Can we at least agree that the Presidential Election is over? I am really getting tired of the constant media navel gazing, Democrat recriminations from Hillary on down, radicals trying through petitions to change the Electoral College, and Republicans dancing in the end-zone like they have never been there before.
Everyone was surprised by President Elect Trump’s victory, not that he wasn’t a flawed novice running for the nation’s highest office, but that the array of resources marshaled against him was, and I hate to use this over used word, “unprecedented” in modern Presidential campaigns.
What I would like to get across to my fellow Republicans is the apparent collective attitude that the Republican Party has been demoted to a loyal, minority party that will occasionally win an election when the stars align, God smiles on us or answers our prayers, or the stench of the previous Socialist Democrat administration becomes so great that the nation turns to Republicans to take a less odious breath.
I look at this election as a reprieve from the long march of Globalism and Socialist agendas. Yes we want a lot of mistakes, made by previous administrations, corrected and we are seeing an apoplectic reaction of anarchists and paid, leftist agitators realizing that many of their misguided policies and unconstitutional Executive Orders are going to be undone. This just means that they have to take several steps backward and temporarily will have to live with a slightly more Conservative political environment. The lesson here is that the left hates to have to retake previously gained political ground. They will be back, more devious than ever.
I think the word “reprieve” is appropriate in that we Republicans must take the next four years to reorganize ourselves into a principled conservative party that is strongly against borderless globalism that is the true enemy of our Constitutional Republic. Yes, we should be about offering positive alternatives to the liberty crushing Statism that currently infects the Socialist Democrat Party. Yes, we should be reinforcing our commitment to balanced budgets, smaller government, enforced borders and immigration laws, originalists on the Supreme Court, tossing out most if not all of Obamacare, reconstituting our national defense, ripping up many of Obama’s bureaucratic regulations, and renegotiate trade agreements that are detrimental to our economic growth.
These issues are easy, compared to making internal party changes. The first thing we need to do is clean out the RNC stable, top to bottom. Anyone in RNC associated with the Karl Rove wing of the Republican Party needs to be gone. There are many front groups that are either partially owned or at a minimum controlled by Karl and his cronies. Most Republicans do not realize the revolving door between these front groups and management positions inside the RNC, Republican Governors Association (RGA), National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and the newly formed Republican Leadership Institute (RLI). Eric Erickson wrote a great article showing us how this revolving door structure is setup to control and monetize internal influence peddling within the Republican Party. It’s called “The Incestuous Bleeding of the Republican Party,” and is an eye opening expose’ of the graft and corruption within our political party.
Once this swamp is drained and cleaned out, we quickly need to address the Republican Party in each state. My focus is and will continue to be the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), but colleagues around the country are so frustrated by what they see in their state, in some cases, are ready to start a third party, just to have a clean slate and avoid incubating cronyism in their new organization. I do hear that many states suffer from similar problems we enjoy here in Virginia.
A month or so ago I wrote an article entitled “Why is the Republican Party in Virginia Lazy”, published here at The Bull Elephant. The article addresses the problems in Virginia where RPV was created to be a weak political party that is focused on re-electing incumbent office holders with minimal accountability to the voters that put them in office. If interested, I would recommend reading that article as a supplement to this one.
So, what do we need to do during this reprieve that we have before us? First of all, we don’t need to keep doing what we have been doing here in Virginia. As I write this article we are over a week after the election and the party is going into hibernation. Oh, we will have our perfunctory meetings at the Unit and District level. The State Central Committee, the governing committee here in Virginia, will have their quarterly meetings and tinker with the Party Plan, but for the rank and file, everyone is snuggled in for a long winters nap and will only wake up next August or September once our candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General are decided. Then the approach of trying to cram nine to ten months of political activity into the proverbial three pound bag will begin, probably with the same results.
This frenetic approach to elections cannot continue if we ever want to win a statewide or national election in Virginia. Let’s look at a different approach that is being done in the Sixth Congressional District with great results. It is called “Think Local, WIN Bigger” and it is starting to win converts in pockets of political activism across the state. This approach has many facets and is too broad and deep for me to cover in this short article. What I would like to do is to touch on the highlights and let the readers comment below to flesh out what I mention here.
So what does “Think Local, WIN Bigger” mean?
Think Local, means that RPV and each District Committee must focus their attention on the local Unit Committee. Supporting the local Unit so they win their local elections for Soil Conservation, Sheriff, School Board, Board of Supervisors, Commonwealth Attorneys, etc. is the focus of RPV. By providing these local activists with what they need to win their local elections, simply consolidating and sharing these local activities benefits Delegates, Senators, and upper ballot offices for both State and Federal levels. This consolidating process defines the WIN Bigger part of this slogan.
Here are support items that are needed at the Unit level:
• The top priority activity is training of Unit Chairs and staff, if present. Training is broken down into two major parts. 1) managing an all-volunteer organization including growing membership, recruiting key staff members and future candidates, and fund raising fundamentals. 2) Understanding the major issues that motivate voters to vote. This will move the party away from the personality driven party of the past and focus us on important issues.
• The Unit’s voter interface is the precinct level organization. Precinct Organizing includes responsibilities, recruiting activists, identifying and understanding voters and their concerns within the precinct.
• Precinct volunteers take responsibility for Election Day Activities. These activities include volunteering as Election Officers, Poll Watchers, Outside Poll Workers, Voter transportation, Vote callers for GOTV, and recruiting precinct volunteers.
• Knowing your voters in your precinct provides the Precinct Captain with a known population for Unit membership growth.
• Knowing your voters in your precinct is accomplished by meeting them in formal and informal settings. Canvasing aka: door knocking allows you to ask voters that you know are Republicans or undecided or persuadeables political questions that allow building up data on each specific voter. This baseline data is stored in rVotes, a voter relationship management software package, and immediately becomes information for use at the local level and reusable upward to state and national campaigns.
• The Unit’s ownership of the data in rVotes allows the Unit to create a marketplace for its data, which makes this approach mostly self-funding.
• The proposed RPV Strategic Plan recommends that the party develop thoughtful issue positions (national, statewide and local levels) that help drive the profiling activities and data collection mentioned earlier during canvassing.
• The Strategic Plan also recommends a Statewide Membership Management System. As a party our leaders should be able to communicate to any identified group in our membership. In our fast moving information age the RPV Chair down to the Precinct captain must have the ability to timely inform our membership of political controversies and influence their resolution. Today that capability is non-existent.
The above list is a high-level outline of progress being made in the Sixth Congressional District as well as several others. If you are interested in exploring precinct organizing in depth for your Republican Unit please contact Tim Hannigan, Waples Mill Precinct Captain, in Fairfax. Send me a request at (firstname.lastname@example.org) for his contact information and I will forward it to him. He has recruited over 80 volunteers for his precinct operation and has achieved remarkable success.
The reprieve that the Trump campaign has given the Republican Party will be short lived. Remember that as of now, a week after the election, Hillary won the popular vote. The Electoral College saved us from her disastrous socialist policies for the next four years. Don’t think for a minute the Democrat vote machine will lose in 2020. They will be pulling out all the stops in four years, including trying to nullify the Electoral College.
Our party needs to use its time effectively or we will become a permanent minority party and we will have squandered our last reprieve.
P.S. I was informed after writing this article that Units in the Sixth District have already had 9 meetings since the Nov. 8 election. They are not hibernating; they are already organizing and working their precincts for the 2017 gubernatorial campaign.