On The Conservative Treehouse, we readers are being treated to a superb analysis by the key poster known as SD, for Sundance, of how the Republican Establishment has made plans to win the 2016 Presidential nomination for Jeb Bush.
Too bad Donald Trump apparently is throwing a monkey wrench in to those plans – bwahahahaha!
In the discussion thread of this blog post was this naïve comment:
OMG. I bet Trump has had some amazing follow-the-money investigation going on. The next step is to figure out a way to hand an olive branch to Wall Street so they can bow out gracefully – when the time comes to cut bait. I don’t see all-out-war working in the long run.
Here is our answer:
OK, forget the olive branches. This is the big problem with nice people. They think you have to be nice all the time. Not so. When you are in a battle to the death, it is not the time for nice.
It took me a while to understand what SD is saying. Yes, I’m slow. But then I recalled my own previous political battles. Started out innocent, inexperienced, naïve. Finally, we won one. Then another. And another. “We” was my DH and me and a gaggle of other interested parties. Different ones for different battles.
With each battle, local issues only, we learned more and got stronger. We fought urban renewal twice, a sign ordinance, and a room tax – twice. We had no chance, the whole establishment was against us, but we won them all.
1. Stay intensely focused on the issues and the opponents.
2. Fight until the very end of the voting day… and beyond. (you don’t know whether you might have to fight a challenge, or the same issue over again – so don’t leave any loose ends. Check vote totals a couple of days after the election.)
3. Give people a positive reason to want to vote your way. Negative campaigning may work for candidate races, but it doesn’t work for issue races. Yes, you have to let voters know why it is bad to vote the wrong way, but you have to go the next step and make them feel good about voting your way.
4. Get into the weeds. Know everything about the proposal you are opposing, the election rules, your opponents, and your supporters.
5. Raise your own money and, if you have a committee, you and they all should contribute as much as they can. They should commit to getting the money. Don’t accept money from outside the group that you did not ask for.
6. Hold short, infrequent meetings, but stay in near-constant email contact.
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These are hard-won lessons and IFO has at least one example for each one. One day she may write a book.
We have been involved, peripherally, in a few candidate campaigns, and she assures you that they are a completely different animal. The rules above are helpful, but we would guess there is much more to winning than there is in an issue campaign. Personalities alone can wreck a plan.
So, get out there and get involved. Winning one of those fights is the highest high you can experience outside of sex or baseball.