This is the fifth and last article in a series about running for the political office of Republican Precinct Committeeman. The process varies from state to state, but the bottom line applies universally — get involved if you want to see a better GOP.
Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum website has a post titled, “The Most Powerful Office In The World Is NOT The President of the United States!”
Hyperbole? You read it and decide. No one is arguing that ONE INDIVIDUAL precinct committeeman has more power than the president. But put together hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of precinct committeemen, and every politician from the White House on down will know that they will be held accountable.
In the article, the “Seven Steps of government” are listed:
- To change things, you have to change the law.
- To change the laws, you have to change the people who make them.
- To be elected, your candidate must be on the ballot.
- To get on the ballot in a general election, you have to be nominated for an office in a Party Primary Election or Convention.
- Candidates endorsed by the Party usually win the Primary Election.
- Primary endorsements are often made by the Party’s “County Committee” (or Township Committee, etc.), which is elected by the Precinct Committeemen of the Party.
- It’s easy to be elected a Precinct Committeeman.
It’s not complicated stuff — it just happens to be over-looked by most conservatives who unfortunately constitute a massive idle army.
Here is an excerpt from the section in the article titled “Powers of the Precinct Committeeman”:
Respect from elected officials. Since a Precinct Committeeman represents, on average, 500 voters, and has the power to vote for other Party officials and to make endorsements of candidates, any call or letter from a Precinct Committeeman gets the attention of elected officials.
Launching pad for other offices. You would be amazed at how many of our Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, and state and local officials started as Precinct Committeemen, and still serve as Precinct Committeemen even though they hold a higher elected office. That’s because they know the power of a Precinct Committeeman.
Direct influence over Party Platform, policies, and selection of candidates. At state, district, county, and township caucuses and conventions, the Precinct Committeeman is an active player. He can have a tremendous influence on the adoption of the Party Platform and policies, support of or opposition to issues, and selection of candidates.
Note this last item. Currently, both the national and state party platforms are solid on all the issues – even the critical cultural issues such as abortion and marriage.
You and I both know that there are many Republicans who would like nothing more than to degrade our state party’s platform. The good news is that if you’re an elected Republican Precinct Committeeman you can have a voice in writing the 2016 IL GOP Platform.
Karen Hayes, a veteran of political activism and party politics, had this to say about her experience:
Working within your local GOP organization may result in other opportunities. For example, as a Precinct Captain, I inquired about the Illinois GOP Convention and requested consideration to be on the Platform Committee. With the help of my Township Committeeman, our State Central Committeeman representing my Congressional District named me to that Committee. As an issues-oriented person, I was able to work with others toward keeping and strengthening a clear, conservative state party platform.
I recognize that it can be daunting to step into party politics for the first time. And in some areas of the state, the GOP isn’t exactly manned by the most welcoming folks. That’s another reason you should recruit others to join with you. You’re not alone if you bring along your own allies.
There are many resources on the web for precinct committeemen, including sites like this one. American Majority also has many videos with advice and how-to’s on all kinds of grassroots activities. Those are just two — use your favorite search engine to track down more.
There are people — even some that I have high regard for — who think that all is lost and that we are powerless. You’re welcome to believe that — but I hope instead you’ll join the fight. Is party politics the only way to be involved? Of course not — but it’s the most neglected part of the political arena by conservatives. The proof is in the shape of the party itself, and the quality of candidates that get nominated and elected.
For every governmental policy that is amiss, there is an organized interest benefiting from it. It is certainly good news, it would seem to me, to realize that what’s needed now is for reformers to become their own organized interest.
There’s an old saying in politics: “nothing moves unless it is pushed.” Well, you need to be involved in pushing.
There are many reasons for optimism despite the many terrible things taking place these days. Consider this: The very political party that currently has thousands of precinct committeeman vacancies is also the party that holds both houses of congress, more governorships and state legislative offices than the Democrats.
You’re not joining a losing team, at least not as far as elections go. Many good people are already in the trenches. The call is for reinforcements — so those election victories can produce what we don’t see enough of yet — policy victories.
The Republican Party needs you. Please run for precinct committeeman and join in the effort to make the GOP straighten up and fly right — politically right.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.