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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thoughts about the GOP and Social Networking

Since last November, the Republican Party and conservative political activists have embraced social networking like never before...which is a good thing.

People are busy tweeting, joining networks and having conversations, trying to build followers; even having impromptu rallies and are attempting to coalesce into a movement capable of out-performing and other Progressive Get Out The Vote machines. Which is a good thing.


I have also noted that some of the networks being set up are pretty transparent methods of obtaining email addresses because I have started to receive spam from the GOP, NCGOP, the RNC, the RSCC and a couple of County Republican Parties to the buffer email address I used to sign up for the accounts. 

So, fellow conservatives, when you join these new social networks, please take the trouble to set up an extra email address at Gmail, Yahoo or your favorite free email service provider if you do not want to inundated with party email. Also, to prevent your inbox from being cluttered with campaign email when the 2010 and 2012 campaign season begin. 


Remember this, no matter how many online networks you are involved in, it won't mean squat come election day if you aren't active in your local party.

If your precinct chair doesn't meet monthly, organize monthly "informal" meetings of the party faithful anyway, and run for chair when the next elections are due with the local support you've gained by having those informal meetings you've been having. Go knock on doors, register people to vote, raise money for the local party.

Find out who is running for local offices in your area and volunteer with their campaigns. Go to your local city or town council meetings and pay attention to what is happening. Get Involved. 


I cannot repeat this enough...SHOW UP. Very few people are involved in politics on a daily basis at the precinct and county level, so if you were to recruit just a handful of people and SHOW UP, you could find yourself making a difference in the local party. Most of the people who are precinct chairs are just seat warmers anyway, so SHOW UP.

And be sure that you follow through and participate in activities and volunteer for events. If there are none...then start organizing them yourself. And always pass the hat for donations and give them to the local party. You might even find yourself becoming one of the top bundlers in no time. 

If people were to do this in precincts across the country...we could remake the Republican Party into a truly grassroots powered party instead of a party that is currently run by top-down power hungry people. 

Grassroots Versus the Elites

Also, when you consider joining social networks, be wary of those that are private and do not let non-members view network activity or posts...that is a sure sign of a network that has been set up by someone focused on top-down power instead of bottom-up grassroots activism. If you see a network that is following this practice...start your own network and work it in parallel, allow people to contribute, and you'll be amazed at how it will take a life of its own as a people-driven network. 

The Future

I have my own social network, and belong to several. You should, too. 

Starting your own social network is painless, and if nothing else, you can use it as a place to store your thoughts online, make plans or just share your life and ambitions with the rest of the world.

My philosophy behind building so many decentralized social networks is that they are harder to track by the political opposition and render our own party less powerful in controlling the party members. We become sources of information, and are partaking in a supercharged version of the "marketplace of ideas" that so many party leaders pay lip service to; the best social networks will grow and inspire others to imitate them. 

I started my social network last summer, and several members have gone on to create their own social networks that attract their own niche following that is both overlapping and outside my niche. If these networks continue to grow and add content daily...the Republican party will become stronger, and more responsive to the grassroots over time. You should view these networks as allies, not competition.

If Rebuild the Party and Top Conservatives on Twitter can command so much lip service from the National Party with under 10,000 members...imagine what we could do if we had social networks that had millions of members! 

Never Give Up

You must seize the day and make a difference yourself instead of watching from the sidelines. 

And be warned...local politics tend to get very nasty, as those who have been in power will act like petty tyrannical bureaucrats and defend what they see as their turf with vicious attacks on you and whispering campaigns designed to make you give in, or check out. 

Don't give up. Keep fighting. Your country is worth fighting for, is it not?