The “Legion,” Anarchists at the RPT Convention

I’m working on a couple of blog posts concerning the controversies that occurred at the 2012 Republican Party of Texas held in Fort Worth last week, but thought I’d report on the oddest event of the week, which happened during the last few minutes of the Convention.

All week a small group of young men and women who claimed to represent college and high school students testified in several subcommittees (including the one I served on, the “Family, Life, and Health” subcommittee) and then at the full Rules and Platform Committees.

For the most part, the group members were super-serious and neatly dressed in suits and skirts or dresses. They all used very much the same language, telling us that we shouldn’t run off all the young people with our platform. They testified that college-aged voters have ‘moved on' and that we were dividing the party by making statements about life, marriage and homosexuality. They also were part of the group that wanted to record videos of all meetings and persuaded the Rules and Platform Committees to allow video and audio recording of our meetings. (I voted for this change, since so many people have the equipment on their phones and we wouldn’t refuse the local TV station if they asked to video tape us for the news.)

One young man, Ian Quisenberry, who calls himself “the Cynical One” on Facebook, appeared to be learning to wear his green suit and to translate his debate club experience to action in the real world. The 18 year-old, soon to be 19 year-old, red-headed delegate testified to the Family, Life and Health Sub-Committee and then to the larger Platform Committee on Wednesday. When encouraged by the Chairman of the Platform Committee and commended for his talent in speaking, Ian explained that he was a new high school graduate, about to turn 19, and heading for college.

During the last few minutes of the very last General Session, Ian twice attempted to get the attention of the Chair, Steve Munisteri by approaching the microphone and hitting the light switch indicating that he had an “interrupting action,” under Robert’s Rules of order. Each time Ian stood at one of the microphones asking to make a motion, Steve explained that there were no motions that would be appropriate, but allowed him to speak the second time.

The boy introduced himself by name and then said, “I’d like to motion for ‘We are legion, expect us,’” before turning to leave the Arena. You can watch the video, here. Ian’s statement is at about 14 minutes in.

That quote is a slogan used by anarchists, most notably the Anonymous group that “hacks” into the websites of its supposed enemies.

Now, I don’t know why these people didn’t spend their time at the Libertarian Convention, held nearby this weekend.They should know that we Republicans are conservatives and we respect laws and facts. We understand that the “egg” ceases to exist when fertilized, just as the sperm does. What exists then is an embryo, an organized organism. We know that “marriage” can’t be redefined for a political fad or social “eugenics.” We grow weary of their implication that the young are are better prepared to lead than the older, wiser, and more experienced. We certainly don’t want a tent big enough to include same sex unions or redefined marriage.

But how disturbing is it that an 18 year old boy would identify with a group whose symbol is an empty suit and whose motto came from the story of demons that committed suicide after Jesus cast them into pigs?

28And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. 33The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

Many of us suspected that they were Ron Paul supporters, but it appears that at least one identifies with anarchists.


Originally posted on WingRight.org.

Issues: 

Comments

Mrs. Nuckols,

It may benefit you to read this article if you haven't already.
 
http://texasgopvote.com/2012-texas-gop-convention/ron-paul-supporters-te...

Trying to label all of us as anarchists, trying to belittle and downsize our movement, trying to pigeon hole us into one group, and trying to claim we are all young and pro-choic WILL backfire on you.  We didn't challenge you for Permanent Platform Committee on purpose.  We were watching all your votes, and we will continue to monitor your behavior.  Our notes indicated that you supported several items which we were focused on, and I personally appreciated that and chose not to run someone against you. 

I do not, however, appreciate your attempts in this article to associate us with anarchists based on one person...or even several people.  All of us have different motivations, and we do not operate in a top-down fashion.  I hope that you will take the time to try to understand our motives and our agenda which can be simplified as following the Constitution, being transparent, and having open debate.  You should have witnessed how Mr. Munisteri did all these things and it united all of us in attendance.  That's all we want...well that all I want anyway! 

Please reconsider your branding of the Liberty Movement.  Would Mr. Munisteri put out something like this?! 

Rob Hinojosa
SD25/CD21

I would just like to add that the phrase "we are legion" has usage outside the Bible.  Sure, it's rather serious sounding, but the term "legion" just means they are great in number or they at least claim to be.  It has nothing to do with a demon that called himself Legion.  

Go back and read the article. I very carefully separated Ian's activity and his self-identification with a group that is not Conservative. I was careful to say that the group claimed to be college and high school students - they told the sub- and committee this, I didn't assume.

I have no idea who you are. I have not been "monitoring" you. You are identifying yourself as a colleague of Ian - and, I suppose of the "Legion."

You are also implying some sort of "top down" structure if you believe you (the collective "we") could have replaced me on the Permanent Committee. Great system there, btw: at least two of the replacements were ineffective in the Permanent Committee other than wasting our time, since they had not put in the 3 days' time and work that the Temporary members had.

In fact, the group I wrote about self-identified as an organized group by their narrow range of themes, their very similar wording and by their gathering.

I was surprised by Ian's show on Saturday, however. He wasted our time and alerted us to a toxic element in our Party. The self-identification with "Legion" appears to be melding oneself with others and "Expect us" is used as a threat by that group.

The "Liberty Movement," if it includes any move to change the legal definition of marriage or dismisses the scientific definition of the beginning of all organisms that reproduce sexually, is not Conservative. 

If you or any group wants to make changes in the Conservative Republican Party of Texas, you will have to do it the same way as all of the rest of us: work, make contributions of time and energy and "expect" us to object to changes in our core beliefs. Build up and support, don't tear down and undermine. (For instance, I've tried for nearly 10 years to be appointed to a State Convention Temporary Committee and had to wait my turn.)

Clint, I did quite a bit of research before posting my blog article. The oldest historic reference to the phrase is the Bible.

I fail to understand the attraction of the phrase unless the users are ignorant of its origin and/or happy with its implied threat.

Mrs. Nuckols. You failed to address the alternative viewpoint he cites, completely disregard his arguments, and even twist his statements! Honestly, it is people like you dividing this party, not the Ron Paul people which you deliberately, obtusely refuse to understand. The Liberty movement is about returning to the values of the Constitution! Not, about promoting any of the strange ideas you attribute to it by your ignorance through propoganda. Liberty is a popular idea, Mrs. Nuckols and last I checked, most people in this party support it. You can try to paint the illusion that Ron Paul supporters, and Liberty minded individuals are on the outliers of the Party but that illusion is already crumbling. People who meet us are making up their OWN minds and finding a connection with us, for we agree on far more than we disagree on. You can't keep them from realizing that forever! Not even through your mimicry of the propogandized media which reports neither truth nor reality.

It's obvious that you put a lot a time, as you admit, into articulating your story about one young man who was vocal about his opinions.  But what is not clear, is why you chose that one person to be a figure head of what transpired at the convention.  Whether that was intentional or not, granted, I should not assume that it was.

Why not talk about how Munisteri united the party?  Why not talk about how exciting it was to have so many young people engaged?  Why not talk about how to keep us motivated?  Why not talk about all the talent that is coming into the party?  Why not talk about our effectiveness of changing a rule that had been a problem for 50 years?!  Why not talk about us changing the rule on video taping in committee?  Why not talk about all the bridges that were built?!!

You are correct to point out that your words were carefully chosen.  I don't know you, nor do I know who Ian is???  I only know you from you committee votes.  Your article just came across as trying to identify some radicals and anarchists with legitimate grassroots efforts to influence the party.  I'm as pro-life as they come, and I think marriage is already defined.  But I don't think we should use the power of government to make other people believe or accept our values.  That is not the role of government.

The role of government, as you're well aware, is to protect the God given rights of individuals, Christian, or not, American, or not. 

If two men or women want to get into a contract we see as morally wrong, who are you or me to tell them no??  They don't have to accept our definition of marriage, and we don't have to accept their definition of marriage, but neither one of us have the right to use government force to make the other accept our values.  That would be Statism.  Additionally, faith is a gift, and not all are blessed with it.  You, nor I have the right to claim we know that which is unknowable.  We can speculate, and we can have faith, but we cannot judge others who may have different beliefs.

Especially if those individuals agree with us on 80% of other subjects.  We all have our own definitions of Conservatism, and it's clear our elected officials do too. 

Please show me the requirements to be elected by your peers.  You want to make it about credentials and party loyalty.  I want to make it about openness and principles.

Oh, and being organized and having a plan does not imply top-down! 

The bottom-line is that Steve Munisteri conducted the most fair, open, and awesome convention I have ever seen!  I was glad to be a part of such an open process.  That transparency alone brought all of our groups together!

I understand it originally came from the Bible, but what I'm saying is that the Anonymous group isn't using the phrase the way the demon in that passage used it.  I think it's ridiculous to even make the insinuation.  I think anyone reading the whole motto knows it just means there's supposedly alot of them, and you should expect them.

The quote comes from a 2006 movie, V for Vendetta http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_for_Vendetta_(film)  which is very popular with young people.  Of course, the screenwriters took it from the Bible as the main character (who's very well educated) of the story incorporates lots of rich literary references in his speech.  I personally wouldn't expect a 19 year old to know the reference behind the reference.  I'd just file that under "young and impulsive" and move on.


http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=63752

I hope you can open your mind a little more Mrs. Nuckols.

We can accomplish a lot together, but we need to build bridges, not burn them down.  Please reconsider your tone.

Thanks.

Rob H.

Ms. Nuckols:

I, like you, am rubbed the wrong way by the phrase "We are legion", or even the word "legion".  This does stem from my associating it with the Biblical passage about the man who was possessed by demons.  However, in a case like this, I have to step back and look at the etymology of the word.

While Christ walked the earth, the largest unit of the Roman army was 3000 to 6000 soldiers, known as a legion.  So, when the term "legion" is used in Mark 5:9 and Luke 8:30, the Roman definition of the term was being referenced, and we are left with the understanding that there was a legion of demons, or, thousands of demons, in this man.

After considering the etymology, and watching a trailer for a documentary about Anonymous, I cannot conclude that they are comparing themselves to demons or that they are ignorant of the origin of the word.  They do seem happy with the implied threat in their catchphrase, but that implied threat is that they are many in number, and they are fighting for their causes.

Taking up our time by stating this phrase during the general session was indeed irresponsible or immature.  However, that was 1 person among 8,000, and 10 seconds out of 6 days.

Hundreds of Ron Paul supporters there were like me.  We are Christians.  We know that if abortion were taken out of federal jurisdiction then Roe v. Wade would no longer be a problem for pro-lifers in TX.  We know that Mitt Romney authored Romneycare, the model for Obamacare, in Massachusetts.  We know that Mitt Romney's proposed budget will keep our economy on the same, dark path, while Ron Paul's proposed budget would decrease our national debt and reign in our big-government overspending.  We know that Ron Paul aligns with the TX GOP platform more closely than Mitt Romney.  When I step back from the influence of the media and look at the facts presented by each candidate and each candidate's history, it really becomes a no-brainer that I should support Ron Paul during the primary season.

If Mitt Romney is such a strong candidate, then why are so many in the GOP worried that the supposedly small group of Ron Paul supporters will cause him to lose?  Could it be that Romney's campaign is so fragile because Romney has more in common with Obama than he does with the Texas GOP?  Let's look for a real constitutional conservative that we can all rally behind in Florida.  Let's fight the hard fight for a brokered convention in Tampa, rally behind a true conservative for November, and make Obama a one-term president!

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