If you want conservative leadership, you have to vote for it – both on election day and the other 364.25 days as well.
More than that, you influence the election even before Election Day. If you are silent and don’t make your presence known, then a conservative candidate considering running for a contested race (such as a higher party office position) may not even run because they don’t think they have any significant support!
Most people don’t realize it, but your silence itself is a vote. If you let folks know that you will be showing up on voting day, then good candidates will be inspired to run. When it comes right down to it, it’s just that simple.
All politics is local. It’s been said by countless political figures, from Tip O’Neill to Pat Robertson. Every political leader starts in a local neighborhood. Every leader makes his way up through the ranks by learning “how the process works.”
How does the process work in your community? Are political leaders held accountable? Or are they instead being taught through practical experience that the Constitution is a historic concept that they ought to “look past” because of our “pressing modern needs and emergencies”? The simple truth is we are training up future political leaders every day. Some of our local men and women will take positions of community leadership. Some will go on to higher levels of leadership. What lessons will they take with them when they do? If they learn their lessons from an apathetic and disengaged community, we will have failed them. But there is an even more practical political truism:
“For better and for worse, we tend to get the leaders we deserve.”
Here in Alaska the political process is specifically designed to be driven by the grassroots. The Republican Party officially calls itself “Alaska’s leading grassroots organization,” and it has every right to do so. The very structure of the party is such that the grassroots are the gatekeepers; they hold all the keys. The board of governors of the Alaska Republican Party (“The Alaska State Central Committee”) is elected right in your backyard, and in backyards all across the state. The Chairman of the Party, and all of the statewide party officers are not elected in a backroom where only the wealthy or politically connected are invited to attend. Every statewide officer is elected by delegates, every one of which is chosen right in your backyard and in other backyards. The requirements to vote in party elections are minimal:
1) Show up to the convention (some are only an hour long)
2) Register as a voter and pay the convention fee
You don’t have to have ever registered to vote before in your life. You can register to vote for your very first time on the morning of the convention when you walk in the door. They’ll even have a blank voter registration form for you. And if you register as a Republican voter, there’s nothing they can do to keep you out or keep you from voting in the Republican Party Elections. It’s that easy!
The moment Alaskans take personal responsibility for the direction of their government is the moment things will change. It’s time.