On the Wednesday edition of the Rush Limbaugh Show, a mom named Susan from Glendale, California called with the most awesome rant I have heard in quite a while. You can read the transcript, but you really have to hear the audio to appreciate her level of frustration with the direction of the country.
Susan wanted to know what she could do, before the 2010 elections, to stop the destruction of our country.
There are lots of things we can do, but the main thing is we must infiltrate both political parties, from the inside out, and bring them back to American values. This advice applies to Democrats, too, many of whom don't like that the Marxist wing has taken over their party. Conservatives should become Precinct Committeemen (PCs). More on that later.
Susan, there are lots of things you personally can do. The political system in this country has never been more vulnerable to the power of the dedicated, smart individual, such as yourself.
- Write letters to the editor
- Make calls to Party officials and office holders
- Join Redstate.com and local blogs
- Join the team
Write a letter to the editor of every paper in the State. Here's a good way to write them:
Focus on one issue. Write down your thoughts on it. Just list them all out. Then sort them into categories, like ones that show liberalism is bad, and our positions on the issues are good, and so on. Remember that you are talking to people who disagree with you.
At the top of your letter, say who you are ("I'm just an ordinary person, not a big wig Republican" or something, never been involved, etc.).
Then write the categories of reasons in one short sentence (not one per category, but one for all). Follow that with a paragraph on each category of reasons. Wherever you can, say how you know what you know, so it's not just your opinion. Then end with a restatement of your position. Never forget to say that conservatives get your vote, and ask people to vote for them.
If possible, tailor the letter to each newspaper, rather than sending them all the same thing. Keep it as short as you can, even if you have to leave out a point or two. Think of that as saving ammo for the next round.
A lot of newspapers have online sections for letters to the editor, with an address like "[email protected]". Send them each a separate email, rather than sending it all at once. You may have to log on to their web site to post it on their page.
Call all of the officials you can. Make a checklist, starting with your Congressman, but include all of your State's Congressmen, Party officials, State Senators and Representatives, mayors, etc. Have your points from your letter handy. Send them a version of the letter afterward, whether they agree with you or not.
When talking to them, they may raise points you haven't thought of. Incorporate their points in your standard letter, if they're good, or figure out how to refute them, if they support the other side. The other side usually has weak arguments, but sometimes it is hard to know how to counter them because they rely on unstated or false premises.
(For instance, in this Brian Faughnan segment on MSDNC, the host repeatedly mentions a "health care monopoly". In most places there are several competing companies, but the competition is limited by State mandates, not by the insurance companies, and by the limitation against interstate insurance. We call this offhand use the "Liberal Known Facts" or "Talking Points" technique.)
There are always local conservative or Republican (but not necessarily both) blogs in your local area. They usually cover statewide issues, as well, and typically have links to other local political blogs.
Read a site a few days to get a feel for it, maybe making a comment or two. Then, when you feel comfortable, post a longer, more complete version of your letter as your own blog post. It's important to participate in conservative blogs, but you should see this as preparation, not actual activism.
Try to generate discussion by asking questions. Discussion is what drags people in.
Lastly, but probably the biggest thing, is to find your allies. If you like a particular conservative candidate, contact the campaign to find out who his County Coordinator is, and contact that person. He may not have one yet, and that means you get to volunteer for the job. That's a big job, so don't take it lightly. Don't be afraid to support a candidate who "cannot win". You have two goals: supporting your candidate, and getting a forum for your own ideas. Being a county coordinator will further both goals, win or lose. Just don't burn any bridges you don't have to burn.
If you do take that job, your most important task is to find people to take on portions of your County. See if you can get the Precinct Committeemen on your side. Tell them that the primary is the time to
get the right candidate, and the general election is when we all back the winner.
If your Precinct Committeeman in your local precinct won't help you, ask your County Party Chairman for a packet on becoming a Precinct Committeeman. I have heard rumors of County Chairmen actually discouraging people from becoming PCs, because with no one in the slot the Chairman gets that vote. If he won't help you, or is slow, you can usually also download all of the forms you need from the State. In my case I had to gather 10 signatures from people in my precinct to get on the ballot. Once on the ballot, you can unseat the current one Precinct Committeeman, if there is only one, or join the team if several are needed in your Precinct.
The precinct committeeman is the lowest rung in the party apparatus, but is the backbone of the party. In most States, the PCs vote on the Party officials, including and especially County Chairmen.
Since the precinct committeemen are boots on the ground, candidates for all offices curry their favor. I have witnessed this over and over again. As soon as a candidate finds out I'm a PC, they become really attentive. Their eyes unglaze, and they want to know what it takes to get my help.
I tell them: be a three-leg conservative (defense, fiscal, social) and don't be ashamed of it. Demand a healthy DOD, cut spending and lower taxes, and don't support laws that foster immorality. Get the
government back to doing what it should be doing, which is defending the liberty of its citizens.
In most States, only PCs can vote in party endorsements for candidates. Your precinct, legislative district and county GOP organizations can vote to endorse the best candidates in the primaries. If you have a majority of conservatives, they should endorse the best conservative candidate. He can then say on his signs and in his ads "Endorsed By County GOP". The others can't. Endorsed candidates almost always win.
When a vacancy on a school board, zoning board, or commission opens up, the PC has an inside edge. The Party people all know him or her, and again, are busy currying favor. In some States, if a state legislator (representative or senator) leaves office, creating a vacancy, only the PCs in that legislative district elect a replacement. As our own ColdWarrior says:
The key is to become a PC and recruit as many other conservatives to become PCs within the Party itself. Then, create a network or the conservatives. Have meetings on your own. Strategize to elect new conservative leadership in the next round of leadership elections. Recruit, recruit, recruit conservatives. Go to where the conservatives go (Tea Parties, protests, gun shows, right to life meetings, etc.) and recruit them into the Party.
That is how we will take back the parties: from the inside out.