GOP 101: Tapping into “that something different” in the American fabric

Here’s an excerpt from a note I received just yesterday:

Most of us cannot stomach politics. We’re watching what appears to be the rapid disembowelment of our country — and it’s not easy to stay ‘checked in’ to it all. I’m not surprised that others are staying checked out. Not that I don’t care anymore but it’s all just too horrible to watch without a game plan of some sort. People are busy with their lives but need to get involved. But what’s the plan?

People here at home may not be focused on what’s going on day to day but do cherish their one acre lots (as opposed to 500 square foot apartments). I’m as convinced as ever that there’s something different in the modern American fabric. The same thing that keeps us eating 30 minute lunches and jockeying for a better spot in traffic will also keep us from going quietly into socialism. Like small children, we all like our autonomy, our independence, and our very own stuff, and we’re stubborn about it — all redeeming characteristics in the end.

Another good friend of mine told me I include too many quotes from others in my articles. I disagree — when others find better words than I do — I let them talk. The goal is connecting, not building up personal word counts.

I’ve said it often — the country doesn’t lack for good commentary or research or policy ideas in the conservative movement. We lack a working vehicle for conveying all that great stuff to more people in a format that can be digested by the many hearers.

Some of us are convinced that the most important effort going forward is to focus on building the Republican Party into what it should be in the 21st Century. We have enough independent groups — issue advocacy, social clubs, and think tanks. What is needed is a strong organization where the political rubber meets the road.

And that’s the GOP — the party has the ballot line, after all, and that party should be controlled by conservatives. Does that mean middle-of-the-roaders aren’t allowed in? Heck no. They’re welcome — and they’ll come our way when they see principled people leading the charge.

Let’s face it — there are no “moderate” solutions. The problems this country faces — from the local level through to the state on up to the federal government level — are enormous and are being made worse by those very governmental entities charged with applying the cure. Creating yet another blog or underfunded interest group isn’t what the doctor ordered.

So to get practical — what is the plan? Our focus here in Illinois is to do what we can to obviously encourage more people to step up and help begin the Party building process. I’ve outlined some of the dynamics of this in our GOP 101 series. Let’s for a moment get back to the simple fundamentals.

Solutions are needed for the many policy ailments facing us. I’d argue that this task should be and has been accomplished by the many free market and traditional values supporting organizations across the nation.

Then we need effective articulation of those solutions. I’d argue that this, too, is a long way to being accomplished by writers and commentators including those on talk radio. Unfortunately not enough citizens ever hear the message.

So candidates are needed to campaign on those solutions — and those already elected must work to build public support for those solutions. None of this is easy, but it isn’t complicated either. How many voters are being reached through the efforts of Republican politicians? The answer to that question isn’t a favorable one — and that’s why conservatives are currently suffering in this lousy state of affairs.

Of course effective fundraising is also required to fund all of the tasks that volunteer sweat equity can’t pay for. Conservatives have yet to get serious about tapping the yet untapped donors from coast to coast who withhold political donations for good reason — and that is, they don’t trust Republican politicians to get the job done.

All of that is a great deal of work which can only be accomplished through the pioneering efforts of many people. Wanted are strong Americans who can strike out into the territories where the GOP is under- or completely un-developed. It’s a good thing we’re a nation built by people who had courage and tenacity. Those characteristics run in our blood, albeit too often silently when it comes to basic politics.

So — again — what can a busy person do? I can address it in Illinois terms more easily than I can for those living in other states. I’ll do so tomorrow.

Up next: Diagnosing the health of your local GOP organization.