Be Vocal. Act Local.
Like many conservatives, I'm trying to figure out how to make things better at a time when things are getting worse. I participate politically in the usual ways by supporting candidates I believe in, educating others, and voting. But it does not feel like enough. And of late, it has felt only marginally effective, if that.
Most recently, I came across two sources of inspiration, the latter of which offers what I believe is a roadmap to improved success at the polls - both in terms of the quality of the candidates and the outcome.
First, a voice of inspiration: Laura Rosen Cohen, who has a blog called End of Your Arm, recently wrote a piece about speaking out. In particular, about speaking out in the face of those who wish to silence you. Here are some excerpts.
Was reading this very interesting article about Stalin and his blue editor's pencil.
"Even when not wielding his blue pencil, Stalin's editorial zeal was all-consuming. He excised people-indeed whole peoples-out of the manuscript of worldly existence, had them vanished from photographs and lexicons, changed their words and the meanings of their words, edited conversations as they happened, backing his interlocutors into more desirable (to him) formulations"
The totalitarians are at the gate again.
The stakes are higher now and the weapons much more destructive than the blue editor's pencil of the past, but the aims are the same: you are to submit, and they want total control.
Are you going to live your life ever cautious, under an invisible editor's thumb?
I refuse to submit. I'll take my lumps.
I do not need anyone's permission to be free.
Let the totalitarian editors frantically wave their blue pencils in your face.
Let them pant and sweat and bark and bay till they are blue in the face.
And then laugh at them and continue to defend what is rightly ours: liberty.
I challenge you to write your own stories, speak your mind and always refuse to submit to the unseen hand, the unseen editor whose name dare not be spoken.
I loved what she wrote.
I fear it is not enough to speak out. We must also win elections.
Which brings me to a comment posted by Dan Schultz (who uses the handle "ColdWarrior") at The Right Scoop. Mr. Schultz explained a strategy for political action that can have a major impact on the outcome of elections -- a strategy he notes is simple and requires a very small commitment of time. To paraphrase:
Conservatives need to "unite and organize" in the communities in which they live by joining the local Republican Party committee.
(Hold on! Don't throw your hands up in the air and think this is about becoming a card-carrying member of the GOP and supporting establishment go-along-to-get-along candidates, because it's anything but. It's about conservatives taking over the party from the inside.)
Mr. Schultz rightly observes that conservatives are splintered into a multitude of groups without being unified in the one political organization that matters the most: the Republican Party.
(I understand that just seeing the words Republican Party may make you want to gag these days, but please hang in there with me and keep reading.)
He explains how we can (re)claim power within the party by filling committee slots (often called "precinct committeeman"). Half of these slots are currently vacant across the nation. That's about 200,000 slots.
Those slots can remain vacant, which diminishes our influence in primaries and elections. They can be filled with members of the GOP who will basically uphold the status quo. Or they can be filled with conservatives. It's our choice.
Mr. Schultz's states: "200,000 conservatives, who want to really 'do something' to help our country need to fill up these slots so we can transform the Republican Party from a half-strength, ideologically split Party into a full-strength, solidly conservative political party with a great Get Out The Vote ground game in every precinct so we can endorse the best conservative candidates in the all-important, traditionally-very-low-turnout primary elections and then help Get Out The Vote for those conservative candidates."
Mr. Schultz also provided links to organizations doing work to advance this goal.
The Precinct Project has a web site with a wealth of information, including information about how the process works in each state.
The Precinct Project has been launched in an effort to help educate and motivate conservatives across the country to become more involved in the political process. Toward that end, we are working to gather and curate an ever-growing amount of information about how to become a Precinct Chairman or Committeeman, how to be effective in that role and how to maximize your impact within the party system.
The Precinct Project is powered by The Madison Project and operated in conjunction with some of the nation's most effective conservative activists. This project would not be possible without the indispensable work of Dan 'ColdWarrior' Schultz and Ron Robinson. We are joined in this effort by a number of supporting individuals and organizations.
There was also a link to Unified Patriots, a web site with a lot of resources including a terrific short video well worth watching where the process of infiltrating the GOP is visually and verbally explained.
And as an inspirational bonus, here's a video where John Wayne and Ronald Reagan talk about the strategy discussed above.
I believe the ideas Mr. Schultz shared about conservatives infiltrating and ultimately taking over the GOP in our communities is critically important. This kind of organization is one of many areas where the left is far ahead of us and we need to catch up. Fast!
For people living in solid blue regions of the country, the potential impact of this approach may be limited to local elections. But local is how we build from the ground up. And any local positions that are filled will not only be important in and of themselves, but will also be crucial starting points for elected officials to build their political resumes.
In addition to impacting local politics, the implications of this strategy can be far-reaching and powerful. We often hear talk of primaries to remove RINO's from office and I've wondered where the candidates come from to run in the primary. How are they identified? How are they supported? It's great to say certain incumbents should be primaried, but we need to identify and support strong conservative candidates to offer as an alternative. In order to do that, we need to be well-positioned to have influence in every district. Mr. Schultz's recommendations will do that very thing. It is a viable path forward.