Continuing with the discussion, let me report to you what often happens on the inside of many of these political planning meetings in campaigns, party, or independent organizations: To varying degrees, committees meet, plans are drafted, events are held, and when it’s all over, still not enough voters have been impacted.
As someone who has worked at the RNC and on Capitol Hill in Washington, served in local organizations, managed campaigns, and seen many independent groups function, I speak from experience. It’s still shocking to me how little actual time, focus, or energy is devoted directly to bringing new, better, and convincing information to the doorstep of those we must win to our side.
Having also served short stints working for government, the same kind of inaction and pencil pushing that bureaucracies are often criticized for also takes place in politics. Many political activists are dedicated, good-hearted folks. But the reason the country is where it’s at today is because too often the activity of those activists is too narrow.
The fact that their actions haven’t produced enough isn’t necessarily because they weren’t backed up with a boatload of good intentions. It’s because they weren’t focusing on the answer to this:
How many people are we really reaching and how persuasive is the information we’re delivering?
Back to the letter from that newly elected Precinct Committeeman:
“We need sales and marketing. We need good, conservative Precinct Committeeman to help spread the message about issues and our candidates. We need to create a plan for disseminating our message. It is a shame that someone hasn’t created social media like the internet, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to help with that. If only there was a service in this country that would allow us to send literature to other people, like a mailman.”
The letter continued:
“We need to welcome people into our party. You do that not by having golf outings and Christmas dinners where only the elected party people are invited. You do that by holding town halls, meet-and-greets and open format parties where people will feel welcome. You do that by walking neighborhoods and reaching out. You do that by embracing the TEA Parties and 9/12 project groups. These are Republicans and Independents alike and they share our values, or at least the values we used to share.”
While none of this is complicated, it’s still too often not getting accomplished. Not everyone wants to walk door to door, for example (I only do it when I’m forced to at gunpoint). And not everyone is good at it. But we all can play a role. As someone who isn’t a fan of door-knocking, I make it part of my duty to recruit more people who love it and are great at it.
I’ll give my friend the last word:
“Socialism is knocking at our door and it is up to the Republican Party to stop it. So, to my fellow Illinois Republicans I say, “Get your heads out of the sand and get serious!” Too much, much too much, is at stake.”
©2010 John Francis Biver