just had an election and the Democrats pretty much won - except in NE
Washington where we live. Can we do something about that before
the next election?
What is the Problem?
A relatively few very conservative right wing ideologs have taken over
much of the Republican party. It didn't start out that way.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's the Republicans were
floundering. To solve this problem several think tanks were
set up. At first this worked reasonably well. Their
new ideas were conservative but political. Then someplace
along the way some of the more radical elements started bringing in
some very conservative fundamentalist religious groups. This
group is in charge of the Republican Party today. They
have suffered a setback but still they are not gone. Their
columnists are still spewing their same versions of hate, fear, and
lies. Only now they are adding excuses as to why they lost
Many of their most rabid supporters are very rich, very conservative,
and very comfortable with buying what they want whether it is by buying
votes or buying political favors. A prime example of this is
the real estate developer from New York who financed the recent
property rights initiatives in Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
When someone like this gets involved the issue becomes one of
pure ideology, there is no room for compromise - My Way or the
Highway!" A reasoned political debate would consider all the
issues, try to remedy the problems with the current laws, and there are
some, and come to a compromise that all can live with - perhaps even
agreeing to look at the problem in 5 or 10 years to correct any new
problems that might come up.
What do we do about this?
Real simple, we just go out and get more votes for the people who
are sympathetic to our beliefs. Of course it gets a mite more
complicated when we get down to the details, but lets go.
Depending on the estimates, either 30% of the voters are
dedicated Democrats, 40% are independents, and 30% are dedicated
Republicans, or, 40% are Democrats, 20% are independents, and 40% are
Republicans. Therefore between 60% and 80% of the people already
have their minds made up and 40% to 20% can possibly be convinced to
Nice numbers - what do we do now? Look at them. 30 to 40%
of the people are dedicated Democrats, they will vote for our
candidates no matter what we (or our candidates) do as long as we don't
screw up too bad. Same with the dedicated Republicans, they won't
vote for our candidates unless the Republicans screw up big time.
Therefore we need to dedicate much of our effort towards the 20 -
40% who are not dedicated to either party.
How do we do this?
We have several options, personal contact, phone or email
contact, or media contact. For private, individual contacts you
can use any method that you would like. For more formal methods
of contacting individuals both the Republicans and Democrats usually
depend on Precinct Committee Officers. These are elected
officials but if no one runs they may be appointed by the County party
chair or in some cases the legislative district chair. For
Democrats in NE Washington this is the County chair.
The Democratic party supports a list of all voters with names,
addresses, phone numbers, precincts and a guess at party affiliation.
This is run through the county party organization and those who
have access to this list are PCOs. It should handle email but I
don't know how yet. This is contained in a computer database
(VoteBuilder) that PCOs can access and is quite useful for preparing
walking lists and calling (or email lists?)
For media contact, I don't know if the Democratic party supports any
form of this. I do know that the Republicans do and I personally
feel that this is one of the reasons why they have been generally doing
better at the polls than the Democrats.