Royal Illinois GOP Says Who’s ALLOWED to be Republican

January 20, 2007 | Filed Under 00Publius Contributor, Constitution, Elections, Founders, GOP, History, Patriotism, Society/Culture, Uncategorized, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston

Last month I wrote an op ed about how this one last move by the Illinois Republican Party drove me from the state’s Party as a self-proclaimed member. (Why I left the Illinois Republican Party) I warned that their announcement that only THEY were allowed to say who is allowed to proclaim themselves to be a Republican and who was not smacked of anti-democracy and a tendency toward monarchical elitism.

Well, it didn’t take them long to prove me correct.

As the new year began the haughty, bigwigs in the Illinois State Party decided that the Republican Assembly of Lake County should not be “allowed” to use the word Republican in their organization’s name.

Imagine the gall of the state Party? Who are they to decide who is “allowed” to use the word Republican and who is not?

Now, I CAN agree that the state Party has every right to disclaim support of the Republican Assembly of Lake County if they don’t want to be seen as officially supporting that group.

Fine. Say you don’t support them.

But the Illinois GOP has absolutely NO right to say who is “allowed” to call themselves a Republican. It is a somewhat generic word meant to describe a political affiliation that has been used for over 100 years to refer to the Party itself, and several hundred years to refer to the general principles thereof.

So what reason are the State Party despots using to justify the claim that they have some right to control who uses the word Republican?

Of all things, Trademark laws! Does ‘Republican’ qualify as trademark?

I’ll answer that for you… NO!

Republican state central committee members announced Sunday they unanimously denied the Libertyville organization permission to use the word “Republican” in its name. John Tsarpalas, executive director of the Illinois Republican Party, said the Libertyville group would risk trademark infringement if it continued to incorporate “Republican” in its name.

Aside from freedom of religion, this country was founded on freedom of association with an importance placed on the principle of civic virtue through political involvement. But, now comes the Illinois GOP to proclaim that THEY are the only ones to say who is “allowed” to be a Republican. The State Party imagines they are allowed to quash the ability of an organization to gather under the Republican banner unless a “by your liege” has been attained from the throne of Party leadership. A kiss from the royal elephant’s trunk, if you will.

So much for freedom!

And, in a Party that is on its last legs, one would think they’d be trying to include as many people wishing to identify with them as possible instead of excluding people.

What we have here is a moribund State Party gasping for breath and losing more influence every election day all across the state while the good ‘ol boys in the Party management seem more concerned for their own personal power base then trying to save the Party and elect more Republicans to office.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Apparently the Illinois State Party is unaware of a chief tenet of America’s founding?

Of the King, Jefferson also wrote: “A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

What, one wonders, might he have thought of King Tsarpalas of the Illinois GOP?

Warner Todd Huston’s thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites such as,, men’ and among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a guest on several radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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