Monday, October 20, 2008
Building Organizationally to Win Elections
The woman who will play a major part in America's Future
'We must either organize effectively or we will fade away into irrelevancy and our country will become unrecognizable."
Dear Friends: As a "coalition of the willing," we will never win anything merely by having good intentions. We need to be big and focused. We will also need people -- our allies -- working full-time to attract members and the money needed to operate effectively.
We're facing groups like Moveon.org that are very, very good at one thing: raising money to spend on political causes. If they have money and we -- their opponents -- don't, then guess who wins? So, what we're going to face over the next year is the need "to raise money in order to raise money."
I'm hoping that in the next 12-18 months we -- our coalition -- can raise a million dollars, most of it used for organization/training/motivation of activists in all 435 congressional districts. My hope is that we could end up with at least 15 activists in every congressional district -- and perhaps 150-200 in some districts.
My hope is that over the next year we can attract 10,000 people who will contribute to groups promoting a "country first" agenda. Perhaps the goal might be to seek an average contribution of $100.
What would people get for their $100 (not exactly a huge sum)? They would get, first, an opportunity to start winning as early as 2010 -- and close to a certainty of winning in 2012. If we don't move forward aggressively, then we will win neither in 2010 or 2012. That's the selling point.
A pressing need right now is for venues (web sites) where we can start signing up people to participate -- and contribute -- for Victory 2010 and Victory 2012. We need to start identifying areas where we're strong (among military personnel and seniors, for example) and then using strength to get stronger. If we're getting 70% of the active military vote, we need to get those supporters to find other backers (e.g., active duty and veterans reaching out to friends and family members).
We need to keep teaching/training people how to build their circles of influence. Small groups absolutely must become bigger groups. Where groups don't have "auxiliaries," they need to create them. In the beginning phases, we need to raise money in any way we can -- through face-to-face with potential (big) donors, through direct appeals to Internet and other contacts, and through advertising. There's nothing wrong with telling members and other participants that are doing everything possible to raise money -- and that we want them to help us do so.
We will be doing so to help our side win -- period. People who are active full-time in building a winning coalition should get paid modest sums -- that is, enough to survive. I know people, such as Frank of "Democrats for McCain," who have quit their jobs in order to campaign full-time for McCain-Palin. Such individuals need more than just our admiration, as they can't survive on good works alone.
We need to begin building memberships in our organization -- I wish we'd call it something like "Country First" -- as rapidly as possible. After the election, we don't want people to do the usual: head off in ten million directions. Some organizations will have to change their names (e.g., "Clintons4McCain") and focus, but they should not just go-out-of-business.
There will be millions of individuals, such as moderate Democrats, who will be searching for a "political home." We need to convince them that we are that home.I'm sending this to various people who recognize the need to organize more effectively in their states -- and, especially, in their congressional districts. I'm not keeping these goals secret, because there's really no need to.
Some of the people who receive this will want to participate and some won't. I hope people will send their own views on how best to proceed. Our coalition needs input from many people.Overall, we cannot "define" ourselves in such a way that we establish the world's most cohesive (permanent) political minority.
Again, we don't need agreement on 100% of the issues. Instead, we will be a relatively diverse group held together by a belief that country -- America -- must come first.
I've been asking people to join ALL organizations that are committed to "country first." They include: http://wam08.com ; http://modernconservative.com ; http://dncreform.com ; and, http://clintons4mccain.com .
We aren't at a point where we can quibble over tactics or minor differences in political philosophy. We've got to get away from the view that we can somehow win politically by associating only with people exactly like us.
Overall, we should identify all demographics where we are strong -- and then build outwards.