Grassroots Tips

The Most Important Elements of Political Success

political success

Getting involved is one thing.  Sticking with it is something else.

Over two thousand years ago a Roman general wanted to prove to his soldiers that perseverance in combat was more important than strength.  He had two horses brought before his men, one was a healthy stallion and the other was an old nag.

He then ordered one of his strongest men to pull off the weak horse’s tail.  When the soldier failed, the general ordered one of the weakest men in his command to pull the tail off of the stronger horse, but to do it one hair at a time.  Soon the horse’s tail was gone.

The lesson? Patience and diligence gets the job done.

Remember, things in our country didn’t get this off-track overnight.  So don’t be discouraged over everything that needs to be done or could be done, but rather focus on what you can do – or even just what you “like” to do.

As a result, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

Political success depends on patience and diligence

In order to truly have an impact on our culture and our political system, that’s what the conservative movement needs – volunteers that are diligent and have the patience to stay involved.

Whether it’s someone running a church voter registration drive who only registers a few fellow church members to vote, a precinct organizer who identifies only one like-minded voter, or someone who joins an online campaign and forwards messages to their friends, each contribution helps augments the overall effort to give conservatives a greater voice in their government.

Remember, politics is all about people – and addition and multiplication of people’s efforts.  So don’t believe that you have to be a full-time political activists to impact the things that you care about.  Just be willing to do the little things to collectively accomplish the great things.

The key isn’t that a few do a lot, but rather that many do at least a little.

In our system of self-government you get what you pay for – or work for.  No victory or defeat is permanent, and the battles always rage whether you show up or not.  But you can’t make a difference if you’re not involved.

Stick with it.

Three reasons for conservative online organization

online organizationGiven that politics is all about people, it’s a natural fit for the Internet and online social networks.

In many ways the Internet is the ultimate “precinct” in America’s politics, in that everyone “lives” there.  The overwhelming majority of registered voters have online access, and huge (and increasing) percentages of them regularly access political information online, which puts them only one step away from taking action – if someone offers them the knowledge and the opportunity.

That’s where you come in.

The fact that so many people are using the Internet for political information and activity means that you should see it as a natural extension of your activism. And while the Internet is becoming an increasingly effective tool, it’s also becoming easier to use, which puts everyone on a more even playing field.

All of the fundamental elements of politics, (identifying, informing and mobilizing), have been impacted by the Internet. And as technology continues to change it will have increasing political applications, which means that you need to make an effort to use that technology in order to be as effective as possible.

Three benefits of online organization:

1) Easy organization:

The Internet can aid your organizational efforts by allowing your supporters the opportunity to engage with your cause or campaign without having to come to a headquarters or go to a meeting. It makes it easy for you to be “found”, allows them to participate on their own terms, and lets them easily and more effectively “spread the word” to others they know.

The Internet also makes it incredibly easy to do one of the most important preliminaries to grassroots organization – identification and recruit supporters. You can’t really do much in the way of organizing people until you have identified “who” cares about your issue, and you get this done with simple sign-up forms on a website, or even with free online petitions.

2) Easy communications:

Communications is key to being able to inform and mobilize supporters to take action. Whether it’s websites, social media or email newsletters, the Internet makes it easier for you to provide important information to your supporters, and makes it just as easy for them to share it with others.

This also better enables you to inform bloggers and members of the “mainstream media” that may want to cover your efforts or provide “rapid response” to misinformation. The more of YOUR information that’s available online, the better you can help fill a factual vacuum that would potentially be filled by your opposition.

3) Simple fundraising:

Online organizing can aid with fundraising simply by providing a central place where supporters can make a contribution.

Once you’ve got a fundraising page, you can link to it in email, on printed material, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Services like GoFundMe are great for most ad-hoc campaigns, or others like Anedot offer a cheap but more professional looking option for more involved efforts. They can also make fundraising viral, as it’s easier for your supporters to share a fundraising link with others, along with a message encouraging them to make a donation.

What to do?

You can approach online activity in one of two ways: either as an addition to what you want to do with an “offline” organization effort (such as precinct or church based), or as your only method of organization.

Good online efforts can help enhance and increase the productivity of your “offline” efforts, such as recruiting volunteers, sharing information, coordinating action and raising funds.

Whichever route your organizational efforts may take, you should plan to use the Internet as an integral part of your communications, organization and fundraising efforts.

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(Get more tips like these in my “Grassroots 101 Training Series“.  Check it out!)

Why Conservatives Should Organize in Churches

ducks 2It’s hard to imagine conservatives being more successful in politics without being joined by even MORE conservatives at the ballot box.

That means that in order to win we have to do more to identify, educate and mobilize others who think like we do.  The question is what’s the most effective way to go about finding them?

One of the answers to that question is to look in the churches.

Focusing on organizing in churches offers a great way for conservatives to leverage their time and existing relationships to have a great impact on the things they care about.

Churches are where the conservatives are

If you want to hunt ducks, you go where the ducks are.  It’s the same principle with politics and organization.

The statistics don’t lie. Conservatives are more likely to attend church than liberals. Very conservative individuals attend more frequently.  If you want to look at it from a partisan standpoint, all you need to know is that Romney beat Obama by 20 points among those who attend church at least once a week.

Again, it’s a matter of hunting where the ducks are.  There are hundreds of thousands of churches all across the country that bring their members together every Sunday, and they can have a tremendous impact when they are informed and motivated.

Sadly, people in most churches are little better than others when it comes to the basics of citizenship, such as registering and actually voting on Election Day.  On average, only about half are actually registered to vote, and about half of those will cast a ballot on Election Day, much less in primaries.

That is not a recipe for conservative political success.

Tremendous latent potential

Given that the average race is usually won or lost by about five percent, the possibilities are obvious. Just imagine the impact if every church in your community had a contact person who worked to register and inform their fellow members and get them involved in the local political system. What kind of difference do you think that would make?

Simply put, more organization in churches means more victories for the conservative movement.

The goal is not to make churches into an annex of a political party, but rather to educate and encourage conservatives in those churches who share your values to become better citizens and advocates for their values in the public arena.

Remember, politics is all about math, and our job is to focus on addition and multiplication. That means getting more conservatives involved.

Churches are full of them – so get busy!

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(You can find tips like this and much more in my “Grassroots 101: Grassroots Training Series)