Sometimes we get so caught up in what’s going on in politics at the moment that we can lose sight of what’s important and what to do next. Don’t let that happen this year. If conservatives are going to be successful in the long-term, then we have to THINK long-term.
With that in mind, here are a few suggested resolutions for conservatives in 2017.
Don’t Be a Cannibal
Every few years campaigns come along like tornadoes and divide many conservatives against one another and then they’re gone. The problem is that many times the personal divisions remain.
Productive relationships with fellow conservatives are vital. No matter who you or anyone else may support (or have supported) in any given campaign, don’t “go cannibal” on fellow conservatives. You might win for the moment, but you’ll lose productive relationships in the long run. And that means fewer people to work with to make a difference.
Coordinate, Coordinate, Coordinate!
It’s a simple fact that conservatives are stronger when we work together, and we are easier to beat when we are divided. Focus on finding ways to work with other conservatives to leverage collective muscle with greater emphasis on sharing information, picking targets and coordinating activity.
The bottom line is to leverage our strengths by focusing on places where they can be overwhelming and have a long term impact. Don’t let personalities or egos get in the way.
Focus on the Fundamentals
No matter how things may change, the need to do the fundamentals remains the same. And the most fundamental element of politics is people, while the most fundamental principle is addition. More organized people means more political influence.
Find (or create) and focus on projects that you or your group can use to help identify and better organize more people who think like you do.
Focus on the Republican Party
Ronald Reagan used to say that “personnel is policy”, and it’s no different when it comes to the people who comprise the GOP’s party structure, or those who run and get elected to public office under the Republican banner.
It’s great to have conservatives start their own groups and speak out, but it’s even better when those same folks also join local Republican Party organizations and run for delegate spots and party offices. Get involved and volunteer to serve on committees. Bring other conservatives with you.
The more conservatives who get involved in the party and support and network with one-another, the fewer problems we will have when it comes to pushing a conservative agenda in the long run.
Build the Farm Team
Just as baseball has its minor leagues, so does politics. Local government is important in its own right, but it also serves as the farm team for the political big leagues. Don’t ignore it. Plus, races at that level have the benefit of being easier to influence. A little money and organization goes a long way.
A coordinated effort by conservative activists to recruit good candidates and then let other conservatives know who they support and where to send money can have a much bigger impact on Joe Smith for school board than it ever could on Suzzie Smith for Congress.
If you want to have a long-term impact on the upper levels of politics, then you need to have a long-term approach for influencing who gets there.
Be a Catalyst
Focus on doing what YOU can do this year instead of complaining about others.
If you can’t find an effective group to join that focuses on all of those things that you complain about, then start one yourself. Meet regularly. Or start an effort to identify and recruit candidates for local office. Or you could create a newsletter or website that lists candidates that you support…or lists key dates and information about political meetings and activity in your area with details about how to get involved. Put it on Facebook and/or email it to everyone you know.
The point is not to wait for someone else to do it. They’re waiting for you. Do something.
Whether you win or you lose in any political endeavor, it’s never really “over”. No victory or defeat is permanent. If you lose, you saddle up and get ready to fight again. If you win, you can’t go home because the other side will be coming back to un-do whatever you have done. Government is going to be here as long as there are people, which means the process of government – or politics – is never over.
Conservatives waste far too much time trying to ramp up for a fight rather than staying engaged. Don’t quit!
Look back over this list and make a decision to adopt one of these resolutions for 2017. Then stay committed.