But you need to keep a few things in mind…
You need to go to the meetings
Begin by showing up for local party meetings and let those who are there know that you are sincere about wanting to get involved. Given the overall level of apathy and how few people actually get involved, they’ll likely be surprised, and they’re sure to appreciate it. Few people are willing to spend the time and energy it takes to rise through the ranks. Those that do are usually successful in the long run.
Sure, meetings can be boring sometimes. But it’s hard to have an organization without meetings. And it’s harder to get people to eventually elect you to something if you’re not “at” the meetings.
Don’t hesitate to pay your dues
In pretty much any type of organization that elects leadership, the best way to move up the ranks is by “paying your dues”. Political parties are no different.
Whether you want to run for local precinct president, or serve on your county or district committee as a committeeman, be a delegate or anything else, it helps if the people who will be voting know that you have paid your dues. That means getting involved and volunteering for whatever is going on that you’re interested in.
Remember, it’s always easier to “lead” (and ask people to let you lead) if you’ve been willing to “serve”.
Parties tend to promote from within
It’s just a simple fact that people tend to support other people that they are familiar with. While it’s true that some people manage to “leap-frog” ahead of others in the political process without paying any dues, it’s not usually the case. And if you’re too ambitious too soon, you can spook long-time members unnecessarily, get isolated and work yourself out of some potential friends and allies.
Take your time. Don’t make enemies if you don’t have to. Study the structure and procedures of the group and look for partners, not opponents.
Of course, none of this is to say that you can’t “storm the castle” if it’s absolutely necessary, but that requires a lot of work and organization – plus a lot of friends who are willing to work with you. And after it’s over, if you win, you’ll probably have to continually deal with the people that you took the castle “from”. Just keep that in mind.
But the bottom line to remember is that so few people get involved at all that if you’re willing to serve you’ll be in rare company and probably move up the ranks quicker than you think.