With the Massachusetts election behind us (Congratulations, Senator-elect Brown, and Conservatives who elected him!), it is time to focus on local candidates.
As someone who has spent almost all of her adult life in the Republican party, and then an active Tea Partier, I have become a de facto liason between the two for some. Candidates come to me and say “what can I do to win the support of the Tea Party?” Or, “how can I at least be sure the Tea Party doesn’t hurt me?”
The Tea Party says, “why don’t the Republicans get it?” Interestingly, I believe Massachusetts was proof that we CAN work together for victory. Still, as demographics shift, we can never be too sure. We owe this amazing Country of ours a strict analysis regarding this disconnect, and we need a plan to be sure the rest of our efforts go as well as the Brown race.
I have been humored by my own effort to give advise. I tell Republican candidates who ask me exactly what NOT to say to the Tea Party, and without exception, they say exactly what I told them not to say as if I scripted it. While it is amusing, it is less than productive, and I probably need to find a different way to say it so that candidates really get it. I presume others are having the same problems.
I found this little power pack (as I have come to expect from Bill Hennessy of the St. Louis Tea Party), stuffed full of wisdom and very concise:
“Candidates: Be humble. Don’t assume you and your K Street consultants have all the answers. Trust, instead, the people, and the Tea Party is simply the people organized. The Tea Party movement can put money and people where you need them and when. Don’t wait too long to get us involved. Don’t say what you think we want to hear—tell us the truth. And don’t ask us for an endorsement, but, instead, give us yours. Tell us it’s okay to disagree with you on some issues, but that you will work every minute of your political life to get Washington out of our lives as much as Constitutionally possible.”
And I would add to Bill’s wonderfully succinct paragraph of candidate gold:
“Be courageous.” Take a stand on something that is NOT YET popular. That is what we are electing you to do. These electeds jumping on OUR bandwagon and then telling us they are leading, are not leading! They are populist opportunists, and most of us can smell them coming a mile away. We are smarter than that, and we won’t be fooled. That behavior is what brought us to the party, and we are looking for leaders with SPINE! Don’t be so afraid. Step out in faith and courage of your convictions. Instead of waiting for us to rally around an issue and then claiming to be a leader on OUR issue, initiate your OWN! I cannot emphasize this enough…LEAD.