Most of us at C4P share the ultimate goal of the fundamental restoration of America, coalescing around the principles of freedom, common sense and incorruptibility that Governor Palin champions. Obviously, many of us thought that that goal would be accomplished with President Palin at the helm of the country. While it appears that she has "taken the fight in a different direction," we would do well to follow her admonition to "Keep your powder dry" and be prepared for the coming year, whatever developments arise.
There is much we cannot see from our vantage point, and I think it’s clear that many of us only have some pieces of the puzzle. Regardless of how events play out – whether Governor Palin is involved in the coming election as an official candidate, spokesperson for a cause, or some other role we haven’t yet fathomed – we must determine to chart a clear and certain path to victory, one that ensures that our efforts will not be expended in vain.
Quite honestly, the Governor already gave us our cue, and the logical next steps for all good citizens should be very clear. In her Facebook post titled Conquering the Storm on August 8th, she wrote:
Our destiny is still in our own hands if we pick ourselves up and act responsibly and quickly. We must all get involved. Concerned Americans must seek truth, work harder than ever, and be willing to sacrifice today to ensure freedom tomorrow. Please get engaged in 2012 electoral politics and support experienced, vetted, pro-free market fiscal conservatives who will dedicate all to preserving our Republic and protecting our Constitution.
Seek truth. Work hard. Support good candidates. What does this look like in basic, practical terms, especially for a wave of newly-engaged and inspired activists who are just waking up to the realities of electoral politics for the first time in this election cycle? For those who are new to politics, what should we be doing between now and Election Day 2012, and for those who are familiar with political activism, how can we explain the objectives and goals to our friends, family, and acquaintances so that they’ll be inspired and motivated to get involved?
Here’s what you might say:
1) Vet candidates. All candidates, from all levels of government. Examine their accomplishments, and weigh their rhetoric against their records. Verify your facts, realizing that formerly trusted sources may well have hidden agendas, and seek out the truth for yourself from original sources.
We’ve been attempting to do this at C4P, but there’s only so much we can do. There are many, many critical races across the country, and the high-profile ones will tend to get the most attention, but the local ones are just as important to research and highlight. Most candidates for higher office rise up through the ranks. The school board, mayor, and state house races form the training grounds from which next decade’s national leaders will emerge. Work now to fill these positions with the best people possible.
Even if your preferred presidential candidate does not make it to the nomination, commit now to work hard in the next election cycle. If you simply cannot bring yourself to cast a vote for the presidential nominee, don’t for a moment consider sitting this one out. The down-ticket races are just as crucial to the future of our country.
2) Educate yourself about the rules and happenings in your community. Do you know the filing deadlines, primary dates, local GOP/Tea Party meetings, precinct boundaries, polling places, and party leadership for your state, county, and community? Find out. Look it up, ask someone who knows, and then spread the word.
3) Educate yourself about political history, strategy, and tactics. Study successful campaigns, and learn how we can replicate and surpass the fantastic results enjoyed by our political opponents. For an excellent introduction to the Left’s testing ground of new tactics, read The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care). We can do this! We at the grassroots do not have the same access to money or muscle, but because we have the passion and the numbers, we can achieve far more impressive results if we can get organized enough to pull it off. We need unity, coalition-building amongst various faction groups who have a significant overlap of interest, and a single-mindedness of focus. More on the tools to accomplish this in a future post.
4) Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, put your boots to the ground in the most powerful, productive, and time-tested method possible: become active in your community. The best and most effective way you can change the course of the nation is by influencing your community at the precinct level. Obama brought the idea of "community organizing" to the forefront during the 2008 election cycle, but the concept of precinct organizing isn’t rocket science. Who has the best ground game is the bedrock of retail politicking, and will determine the course of the election(s).
For a better understanding of this simple yet profound concept, read this insightful article at The Precinct Project:
The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy, outlined below, entails a tried-and-true, peaceful, Constitutional, ballot box solution to our present political predicament. The procedures and system for this solution have been in existence for decades. Obama used them…..
Who elects the leadership of the parties? Do you know? Are you a registered Republican? Guess what? As a “mere” registered Republican voter, without more, you DID NOT have a vote in the election of the present leadership of the Republican Party. Sorry, but those are the facts.
ONLY elected precinct committeemen get to vote for the leadership of the Party. Do I yet have your attention? Ponder the fact that ONLY elected precinct committeemen get to elect the Party leadership. Don’t you want to have a vote in those elections?
About 3,141 counties exist in the United States. Each has a county party organization. And, those county organizations almost always endorse candidates in the party primaries. And, usually, those party-endorsed candidates win. Tired of the kind of Republican In Name Only Republicans who are winning the primaries? Then DO SOMETHING REAL and become a Republican Party precinct committeeman! Guess what? About half of the Republican Party precinct committeeman slots, nationwide, are unfilled!….
Spend a few moments and picture this in your mind’s eye: thousands of conservatives flock to the Republican Party and join it as precinct committeemen. And, in the next internal party elections, these conservatives (you, me and others) elect NEW, CONSERVATIVE leadership. (Or, instead, these same conservatives (me, excepted) sit behind their computer screens and put first on their priority list, instead of second, writing that next, great blog post that is going to, somehow, save the republic.)….
The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy CAN work. Now. I have seen it work first hand….The conservatives won because about a thousand conservatives left their keyboards for a couple of hours each month and got into the REAL political ball game. So, I and others continue to try to recruit more conservatives into the precinct committeeman ranks. We try to get people off the sidelines and into the ACTUAL, REAL ball game. The rough-and-tumble hard work of actually showing up – God forbid – at a Republican Party legislative district meeting once a month. Instead of typing away to the conservative choir on the internet.
Fingers to the keyboard certainly has its place, and we’ve seen the effect a small number of coached and paid trolls can have on shaping the narrative, when coordinated – through various "Rapid Response Teams" – to launch broadsides on numerous online outlets. It’s important to understand how the game is rigged, so we can see behind the smoke and mirrors to the "men behind the curtain." However, that strategy will become less potent as more and more people wake up to the realities of how the system is manipulated. A few dozen Journolisters and their acolytes should not be allowed to hold sway over the prevailing dialogue. As Governor Palin so astutely observed in her Newsweek interview, "the mainstream press is becoming less and less relevant.” They’re only as important as they can convince people they are.
We need to keep our focus on the real ground game: organizing our precincts for victory. Are you signed up?