Redux: To win elections, we must rebuild the Party by getting YOU conservatives to join it as Precinct Committeemen, no?

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The iron is hot. Millions of people around the country want to DO SOMETHING to right the ship of state. Witness the spontaneous outpourings around the country for the Tea Parties and the protests (such as in Mesa, AZ) whenever Teleprompter Man-child appears. People are DOING things. But are they doing the most effective things? And for what purpose? Venting? Or to really “change things.”

In my humble opinion, the following should be the top priority of our battle plan. And it should happen now, while people are paying attention to the foibles (both domestically, and, as we’ve seen in the past few days, in the realm of foreign affairs) of the empty suit occupying the Oval Office and the empty suits (and pant suits) that surround him and pull his puppet strings.

Background: I’m an American first, a conservative second, a Republican by necessity. A veteran, a father, a husband and (gasp!) a trial lawyer. All is not lost, but it could be. I’ve read Churchill’s six volume treatise on the Second World War and we have experienced NOTHING comparable in terms of damage to our way of life. I’m a military academy grad. And, like you probably are, am a student of our founding documents and philosophy. We are good people trying to get our country back. With that introduction, consider the following:

What really matters as to “changing things” is winning at the ballot box on Election Day. Seems obvious. If you accept that premise, then what ought to set your priorities in terms of your time and effort? Might not that be . . . winning elections? Again, it seems obvious. But are we directing our individual efforts directly to that goal? If you agree with that premise, then, in my humble opinion, you can BEST achieve that goal, and really change the country, by becoming a Republican Party Precinct Committeeman! The most powerful office in the world! Why? Because Precinct Committeemen determine who gets the chance to be elected to office at every level of government.

Ask yourself whether the following is not the case.

1. To change things, we must change the laws.

2. To change the laws, we must change the people who make them.

3. To get elected, your candidate must be on the ballot.

4. To get on the November ballot you must win the Primary.

5. To win the Primary, you must get the support of people who make endorsements in the Primary, who reliably vote in the Primary, and who get out the vote of others in the Primary. Those people are the Precinct Committeemen.

Do you want to get involved in politics and advance the conservative agenda? I mean really involved? I do. And I have. I’m a fairly recent Arizona transplant. And a fairly new Precinct Committeeman – and a grateful one; grateful for the opportunity to serve in this rubber-meets-the-road capacity. Recently, I learned – to my shock, and dismay – that the Maricopa County GOP has over four THOUSAND openings for Precinct Committeemen and my Legislative District has only 32 per cent of its Precinct Committeeman positions filled. I am informed and believe that similar situations exist all across the country. Imagine if we could fill those openings with conservatives!

But that shock and dismay quickly changed into optimism – conservatives have a huge opportunity – NOW – to change the Party from within!

Most importantly, Precinct Committeeman get to vote in the Party elections that determine the leadership of the Party. Thus, the more conservatives who become Precinct Committeemen, the more conservative the Party becomes, and the more likely the candidates it puts forward will be conservatives. If conservatives flocked to fill the openings in the Precinct Committeeman ranks, the Party again – at the 2010 elections – might appear to the voters (especially the independents) to offer a clear choice from the Democrat Party, rather than an echo of it. And, therefore, might WIN elections. Remember, even with McCain, the spread between victory and defeat was only about two per cent of the electorate.

Is this strategy not worth the effort? Not worth a try? Are there enough of us who can find a few hours a month for this? Precinct Committeemen do have some duties, but they are not onerous. You will pay a relatively very small price, in time and effort, to get our country back to those Reagan years some of you may remember. Is your country worth it to you and your progeny? I was on active duty during the Carter years and the Reagan years – I saw first-hand what a difference a conservative Commander-in-Chief can make within the ranks. And of course what a difference Reagan made strategically – we won the Cold War! – and with respect to the economy and otherwise. Those were the days! Remember how the mainstream media was taken aback by the spontaneous outpouring of reverence and affection for President Reagan when he passed away.

Getting back to those few hours a month, some of the duties of the Precinct Committeeman are:

1. Registering new voters.

2. Helping local candidates build canvassing lists and canvassing the neighborhood.

3. Get Out The Vote efforts. Calling party members to make sure they can get to the polls or get an absentee ballot.

4. Finding election judges for your precinct.

5. Becoming a poll watcher.

A lot of this you can do with your kids. I have. It’s fun! One of my sons accompanied me to a Lincoln Day Luncheon last weekend. He got to see Rep. Jeff Flake and all the AZ Party big wigs and his dad pressure some of the big wigs with some hard, but polite, questions.

On doing some internet searching, I also found several copies and variations of this fantastic article by The Eagle Forum:

The Most Powerful Office in the World is NOT the President of the United States. ( http://www.eagleforum.org/misc/brochures/precinct-committman.shtml )

While the claim in the title might be a bit exaggerated, the article makes some very good points. If you want to make a difference in politics, the precinct is the place to start.

Each of you here want to get our country back on the right track. Please ask yourself again, “How BEST to do that?” And each of you have unique talents and capabilities that you employ. Keep at. But add to your repertoire. Please. Bottom line, WE NEED TO WIN AT THE BALLOT BOX. Our actions always should be directed at that goal. It’s a numbers game.

I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, “Better An Imperfect Republican Than A Perfect Socialist.” It makes a good point, and now I get a lot of thumbs up from passersby. But imagine if we had run a real Conservative Republican against Teleprompter Man-child. I’d be able to take my sticker off.

Again, to put things in perspective, the way to win elections is through DEEDS, not just words. Calling talk radio stations doesn’t really DO much. Twittering and ranting in chat rooms to the choir about what’s happening day-to-day doesn’t really DO much. The only reason I’m posting this here is in hopes YOU, who are reading this, will consider DOING SOMETHING MEANINGFUL to change your government back to its Constitutional limits. To DO that, in my humble opinion, we need to strengthen and change the Republican Party back to its Reagan Era strength.

How do WE do that? I believe the BEST way to strengthen and change the Republican Party into one that again clearly advocates conservative principles is to . . . drum roll . . . HAVE MORE PEOPLE IN ITS RANKS who accept, understand and advocate conservative principles. I’m not talking about just registering as a Republican, I’m talking about YOU, yes, YOU, who’s reading this, not “the other guy,” but YOU — becoming A REAL, ACTIVE MEMBER of the Republican Party by becoming a real, live, functioning Precinct Committeeman. That’s the bottom rung on the leadership ladder in the Party. And, the best part, as I’ve said, it’s fun! I’m relatively new to it, and loving it.

Again, and I can’t stress this enough and that’s why I’m repeating it (and I know some of you reading this know all this and already are precinct committeeman and I thank you for that), by becoming a Precinct Committeeman, you get to ACTUALLY VOTE for the Party leadership. YOU GET TO CAST A VOTE FOR YOUR LOCAL REPUBLICAN LEADERS UP TO THE COUNTY LEVEL, AND THEN GET TO ELECT ELECTORS WHO ELECT THE STATE AND NATIONAL PARTY LEADERS. If those who accept, understand and advocate conservative principles become a majority IN THE PARTY RANKS, guess what? The Party leadership voted in will be those who accept, understand and advocate conservative principles. This just happened here in Arizona.

Think about the fact that the outcome of the election of the Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee might have been different if more conservatives were in the Precinct Committeeman ranks. I know you all know this. Let’s change the outcome next time! (Indeed, I’ve come to learn after the fact that much of what I’m saying here now, and have said before, Ken Blackwell had said in his bid for the RNC Chairmanship.)

You might want to ask yourself this – when was the last time the Party solicited you to become a Precinct Committeeman? If the answer to that question is “never,” ask yourself why. Might have something to do with the “leadership” enjoying the status quo.

It’s not hard to find out how to become a Precinct Committeeman. If I can do it, anyone can. Do some googling to find your county Republican Party web site. For my fellow Maricopa County, Arizona folks, go here: http://www.maricopagop.org .

Find out which Legislative District you live in. Find out when the next meeting of that Legislative District Committee meets. If you can’t find it on the web, call your State party offices. Have them help you find your Legislative District staff members and then call them. Then go to the meeting and tell the chairman you want to volunteer to be a Precinct Committeeman. You’ll have to gather a few signatures to get on the ballot. Once the election comes around, you’ll be elected. Meanwhile, volunteer to DO SOMETHING in support of your conservative values and principles WITHIN THE PARTY. You will be leading by example. I can’t stress the following enough: many of the moderates in the Party are moderates simply because they don’t understand conservatism. They don’t know how to think, and be, “conservative.” But, you can help them. You can show them by your DEEDS. They will follow you if you set a good, logical example.

I want to send a signal to my Arizona Senators and Representatives. John McCain is up for re-election in 2010. Harry Mitchell, a Dem, my congressman, will be, too. I believe if thousands of conservatives called the Arizona Republican Party, each expressing a desire to join the party as a Precinct Committeeman, that information certainly would be passed on to John McCain. The John McCain who just voted for the clearly unconstitutional “mandatory voluntary service” legislation. Etc. Such activism within the Party might cause him to think NOW about how he ought to vote on pending legislation. Whereas phone calls and faxes to his office, and internet postings, and participation in Tea Parties might not really register with him while his staff fields my phone calls and faxes to his offices and my demand that he meet with me and tell me the Art. I, Section 8 Constitutional authority for much of the unconstitutional legislation he routinely “conservatively” votes for. But a real threat to his continuation in office might get his attention.

Which brings me to my last point. Would it not behoove the conservative movement to have someone from the podium at these upcoming April 15 Tea Parties to implore the attendees to take their energy one step further and volunteer to become Republican Party Precinct Committeemen? I was successful in getting that to a few weeks ago here in Arizona at a Tea Party sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity and I’m trying to make that happen at all of the upcoming Tea Parties on April 15. Can you help make that happen? Maybe make a phone call or two?

Thank you.

P.S. “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

Thomas Paine. December 23, 1773, The Crisis.