All legal political activities are paid for with dollars that are donated to the cause. I say “legal,” because there is plenty of illegal use of taxpayer dollars to pay for political action—especially (but not exclusively), on the political left. (Ever notice how when the lefties take back power in Washington, passing “stimulus” bills are their first priorities? Much of that money goes right into the pockets of their lefty friends who helped win the last election and as pre-payment for their work on the next election.)
So—it is safe to say that if there is a problem with politics and political action—the place to look for the problem and the solution is the donor community. While small and medium size donations make up a big part of what is spent and misspent, the real failure is that of the generous large donors. They have an important leadership role to play—and they are not playing it.
Currently, many of those donors have people they trust to screen out what would be time-wasters, those seeking support for this or that project. That is completely understandable. There is only so much daylight, and some triage is necessary. There are also many donors who rely on their fellow big donors for guidance; if donor “A” supports a cause, so will donor “B.”
Their bad judgment about those they choose to donate to limits their ability to hold election day losers accountable and force the kind of change needed to win in the next. At the foundational level, those influential and generous donors are not given access to better information. It is past time for them to seek it out.
A question that has to keep being answered is: with that system, where are we today? Have the donors gotten their “return on investment” (ROI) in the political sphere? A look at who controls government in Washington, D.C., and Springfield, Illinois (my state’s capital) answers that question definitively.
So what’s the solution? For donors to wake the hell up and stop trusting the knuckleheads whose judgment they’ve been relying on.
The conundrum is that those who would bring innovation to the system and focus on real election work (instead of just endless writing and talking) lack the celebrity status to get a hearing with important donors.
Just that fact alone is fascinating when examined. Big donors tend to look to big names—political celebrities—to trust. Unfortunately, celebrity status is the very thing that should disqualify someone from being listened to. They are the ones who have had access to the kind of resources that would enable them and others to fund the work that is not getting done. These celebrities either run a current organization, a big name consulting practice, or host a talk radio show. And over the course of years they have shown they do not know what to do to even guarantee legitimate elections.
If they knew what to do they’d be doing it or actively looking for those who do know what to do.
Instead, the celebrity and “VIP” echo chamber continues on, and few seem to even be aware of it.
Previously, I mentioned Ned Ryun in this series—he is with the excellent organization American Majority. In a recent speech he said that going forward, the only thing that will make a difference is “…meaningful, purposeful, targeted action…” He said it all depends upon what everyone on our side will do. There is no cavalry coming, he said, we have to fight. “We have to regain power including at the local level.”
The donors have the power to force changes that are necessary so that work starts to get accomplished on the scale needed. But they have to be told how they are wasting their money. Good luck trying to get their ear so they can hear what they need to hear.
The Ground War ongoing series of articles can be found here.
Image credit: GoodFreePhotos.com.