Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pass On The Buck, How About A Helping Hand ???

Being a carpenter/builder/handyman by trade or at least previous trade, I felt some empathy for the subject of Jackie Gingrich Cushman’s last article. She talked about one of the lessons she learned from this last year was to have the right tool. She prefaced the idea of having the right tool by saying {"Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out."—Basketball Coach John Wooden }

This being so close to my own idea of “Make Do, Make It Now, Make It Work”, that I was hooked. Below is the link to Jackie’s article in
Everybody who does anything knows this. For various reasons from ignorance to sloth we seldom bother to have the right tool at hand when the need arises. Common sense tells us to think and act ahead, few of us do, None of us do all the time.

With the 2008 election over, I can not claim ignorance of what we lacked: what was needed in that election and we didn‘t have. We lacked the “get out the vote” tool, the “register new voters” tool, the “organize the party” tool, the “let‘s have fun doing something good” tool.

Our party lacked the enthusiasm, the comradely synergistic togetherness of an effort with a common cause behind it.

Those tools we lacked to achieve this were volunteers. The tool needed to get the volunteers and to have them working together is to have a common cause. We need spirited volunteers doing things to inspire others etc. What are the tools we need to get those volunteers? What is that common cause.

We in this Patty of ours are the tools. We need to have that common cause.
This could get real philosophical with lists of Rights and rules etc. but we already have a Constitution so I want to look at the practical. I want to win elections, with energetic people talking real common sense ideas.

We need to change the focus of the party in general away from what we demand from the party level below us, to the idea that the level above us is there to help “facilitate” the level below. We need to make the volunteers, the precinct workers the township candidates a focus of our efforts.

If our meetings were about how to help start local efforts, how to recruit local people as volunteers, how to make our party something people might think worthy to join, to make our party something that helps the community in which we live, perhaps then we would get more volunteers with better, less selfish motives to run for office. From the Township on up through the ranks to National.

Simple concept but an incredibly time and labor intensive effort. We have tried trading money for time and found something lacking; call it the personal touch. Actually meeting a candidate to getting an email or letter.

If at the state level whoever wins the State Chair, their job needs to be split evenly between raising money and raising volunteers. We need a cadre of people well trained in the real ability to help local parties set up local efforts that will attract volunteers. Norm Shinkle is a proven man with that ability, now that he has dropped out of the race for the State Chair, he would make a great person to head up and direct that effort.

That whole effort would have to be redesigned to be a one on one type of effort. The fundraising would be separate and should help this effort not be the focus of it. As I volunteer my time I don’t want to be bombarded as I am by pleas for money. I remember telling my daughter some words of wisdom. Be true to and don’t take advantage of the ones you’re closest too; even though they are the easiest to do that too. Well the same should hold true in politics. Let’s take advantage of the Democrats for a change and not ourselves. We have cannibalized this thing of ours till there is little left.

As an active County Party person, who is trying to organize the township and precinct base, I can use not so much money as a mentor to help me interact better with the people. Someone to show what needs to be set up that will function as a base for my party’s efforts to get people interested in joining. To recruit and build an energetic base. I’m talking a mentor that knows specifics, on what type of fundraisers will work, what type of structure will work, not only for the money but to energize the volunteers. (and those specifics will very with neighborhoods)

Think back to the teacher in school that helped you the most. In my case it was the one that took that little extra time to teach me a specific backed with their enthusiasm for their cause. (education). Those were the ones I remember and the ones that had the biggest effect on me. They are rare, they are the ones we need to recruit.

If I may use myself as an example? I will connect with a certain type of person. Someone else will appeal to another and on and on. If we really are serious about the “Big Tent” idea then we should not worry so much about teaching one way but let the selection from “the Market Place of Ideas” prevail.
Myself and our party will, each and together, then have a chance to grow. What Democracy is all about, that synergy between people having the freedom to interact to create new ideas will be able to flourish.

As a party we need to regulate this freedom least of all.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

PS As our new leadership at the County level evolves, I hope to not just be a whiner about what isn’t, but become a part of what will be. Think how nice it would feel to actually get some help in achieving that.

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