I’ve been reading and following with great interest the race for Republican Chairman in Porter County Indiana, as detailed at the <a href=”http://reasonbellpundit.blogspot.com/”>Porter County Politics blog</a>.
Lake County Indiana provides a clear example of what occurs in the absence of a thriving, vital Republican Party. You may remember Lake County as the county next to Chicago where Every-Single-ACORN-Registration — over 9,000 of them –were rejected as fraudulent. Joyce Webster and attorney David Bengs of Portage have both declared for the candidacy of this position, and both have sent statements here to be posted. That’s a good thing, as it shows both are embracing the “new media” of the Internet.
But I think there’s more to it than that. And it’s something we should recognize.
The chairmanship of the Porter County Republicans is not a post to be held in the traditional sense. It’s not a “resume builder”. It’s not an honorary title; nor is it an honorific of any sort. It’s not something that can be put on autopilot and left to it’s own devices, although that may have been the case in the past — like in the 1980’s when I was growing up in Valpo.
The chairmanship of the Porter County Republican Party is the bunker of the generals who are fighting for the survival of red-state politics. It’s the front line of the blue-politics from Lake County. And it’s not just happening there in Porter County. It’s happening here in San Antonio, and nationally at the federal level as well. I’m sure you’ve heard of President Obama?
One of the major things that needs to happen with the next Porter County Chairman is that they need to realize this. Stop thinking in terms of simply Porter County. Start thinking in terms of porter County, Starke County, Laporte County, and Lake County. Lake County is not an anomalous blue county in a red state. Lake County is blue because Cook County IL is blue, and has been bleeding over into Lake County for years and years.
Porter County has held this line against Cook County’s onslaught. If we can hold this line, we can also take Lake County back. This is how we do that:
1.) We should be looking for ways to work with and cooperate together with Lake County Republicans, as well as the surrounding counties Republican chairs. Raise funds together. meet together and get to know each other. Get on Twitter and other social networking sites to communicate better.
2.) We should have a plan of action to take back every single seat up for election. Conservatism is favored by every voter it is explained and exposed to. There is no excuse in the world for having any democrat run for any seat unopposed. Barack Obama has made a career of running for seats unopposed and sliding into office this way. I’ve made a career of voting ‘No Candidate’ rather than vote for an unopposed liberal.
3.) We need to teach conservatism, and show the electorate how Ronald Reagan turned the country around economically in 1982 against all odds. We should teach the abject failure of the Great Depression and the Democrat New Deal. Again, conservatism is favored by every voter it is explained and exposed to. We should make it cool to be Conservative – and I think that goes back to a basic problem with our schools. How many of our schools even teach basic checkbook or bank account management? When people understand the idea of basic budgeting, they begin to understand how Obama and Congress are spending us into oblivion.
When I was stationed in the Army at Fort Campbell Kentucky, I had to go to a mandatory budget counseling class when I arrived (the commander’s idea to keep soldiers from bouncing bad checks.) The classes were sponsored by the local Republican Party, and the instructor (a local accountant) blended simple financial stategy with real-world exoperience – with a Republican slant. This class is the first place I ever heard how the New Deal was a financial disaster that only World War II relieved. It’s one of places my turn away from liberalism was really cemented in my mind.
I’m not saying budget classes are the way to make new Republicans – but it is *one* way. and we need to be thinking along the lines of educating people into conservative lines of thought.
4.) Finally, as I said before, We should make it cool to be Conservative. While the Elephant Ear booth is a time honored tradition at the Porter County Fair, the lines at the booth put off people. We don’t need image problems – we need to reach people and let them see how cool it is to be conservative. Sponsor dances. Sponsor Soap Box Derby racers. Sponsor bigcommunity events, like the Popcorn festival or Oz Fest. Put our name out there and highlight our brand. Surely there are good advertising people who can make this work in the Party. Is there a committee that already exists that does this? (If there is, they’re not doing a good job.)
These are just a few things Republicans can do to get noticed, and make a difference. These just came off the top of my little bald head. Do the candidates for Republican Chair have any ideas they’d like to share?
We’d love to hear them. Maybe we should add Communication to that list, too.
Cross posted at <a href=”http://reasonbellpundit.blogspot.com/”>Porter County Politics</a>.