RNC Chairs Should Use their Powers to Represent Voters
RNC members should elect RNC chairs who will improve elections by restaffing state legislatures, and who will reform the RNC.
January 24, 2023
For the Republican National Committee chair election at the winter meeting that will run January 25–27, incumbent Ronna McDaniel is being challenged so far by businessman Mike Lindell and attorney Harmeet Dhillon. So far the candidates’ positions suggest that these candidates aren’t appreciating, or aren’t ready to use, this office’s full power and potential to improve our lives by improving our governments.
The root problem with our governments is our current parties. No parties have protections against breaking bad, and consequently all major parties have sooner or later broken bad . Since 1894, both major parties have been selecting for Progressives . Progressive politicians don’t use their constitutional powers against others in government to limit governments and cronies.
The Democratic Party is a lost cause. Such opposition will always be with us. But the Republican Party could attract most voters the same way that each new major party has done at first, by delivering significant gains in freedom.
For the Republican Party to increase freedom, crony money must be overpowered by votes.
One proposal to address this is to choose candidates not using primary elections but using party conventions . Party conventions have more party activists. Since the Republicans are the major party that has the potential to increase freedom, the Republicans’ activists support freedom. Activists are relatively well-informed and are relatively good at vetting politicians on their past actions and potential future actions.
Party committee members have invested a lot of time to get to their positions. This role matters to them, a lot. And their committee positions give them strong leverage. Party committee members are well-positioned to be the most-effective activists. A key way is with their votes for party chairs.
Party chairs are executives, and executives have strong powers . In governments, executives are constitutionally required by their oaths of office to only actions that they themselves consider constitutional . In other organizations, executives are fiduciarily required to only take actions that they themselves consider fiduciarily responsible. Executives have power to manage their organizations. And where executives would like to take different actions but these would require new rules, these executives are well-positioned to strongly recommend and strongly advocate for adopting new rules .
In The Constitution Needs a Good Party, I describe the rules that are needed to make a party not break bad. A party needs a party constitution that enumerates limited powers, separates powers, and provides offsetting powers to enforce its rules. In its constitution and laws, it needs suitable rules—limiting funding, platforms, voting scores, debates, caucuses, caucus scoring, and caucus scheduling. Designed well, a party will sustainably keep representing its grassroots throughout the foreseeable future .
A new party could be designed from the start to be good and to remain good. In contrast, existing parties already feature powerful incumbents. Unless new leaders make fast, extensive changes that create and entrench new incumbents, any slower, smaller changes will be seriously impeded by the past incumbents, and soon the party will revert back to the current dynamics, which are sustained by the current cronies .
RNC members, though, are in an exceptional position, from which they potentially could reform the Republican Party from the inside. Another golden opportunity to do this, an opportunity that’s coming around again in January, is to elect a better RNC chair.
Each RNC chair can recommend and advocate for the entire comprehensive set of rules changes that I detail in The Constitution Needs a Good Party. But these needed future comprehensive changes could be catalyzed by focusing first on a few priority high-leverage changes:
Why would RNC members support only funding pro-liberty candidates, mostly funding state legislative candidates, and weighting members’ votes in direct proportion to the party strength in their states?
Because RNC members are activists, and supporting these changes is their best chance to make a difference. If they support these changes, then pro-liberty candidates will advance regionally. The party as a whole will attract more voters and will win more elections in all regions, including those of every RNC member. And the party’s improved politicians will deliver greatly-improved policy outcomes.
RNC chair candidates—like all government executives—should show their voters in advance that they know how to use their considerable power, and that they’re committed to use this power to produce fast, extensive changes for the better.
James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, publishes rConstitution.us, and has written in Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, American Greatness, Mises Institute, and Foundation for Economic Education. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.