The Maryland Model (part three)

This will be the final part of a three-part series; in case you’re getting caught up here are parts one and two.

In truth, though, this part won’t be based strictly on the Maryland Model. It’s actually going to be a critique of a presentation I ran across, one which is presumably some sort of PowerPoint presentation translated to Scribed for the purposes of disseminating. Called Become a Force Multiplier: 5 Simple Tasks for American Activists, it addresses many of the issues we will face in 2012 with a particular focus on Big Labor’s aspect. (Not surprisingly, since it’s done by More importantly, they note that:

Several of the tactics and action models described herein have been adapted from models used by unions and other Left-wing groups. In other words, the Left is already using these models, you need to as well.

Fight fire with fire, as it is said.

As this presentation stands with the Maryland Model, it mainly focuses on the fourth leg of the stool: mobilization. That’s not to say money, message, and media aren’t important to them but they’re choosing to focus on the mobilization aspect because labor unions tend to work in the components of money and mobilization themselves, and those on our side don’t get the option of extorting money from hapless workers like they do.

And we do have a way of leveling the playing field in mobilization. Think of it in terms of a football game between the Ravens and the Steelers. This year, as well as frequently in the recent past, both teams are enjoying pretty successful seasons so games between the two draw a fair amount of interest.

In the case of both teams, there’s a fan base which is mainly concentrated in their respective cities but also radiating out through the surrounding areas to a point where they begin to overlap. However, that’s not to say there aren’t supporters in the other “camp” – certainly there’s a few Ravens fans within shouting distance of Heinz Field and vice versa.

And on both sides there are varying levels of interest, from the casual fans who pay just enough attention to remember to check the sports pages for the score on Monday, to those who may have a bumper sticker or article of clothing supporting their team, to those who plan their entire lives around being at the games on Sunday and hosting game-watching parties in the portion of their home festooned with team colors for the road games – at least the ones within easy travel distance they don’t attend in person.

Translated into the terms of this discussion, you have the group of people who vote every four years, a smaller component who may put a yard sign out or may be enticed into attending a political event, and then you have those true believers who feel Election Day is their Super Bowl and work the other 364 days a year for their cause. I happen to theorize those people exist in rough proportion to the population at large which supports their cause, and unions only have about 1 out of every 9 workers – so we should easily find that many on our side once we begin to motivate them about what’s at stake. Once I was an apolitical person, too. (I know, it’s hard to believe but it’s true.)

Maybe some other time I’ll share my story, but in the meantime another key aspect of this presentation is encouraging the understanding of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Being genteel and too gentlemanly to get involved in a gutter fight just isn’t going to cut it against opponents willing to use these sorts of tactics.

And I understand it’s difficult to do some of these, like Rule #4 (“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules”) when the enemy feels rules are made to be broken – but the key is reminding people that many rules exist for a reason.

Again, fight fire with fire.

One other aspect of this presentation worth commenting on is their emphasis on precinct organization. While our county isn’t among those with Central Committee organization by precinct, I have lived in places where they indeed organized the Republican Party by precinct; in fact I was twice appointed to represent a precinct which otherwise would have been vacant. Sadly, a large proportion of the precincts in my home county were.

Locally, we wouldn’t mind having an unofficial organization of the 39 or so precincts in Wicomico County, although these precincts vary enough by size that perhaps some would need two or three coordinators. Since the nine members of our county’s Central Committee are elected at-large, it would give areas which don’t happen to have a resident presence on the Central Committee some voice in the process. A vote in Tyaskin, Willards, or Sharptown counts just as much as a vote in Salisbury as far as county affairs are concerned.

I’m quite aware that Maryland is considered a pretty safe Democratic state, but I’m not going to give up the fight. Dan Bongino today placed on his Facebook page this morning:

Maryland is not a “lost cause”. There are no lost causes, there are only causes worth fighting for and causes which are not. The future of OUR great state is a cause worth fighting for which we can never forfeit. Our ideas deserve a fair hearing and our voices must be heard. Refusing to fight the fight not only acquiesces to failed, “government knows best bureaucrats”, but has electoral ramifications far beyond our great state. Money not spent here by the opposition flows freely to the opposition outside of the state, making their fights that much easier. I understand we have had electoral outcomes over the past few cycles which have been disappointing but we can never quit and never give in. The only lost election, before election day, is the one we refuse to run in.

Exactly. Maryland and other heretofore liberal bastions suffer from a sclerotic disease of the same old failed people, policies, and ideas. The 99% really need something new, not more of the same old so-called solutions of tax, spend, and regulate everything that moves or creates prosperity. It’s time for solutions, not making work for government bureaucrats.

Let’s adopt the Maryland Model and work to make our state the haven of a new pro-liberty approach to government. It starts this year with confounding the gerrymanderers and giving us a more evenly split Congressional delegation, continues with electing local leaders in 2013 who will stand up for overtaxed citizens against a state which wants absolute local control, and culminating with sweeping change in state government two years hence, one which sends a message to the rest of the nation that liberty has regained its rightful place on the banks of the Chesapeake.

Fight fire with fire.

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