1. Our goal is to enact conservative legislation.
People choose to support politicians for a number of reasons:
Party membership (Republican).
Endorsements (endorsed by the local police union).
Personality or charisma.
A slogan (Yes America Can!—Bush 2004, Yes We Can!—Obama 2008).
The politician is from a state or region.
They belong to a specific religion (Catholics for Kennedy—1960).
Endorsements by another politician or celebrity.
Special-interest groups and lobbyist don't throw their support behind a candidate for any of the above reasons; they expect the candidate to enact specific legislation in return for their support. If a candidate gets conservative support because they belong to a specific party, and they get lobbyist's support for promises to vote a certain way on legislation, when it comes time to vote on bills how do you think they will vote? History has shown they will vote the lobbyist's line. Lobbyists understand it isn't important who is elected. What is important is that the person they support enacts their legislation.
Our goal is to enact conservative legislation. If a politician doesn't contribute to the achievement of our goal, they should be rejected and removed from office.
2. Process! Process! Process!
There is a fundamental rule for improving the quality of a product. You don't focus on the product; you focus on the processes that produced the product. If you improve the process, the end product will improve.
The product we're trying to produce isn't politicians, it is legislation. Politicians are part of the process that enacts conservative legislation. We should constantly be striving to improve our processes using a tool like the PDMRI cycle.
PDMRI stands for plan, do it, measure, review, and improve the process. It is a quality assurance tool used to improve processes and help you more efficiently and effectively achieve your goals.
P Plan. Your plan includes any processes you are going to implement to achieve your goal.
D Do it. Implement your plan.
M Measure. Did your plan achieve your goal? This is why we spent so much time talking about having specific measurements. If you can't measure something, you can't determine its quality.
R Review. Where, how, and why did your plan succeed or fail?
I Improve the process. Notice this isn't just “improve,” it is “improve the process.” It's a mistake to focus on the end product. The quality of the end product is determined by the quality of the process that produced it.
PDMRI is a cycle. When you're done with the improve-the-process step, you circle right back to the plan step. The cycle continues over, and over, and over again. Each cycle improves your process; eliminating actions and ideas that don't work, and implementing new actions and ideas. By doing this over and over again you'll increase the effectiveness of the processes you use to implement your goals.
What PDMRI is not is a finger-pointing session. The assumption you work with is that on average, the people in
your process are average. If there is an error (Kathy forgot…, Bob didn't…, Ted incorrectly…) it is because there is a problem with the process. Improve the process so it will prevent these errors in the future. As a general rule, no finger-pointing or blame is allowed during a PDMRI session.
3. Our actions must be measured against our goal.
We all know somebody that is always in motion; always busy. Yet, when you step back and look at what they actually accomplish the list seems kind of short for that much work. I'm sure you can also name someone who makes you think “how can anyone accomplish so much in so little time?” The difference is one person stays focused on their goal—what they want to accomplish—and the other doesn't stay focused.
Farmers have a goal of harvesting a crop at the end of the season. Take one that works sun-up to sun-down, but allows himself to get off-track working on things that don't contribute to his goal of harvesting a crop. What's the result at the end of the season? His barn will be empty, because he didn't have a crop to harvest. He worked hard. He probably even felt good about all the hard work he was doing, but when he was staring at an empty barn what did all that hard work count for? Nothing.
If you don't accomplish your goal, then all the hard work you put in counts for nothing; zero; nada; zip. Determine up front if an activity is contributing to your goal. If it isn't, don't do it. Instead, spend the time on something that does contribute to achieving your goal.
4. If something doesn't work, stop doing it.
Not only conservatives, but everyone seems to have a propensity for trying the same solutions repeatedly, even if they didn't work in the past. “This time will be different” is usually the rationale, but it never is different. Strategies that always fail will always fail. Nonetheless, you will find seemingly reasonable people advocating we continue doing the same things that haven't worked in the past.
People get comfortable with a strategy; staying in a rut not because they are stuck, but because they are afraid to get out of the rut. Maybe the strategy hasn't produced the results they wanted, but they know what it involves. Changing to something new can be scary.
Some people have a one track mind. Like a bulldog, when they latch on an idea they won't let go of it. These are often the people who say “It will work this time” then advocate doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same way that hasn't worked in the past.
Others lack imagination. Everyone is gifted with different skills, and no one has all of them. Imagination is a skill some people are gifted with, and others aren't. When you can't think of anything new, the tendency is to fall back on the same old solutions (even if they don't work) and to rationalize to yourself “Well, at least we're doing something,” not realizing that doing something that doesn't work is worse than doing nothing—much worse.
People become over commited to an idea or activity. When you have invested a lot into an idea, it's hard to just let it go—you feel you must see it through to the end. The business term for this is the “sunk cost effect.” Countless businesses have gone bankrupt because of it. You are better off losing your sunk costs and pursing a strategy that will be profitable, instead of following your sunk cost into bankruptcy (political bankruptcy in our case).
Remember, not only is our goal is to enact conservative legislation, but all our actions must be measured against that goal. Sometimes that means getting out of your comfort zone, swallowing your pride, and letting go of ideas you have invested heavily in. If an activity isn't helping us achieve our goal, stop doing it.
That's not just a rule, that's a commandment.
5. Don't stand still.
The left chants the word change as a mantra, and by the word change they mean replace. No doubt when you replace something you do fix some problems, but what you replace it with always brings its own set of problems. This is why the left's solutions over the years have only created another new set of problems (frequently worse than the original). The correct logic for solving problems isn't replacement-change, it is improvement-change.
Ideas get stale and lose some effectiveness. That doesn't mean you should abandon those strategies, rather improve them. 7 Up introduced “the Uncola” slogan in the 1970s. It catapulted the brand to the upper tier of soft-drink sales. They later replaced the slogan because they felt it was becoming a little stale and it was time for a change. 7 Up's market share dropped and never recovered. Instead of abandoning the uncola strategy, they should have worked to improve it.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't think of new ideas, far from it. I recently purchased a nail-gun; does that mean I got rid of my hammer? No, because there are still situations where a hammer is the best tool for driving nails. I did purchase a new hammer that does a better job of driving nails than my old hammer. I now have two tools for driving nails: a nail-gun (a new tool) and a hammer (an improved version of a current tool). Think of creating a political strategy toolbox, where you are always adding new tools and improving your current tools.
Use the PDMRI cycle to improve current processes, but also think of new approaches or techniques. Don't just be creative, be crazy; go down a path you've never considered; step back from old ideas and look at them sideways. In the business world, most innovation comes not from the big corporations, but from thousands of smaller companies. Never think that because you are a small time volunteer or political neophyte that your ideas aren't worth considering—they are. Innovation in politics comes from the grass-roots, not from the top.
6. Don't allow yourself be manipulated.
Our definition of manipulation: (1) When a politician attempts to gain your support for any reason other than being productive; (2) when someone attempts to cause you to act in a manner that does not help achieve conservative goals.
The ways politicians manipulate voters are countless, we can only start to list them here:
Faux productivity—politicians use various ways to make it seem like they are being productive. Letter writing, co-signing bills, preaching to the choir are just three of the examples noted earlier. The bottom line is that any action that can't be tied back to a specific goal (one that we set for the politician) is faux productivity.
Vote “against” the Democrat—this is a common manipulation technique used by Republican politicians to obtain conservative votes. They portray the Democrat as being so awfully liberal that conservatives must vote against him. This allows the Republican politician to move to the center to pick up moderate voters. When you give your vote to a Republican because you are voting “against the Democrat” the Republican politician has no motivation to remain on the right. Rather, his motivation is to move left. This is raw manipulation, and its use has caused the Republican Party to shift to the left.
False promises—a candidate that makes a promise they have no intention of keeping is simply trying to manipulate you. This is why we are going to demand politicians agree to our goals—and measure them on their productivity achieving those goals.
Misrepresenting facts—in the 2010 Massachusetts senate election, Democrats ran ads accusing the Republican candidate of “Voting to deny emergency room care to rape victims.” The reality was the Republican candidate had voted for a bill that said you couldn't force a medical worker with a religious objection to abortion to be involved in one.
These examples, along with many other forms of political manipulation, are considered par for the course for politicians. Political pundits and reporters sort of giggle under their breath and say “Nobody actually expects politicians to keep their promises or tell the truth.” Maybe I'm naive to expect more out of our elected leaders, but I do.
Politicians have long viewed voters as marionettes. If they pull the right strings, they can make us move however they want. We have to stop it; the beginning of the end is to recognize political manipulation when it occurs, call people on it, and no longer allow it to control us. Accepting political manipulation as part of the political process is not acceptable. Cut your strings.
7. All players act in their self-interest.
What is someone's self-interest? The obvious answer is money or power, but humans are more complicated than that. Take someone in Indiana raising money for earthquake relief—a purely altruistic endeavor. If something else comes up that threatens to divert funds away from their goal (say a person raising funds for flood relief), what will they do? They will fight to get the funds for earthquake relief, because they have taken on one goal as their own and not the other. Earthquake relief can be defined as this person's self-interest.
Earthquake relief vs. flood relief is an extreme example, but it makes the point: people will always prioritize their own goals ahead of the goals of others (even if both goals are deserving of support). People take up a political goal for any number of reasons. From our standpoint, it doesn't matter why they adopt it. What's important to us is that once they adopt a goal it becomes their political self-interest. A person's or group's self-interest is an issue they support.
Don't let people pry you away from pursing your self-interest by laying a guilt trip on you. Conservatives support altruistic causes; the difference is we insist the solutions actually work. This is very different from the left's “good intentions” based solutions that often end up making matters worse (such as the Community Reinvestment Act—created to help low-income families buy homes, it ended up being a prime cause of the mortgage market collapse in 2008). Good intentions that make things worse are not good; they are bad intentions masquerading as good. Making things better is good.
Just as Adam Smith's invisible hand involves multiple groups pursing their self-interest producing a greater good. Our conservative invisible hand will also produce a greater good, but only if we are strict about pursing our political self-interest.
8. Define all players from our perspective.
How do we interact with a person or group? To answer that we have to know who they are (not who they claim to be), but who they are from our perspective. Are they part of the political system we're creating or outside of it? Are they supporting our process or undermining it?
Businesses define everyone by how they fit into their system. Are they a competitor, customer, employee, or supplier? We need to define everyone from our perspective so we can determine how they fit into our political system. We can then determine how we're going to interact with them. The first question you should ask when meeting someone or becoming aware of a new group is: who are they from our perspective?
Conservatives: those with a goal of enacting conservative legislation.
The Republican Party: a tool to achieve conservative goals.
Republican politicians: a tool to achieve conservative goals.
Liberals: those with a goal of enacting liberal legislation.
Moderates: easily manipulated voters without a well informed or grounded philosophic base upon which to make political decisions.
Democratic politicians: an impediment to achieving our goals.
The Democratic Party: an impediment to achieving our goals.
Third-parties: an impediment to achieving our goals.
9. Form second-parties.
Organizations multiply the influence of individuals, but only if they form the right kind of organization. Big, generic organizations haven't proven to be effective in politics (at least for conservatives), they just tend to suck up resources and get in the way. Second-parties are formed to achieve specific goals, and because of their size they should be quicker on their feet.
Second-parties give us an organizational tool that really doesn't exist on the right: a political group with specific expectations. Take education as an example. The teacher's unions on the left are dedicated to maintaining a government monopoly on education. To them it's a do-or-die issue; any privatization or parental choice (such as school vouchers) must be opposed. They give Democratic politicians little choice, either do it (eliminate vouchers) or die politically. Consequently, when Barack Obama took office, one of the first things he and the Democratic congress did was eliminate the school voucher program in Washington DC. What was the Republican response? A few speeches, but for the most part it was pretty tepid. There isn't an organization on the right pushing for vouchers and school choice that matches the intensity of the teacher's unions on the left. A second-party focused on improving education using free market principles (parental choice and competition) could change that.
The second-party is the tool to drive the Republican Party to the right and achieve our goals. It is designed to apply a type of pressure to politicians that they cannot ignore so we can achieve specific conservative goals.
10. The Republican Party is the only major political party we can use as a tool to achieve our goals.
There are two major political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. That isn't going to change anytime soon. The Democratic Party is too deeply entrenched in liberal philosophy to be moved enough to the right to achieve our goals. That leaves the Republican Party as our only practical tool, and tool is the operative word. I know a lot of people are mad at the Republican Party, I am too. Keep in mind though, it isn't the party that has failed us, it is the people who make up the party (the politicians, officials, bureaucrats, and party hacks) that have failed. Second-parties give us a lever to control those people and the party.
That doesn't mean blind loyalty to the Republican Party. We'll work through the Republican Party, but not for the Republican Party. Our goal is to enact conservative legislation, not to indulge the Republican Party.
11. Beware the political Stockholm syndrome.
The Stockholm syndrome: when hostages identify with their captors to the point that they take on the self-interest of their captors as their own.
Politics has its own version of the Stockholm syndrome: when people start to identify with a political party or politician to the point that they take on the party's or politician's self-interest as their own. Many solid conservatives joined the Republican Party during the Reagan era. Today, far too many of them are solid Republicans first, and conservatives second; putting the self-interest of the Republican Party ahead of conservative values. They fell to the political Stockholm syndrome.
We've all heard people say they are supporting a politician because “He's our guy” or “He's one of us” even though the politician's actions are at odds with what they support. This is another form of the political Stockholm syndrome. They identify so strongly with the politician that they lose the ability to judge the politician's actions. Taken to the extreme it results in a cult of personality around a politician.
Never identify with the Republican Party to the point that you start seeing its goal (electing Republicans) as more important than our goal of enacting conservative legislation. Always remember the Republican Party is a tool you are using to achieve your goals, not the other way around. The same can be said of any second-party of which you are a member. Your loyalty belongs to the second-party's goals, not the second-party.
Never put a politician ahead of our goals. They may have tremendous charisma and communication skills, but history has shown when you look under the hood of any politician and you'll find they really aren't that special. The hard fact is that in any community you can find a myriad of people who could do just as well (if not better) than the current holder of any political office.
12. Never engage in an activity that drives the Republican Party to the left.
People are moved by incentives. You get more of the actions you reward, and less of the actions you punish. A number of activities conservatives have engaged in are designed to move the Republican Party to the right actually have the opposite effect. Why? We've forgotten the law of unintended consequences. You get results you don't expect when you only look at an activity from one side. We need to step back from our plans and put ourselves in someone else's shoes to determine if our incentive will affect them as we expect, or if there will be an unintended consequence we hadn't accounted for. Here is a short list of some of the activities that have backfired on us and pushed the Republican Party to the left.
Third-parties—as far as establishment Republicans are concerned people who support third-parties are lost voters, too difficult and expensive to regain. Their response is to shift left and look for moderate and swing voters.
Supporting a Democrat—establishment Republicans believe anyone that would even consider voting for a Democrat is (by definition) a moderate, and the way to attract moderate voters is to shift to the left. It doesn't matter how conservative the Democrat you are supporting is, it pushes the Republican Party to the left.
Punishing the Republican by voting Democratic—see “Never support a Democratic” above. The message you are sending isn't “I'm punishing the Republican” it is “I am a swing voter.” The way Republicans go after swing-voters is to shift to the left.
Voting “against” the Democrat—this is a common plea from Republicans. The Democrat is so bad that you must hold your nose and vote for the Republican. What this allows the Republican to do is gain conservative support without doing anything to earn it. Since they can use this to lock down conservative support, it allows them to move left to look for more support from moderates.
Not voting (sitting on your hands)—this is yet another popular tactic among conservative voters upset with a Republican candidate. “If they won't do what we want, we'll just stay home election day and show them.” Unfortunately, Republican candidates interpret this to mean you are a voter that can't be counted on. Will you show up next election or not? He doesn't know the answer to that question. If Republican politicians don't
believe conservative voters can be counted on, they figure they have to look elsewhere for votes. That elsewhere is always to the left.
It's vital that as part of our planning stage we step back and view the plan from the angle of the person or group we are trying to affect. Will they interpret it differently? Will they find some unintended incentive in the plan to act differently than we had hoped they would? These are questions we have to know the answer to if we are going to avoid taking actions that move Republicans to the left.
13. A non-productive Republican = a Democrat.
What do Democrats do? They impede conservative goals and enact liberal legislation. What do non-productive Republicans do? They impede conservative goals and (since they aren't enacting conservative legislation) any legislation they enact must by definition be liberal legislation.
Notice I said non-productive politicians. I didn't say RINO, Rockefeller Republican, liberal Republican, or imperfect Republican. All of those can be used as tools to achieve conservative goals; they can be part of our process. And because we are constantly improving our processes, we can improve these imperfect Republicans over time by moving them to the right.
A politician that won't or can't achieve our goals though is no use to us at all. They aren't part of our process, and in fact they get in the way of our processes. From our standpoint a non-productive Republican and a Democrat is the same thing.
14. We set the goals for politicians.
Who are our leaders? Politicians would say they are, even referring to themselves as elected leaders. There is an older definition we should go with: public servant. In our American system power flows up from the citizens, not down from politicians. Politicians are supposed to follow the agenda set by the people, not the other way around. Sadly, this hasn't always been the case.
When we allow politicians to make vague promises based upon their ideas, we are allowing them to set the agenda. We want politicians to follow our agenda. That means we have to set the goals, and demand politicians achieve them. To do otherwise makes politicians our leaders. Where they would lead us only they know.
15. Use SMART goals.
S Specific. Not “I support lower taxes”, but “I will cut income taxes 10% by June of this year.”
M Measurable. You need some way to define if the action was completed, and it should be in the form of a yes or no question. “Were income taxes cut 10% by June of this year?” If you can't phrase the goal as a yes or no question then you should restate the goal.
A Action Oriented. “I support lower taxes” requires no action on the part of the politician. “I will cut income taxes by 10% by June of this year” does require action (the phrase “I support…” is a common hiding place for politicians as it allows them to garner votes without committing to anything; Democrats routinely say “I support our troops,” but how often does that translate into action on their part?)
R Realistic. Politicians make unrealistic promises, because they know they will never be held to them. “I will cut income taxes 50% by June of this year” is not a realistic promise.
T Time bound. Establishing a deadline allows us to hold politicians’ feet to the fire for not achieving conservative goals (and properly reward them for achieving conservative goals). “I will cut income taxes 10% by June of this year.”
16. Beware of goal creep.
As you put your plan into action, it's tempting to add little things here and there, because they are convenient to do or just seem to fit in with what you are doing at the time. Don't do it! What you end up doing is diluting your original goal, your plan, and your focus.
If something is worth doing, it is worth establishing as a separate goal and creating a separate plan for achieving it, even if it seems small and simple at the time. Poorly planned small and simple tasks have a habit of ballooning into big complicated tasks. Staying focused on your original goal and plan is the most efficient way to get things done.
17. Only measure politicians against our goals.
When you measure a politician against something that isn't one of our specific goals for them, you have essentially added another goal. It's a form of goal creep that dilutes the politician's focus. Plus, it allows someone else to set our goals (as someone had to come up with that additional goal from somewhere).
Worse, what happens when you give a politician a negative measurement against something that wasn't one of the original goals? They'll throw their hands up in the air and say “There's no pleasing those people, I accomplished their goals and they still rated me non-productive because I didn't accomplish something that wasn't a goal in the first place.” That creates a huge incentive for the politician to simply ignore us.
Set the goals for politicians, and stay with them. Don't add to them, and don't subtract from them.
18. The only measurements are productive and non-productive.
We're using a binary pass/fail system. This isn't because we want to be rigid, but because it has advantages over other systems. Composite ratings and scoring systems give politicians too much wiggle room; they can achieve a conservative composite rating while supporting some pretty liberal causes. Historically they haven't moved politicians to the right. Bottom line—they don't work.
A simple productive/non-productive standard provides clarity for everyone. Politicians know exactly what is expected of them, and we know exactly what we expect out of a politician. Adding more ratings just muddies the water for everyone; what does semi-productive mean? It's a subjective standard that nobody can measure. An objective pass/fail measurement keeps everyone on the same page.
An objective measurement system forces us to create realistic goals and break larger goals down into goal-sets. We can't demand a politician achieve a goal if we think it's unrealistic. A pass/fail measurement will also cause politicians to push back if they feel if goal is unrealistic. This is a good thing. It means we will be negotiating goals with politicians and at the end of the process everyone involved will be on board with achieving the goal.
A politician is either productive or non-productive. If you don't feel the politician's activities can be described by either measurement, then consider that the goal was set incorrectly (unfocused, unrealistic, or ill-defined). You should change the goal, not the measurement.
19. The only reason to support a politician is productivity.
If you support a politician for reasons other than productivity, then you eliminate their incentive to achieve our goals. You have broken the system and made our goals secondary to someone else's goals. Charisma, experience, speaking ability, education, intelligence, or good looks are all fine qualities for a politician to have, but by themselves they don't achieve our goals.
20. Dominate the primaries.
The earlier we are involved in the election process, the more effective we will be. Establish a support campaign for your productive candidate before the primary season even starts. Also create rejection campaigns to defeat unproductive candidates. Remember, we not only work to elect candidates, we relentlessly work to defeat unproductive Republicans; the best and easiest place to do that is in the primary.
We must eliminate open primaries. Open primaries dilute our influence by allowing anybody, including Democrats to vote in a Republican primary. How can someone be the candidate for the Republican Party if non-party members help choose him?
The other important reason to close primaries is to eliminate the influence of swing-voters: people who don't belong to a political party, but insist on voting in the primaries. Swing-voters tend to be shallow thinkers that don't understand the philosophical underpinnings of various political ideas (if they did, they wouldn't swing back and forth between incompatible political positions). Consequently, they often cast their votes not because of thoughtful political reasons, but because of inconsequential concerns like who had the best television commercials or who looked better in a debate.
The primary is the ballgame for conservatives. If we can't get a productive politician nominated in the primary, we won't have the opportunity to elect one in the general election.
21. Always reward productive politicians.
We're asking politicians to bet their careers on us. As a result, we have to keep up our part of the bargain. That means always rewarding politicians for being productive—always. It also means being loyal to productive politicians. Once you have established a political relationship with a productive politician, don't abandon that politician to switch to another productive politician.
We're creating an incentive program for politicians. We'll get more of the actions we reward and less of the actions we fail to reward. If we're not loyal to productive politicians or don't
consistently reward them, they won't be loyal to us or be productive. On the other hand, if we're loyal to productive politicians and consistently reward them, they'll be loyal to us and be consistently productive.
22. Be reliable.
A reliable incentive is worth more than an unreliable one. Being reliable establishes in politician's minds the level of support they can expect from us. How many people will consistently show up and vote? Will we provide support in the primary? What kind of support will we provide? Politicians need to know the answers to these questions if they are going to bet their careers on us.
We also need to establish a “negative” reliability. Remember, we're going to reject non-productive politicians. That means actively opposing and working to unseat non-productive politicians. Productive politicians need to clearly comprehend the level of opposition they'll face from us should they become non-productive politicians.
We'll create a stronger incentive for politicians to be productive by being reliable. The more reliable we become the more valuable we become. Reliable support is the biggest incentive we bring to the table.
23. Never endorse multiple Republican politicians.
Endorsing multiple candidates only dilutes our influence. Even if there are multiple productive candidates in an election, we must unite behind a single candidate. This will make us more valuable to candidates seeking our support, giving us more leverage and creating a greater incentive for politicians to achieve our goals.
Endorsing multiple candidates (and splitting our vote) has historically resulted in the election of liberal Republicans. The nomination of McCain in 2008 can largely be attributed to conservatives splitting their support early in the primary season among multiple conservative candidates.
This is an area where second-parties should work together. Independent businesses compete with each other, but that doesn't prevent them from forming associations when needed. If multiple second-parties support different candidates, it is still splitting our vote. The question to ask is: can two second-parties coordinate their activities while still being true to their goals? If so, then it would be beneficial to do it. If not, then they should avoid it. Never compromise your goal.
24. Create political holes.
This is a technique we're going to use to punish non-productive politicians, while at the same time making them aware of the support they could have obtained if they had been productive. This is the stick part of our carrot and stick, but it is vital we leave the carrot dangling in front of them also as a positive incentive to change their ways and become productive.
Voter holes: If there isn't a productive politician in a race, create a voter hole by writing in a prearranged candidate name representing your second-party. This lets everyone know how many votes could have been secured in an election by a productive candidate.
Support holes: A support hole is when you withdraw all support of any kind (money, signs, phone calls, anything) that will support a candidate. This is hard for a candidate to measure, but it is intensely felt.
Party holes: If you are working within the Republican Party, create holes here too. Establishment Republicans expect volunteers to work for any Republican candidate—don't. Tell them you'll be happy to provide support for specific productive Republican candidates, but flat-out refuse to do any work that might benefit a non-productive candidate. They'll get mad at you, but stick to your principles and tell them where to stick their anger. If you volunteer or work in a hospital the law says you don't have to assist in an abortion if you have a religious objection—that's just fair. If you volunteer or work in the Republican Party, nobody should be able to force you to provide support for a non-productive politician—that's just fair.
25. Reject all non-productive politicians.
Issue a rejection notice to all non-productive politicians, even if it means rejecting everyone running in the primary. Failing to reject a non-productive politician is a form of reward; you always get more of the activities you reward.
Rejection notices are more than just withdrawing support from a candidate. It involves actively working against a non-productive candidate.
By default you reject all non-Republicans (including Democrats and third-party candidates). Don't give the impression you are rejecting a non-productive Republican, but are somehow OK with a third-party candidate or Democrat by failing to reject them as well.
26. All politicians are dispensable.
Far too many non-productive politicians have stayed in office simply by positioning themselves as indispensable. Claiming their experience, knowledge, seniority, or even committee assignments make them valuable—but valuable to whom? As a rule, the longer a politician has held office the less responsive he is to his constituents and more responsive he is to…someone who isn't his constituent! The most important attributes a politician requires are humility, honesty, and common-sense. Those attributes are acquired long before taking office.
Charles de Gaulle said “The graveyards are full of indispensable men,” meaning great men have come and gone throughout history, but the world always manages to carry on fine without them. There are no indispensable politicians; we'll manage to carry on fine without them.
27. Live in the real world.
Many conservative goals are large, core ideological ideas that will take years (if not decades) to achieve. Insisting they be achieved overnight is not realistic. It may provide you with a sense of personal moral victory because you “held the line,” but so what? A moral victory is still a loss. This isn't a call to compromise; it is a call to stop failing and start achieving.
Nitpicking a solution to death is when you find a solution that is pretty good, but not perfect. You over focus on one part of the solution that isn't perfect and say “I can't live with this imperfection, so I'm going to oppose the entire solution.” Consequently, you end up not implementing any solution and allow the status quo to stand.
People that want to maintain the status quo often use this type of argument to torpedo a solution they oppose. Don't allow yourself to be manipulated in that way. Recognize when someone is nitpicking a solution to death in an attempt to get you to oppose what is generally a good solution.
Remember, we've got a system (the PDMRI cycle) we use to improve processes. This applies to any solution we formulate. Don't look for perfect solutions. Find the best solution you can, implement it, then start running it through the PDMRI cycle to improve it. You won't achieve perfection (nothing is ever perfect), but using a cycle focused on constant improvement you will eventually get pretty darned close. You are better off starting somewhere and then moving forward than never getting started.
Establish a goal-set; a series of smaller, achievable goals that build upon each other to eventually achieve your larger goal. There is no goal so large that it can't be achieved, but only if you break it down into a series of smaller goals. Work the smaller goals, and the larger goals will achieve themselves.
28. It's a political free market system.
Think of second-parties as operating in a political free market system. Businesses compete against each other for customers; second-parties will also compete against each other for members (the “customers” of second-parties). Poorly run second-parties, like poorly run businesses, will lose “customers” and go under. Conversely, well run second-parties, like well run businesses, will attract “customers” and grow.
Second-parties that refuse to work in conjunction with other second-parties will lose members. While second-parties are built around a single goal, their members are not single-issue voters. Members are encouraged to join and support multiple second-parties. If one second-party isn't cooperating with another second-party they also support, they'll drop the uncooperative second-party and join one with the same goal that does cooperate effectively. Also, if a member realizes his party is cooperating with a fringe, left leaning, or poorly run second-party the member will drop it in favor of another. How (and with whom) a second-party associates will have an impact on its viability.
This free market approach will act as a natural filter that eliminates incompetent second-parties—groups with a poorly focused or fringe goal; that have unmeasurable or unrealistic goal-sets; that are not transparent about their goals, leadership, or finances; who are not responsive to their membership; or who are not achieving their goal. This will leave the best, most efficient, second-parties to achieve our goals. Don't do anything to suppress this political free market process for second-parties.