So Tell Me, How Can I Help?
Glad you asked!
Election Day is fast approaching, and if you're not actively involved in helping us win the White House, there is no time like the present. If you are already involved, please share your thoughts and experiences.
Basically, there are two things the campaign needs: money and foot soldiers. That's us. Not someone else (like that guy over there).
So the first step is to head over the Romney/Ryan campaign website and sign up.
As we all know, the election will come down to swing states, where Obama still holds a lead. Depending on which polls you track, the lead varies, but a lead remains pretty much across the board. I think Rasmussen is the most reputable polling organization and have linked it here for those who may be interested. (Please don't spend precious time and energy debunking this. It serves only as a rationale for premature confidence and an excuse to sit back on imaginary laurels while other folks do the heavy lifting.)
For those who want to be really overextended (and we should all be signing up for this), please work for one or two Senate or House races, as well. We must win the White House. But we must also win both houses of Congress.
Avoid the Shoulda-Coulda-Woulda syndrome on November 7 by taking action now. Because if we lose this election, it's on us. Period.
Duh! Obvious as this is, it may be something you haven't done yet. The obstacle for most folks is money. Or lack of it. So here are a few ideas on how to overcome that hurdle. (If your challenge is something other than money, such as procrastination, please snap out of it and donate!)
First, be willing to sacrifice. Is there an expense you could do without for a couple of months? Even something as small as coffee from Starbucks, a meal out, a new toy for your cat, etc.? Give it up and send that money to the campaign.
Second, don't think there is a minimum donation you must send. Every. Single. Dollar. Counts. Imagine if a few million sent in $5 or even $1 to the campaign. That would amount to a hefty sum, and you would be able to feel proud knowing you were part of that. So do it. Today. And maybe again in a week. And again after that. Scrape bits of money together and send it in. And if you have discretionary income to spare, by all means, hand it over to the campaign.
The added bonus of donating is that it makes it easier to ask others to donate.
The bottom line was said perfectly in a comment over at Legal Insurrection: "Talk is cheap, campaign donations are not - but they're a damn sight cheaper than Obama/Dem taxes should they get reelected. Give till it hurts, folks. Or it will hurt."
Donate now. And again. And again...
This is particularly important in swing states. No one can afford to indulge in feelings like "I don't feel comfortable doing that." Well, guess what! Not many people do. But it's a job that needs to be done. So man up and do it. Better yet, get one or two friends to come with you. You can have a good time while you're out there doing nothing less than trying to save our country. Think of our men and women in uniform if you need some perspective.
Like canvassing, there aren't a whole lot of folks who "like" to do this. But, truly, the issues at stake in this election are too important for such foolishness.
If you live in a swing state, there are hopefully a lot of campaign offices where you can volunteer. If not, you can do what those who live out of the area do: make calls from home.
If you live in a solid blue, or even a solid red state, making calls from home is a fantastic way to support the campaign. If you've never made calls from home on behalf of a campaign, there are a couple of things to know:
1. You don't pay any long distance bills. (The program is set up so it all goes through the campaign's 800 number.)
2. You needn't worry about how you're going to handle some complicated in-depth conversation with the person you call. That's not how it goes. Campaign calls typically fall into one of two categories in terms of the purpose they serve. They are either part of internal polling so the campaign knows which geographic areas to target, or they are part of a get-out-the-vote effort.
The script you follow is super-easy and very quick. (Each call takes about half a minute.) Most of the time you don't reach anyone and get voicemail. And when you do reach people, they will respond in any number of ways, including rudeness and rejection. Big deal. You just keep going and make the next call. If these calls weren't important to a campaign, they wouldn't do it. But they are important, so they must be done. Don't count on someone else to do them. Jump in and help. And again, if you need some perspective, just think of our men and women in uniform. That ought to snap you out of whatever reluctance you feel about making phone calls, for goodness' sake.
Light a fire under others to get involved
This is fun because you get to interact with like-minded people. Although if you can flip a voter (see next topic) and get him involved, my hat's off to you. But for the most part, lighting a fire under others is about reaching out to our base.
Let's start with the basics.
Believe it or not, a lot of folks don't vote. So help other conservatives register to vote and understand the voting options re: absentee ballot vs. polling place. Educate yourself about deadlines to make sure your efforts are effective.
Keep a log so you can follow up with these folks as Election Day gets closer. A registered voter who doesn't vote doesn't help. Also, some folks have difficulty getting to the polls. Help them out with transportation.
Another thing. T here are a lot of conservatives out there who only vote. Huh? What's wrong with that? Nothing. But we all have to do more than that this year. Way more. So get a fellow conservative involved working for the campaign. Go to the campaign web site with them and/or visit a campaign office if there is one in your area.
Flip a voter to our side
This is a great way to literally double our votes (and unlike with our opponents, it's a way to do it legally). Don't waste your time on die-hard liberals. Instead, focus on those who have not yet made up their minds. Focus on where there seems to be some opening in their thinking.
If we had more time, you could start slow by forwarding a link from a conservative site that is not a heavy-handed political piece -- something like a human interest story or an open-thread piece that is cute and funny. The Right Scoop often puts up cute animal videos for open threads. Once at the site, the person may become curious to read other pieces.
But I digress.
Really, I don't think we have time for that approach. It's too slow. So you've got to get down to business without overwhelming the other person with too much information or putting him on the defensive. Focus on one or two things that you think will resonate with him. Tap into his personality and his interests. And use the Socratic Method to engage him.
Get Romney/Ryan gear
Buy a tee-shirt. Put up a yard sign. Put a bumper sticker on your car.
If you feel too nervous to do any of this because of the type of community you live in, obviously you need to weigh the risks and make your decision accordingly. I've read comments on this issue ranging from concern about personal and property safety to being fed up with intimidation and everything in between. One creative idea someone had (sorry, I can't recall who) was to anticipate the damage done to his car if they put a bumper sticker on it (keying and/or tire slashing) and to send the money he would have had to spend on repairs directly to the campaign.
Figure out your own special way to support the campaign. Do it on your own or with friends and neighbors. Maybe you can coordinate with a local Tea Party or some other organization. Maybe you can find out how to set up a campaign table at a local farmer's market or some other community event. Consider hosting a special fundraising event at your house. Or contact your local RNC headquarters to see what kinds of activities they've got going on. Get creative and put your ideas into action. Don't procrastinate until next weekend. The hour is late, and the time to act is now!
So, if you're not involved, get involved. Today. And if you're already involved, light a fire under others. When we all take action, we become a massive force to be reckoned with.
We have precious few days remaining to reclaim our nation.