GOP 101: Local leadership is needed

If you’re not happy with the performance of the Republicans you’ve elected to office — there is something you can do about it even if you’re busy raising kids, working to make ends meet, building a business, or retired. You can get involved in your local GOP organization — or to put it another way — “Help bring life to the Illinois GOP: Crash the party.”

If you don’t have much time — give what you can. A very busy person can at least involve themselves enough so other local Republicans are inspired to act. You can also recruit others who might have more free time.

Chances are if you’re doing any of those things mentioned above (raising kids, working, building a business, retired), you’re more than able to learn enough about party politics to have a positive impact on an Illinois GOP that is in need of new life and leadership at the state and local level.

You don’t have to take the helm of an organization to show leadership. One of the most important things necessary in the next few months and years is merely encouraging as many people as you can to exercise their civic muscles. Not unlike many of us middle aged folks when it comes to physical exercise, our habit as citizens has been to defer — let others run things — and mainly treat politics as entertainment.

Let me tell you who isn’t treating government as a spectator sport: those who wish to profit from higher taxes or those who support radical and destructive social policies. Too many of us for too long have been “Citizens in name only.” That must change.

The political arena is out of balance right now — the left is far more engaged than the right. If more conservatives don’t step up this country will not right itself.

This is why I’ve put together this series “GOP 101.” Many rank and file Republicans have only engaged on election day. Many have settled for playing the role as a talk radio or cable news audience member. Meanwhile, too few with the financial means have contributed enough to the right causes and candidates.

If the messes created by government are ever going to be cleaned up, we’re going to need the equivalent of local political war colleges. As much as some of us don’t like it, the fact is inescapable — the political process is the pathway to taking back control of the government.

In a state like Illinois with over 6,000 units of government, at a minimum we will have to have as many county, township, and ward GOP organizations in good working order to restrain the tax-eating beast.

Not everyone is cut out to be a precinct committeeman — but if you live in a precinct without a good committeeman — help recruit someone to fill that spot. In Cook County, where precinct captains aren’t elected but appointed, I’d encourage you to reach out to your elected township or ward committeeman to learn if someone has been appointed to work your precinct.

There are many, many ways to volunteer time as we’ve outlined. At this point, the Republican Party at the local level has mostly unrealized potential. Instead the party can be the home for all manner of political and governmental information. The voters in your ward, township, and county should see the offices of the local GOP as a valuable resource.

Free societies just don’t happen. Civil societies just don’t happen. The work to preserve — to improve — continues with every generation. For a generation now, conservatives have been led to believe that there were organizations “out there” that would do the work for them — this has led to disaster.

As the Obama-Reid-Pelosi machine runs amok nationally and the Quinn-Madigan-Cullerton train wreck continues on here in Illinois, more rank and file Republicans need to get serious about their role as American citizens.

Up next: Impacting local and regional public opinion.