News Corner

The Ripon Society

By Karol Smith

Emil Frankel, a Harvard law student who studied in England on a Fulbright scholarship, met English members of The Bow Group.  They had become dissatisfied with the Conservative party’s image as “The Stupid Party.”  Frankel was impressed with the depth of study Bow Group members applied to public policy problems as they proactively became experts on the topics.

Simultaneously John Saloma III studied in England with a Fulbright scholarship.  He and Frankel became editors of Advance magazine.  He was an MIT professor.  Frankel and Saloma met in 1962 at Harvard, and then organized the first meeting of the group eventually known as the Ripon Society.

Ripon, Wisconsin is the informal birthplace of the Republican Party, a claim disputed by Jackson, Michigan where the Party’s first official Party was held. (It was, however, unlikely a Republican group would name itself “The Jackson Society.”)  Approximately 60 individuals met at monthly meetings in the vicinity of Harvard.  Most were middle-class and from the Midwest.  30 of them became actively involved.

The main goals of the Ripon Society are to promote ideas and principles that have contributed to the GOP’s past success:  National security, low taxes, smaller, smarter and more accountable  federal government.

Political historian and author Geoffrey Kabaservice writes, "Although they (the Ripon Society members) were Republicans, JFK had been their political inspiration. When the news confirmed that Kennedy had been killed, they were caught between grief for their fallen hero and fear of Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded to the presidency”. (Wikipedia)

After the Kennedy assassination, the Ripon members wrote a manifesto, “A Call to Leadership:  An Open Letter to the New Generation of Republicans.”  It received a lot of media attention and Ripon was hailed by editorially as “a new vote in the land that should be heeded.”  

The Ripon Society hosts a series of lectures known as their "Policy & Politics Dialogue Series", which in 2011 ]consisted of over 40 idea-based forums. Speakers have included: Speaker of the House John Boehner, Representatives Kevin Brady and Greg Walden, Senators Rob Portman and John McCain, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. At a Ripon event in January 2013, shortly after President Obama's second inaugural address, Boehner told the audience that President Obama was trying to "annihilate the Republican Party.”  

(In “Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaign to Defeat Trump,” insider author Edward Isaac Dovere characterized Obama as a “parasite.”

The book includes a chapter titled “Benign Neglect” in which author Dovere wrote that the title reflects what Obama aides privately called the former president’s jettisoning of the Democratic Party once he was ensconced in the White House.  (Obama defenders are claiming this critical book was prompted by the Hilary Clinton supporters.)

In 1966, the society publicly announced its support of stopping the U.S. military draft at the conclusion of the Vietnam War. The society published an essay on its ideas for ending the draft. Ideas included increasing military salaries, paying volunteers higher salaries than draftees, and getting rid of "irrelevant induction standards to increase the flow of volunteers.”

In 1967, Ripon proposed a new tax overhaul plan. Certain families would not pay taxes; instead, the government would send payments to the families.  At the time, the proposed income cutoff was $6,000 (equivalent to $42,000 in 2014 dollars). In a report, the society said, "The negative income tax encourages families to move up the income scale until they can begin to pay positive income taxes.”

In 1970, the Society created its first system to rate Members of Congress' voting records. 

In 1981, the Ripon Society voiced public support for sanctions on nuclear-exporting countries. The society asked President Reagan to sanction any nation that sold weapons-grade nuclear materials or facilities.

In 2006, Ripon became aggressive pursuing immigration reform.

Ripon Society has numerous Congressional members on its advisory board….Maryland has none listed!

Ripon Society has a Facebook presence: with current information.



How We Respond

How We Respond Will Make All The Difference

Back in early 2020, President Trump stated what is now obvious, but at the time did not fully resonate with many Republicans.  He said, “In reality, Democrats aren’t after me, they’re after you.  I’m just in the way.”

Jump ahead to today, almost 5 months into the Biden-Harris Regime, with President Trump in the rearview mirror (for now at least). Democrats are on a blitz, pushing programs, policies and agendas that are turning our nation upside down. The attacks on President Trump continue, mostly as a background drumbeat for their most radical elements. The true target, as President Trump predicted, is us and “our ilk”.  Conservatives, primarily whites, religious, fiscally conservative, believers in the Constitution, nuclear family, freedom, and liberty.

This coordinated attack by our federal, state, and local governments, in partnership with Big Tech, Big Business and radical groups like the ACLU, CAIR, Planned Parenthood, BLM, Antifa and more, could not be more overt.  Everything and anything in the way of their socialist game plan is a target of the multilayered Biden-Harris radical coalition. Here are just a few outrageous examples:

Illegal Immigration: The southern border is wide open. Every man, women, and child from Mexico and Central America interested in free education, healthcare, social services, amnesty, and citizenship can cross the border virtually unimpeded. In fact, federal agencies (and their hired NGO partners) will bus, or even fly these uninvited guests to any locality in the nation at our expense, often in the dead of night to avoid detection. Montgomery County, as expected, has been on the receiving end of these covert drops with hundreds of illegals now calling our neighborhoods home.

Potential border jumpers from around the globe have gotten the message and are doing their best to get to Mexico for the journey north. What do we get from this sanctioned alien invasion? Higher taxes, overcrowded schools and ESOL, increased crime, human trafficking and prostitution, undereducated non-English speaking workers, overstressed services, diluted culture and voting power, and the privilege of being called racist if we oppose all this.  

Critical Race Theory and Cancel Culture: Despite the fact my relatives arrived legally in the early 1900’s well after slavery ended, I’m white so therefore I’m racist against minorities and my family tree obviously includes slaveowners and KKK members!  But of course.  Paying reparations to descendants of black slaves may be in our future as well since the trillions already spent on Great Society Program, Affirmative Action, and dozens of other Democrat social welfare initiatives over the decades did not quite work in the inner cities. However, hard work, education, nuclear family, and equal opportunity seemed to do the trick for most of us.

Never mind my ancestors were the original ghetto dwellers and have been persecuted, slaughtered, and forced to flee from many countries, some to this day. My grown children are now being forced to “repent” at their workplaces for being white and privileged, while my grandchildren are learning in public school that America was founded on slavery and racism (1619), and that whites thrived on the forced labor of minorities.  I think we would all agree that rational discussion on CRT with school administrators is not an option.  Makes one wonder if the public school boards work for the taxpayers or the taxpayers work for the public school boards?  

All, this while Simon & Schuster cancels publication of Senator Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) book on Big Tech, more and more conservative citizens, leaders and media outlets are permanently blocked on Twitter and Facebook, United Airlines mandates that more than 50 percent of their future pilots will be minorities (whites need not apply), and the black Mayor of Chicago announced she is only giving interviews to minority reporters – all while the black on black crime/murder rate in Chicago sizzles off the charts. But don’t dare complain.

Defund and Disrespect the Police: Crime is up across the nation as the Biden Democrats and their BLM/Antifa partners continue to pressure jurisdictions to “reimagine policing” and negatively publicize any and all police actions specifically against blacks (again whites no longer matter). These police actions, unfairly reported by leftist politicians and media often results in riots and looting, leading to a growing number of police officers leaving their jobs.  Makes me feel safe, how about you?  Even liberal Montgomery County is not immune from the crime surge and lawlessness, with car jackings, robberies, rapes and assaults on the steady rise. 

Because of our MD-VA-DC location one would think the FBI would have the ability and resources to step in to and help local law enforcement stem this growing crime rate.  But alas, the FBI is quite busy hunting down the tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens, many in our neighborhoods who attended or might have attended Trump rallies in DC to determine their loyalty to the Biden Regime. Fortunately, the remaining 2,000 plus National Guard surrounding the Capitol, with Trump like border fencing, are leaving by the end of May.  Be assured their bags will stay packed just in case those Trump supporters dare to show their faces again in DC.  

What about Biden’s policies on school closures, energy, budget deficits, inflation, economic stagnation, Israel and terrorism, 2nd amendment, Supreme Court, Statehood for DC, etc.  Makes you think how right President Trump was on all these issues and more the last 4 years. In hindsight, were those Tweets really that bad?

How should we respond?

First and foremost, do not ever give up.  The 2020 election was quite close even with all the Democrat shenanigans.  And January 6, while a misguided deed by a few hundred, it was not an insurrection at the Capitol so stop feeling guilty and come out of hiding.  Remember, Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee and other Democrat cities are still smoldering and the perpetrators don’t seem to be filling our courthouses and jails.  

Regarding the MCGOP, treat 2021 like an election year (there are some local races by the way).  Sign up now on the website to volunteer (events, campaigns, research, writing, IT support, outreach to small businesses and minorities), take the orientation class offered, donate funds, purchase a business ad in the monthly newsletter, get friends and others to register to vote, enjoy the MoCo Monday Zoom Speaker Series to stay current on topics affecting all of us. Enough talking, get involved instead.

Election year 2022 is right around the corner with 50+ Montgomery County officials up for election, not to mention Governor, Congressional seats (control of the House, Cong. Andy Harris) and more. Key races are also taking place with our immediate neighbors in Frederick County (County Executive) and Howard County (No Sanctuary ballot) that will affect our quality of life in MoCo depending on the outcome. Again, stay apprised and donate/volunteer if you can. Remember, everything you do will make a difference so start now.


Brad Botwin is the Organization Chair for the Montgomery County Republican Party.


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