Sunday, December 9, 2012

Better Candidates? Or Better Campaigns? The Food Fight within the GOP

There are at least two major competing theories on how the Republican Party can win:

There is the “blame the candidate” theory.

There is the “run better campaigns” theory.

(There are other major debates as well, such as issues, but meaningful discussion requires taking one major chunk at a time.)

The GOP is paralyzed and tearing itself apart because there is no agreement or consensus or even any common understanding of what others are saying. Each side is so indoctrinated in its own assumptions of what is “self evidently” true (they think) that each side doesn’t even recognize or understand what is being said.

Furthermore, interlopers who want to destroy the Republican party keep giving “advice” to the GOP. This has been going on for decades when the mainstream media and Democrats in national discussion purport to tell the Republican Party how to win, when those giving advice are dedicated to making Republicans lose. So here we have “advice” from those who openly admit they are playing for the other team or eventually make it clear throughout the course of their comments.

So, a lot of energy and words are being given aimed at (a) encouraging Republicans to stab each other in the back and inciting Republicans to fight one another and (b) encouraging theories that keep Republicans untrained and uninvolved, and ensure Democrat victories in the future.

So, the “blame the candidate” theory argues that if only we had “quality” candidates they would  auto-magically follow a “ballistic trajectory” from announcement day to election day, and the outcome of the election would be completely predetermined by simply the quality of the candidate.

Republican insiders push a candidate-based political Calvinism. Pick a great candidate and the candidate will inevitably win just for being such a great guy, like night follows day. The outcome is predetermined simply by the selection of the candidate.

This was Mitt Romney.  Many assured us that (1) Mitt Romney would win because he has no baggage (SURPRISE!) and (2) Romney would auto-magically win just because he is such a “quality” candidate.

This debate is still raging in Delaware, where the “blame the candidate” theory is especially doubtful, because the fabled “quality” candidates choose not to run. The “magic Republican” candidates people hope for clearly are not interested in running for office. Why would they want to?

But the “blame the candidate” theory has great appeal.

The “blame the candidate” theory justifies people sitting at home on their sofas and simply throwing bricks and rotten tomatoes during the commercials in reruns of “Family Guy” and not actually doing anything. If the only problem is the candidate, you can always find something to criticize other than in yourself and your own behavior.

The other theory (“run better campaigns”) requires people to take responsibility, take “OWNERSHIP” of the outcome of election, and to actually make things happen for yourself.

Under the “run better campaigns” theory, you have control of your own participation (at least in part). YOU CAN BE EMPOWERED. You can gain knowledge, power, strength, and influence by your own initiative, not dependent upon anyone else. You don’t need to wait for anyone else. You don’t need anyone’s permission. You are not under anyone’s control. The power is in your hands.

So you can go out and learn more and more and be an expert in how to win elections. You can be the resource in campaigns, election after election, so that candidates need you.

Under the “blame the candidate” theory, there is nothing you can do until the fabled “quality” candidate comes forward (which will never actually happen, because no matter how good the candidate, you can always find something wrong).

And until a “quality” candidate sees that Republicans know how to win campaigns — not just beat each other over the head with campaign signs — what “quality” candidate in his or her right mind would ever enter the race?

But there’s a problem: If you think you know it all already, then you cannot learn more.

Until you realize that there is more to know, you won’t go out looking to learn it.

If you think you have “arrived,” then you cannot rise any higher.

 However, none of this is meant to suggest that anyone should repeat what happened in past elections. However, a person who does not study past experiences to learn from them is impoverished by a failure to learn. What makes civilization a success is when we stand on the shoulders of past generations. We look at past elections *NOT* to hold them up as examples to be repeated, but to gain as much understanding as possible, to do better in the future.

Also, no one is suggesting that better candidates are not better than worse candidates. But if you think that the quality of the candidate is the ONLY component of a winning campaign, you are going to get slaughtered. It is always better to have a better candidate. But candidate selection is only the very early beginning, not the end of the story.

Beware people who want to elect Democrats telling Republicans “Don’t bother getting more training and knowledge on how to win elections.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

We value an open exchange of ideas, even from those who disagree. However, please remember that even minor children can come across websites on the internet. Please use respectful language suitable for auidences of all ages.