At Practical Politicking, we have promised to offer information on being politically active. Felicia Cravens is here with Greener Grassroots to get you started.
This political cycle is out of control. Two completely abhorrent and unfit scoundrels are the chosen candidates for the two major parties. The news cycles have been eaten up by the race, even as major world events occur that the American people should know about. And for what?
Theoretically, we join parties and elect candidates to run for office with the end goal of accomplishing things we’d like to see done. Lowering taxes. Improving education. Maintaining infrastructure. Protecting our cities and defending our nation. But increasingly, it feels like we’re merely selecting which gang is going to waste our money this cycle. It’s easy to see why so many people believe their vote doesn’t count, that the cronies and the crooked always win in the end.
Here’s the thing: on November 9th there will still be issues to deal with. There will still be people locked into a poverty-management system instead of unleashed in a work-and-life-restoration system. Numerous law enforcement agencies will still be ‘legally stealing’ citizens’ property under asset forfeiture laws. Occupational licensing laws will still be erecting barriers to work for low income people. In my own neck of the woods, cronies will still be trying to use me as collateral on a ‘private’ high speed rail project, as well as a $60 million high school stadium. None of that changes because of this election.
Still, I’ve been digging into voter data this week, looking for patterns and formulating strategies to try to turn some local elections. While the whole nation is focused on the national picture, I’m working to give some underdogs the edge in this election, and maybe future elections. But what I’ve noticed is pretty depressing. I’ve found quite a few ‘perfect Republican voters’ – people who are registered Republicans in that state and never miss an election, ever. But the kicker is that they’re trending in age around the 70 year mark. And when I look closer at some of those perfect voters, I’m seeing a sizeable percentage whose voting history abruptly stops. I’d like to think those older people moved to another county, but I fear that isn’t the case. They’re dying. And it took days to find just one voter in the town I was looking at who was younger than 50 and also had a perfect R voting record.
I see data like this, and I feel like a freak. I had a ‘perfect R’ voting record in my twenties. Most people don’t. And campaign consultants know this, and focus on the older dependable voters. After all, it isn’t the campaign’s job to grow the party.
And if you look at the RNC, you might well wonder if they know that it’s their job.
This is why lately I find myself gravitating towards other leading organizations, the grassroots front lines who aren’t constrained by party. Some of these groups focus on a single issue, on changing the culture around that issue to a more favorable light. Some focus on tactics, on navigating the political systems for advancing a cause. Some focus on training, whether to run for office or to lobby those already there. And more and more often, I find that the leadership and the new ideas in the realm of political change are centered in those grassroots organizations rather than in the traditional political party system.
So while everyone seems to be consumed with the red team and the blue team battling it out, I want to spend my efforts here highlighting grassroots organizations that are likely to be far more effective in advocating for conservative and libertarian causes. I’ll profile some organizations I have worked with, spotlight some victories I’ve learned about, and try to reorient the thinking on the right about where the most effective advocacy can be found. I’ll look at issues that don’t get much national play in the media, and underline some victories that will hopefully encourage more grassroots participation. I’ll explore what isn’t grassroots as well, exposing the frauds and grifters who take advantage of the right-leaners along the way.
People who vote loyally Republican every cycle may be dying off, but the strategy of exploiting them (and only them) for electoral wins may be as well. It may also mean something new and better and more effective is in line to replace that strategy. I hope you’ll join me here regularly as we rethink political activism and issue advocacy, turn over some tables, and explore new leadership and resources for people who want to make their world a little better.