The answer is–NO, they do not.
Political power is manifested in a number of ways, but the biggest in a democratic republic is the ability to get governing majorities elected that support your policies.
If Republican and conservative “professionals” did understand, they would be devoting themselves full time to doing the work that wins elections. Here is the reality: they devote little if any time to real election work.
Leftists are boldly wrecking Illinois and are ten months into boldly wreaking havoc in our nation’s capital because they know how to win elections. In key states, they even know how to control the outcome of elections no matter how many votes are cast against their candidates.
Any normal voter would assume that the focus of Republicans and conservatives who work in politics would be on doing what it takes to win enough elections. That assumption would be wrong.
Most candidates and office holders have their hands full getting themselves elected and reelected. And the vast majority of Republicans and conservatives who earn a living in politics are otherwise engaged in talking and writing and informing and entertaining the choir. Ground-level election work—the only work that wins elections—that work is left for others to accomplish.
And boy oh boy, those inside the Republican Conservative Industrial Complex (RCIC) cheer on those little people out there. “You go girl! You go guy! Get out there and register voters and walk precincts and do all the painstaking work that closely monitors elections! Don’t mind that dirt under your fingernails! You’re the salt of the earth! The people who make this country work!”
“Don’t mind us and the millions of dollars we spend and earn accomplishing things at the proverbial 30,000 feet level. We have our job to do, you have yours. Godspeed!”
Here’s the thing: If for a couple of years we shut down 90 percent of what constitutes the RCIC, leaving only what might be called “essential workers” on the job, and then took those dollars and applied them to paying to get real election work accomplished, we would see big progress, and fast.
As a long time veteran of the arena, allow me to share with you what would be a couple of stock responses to my RCIC Shut Down idea.
“We have always done it this way and we know better than you (implied in the “you” is you being “the non-experts” and “the great unwashed”).
“Leftists pay people to do political work and that is corrupt. Republicans and conservatives instead depend upon [pure and holy] volunteers to avoid such corruption.”
Recently I was given permission by my long time editor to use the word “stupid.” She prefers the high road, and thinks terms like “stupid” are not helpful. She’s now given me a temporary dispensation for words like “stupid.”
It’s an old cliché: the Democrats are the evil party and the Republicans are the stupid party. I’m not sure if most people understand how right that is.
Let’s focus on the latter: the stupid thinking inside the GOP (which includes conservatives!).
It is stupid to think that paying people to do political work is corrupt. You would think that would be obvious to those inside the RCIC who are paid generous salaries.
It is stupid to ignore the financial incentives that drive leftists into the political arena to make sure the work gets done so they win enough elections.
It is stupid to think our side is going to magically produce an all-volunteer political army that will defeat those nasty mercenary Democrat activists.
(If the “all-volunteer” nature of our armed forces comes to your mind, clear your mind. We pay members of our military.)
It is stupid to applaud the good people on the political right as those who raise children, work jobs, build businesses, and make America great—and then think that enough of those busy people have time and money to donate to political activities.
And it is really stupid for Republican and conservative donors to continue to fund more of the same while expecting a different result.
I realize that using the word “stupid” this often in one article might cause my editor’s dispensation to expire.
It should be emphasized that the many good people that populate the RCIC believe they are truly having an impact, and some believe they are bringing innovative approaches to politics. The fact is, though, any “new approaches” or apps or better use of “data” or social media messaging still does not get done the ground-level work that wins elections.
It is not an oversimplification to say the right loses because they are too stupid to pay to get the work done, or that leftists win (even though they are evil) because they do pay to get the work done.
Leftists understand and pay to get political power. Republicans and conservatives do not.
Up next: Steve Bannon’s War Room and the Need for Mass Mobilization on the MAGA Right.
Image credit: Convention of States.
The Ground War ongoing series of articles can be found here.