In my last article I ran this quote from political philosophy professor Harry Jaffa:
[T]he salvation of the Republican Party, if it is to come, must come from the conservative movement within it.
We didn’t need to hear from a college professor to know that — but it’s good backup nevertheless.
Conservatives who are members of the Republican Party have a lot of work to do — and we’ve been addressing some of what can be done in the past couple of articles. Most of the activity will take place at the community level — where the local parties can provide a real service within the process.
For example, they can and should be a resource of institutional knowledge when it comes to a slew of political details. Whether it is fundraising, campaign management, or lists of possible volunteers, local parties can be a font for connecting and learning how things are (or can be) done. This service wouldn’t just be for candidates, but for all Republicans concerned with winning public support for the right policy course correction. The local GOP should retain the materials so every new effort doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Local organizations can sponsor town hall meetings to discuss state and local issues. They can host debates between candidates. When contentious local issues arise they can provide a forum for discussion and the input of ideas.
For those local groups willing and able to go beyond the minimum, there are countless ideas for constructive and productive activities. For example, a well developed and well advertised website can cover important state and local issues that are of particular concern to the members of the organization. It’s a way to engage the citizens every day.
Depending upon interest, the local GOP website could provide links to trustworthy news sources and governmental watchdog efforts. With so many units of government and an evolving media landscape, there is an increasing need for citizen oversight of state and local government that the Republican Party should be involved in and encouraging strongly.
Who are the locally elected leaders? The boards, the commissions, the local opinion leaders? What are the budgets of the local governments? How many people are employed by these governmental units? How well are they functioning? The list of possible questions is long.
The country and the Republican Party aren’t going to save themselves. Conservative Republicans have to get off their backsides and stop shirking their responsibility as citizens. The actions we are discussing in these posts, as I’ve said, are simple. So why aren’t they getting accomplished?
When the Constitutional Convention in 1787 decided to begin the U.S. Constitution with the words “We the People,” they weren’t looking to be artful. They were making it easy for even those with Attention Deficit Disorder to be reminded who is in charge.
We’re not done with this subject — no, not by a long shot. See you next time.
Image credit: constitutioncenter.org.