Some forgotten or never-learned political basics

With the government takeover of health care in Washington there’s a lot of talk about how Americans are even more dependent on the federal government. This culture of dependency is destructive. Democracy without personal responsibility is impossible.

People should be responsible for their own pensions and health insurance – not government or their employer. People should be responsible for the education of their children. It is fine for tax dollars to help cover the costs of K-12, but the system shouldn’t be under the control of the government.

Most of all, Americans need to show personal responsibility for their political system. That’s right – to use the old saying – we get the government we deserve. To the extent too many voters forfeited the public square to the tax eaters and social policy left wing radicals, we now are suffering the consequences.

The good news is that the TEA party like organizations springing up everywhere are just what we’ve been waiting for. Now those new or newly energized activists have to learn the ropes, learn to take some punches, and learn to fight and win in the political arena.

I spoke with a friend on the phone yesterday about things taking place on the ground in his county Republican organization. A week earlier he had mentioned to me that good things were happening, so I called to get the details. Those details are good, indeed, but they’re not anything earth-shattering or novel. What’s taking place in his county is a return to political basics.

For those of us relative old-timers in politics, this list is old hat:

  • Building and maintaining a voter file.
  • Voter registration drives.
  • Recruiting and training of precinct committeeman.
  • Recruiting and training of election judges.
  • Recruiting and training of poll watchers.
  • Setting up an election day HQ.
  • GOTV (Get Out The Vote).

But the sad fact is, those activities aren’t on the forefront of enough activists’ minds, let alone the local Republican Party organizations spread around the state in wards, townships, and counties.

If Republicans are going to attain majority status again and then govern successfully afterwards, there must be a return to those basics. And those basics must be sustained.

My friend also noted the work in his county GOP to help improve communication between elected Precinct Committeemen in his county. His effort is to improve internal communication – as he noted, both vertical and horizontal:

“The goal is to put Precinct Committeeman in touch with each other so they can network, so they can know who else is out there. In the past there has been too much isolation.”

Some people love all this kind of political stuff. Some only like it or tolerate it. Some hate it. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, I’ve got good news and bad news. All party Platform supporting Republicans have a duty to play a part.

As I noted in the GOP 101 series – there are as many activities needed as there are talents. Find out what you can do – and pitch in. The future of the country depends upon how many of our friends and allies on the political right we can rally into constructive political action. The political left is in motion as we can see in Illinois and in Washington, D.C. Their “success” is costing us dearly.

For those who would like to learn more about the bulleted points made above – just Google the words and start clicking (no kidding). You don’t have to attend campaign school. But of course, if you’re that interested, there’s a great deal of benefit from attending a good one.

For those who’d rather learn online, there’s a ton of good information to be found. Just a quick search of “GOTV” for example brought up this Wikipedia page.

For those of you lucky enough to know some political veterans, now is the time to tap into their institutional knowledge of how things used to work in the olden days. There’s a great deal of work that has to take place during the next seven months and beyond – and we need you.

©2010 John Francis Biver