agree with you, and will still work to elect Terri Lynn Land. As I have said, I’m not stopping being a Republican, I’ve stopped voluntarily promoting the Republican Party.

    • David Zimmerman says:

      If you have been at this for 60 years, you witnessed the assault of the GOPe on Goldwater and Reagan. You have the "can't we all just get along" approach. It's past that time. The GOP as you know it has abandoned publically any effort to reign in our behemoth government. The forces that want to do so are being attacked by the establishment GOP. We need that American Can-do spirit harnessed and focused on doing the right thing. Your approach won't do either.

      • Jen Kuznicki says:

        Thank you for you comments. My post as a leader in the Republican Party of Michigan is all I’m stepping down from. I’m not changing my affiliation as a Republican.

  8. Craig Shirley says:

    Jen Kuznicki is a national treasure. Too bad we didn't have a 1,000 more like her but thank God we at least have Jen.


    Craig Shirley

  9. Bob says:

    —"I must step down as chair of my beloved Presque Isle County Republican Party, but not because anyone has asked me to, nor because I do not like the Republicans in my locale. I have to step down to be able to continue to speak the truth."

    How do you relate that claim with the fact others, even more outspoken such as Dave Agema or Doug Sedenquist aren't stepping down? I

  10. Jessie N. says:

    Jen said just about everything I've been thinking about for a long time. Currently, our MIGOP is no different than the MI Democrat party. The Grand Traverse County Republicans are a fine example of a party gone bad since it is being lead by a small group of individuals who want your money and votes but not your voice. This needs to stop.

  11. Brenda Savage says:

    We have not met Jen, but I am so pleased to see that you are able to clearly articulate the need for issue identification. This is not about individual people, this is about values we must correctly identify and strongly represent. You are masterful in this aspect. I have shared the article on my wall and have encouraged more to do the same. Please continue to work for what you know to be right. We are in great need of strong individuals like you. Thank you and God bless you today and always. Brenda Savage

  12. Kauf Buch says:

    Dear Jen,
    you espouse what I've felt for a long time.
    Sorry if my question was answered in your article and I missed it…but:
    Since you (bless you) – unlike me – made the effort to join and take part in the direct operations of the Republican Party AND HAVE NEVERTHELESS DECIDED TO QUIT….I *need* to ask you:

    …to all those who say, "you gotta work within the Party", why THAT IS A CROCK.

    MIND YOU: in 2014, I intend to vote Republican MOSTLY to keep the House of Representatives out of the hands of the Dems as long as Obama is in office. But that's the LAST TIME. In 2016, after Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain, Romney…NO Christie or Bush III for me, thank you.

    What say you, please?

    • Jen Kuznicki says:

      Some people can. I can’t.

      • Kauf Buch says:

        Yes, sorry if my writing was obtuse or incomplete.
        My question is: WHY can't you?

        (for myself, I tried between 2008 and 2012, and found myself drowned out by the middle-of-the-road as well as by the ariistocratic Republicans…leading to a frustration which said: WHY BOTHER?! Hence, for me: A NEW PARTY, PLEASE!)

        Thanks, and sorry I wasn't more clear before.

  13. Tom Biggs says:

    Jen, Help me understand. Why can't you speak the truth as the chair of a county party? It seems to me that a voice like yours is what we need in the GOP (I think you'd agree?). Didn't the 1st District elect Jesse? I wasn't aware of his being placed there. I don't understand your comment about Jesse not being fit to be chair because of information you have on Benishek that would be helpful to a primary challenger and presumably a Democrat opponent. Has Jesse prevented someone from running against Benishek in a primary? I had not heard of anyone. Who is he trying to purge from the state committee? I'm not saying you're wrong I just don't know if you're right. Maybe you can give me some specifics so I'll have a better understanding of where you're coming from. I am getting a bit tired of all the bickering in the GOP. I have tried to work hard for GOP candidates in my county and that's about all I can do. We have been blessed with one of the best, Ray Franz. But believe me I will have a very hard time trying to convince someone to vote for Snyder. I agree with everything you've said about the national GOP and its shift to the left. I feel for now it's the only political home I have and I'll continue to try change it from the inside for the better.

  14. EL HOARD says:

    Thank you Jen for your insight, honesty, and intestinal fortitude in both actions and words regarding the Republican Party. I too have gone another direction in hooves of voting out the left and left leaning socialists.

  15. task says:

    The only relationship that seems to persist despite irreconcilable differences is between parents and their children. When we are disappointed by friends, business associates, marriage partners, relatives, religious affiliates and politicians the disgust and animus is insurmountable… and it often should be that way.

    I could have predicted that Benishek had about a 30-40% chance of living up to his campaign promises. If a politician does not understand and preach the Constitution day in and day out but only concentrates on what is wrong with his opponents it is likely that he and the system will eventually become indistinguishable. That is because the system represents a tribal mentality, a pecking order and power structure that has inertia which consume anyone that is not sure footed.

    I often beat to a different drum because philosophy takes precedent over friendship and remuneration. Politics, in particular, requires significant emotional stamina because the stakes are so relevant as to how we, our families, friends and fellow countrymen and women live and prosper. It would be nice if our representatives and leaders could be trusted to perform within constitutional parameters but they don’t hence that is why we think the way we do and do what we do.

    When you become part of a political machine that is not working as it should expect no less than your experience. From personal experience I can state that if you are a disobedient democrat that party would attempt to ruin your career and destroy your business. And they would not stop there. Your family and friends would be treated the same way.They defeat and destroy their political opponents similarly. Always define your argument within a constitutional framework; that is where the opposition slips and falls.

    Eric Hoffer said something regarding revolutions that is applicable here. People don’t revolt unless victory is within their grasp. The mainstay guardians of establishment institutionalized politics feel the threat and they are not leaving without a royal battle.

  16. BearNJ says:

    Good for you Jen. The only reason I stay a Republican is I live in a closed primary state. I want to have reason to vote in the general. I actually have a good congressman in Scott Garrett. Its amazing to have a real conservative Congressman in NJ.

  17. pete says:

    wow. thanks for having awesome STONES

    have been calling the dude barack mugabe since june 2008

    also on the lookout for ever-increasing property taxes to put American Citizens OUT OF THEIR HOMES and OFF OF THEIR PROPERTY.
    Who paid the bulk of the bills for this country for the last 60, 70, 80, 90 years???
    Already, $2,000,000,000,000 has been spent on free healthcare and free education for the illegal alien invaders in the last 25 years… for CONTINUED WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION, the 'newmuricans' just might get major incentives to move into YOUR former home.

    "Everybody knows it makes no sense to have all those places (houses) sittin empty!"
    [ if it's white peoples property, it's not a home, it's just thing ]

    #DocZhivago #CompassionateConservatism

    Thanks for all the work you did – hope you can find another area to use your talents

    obtw – in case you're unaware, the Great One, Mark Levin, does a fantastic job in his nightly excoriation of the "French republicans"

    DOT com

    his last show streams 24 hrs – all. the. time.

  18. priscilla940 says:

    I posted the following; Jen, I believe, your views mirror those of many within the Michigan Republican Party. While having dinner, after attending the Michigan State GOP Committee Meeting last weekend, Hank Fuhs, secretary of the state party came over to our table and asked to join us. Initially, I was not aware of Mr. Fuhs position within the party, as I expressed my view that the party is leaving me, as it becomes so like the Democrat Party, that there is little difference between them. I also told him that as a result of Governor Snyder's support for Medicaid Expansion, which opened the door to Obamacare, his bridge mandate, and repeal of the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Rebate, I am hearing from many people who believe, Snyder is in fact, a Democrat! I told Mr. Fuhs that in the party's effort to become all inclusive, it was alienating Christian Conservatives and the Tea Party. When he asked me, what these voters would do, vote Democratic? I replied, "they will either stay home on election day, or vote third party and the Democrats will win!"

  19. David Bartilson says:

    Congratulations Jen on articulating my feelings and all the others that I've worn out my 'like' button on! I'm in Oakland County and I don't know if it's as bad as you've experienced but it's obvious to me that the top down mentality if active here…not the bottom up. They don't want much to do with we tea party patriots. Good luck in your future endeavors!

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