A few days ago I drew a parallel between the war munitions effort on the home front during World War II and the political information challenge we face today. Not everyone went to war on the front lines, but someone had to build those planes that dropped the bombs. Obviously in politics, not everyone can be a candidate or a full time activist.
A few friends of mine are launching a local level effort to help disseminate good information about issues and candidates to the people in their community. They’ve decided to do what they can where they live.
Who are these people? They’re conservatives – sick of what is going on and even sicker about how the Republican Party has failed to stick to principle. The leaders of this effort are young – thirty-somethings (that’s young to me). The debt burden and fiscal mess that the twenty- and thirty-somethings are inheriting because of government over-spending is a great example of the immorality ushered in via the generation that came of age in the 1960s.
These local leaders come from various backgrounds. There are Republicans in the group as well as independent minded conservatives. There are even a few Republican Precinct Committeemen – but they’re greatly outnumbered by those who are more likely to turn up at a TEA party or 9/12 Project event than a local GOP meeting.
Their goal is simple – gather good information and disseminate it. Help good candidates get elected wherever possible. Help more voters break through the informational fog about who should be supported and who should be rejected.
No bull. No bylaws. No titles. Just a back to basics effort. Issues, candidates, and what they think their friends and neighbors should consider before going to the polls.
They’re early on in their “organizing,” and are reaching out to folks they know are already interested in joining up and pitching in. They’ve secured the voter list – in this case, it’s a township wide list. They’re penciling out a plan that will change depending upon resources, time, and available volunteer support.
They’re educating themselves about important policy proposals and governmental boondoggles. They’re tracking down voting records of elected officials and the issue positions of local, state, and national candidates whose name appear on their ballot.
They’ve already opened a website, started gathering email addresses, and plan to print flyers, send mailings, and run ads in local publications where possible and appropriate. It’s all about getting information out and into people’s hands. They’re not waiting on the candidates and campaigns to get the job done.
Much of what this still small group is attempting can be done by spending little money. But if mailing costs mount up, they can always throw a fun event as a fundraiser to ask people to contribute. This is a generous country, and people will give to good causes.
The best case scenario is that a lot of these small counter-insurgent groups would spring up and eventually new leaders would emerge who would decide to finally take over the mostly flat-lined and failed Republican Party apparatus.
This localized effort isn’t unique – and in the coming months I’ll report on their progress and the example being set by people who are filling in the void created by a dilapidated – and too often corrupt – Republican Party.
©2010 John Francis Biver