It's a little late with only 57 days until the election, but it's way past time to go beyond cases and get down to the Tasks for taking our government back. I say 'governance' in the headline because we want sane governance in our party too, and not just our government.
I was corrected on this rhetoric the other evening when a Tea Party Patriot exhorted me 'take our country back!' Frankly, I agree.
But we will never take our country back unless we take our government back.
Break. It. Down.
Yes, every activist should know The Five Tasks, but more importantly, they should be among the stated goals - the 'value proposition' - of every organization that purports to be trying to change our government toward more conservative values.
This video breaks it down for organizations that say they are helping take our government back. The Five Tasks need to be known be every Tea Party executive, and we should work hard to ensure that every talk show host and talking head knows them too:
I heard an anecdote recently that a caller had called Rush and asked 'what can I do?' and Rush responded something like, 'You already did it! You called my show!'
We see a similar problem with Tea Party organizations that seem to do no more than put a talking head on Hannity. Nice for the fame of the talking head, but is it changing our government? I don't think so.
OK, we can help those talkers do a little better than that, can't we? So call them and tell them persistently about The Five Tasks.
As presented in the video, The Five Tasks are:
1. Get Out The Vote
Learn how to develop a functioning precinct organization in your neighborhood that can turn out the vote and educate your neighbors on crucial issues. This does not mean you walk the precinct by yourself. It means that you identify and use your willing neighbors to help you do it. Take that walk in the sunshine.
Really owning our precincts would mean that the votes that the Democrats purchased with big media buys for $10 million in 2008 would cost them $15 million in 2010 and $20 million in 2012 - to buy the same number of votes. Once established a precinct operation neutralizes big money. Elections can't be bought in the media if the electorate is serviced (registration, permanent absentee ballot registration, knowing who's turning 18 next month, etc.) and owned at the grassroots level. A good precinct operation also neutralizes efforts at electoral fraud.
This will prepare you for the next Task.
2. Become a Precinct Committeeman
It's different in every state, but you should endeavor to have a vote on your county party (GOP) Central Committee. In LA where I live, it's called being a member of the Central Committee for the county. It means you have a vote in county party policy and officers. State party committee members are usually chosen from among the ranks of the county party officials. RNC committee members are usually chosen from among the ranks of the state parties. The only way to change the policy and direction of our party is to be involved in the governance of that party. Read everything RedStater guru Cold Warrior has written on the topic.
Once you have been seated on your local county GOP committee, you will find that a lot of the seats around you are vacant. Help fill them with your friends. Most county bylaws allow for appointments to fill vacant seats and alternate appointments to allow for absences of the primary voting member (in LA, an alternate can vote if his/her primary is absent - my own current status until I am seated in my own right in Dec.). Get one of these appointments if you have to! The hard workers will be quickly identified and will be drafted upwards to work on the state party committee. Starting to get the idea? Get to work on it. An online resource will be available soon to help you understand how to become a precinct committeeman in your own state.
This will prepare you for the next Task.
3. Stay Beyond November
Our government is overwhelmed with deeply entrenched liberals because we went to sleep (or went on autopilot) for 40 years while the liberals took over. What is the next election in your area after Nov 2, 2010? Don't know? Proves my point. The democrats know, and that's why they are safely ensconced on every sewer commission, water commission, city council, and county commission in the country. It's why you and I tend to think of every government employee as a part of the liberal machine. Because they are. So we don't get to hang it up in Nov and relax until 2012. We need to use the precinct machine we built in Task 1 and the party connections we built in Task 2 to fill those small local offices with our people. Then we change the government culture everywhere to conservative and genuine public servants.
This will prepare you for the next Task.
4. Donate Often and Wisely
I've posted so little here lately because I joined the staff of John Colbert, R candidate in CA for CD29 to toss out D incumbent Adam Schiff. I have to answer emails from voters. I'm getting a real education. One voter wrote recently and wanted my candidate to change this and that (you fill it in, you already know...) about the GOP. I wanted to hit him. I thought, 'you want a candidate who is trying to get everything he can from the party to get elected to change the party for you??!!??' This voter threatened to withhold his contribution unless my candidate could promise changes in the party.
Well - that's just the way to guarantee that the party never changes.
You should open your checkbook now to help assure that when my candidate is offered that 'Young Guns' money, he's well-funded enough to turn it down! That is how you start to change the party. If the party has to come to the candidates for money instead of the other way around, the party will follow quickly.
There's a lot more involved with donating wisely, but this is my hot button today and this is supossed to be an introduction. More in Part Two.
Learning this Task will prepare you for the next Task.
Most of us don't like being asked for political contributions, and the thought of being the one asking is just unthinkable for many of us.
Unless you have done the previous four Tasks for yourself.
Then you will feel fully justified in asking for (demanding!) a contribution for your little local party fund (remember, you are now a party official [Task #2] with a vote on the local county party and yes, you can have your own little treasury)! And the small amount of funds in your local treasury will be far better spent than funds at the RNC (don't get me started...).
All these tasks have prepared you for the next Task:
Rinse & Repeat
Blog. Hold a Neighborhood Tea Party in your home to recruit a precinct team. Teach others The Five Tasks.
As Tea Party leaders and executives see memberships and donations inclining toward those organizations that teach and support The Five Tasks. Insist that the talk show hosts know and teach The Five Tasks.
Even in personal contacts, you can use The Five Tasks. You buddy is whining about the government. Ask him: have you been doing The Five Tasks? If he can't recite The Five Tasks (in order) then he isn't doing them. Don't whine to me - just do The Five Tasks.
Need I tell you that these are exactly what the liberals have been doing successfully for over 50 years? While we watched and just said 'aw shucks... they can't get away with that...'. They did.
I'm just as inspired as the next person when we see a million people on The Mall. That's inspiration that many of us, myself included, really need! The inspiration gives us the energy to stay engaged with The Five Tasks. But don't be fooled for a second. A million people on The Mall will not change our government. Enough people and organizations engaged in The Five Tasks will.
Learn them. Do them. More details in Part Two.
(Style Guide: The Five Tasks are always capitalized. As a term, it is a proper noun. Individual Tasks are capitalized as a single Task. They are Tasks, not steps or talking points or things to remember; they are Tasks to Do. They are performed for their own merit and the benefits they deliver to our society, and the persons and organizations performing them. They are not copyrighted or trademarked. They are contributed with love and respect to the public domain.)