LIBERTY TREE precinct project

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The original Liberty Tree was a Grand Elm that stood in Boston, Massachusetts prior to the American Revolution. From its branches, ten years before formal declaration of hostilities, American patriots hung an effigy of Andrew Oliver, a colonist chosen to impose the Stamp Act by King George the III. With this courageously defiant act, America was born.

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The tree immediately became the symbol and rallying point for American resistance. A period of building violence from both sides of this conflict ensued under the canopy of this great tree, culminating in the British felling the tree in an attempt to demoralize the American colonists. It was probably this very elm Jefferson had in mind when he said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Astute observers may have noticed that we have chosen the olive, instead of the Elm, as our symbolic Liberty Tree. The olive tree is hearty.  She can be denuded of her branches, dug up and hauled to unfamiliar lands and will, if planted with care, still flower and bear fruit. Her branches symbolize peace. These trees are long lived. And they might be 100 years old before they bear quality fruit. The fruit they bear is full of essential nutrients.

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Is Liberty not like the precious fruit of the olive? Does the olive branch get broken and abused by those that would steal her fruit rather than grow it? Will it take some time to restore the tree to health and vigor? Will her roots suffer from negligence, and will she still need the blood of patriots? Can she grow from an infusion of new blood, rather than a drenching of spilt blood? What better tree is there to symbolize a peaceful return to our Founding Fathers’ vision of Liberty?

The Precinct system has been set up for almost 200 years, and it is perhaps the only peaceful and constitutional way to take back our country. For half of these years, our citizens have been lulled into complacency and away from a basic understanding of the Precinct system. Briefly, “people are policy.” Because our Founders set up this country as a representative democracy, or a Republic, the more involved you are with your party, the more weight your opinion carries.

As a precinct leader, you set policy for our elected officials. It turns out, therefore, that when you, dear reader, become the Precinct Executive of your party (the Executive Committeeman who helps set policy) you now hold the most powerful office in America. And, since many of these positions lie vacant, it is often a shockingly easy office to attain.

Jefferson said, “the natural process of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Will restoring Liberty take some effort? Yes! Because to resist a “natural process,” by definition, requires energy. The amount of energy required is determined by the force of the “process.” This “process” has likely been going on for 100 years, and is growing exponentially. So, simply put, this will take a steady application of effort for some time to come.

Like the long-lived olive, it may be decades before we see thriving fruit again. We cannot rely on one individual, or some “cult of personality” to rescue us; it is, very simply, UP TO US! But take solace in what Samuel Adams once said: “it does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

In Liberty,

The Liberty Tree Precinct Project

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

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This is a story about four people: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.
Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody
wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when actually Nobody asked Anybody.

What Sorcery Is This? What the Liberty Movement Could Learn From SC Political Rhetoric

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“There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.”
– Voltaire

Ever wonder why politicians do a lot of talking but seem to actually say very little?  Have you noticed that you automatically like a good speaker?  Have you ever been motivated to clap enthusiastically after a particularly moving speech?

How about listening to a speech from a pundit you already knew you didn’t agree with, but after their delivery was done, you couldn’t put your finger on any single phrase or utterance that seemed unreasonable?

That happened to me the first time I ever listened to an entire Lindsey Graham speech from start to finish, live, and in person.  I knew there was no policy with which I could agree nor a shared opinion with the man, but for some strange reason, his speech seemed, well, reasonable.

Two years later, I find myself at the SC GOP convention listening to a whole lot of illogical men and women giving reasonable (but terribly boring and not well constructed) speeches.  Why do I think the speakers are illogical?  One man professes to be a devout Christian who wants to bomb a Middle East country “back to the 7th century” and acknowledges that a transgender person is a woman (just as long as that person feels that way).  Putting aside all opinion and political correctness, these statements seem illogical.  Peaceful, loving Christians wouldn’t advocate genocide and a man that feels he is a woman is still a man.  (For that matter, a surgically and chemically altered womanly man is still a man, isn’t he, er, I mean she?  I’m just not sure.)  But the crowd smiles and goes along with it, clapping and nodding their heads in agreement with the speaker and to each other.

Also at this convention, another politician (Lindsey, again) urges non-supportive Republican voters to find common ground with him and meet somewhere in the middle, immediately adding, “I’m still gonna be me, I’m still gonna be Lindsey!” to enthusiastic applause.  This is illogical if he means he isn’t going to compromise.  But perhaps he meant he wasn’t going to transgender.  Again, I’m just not sure.

How do they do it?  What magic do they employ to get people to agree with illogical conclusions that sound reasonable, get voters to protect their incumbency over and over again despite clear political disparities or at least get them not to complain too loudly?

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I began exploration into this matter two years ago after listening to that “reasonable” Graham speech.  Here’s what I found out:  all rhetoric employs one or more of three elements.  The three elements are logos, or logic; ethos, or trust; and pathos, or emotion.

Very simply, logos can be described as, “I understand this person, so I believe him”, ethos as, “I don’t understand what this person I trust is saying, but since I trust him, I will agree with them”, and pathos as, “I don’t understand this person, but they move me, so I agree with them.”

Lindsey and other politicians use these three elements effectively. But Lindsey does two other things rather commonly.  One of them is an old Dale Carnegie technique that Dale called Principle Five in Part Three of his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, or more simply, “get the other person saying,“Yes, yes” immediately.”

The book has four parts with over thirty principles.  However, I have seen Lindsey use only one of them. So, it appears Lindsey is a one trick pony with regard to Dale Carnegie, at least in his speech making.

The “yes, yes” principle, requires the audience to answer affirmatively to a few softball questions before moving into more challenging issues.  This psychologically primes the listener to be agreeable to the speaker when the harder facts follow.  A speaker applying the “yes, yes” principle is also employing the use of the element of ethos. In other words, by getting a listener to say, “yes, yes,” they are creating trust.  (“I’ve said “yes” to this person at least twice before, so maybe I must be able to trust this person, right?”).  To be effective, the speaker needs to be sure that the first two questions are very likely to elicit an answer in the affirmative.  A good example might be, “We all want to breathe fresh air, right?”  or, “We don’t want to be unsafe, do we?”  Even in contentious or stressful situations, one can easily get the other party to say “yes.”  One might say, “We both want a solution to this problem, don’t we?” or, “Can we talk about this?”

But even so, Lindsey is a little sloppier in application of the “yes, yes” principle because he sometimes asks his audience questions that actually have a chance of a negative reaction-something Dale just would not do.  I have seen Lindsey ask his audience if they like to play golf or if they agree that we are at war with the Taliban, for example.  (Not everyone likes to golf and Congress has yet to declare war.)  It’s hard to know if this risk-taking, yes-getting questioning is intentional or instead results from a poor application of the technique.  But a very good example of the “yes, yes” principle is demonstrated by Lindsey, when he asked NRA members if they had a favorite gun.  (I doubt anyone at the NRA convention said, “no.”)  And another time when facing a difficult crowd at a town-hall style meeting, he pleadingly asked, “can we agree on this?”  Some people might have still answered negatively, but at least you could see that Lindsey was trying!

But, even though its obvious that Graham needs some brushing up on his Dale Carnegie, he does offer an   interesting and effective variation on the “yes, yes” principle. He often asks for a show of hands of those in the audience that would answer “yes” to his questions.  In doing so, he is utilizing ethos, but this time, it is trust in your peers that he garners upon the listener.  It is “peer pressure” on those inclined not to say “yes” while the rest of the audience does so.  Perhaps this is how he is able to ask those not so guaranteed “yes” getting questions.  Is he doing this on purpose?  I think so.

Lindsey is also very good at applying a second rhetorical technique called an “enthymeme.”

Aristotle best describes this rhetorical technique using the terms syllogism (a three part grammatical proof, of sorts), informal syllogism (omitting one of the three parts) and enthymeme (a rhetorical syllogism used in orations.)  Aristotle, and politicians who use enthymemes for that matter, are employing the element of logos when they do so.  They are compelling the listener to believe what they are saying is logical, even when it isn’t.

Here is an example of a logical syllogism, from Wikipedia:

“All humans are mortal. (major premise – assumed)
Socrates is human. (minor premise – stated)
Therefore, Socrates is mortal. (conclusion – stated)”

By dropping the major premise, the derived informal syllogism would then be:

“Socrates is mortal because he’s human.”

Lindsey knows that native South Carolinians are proud of their heritage and they tend to trust each other more than those from out-of-state.  Here is an actual informal syllogism that Lindsey stated in the last primary.  In effect, he wrote:

“I was born in South Carolina, therefore I am a conservative.”

Fellow native South Carolinians no doubt swelled with pride upon reading this and as a result felt an involuntary emotional bond to Lindsey at the same time.  In this way, Lindsey was utilizing the element of pathos, but also because of the trust South Carolinians automatically grant each other, he was simultaneously utilizing the element of ethos.  And, for the hat trick, Lindsey was also using logos, because his statement was in enthymeme form.  Not bad, Lindsey!  Not bad, at all.  The most likely result of those South Carolinians reading this statement, especially with conservatives, was to agree with Lindsey that he was conservative and ignore the logic that some native South Carolinians are actually liberal.

(Lindsey is actually a good example of one of those, contrary to his enthymeme.)

Politicians will often intentionally or unintentionally misstate a premise but follow a logical progression from the minor premise to the conclusion so it creates the illusion of a logical progression.  Hence, debaters who want to avoid falling into that rhetorical trap will counter, “I don’t agree with your premise.”

Lindsey’s enthymeme, “I was born in South Carolina, therefore I am a conservative,” in formal syllogistic form would read:

All South Carolinians are conservative,I was born in South Carolina, therefore I am a conservative.”

By dropping the illogical major premise and retreating to the informal syllogism (an enthymeme) Lindsey avoids causing dissonance in the ear of the listener.

Time and time again in his speeches, Lindsey Graham employs both enthymemes (a deceptive form of logos), the “yes, yes” principle (a form of ethos) and even pathos, especially the pathos of fear.

For example, Lindsey has stated that a nuclear bomb will be delivered in the belly of a ship to a major port in the U.S.; that the global economy would collapse if banks were not given a bailout of tax payer money; that ISIS would kill “every Christian, and Jew, and Vegetarian” in their way; that 20 million people would swim across the river to have their baby here….and the fear-mongering continues, unfortunately.

Liberty candidates rarely use ethos and pathos in their oral communications choosing instead to remain in their comfort zone and focus almost solely on logos.  This might be a mistake when a recent study suggested that the attention span of the average American is just four seconds.  It is just not possible to explain any concept logically to anyone in this amount of time.  But with ethos and pathos, four second communication is very possible.  Non-Liberty candidates achieve this rapid communication using the tools Liberty candidates loathe.  If Liberty candidates are to compete successfully, they will need to study their adversaries and learn how they can do it too.  The good news is our adversaries do not do it very well and that we can do it better!

We need to learn how to use, practice and employ all of these tools- and  we need to do it quickly!

And it wouldn’t hurt to also learn a little more Dale Carnegie while we’re at it!

editors note: more on this topic to follow!

Lady Liberty Dances!

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Liberty and other conservatives activists have seized many Executive Committeeman positions and even more delegate slots within the Charleston Republican Party- much, much more than the last reorganization.  Participation in reorganizations around the county has increased ten fold. This is a dramatic victory for the local Liberty movement! It is not not too late if you’d care to join us!  There is one last chance to get on board!   On Thursday, March 19, the Charleston County GOP re-organization make-up meeting will be held at North Charleston City Hall, 2500 City Hall Lane from 7 to 8 PM.  It is very likely you could qualify as a delegate to the County Convention held on April 11 at 11AM at the Orange Grove Elementary School located at 1225 Orange Branch Rd. in Charleston.  Here we will have the important task of choosing the local conservative leadership of the party and rejecting the return of the ineffective political class.  There will be a poll for the Presidential candidates.  You could select Charleston’s preferred candidate for the 2016 Presidential race and possibly influence the opinion of the rest of the State and Nation! And if you’d like to be more than a delegate, some Executive Committeeman positions still remain open and vulnerable, as are many more precinct officer positions.  This will be your last chance to help before the 2016 elections as the next re-organization is a full two years away.  The only thing stopping you is, well…. you. If Liberty is to survive and thrive, we will need your help! image   Other County make up re-organizations and conventions are: Barnwell County re-organization makeup is March 23 at 7PM. Barnwell Co. Library, 49 Burr St, Barnwell. The convention is April 13. Dorchester County re-organization makeup is March, 26th before our regular monthly meeting. The Dorchester. County Convention will be on April 18th at Fort Dorchester High School. Florence County re-organization makeup date is Saturday, March 21st at Poynor Adult Education, Room 2-A, beginning at 10:00 am. Lexington County re-organization make up Is Saturday March 7th, at 9:00AM, Lexington Main Library, 5440 Augusta Road, Lexington, SC and the LCGOP County Convention is Saturday April 11th, 2015 8:30AM, 12:00AM, at the Meadow Glen Middle School Auditorium, 440 Ginny Lane, Lexington, SC 29072. Orangeburg County makeup will be at the regular Third Thursday meeting on Mar. 19 at 7 pm at Rosalia’s Restaurante Mexicano, 1058 Russell Street. If your County is not listed, make the effort to call your local Chairman for the date and location.  DO NOT ACCEPT ANY INFORMATION AS ACCURATE FROM UNSOLICITED PHONE CALLS WITHOUT CONFIRMING IT THROUGH OTHER SOURCES.  Ye Ol’ Establishment (currently marginalized and in defensive mode) is running several disinformation and misdirection campaigns.  DOUBLE CHECK ALL IMPORTANT INFORMATION  BY USING MULTIPLE RESOURCES.

2015 GOP Reorganization SC Counties Announced

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All individuals interested in advancing Liberty in the Republican Party will need to bring their driver’s license and voter registration card to their re-organization meeting.  Membership fees are waived this year but there will be a small fee to attend the County Convention.

Barnwell County re-organization is Mon. March 9 at the Barnwell Co. Library, 49 Burr St, Barnwell at 7pm.

Beaufort County re-organization is Tuesday, March 3
Thursday, March 5, Friday, March 6, Saturday, March 7
And Wednesday, March 11
If you have questions, contact your Regional Director

Berkeley County re-organization is March 16, 2015 7:00 PM
Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Goose Creek

Charleston County the Make-up meeting is Thurs., Mar. 19 from 7 to 8 pm at North Charleston City Hall, 2500 City Hall Lane.
Dorchester County re-organization is Monday March 9th at Summerville High School and the other on March 12th at Fort Dorchester High School. In both cases, the doors open at 6:30 pm, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm and the voting starts at 7:30 pm. There will be several precincts holding their own re-organizations, especially in the upper part of the county.

Florence County re-organization is Monday, March 9 at 7:00pm  Floyd Conference Center – 1592 Freedom Blvd., Florence, SC

Greenville County re-organization is March 16 at 7 PM at your regular polling location.

Horry County re-organization is “probably” Saturday, March 21st.  Stay tuned for more info.

Kershaw County re-organization is March 12th, 6 PM. 1.Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce – 607 Broad Street, Camden for Precincts: Airport, Antioch, Camden 1-6, Camden 5a, Charlotte, Thompson, East Camden/Heritage, Liberty Hill, Malvern Hill, Riverdale, Shaylor’s Hill, and White Gardens  2. Hard Times Cafe, Hwy. 1, Cassatt for Precincts Bethune, Buffalo, Cassatt, Gatesford, and Westville  3. Lugoff Elgin High School, Hwy. 1 South, Lugoff for Precincts Lugoff 1-4, and Rabon Crossroads   4. Elgin Townhall, Main Street, Elgin for Precincts: Elgin 1-5, Salt Pond, and Doby’s Mill.

Lexington County re-organization is Thursday, March 5th, 2015 – 6:30PM – 8:00PM.                                             Northern DistrictSt. Andrews Presbyterian Church 6952 St. Andrews Road, Columbia SC  Amick’s Ferry, Bush River, Challendon, Chapin, Coldstream, Dreher Island, Dutchman Shores, Gardendale, Grenadier, Irmo, Lincreek, Murraywood, Old Lexington, Quail Valley, Seven Oaks, St. Michael, Whitehall, and Woodland Hills.  Eastern & Southern DistrictsGrace Baptist Church (Hansen Chapel) 416 Denham Ave., West Columbia, SC  Chalk Hill, Congaree 1, Congaree 2, Emmanuel Church, Gaston 1, Gaston 2, Mack Edisto, Pelion 1, Pelion 2, Pine Ridge 1, Pine Ridge 2, Sandy Run, Sharpe’s Hill, Swansea 1, and Swansea 2. Cayce 1, Cayce 2, Cayce 2A, Cayce 3, Edenwood, Hook’s Store, Leaphart Road, Mt. Hebron, Old Barnwell Road, Pineview, Quail Hollow, Saluda River, Springdale, Springdale South, West Columbia 1, West Columbia 2, West Columbia 3, West Columbia 4, and Westover.  Central B & Western DistrictsPleasant Hill Middle School 660 Rawl Road, Lexington, SC  Barr Road 1,  Barr Road 2, Bethany, Boiling Springs, Boiling Springs South, Cedar Crest, Cromer, Edmund, Kitti Wake, Oakwood, Red Bank, Red Bank South 1, Red Bank South 2, Round Hill, Sand Hill, St. David’s, White Knoll, Carolina Springs, Platt Springs 1, and Platt Springs 2. Batesburg, Beulah Church, Fairview, Gilbert, Hollow Creek, Leesville, Mims, Pond Branch, Ridge Road, and Summit. Central A DistrictGreater Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center 311 W. Main Street, Lexington, SC  Faith Church, Lake Murray 1, Lake Murray 2, Lexington 1, Lexington 2, Lexington 3, Lexington 4, Midway, Mount Horeb, Park Road 1, Park Road 2, Pilgrim Church, Providence Church, and River Bluff.

Pickens County re-organization is March 19, 6PM Rosewood Center, 419 E. Main St, Liberty, SC 29657

Spartanburg County is March 16 at 7 PM at your regular polling location.

Sumter County re-organization is March 5,
6:15 pm – 8:00 pm at the Wikked Buffalo Wings on Broad St.

York County re-organization is March 19.

2015 Re-organization announced for CCGOP

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“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”- author unknown

Wow.
It seems the torch of Liberty continues to burn brightly as evidenced by the waves of inquiries we have been receiving with regard to the precinct project. It is obvious that many of you understand it is time to stop blaming our circumstances, and instead of looking for the circumstances we want, or waiting for them to arrive on some imaginary ship that never comes in, we need to go out and make them. This is how the Founders imagined a functioning Republic would survive: with you actively participating at the precinct level. So, thanks for everyone’s patience while waiting for the reorganization locations to announced.  The 2015 CCGOP Precinct Re-organization is scheduled for Saturday, March 7 from 10 AM to Noon.  In some cases, it starts at 9:30 (see below).

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If you vote in Awendah/McClellanville: Awendah Town Hall
6971 Doar Rd. (March 14 @ 11 AM)

If you vote Mt Pleasant 1-16: the Mount Pleasant Waterworks,1619 Rifle Range Rd.

If you vote in Mt Pleasant 17-29: Seacoast Church 750 Long Point Rd.

If you vote in Mt Pleasant 30-39: Rusty Rudder Restaurant 3563 N. Hwy 17 and will start at 10AM to 11AM.  “It will start and finish on time. For sociality, we are encouraging attendees and precinct officers to stay for lunch after the re-org.”

If you vote on IOP/Sullivan’s Island: the IOP Exchange Club,  201 Palm Blvd at 11 AM.

If you vote on the Charleston Peninsula: Charleston Math and Science Charter, 1002 King St.

If you vote in St. Andrews 1-6, 9: Ryan’s Steak House, 3563 N. Hwy 17

If you vote in St. Andrews 7,8,10,14,15,16,17,18 and 26:  International Church of God, 1560 Ashley River Rd.

If you vote in St. Andrews 11,12,13, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 Northbridge Baptist, 1160 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.

If you vote in St. Andrews 27-37: McAlister-Smith Bees Ferry 2501 Bees Ferry Rd.

If you vote in St Paul’s/Edisto: Dean Walker’s Family Restaurant, 6281 Hwy 162, Meggett 9:30- 11:00 AM

If you vote on John’s Island, Seabrook or Wadmalaw: the Berkeley Electric Building, 3351 Maybank Hwy.

If you vote on James Island or Folly Beach: location has CHANGED to McAlister-Smith Funeral Chapel, 347 Folly Rd. 10AM to Noon.

SITE CHANGED – Deer Park & ALL North Charleston Precincts -Felix C. Davis Community Center, Park Circle.

Other dates to save are:

Saturday, April 11 at 11AM for the County Convention where you will be making a difference by voting for the local party officers.  There will also be a straw poll for Presidential candidates!

Saturday, May 2 for the State Convention where you will make a difference by voting for the State leadership and the State party platform.

We will discuss strategy for these events in the near future.

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