As I was reading Andrew Hull’s soliloquy on the life of a campaign worker (and all of you should read this by the way…), I began thinking about the young men and women who make these campaigns possible. Many of you know what it is like to work on a campaign, or what it is like to depend upon those who do for signs, literature, door knockers, etc.
I started thinking of my impression of the young men and women who’ve killed themselves for the party over the last few years. I think about Andrew Hull, Scott Presler, and Jacob Neff. I think about Millennial activists and young republicans like Nadia Elgendy, Lauren Keiser, and Stacie Gordon. I think about guys like Dave Abbey, who worked for Rob Wittman last year. I think about John Vick, who was a field director in my area last year, but who now works for the Republican Party of Virginia. I think about geniuses like Elliot Harding, who is now Tom Garrett’s Legislative Council.
You know what all these people have in common?
They are happy people.
The real movers and shakers in the Republican Party are happy people.
When I was a hiring manager for several big-box stores in North Carolina and Virginia, I had a policy I used in determining who I hired and who I didn’t; practically irrespective of their applications – I hired happy people. Why? Because happy people are happy to get involved, happy to do their job, happy to tackle difficult circumstances, and happy to succeed when success is uncertain.
If a person was happy in their interview, happy with the job description, and happy with the pay I offered, that meant far more than whatever they said on their application.
I think politicians and political parties have discovered this same truth: Hire Happy People!
The fact is, in politics, life is easy for folks who are miserable, who complain, who throw their hands in the air and wave them around like they just don’t care.
The hard-working happy activist tends to be running our TEA Party’s (Mark and Anita Hile), volunteering for candidates they believe in, getting paid to work on campaigns, moving up within party or a candidate’s staffing organization, or finding themselves with an audience in the blogosphere.
The once-happy, now viciously-unhappy activist finds themselves with a shockingly shrinking roster of friends and allies, fewer organizations willing to pay them (unless they are particularly ruthless), and less and less joy in the process of advocating for what they believe in. They find themselves shouting, in a bar, about why they are the only one’s with the truth and how conspiracy theories are responsible for everything the average person sees before them. In other words, the wretched, unhappy people are Alex Jones.
We all know the mother’s basement-dwelling facebook/twitter activist/trolls who take every opportunity to lament RNC’s and RPV’s inevitable doom, while prophesying petulant catastrophes which fly in the face of the reality that Republicans have been gaining ground across America for years.
I think about my favorite politicians in the Commonwealth. I think about Congressmen Wittman, Brat, and Garrett. These are happy people – dedicated, but happy. I think about State Delegates like Nick Freitas, who is the epitome of a man with his life together and happy because it. Nick Freitas has an amazing family – blessed with a beautiful wife who can match his intellect and rhetorical skill. (If that doesn’t make a man happy, what will?)
What did President Ronald Reagan call us? Speaking at CPAC, Ronald Reagan said,
So, let us go forth with good cheer and stout hearts – happy warriors out to seize back a country and a world to freedom.
Damn right. There’s a reason why Nick Freitas is in the General Assembly and why John Vick is working for the RPV. Smart, hard-working, HAPPY people can make a difference in this world.
What about the unhappy people? Aren’t they everywhere?
Of course they are, but they aren’t handing out signs, literature, and drop-lit. They aren’t getting hired by Congressmen and women. Ed Gillespie isn’t surrounding himself with a staff of the perpetually miserable and malcontent. These are the people politicians support in private, in the dark of night, funneling money to in secret.
The mark of the perpetually miserable and malcontent is a shrinking social group. The mark of the perpetually miserable and malcontent is shrinking influence.
Why are so many unhappy people so unhappy?
Their bad-attitudes make it impossible for the people that make decisions to deal with them on a daily basis. Congressmen don’t want to return their calls. Unit Chairmen cringe when their phone’s ring, just in case it’s one of them.
Don’t lie Unit-Chairmen and women, you know it’s true and you know who they are.
A unit could be unified, doing what it has to do to defeat Democrats that want to take away our guns, use our taxes to kill fetuses, and increase taxes on the very people who are creating the jobs we depend upon – and what happens? Angry activists find some vote, some small flaw or fault, and we scream, “WITCH! WITCH!”.
We tie these evil-doers with whom we agree on 75% of the issues to stakes and damn them to hell; because they failed our purity test – and then we blame them when Democrats, with whom we agree 15% of the time, get into office.
If Republicans are going to win in 2017 and 2018, then we are going to need our Happy Warriors. If you’ve given up on the Republican Party and you want to jump ship, then you need to contact Bo Brown and actually get to work. Do you know how hard it is to run the Libertarian Party in Virginia? I guarantee you that Bo Brown and the LP of VA hear all kinds of support – but who’s donating money? Who’s volunteering? They have plenty of people who support them, just no one willing to make a difference. Brutal. The LPVA is hearing all kinds of niceties online, and no one is donating their time or money. There are reasons I left the Libertarian Party in 2012. Bo – Contact me when you are ready.
Candidates – hire happy people. Unit Chairmen – advance happy people. RPV, hire happy people. This strategy never failed me in the private sector and it won’t fail you in the public sector either.
If you want to make a difference, figure out how to be a happy and productive person.