First, if you don’t know if you’re a PC or not, or if you think I just said you were a computer or a politically correct person, go here and get your groove on. You’re way behind the times.
But if you’re already a PC, you have a job to do and I’m going to put on my mommy hat and tell you what it is. And for an initial caveat, I’m going to say up front that I’m a PC in MO and I don’t know all the party machinery BS from all the other states, so YMMV as to whether or not these rules apply to you. If they don’t, your party infrastructure and procedures need to be changed so they DO apply to you and your state. But that’s a post for another day.
If you signed up to be a PC because you want the power to choose the Republican candidate, go back home and resign your position. We don’t need you in our party leadership. We have all the Queen Bees and power hungry politicians we need. Actually, more than we need. What we need now are Worker Bees.
Our party will succeed when good, conservative Republican candidates have the chance to meet and persuade the American voters, when disengaged, uninformed, detached potential voters get engaged and informed, and when sensible, conservative voters have the information they need to make an informed choice. That is your new job.
Our local party infrastructure needs to be all about getting candidates and voters together and getting our voters to the polls. You all have heard the old adage, “It’s your obligation to vote,” right? Well, many years ago, my mom told me, “It’s not your obligation to vote. It’s your obligation to get informed, and then you WILL vote.” An uninformed voter is the worst thing we can have because they are voting based on name recognition or ballot placement, causing people to get elected with an R label when the politician can best be described as a poser or a cull. Fix that.
One of the things we do in our county is have “Meet the Candidate” functions where all the candidates in our primary are invited to show up and give a short synopsis of their stump speech (the time limit varies with the number of candidates) and hang around and meet potential voters. If a candidate for office can’t be bothered to come, they can pretty much write off our county. We have hundreds of voters show up for the meeting (where we helpfully serve watermelon and water to lure them in as it is held in MO in July. Hot.) and these are influential people.
Every time, I start with the candidate list and write down my impression of them, stop and talk to the ones I’m interested in afterward, and then (and here’s why this matters to candidates) I send an email to about a hundred of my closest friends and tell them what I thought of the candidates and who I think we should nominate and why. Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a political junkie and they *listen* to me. Even if they can’t go to the meeting, they are getting information from it.
But here’s your job: Before that meeting, there’s a heckuvalotta work involved. Someone has to put up flyers at the feed store, the grocery store, the senior citizen center, etc. Someone has to put the notice in the paper. Someone has to fill the coolers with ice and buy the watermelon. Someone has to borrow and set up the speaker system. You getting the picture? We need Worker Bees.
On election day, we call people and remind them it’s election day. Who do we call? People who are inclined to vote for our guys. How do we know who they are? Someone has to sit at the polling place on primary day and mark down who takes an R ballot and who takes a D ballot (since we’re an open primary there is no official registration). Someone has to call the people in their precinct and ask them if they lean toward Us or Them. We need worker bees.
On election day, someone is running from the polling places to the headquarters keeping track of who has already voted so we don’t waste our time and our voter’s time on worthless phone calls. Someone has to run a shuttle for people who can’t get to the polling place. Someone has to be ringing the phones. We need worker bees.
Your job as a PC is not to play power broker and choose our candidates for us. There will be enough people running (and feel free to recruit people you like…there’s nothing wrong with priming the pump) and if you are a real conservative, you have to have faith in our people to be smart enough to pick them if they have the information they need. Your job is to help them get that information and then remind them to vote. It’s the principle on which our Republic was founded.