Run For Your Precinct is an educational endeavor devoted to the concept that the solution to our nation's most vital political issues lies at the precinct level.

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Frequently Asked Questions

First, an explanation about the cartoon dinosaurs and the word "compys."

Early in this effort, we searched for a short word to describe people who are compromised by their close ties to the public sector, particularly to local and county government. But we came up with nothing - just lots of words that kind of worked... almost worked... but not really. Then one day, without trying to coin anything, we realized we were already thinking of them, in a short-hand fashion, as “compys.” By being compromised, we mean they either take compensation from government, or it complicates their interests. As a result, compys are more likely to be compliant or complicit in its growth. Having stumbled into this line of thinking, we checked to see if the word compy was already in use. We found it long had been in use as a short form of the word procompsognathus, the name for a smallish dinosaur, popularized in recent years by the Michael Crichton novels and movies, Jurassic Park and The Lost World. As a bit of serendipity, we felt this provided a nice image to employ on our web site.

Naturally, in most discussions, we avoid using the word compy, since it's meaningless to nearly everyone. And we've mostly eliminated it from this site, except on this page and one other. Maybe someday we'll get rid of it entirely. Or maybe not. It's just such a convenient word. In any case, on this page, please excuse our little conceit in using it. (More on the issue of compys.)

Scads of Other Questions

The following questions are typical of ones people have asked us. They're sorted into nine rough groups. Click on any question and you’ll be yanked down to the corresponding answer (it's all just one long page).

Also note: to shorten things up, whenever we refer to compys, unless otherwise stated, we only mean the ones that are active in party politics. (And most of them, aren't.)

Right off the Bat

The Issue in General

Precinct Men

Compys

Ideological Concerns

Party Concerns

Practical Concerns

The Web Site

Off the Wall Questions

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Wait... the answers don't even start until way down here? Sheesh!
 

Right off the Bat


  • Why should anyone care about this?
    • Because it’s hugely important.
      • There isn’t a more vital issue facing our nation – yet few are even aware of it.
      • It underlies the workings of our entire political process. It affects who's nominated, who's elected, and how they govern. It’s truly fundamental.
      • This is the hidden but critical component of politics that bewilders so many voters, leaving them constantly disappointed with their government.
      • Do you think another issue else is more important? Like what?
        • Is government spending us into ruin?
          • True, but who's spending the money?
          • How did they get into office?
        • Do you feel our educational system is the real problem?
          • Fine. Who's running the schools?
          • Who put them in charge?
        • Or is national defense your main concern?
          • Okay. Who's responsible for making national security such a low priority?
          • And who gave them that responsibility?
        • Maybe a prime culprit is our ever-more litigious society?
          • Sure, you bet. But who's making it that way?
        • You say it's the activist judges legislating from the bench?
          • Hey, that's a good one! But how did they get on the bench?
        • What about our sieve-like national borders? Shouldn't we focus on that?
          • Oh definitely. Who's in charge of that?
          • Why isn't one of the parties on top of it?
        • Maybe it's all just due to a lack of leadership?
          • Actually, there's plenty of leadership. Unfortunately, it's mostly headed in the wrong direction, leading us towards bigger government and higher debts.
          • What we're really lacking are leaders of the other sort. The ones that would pare down government.
          • The question is, where are they?
          • Who's screening them out?
      • Ultimately, all of this comes down to what happens (and doesn't happen) on the precinct level. In this life, you pay for anything you've left undone. And we're paying now.
      • Politics is how we decide how we'll handle government. If we abandon it to those who're overly tied to government (compys), we'll inherit the wind.
      • On the other hand, if we clear this issue up, scads of troubling state and national issues will simply disappear. They exist now only because most of us aren’t properly represented in the political process.
    • This issue mightily affects our nation’s future.
      • Either we’ll properly address it, or we’ll lose our liberties and prosperity to an ever increasing big government - one with which compys are inherently compliant and complicit.
      • Future generations of Americans may no longer have the freedom to fix our problems.
    • Understanding this issue brings new clarity to nearly everything in politics and government.
      • You can’t fix what’s wrong if you don’t know what the problem is.
      • And what's wrong is, too many political party committees consist of too many compys.
      • We’re unbalanced.
         
  • What are you trying to accomplish?
    • To point out the dangers of abandoning political parties to those who are compromised by their ties to government...(compys).
    • ... and to promote greater participation in the parties by individuals from the private sector at the precinct level.
       
  • There are lots of efforts. What’s so different about yours?
    • We address one issue and one only – and it’s possibly the nation’s most important.
    • To our knowledge, no one else is discussing it. (If we’re wrong, please let us know.)
    • No one’s ever advanced this view on what’s wrong with politics (too many compys) coupled with this solution (run for your precinct).
      • Many people get one half of the equation, but fail to see the other. One needs to understand both.
      • Some see the problem, the growing influence of the public sector (compys), but don't know the solution (run for your precinct).
      • Others, unaware of compys, don't see compelling need for the solution (running for your precinct).
        • They don't see why the average guy should care. The answer is, he won't. We're only concerned with the relative few who will care about such things. One in more than half the precincts would be incredibly great.
        • Skeptics might ask, doesn't the local party committee have enough volunteers? Yes, but too many of them are likely to be compys.
        • Skeptics might presume that whoever's representing the precinct will probably has the same concerns as them. If they're compys, they probably don't.
    • Also, at the risk of sounding immodest, we coined the term "compy" (that is, we created a new definition for an old word). We found it helped a great deal in simplifying this issue.
      • Feel free to use it.
      • But take note, most people are so unfamiliar with this issue that they're hesitant to use the term "compy." If they do try, they'll likely struggle with it at first, as if it has extra syllables.
      • All the same, give it a chance. It's a handy word.
        • If you just don't feel comfortable saying "compys," then simply say "those compromised by their ties to government."
        • Say that enough times and you'll eventually grow comfortable with "compy."

       
  • Why would your proposal work?
    • Because it's eminently doable. It's quick, inexpensive, undemanding, understandable, reinforced, accessible, respectable, and universal. Here's what we mean:
      • Quick - you can immediately begin attending local party meetings and have a positive influence. In one two or four year election cycle (depending on the state and county), a surge of people can be elected to their precincts and the entire process turned around. It's just a matter of getting the word out.
      • Inexpensive - it costs little or nothing to run for your precinct. Sure, in some precincts you might have to wage the most minimal of campaigns to get elected. But the costs can be negligible. For instance, it costs nothing to talk to people on your street.
        • Let's say you actually lived in a precinct where you had a contested race. Here's the fearful and terrible extent of the incredible, Herculean effort you might have to make to get elected. On primary election day, you might have to devote a few hours to standing in a parking lot, at the approach to your precinct's polling place, smiling at people, and handing out slips of colored paper saying, "Joe Blow, running for county committeeman for precinct 2-K."
          • Yes, we know. We're talking about an Omaha Beach kind of effort.
        • Seriously, keep in mind, there's a real chance that future generations of Americans may no longer have the freedom to fix our problems.
      • Undemanding - you only need to attend a few meetings. No other work is required. Being elderly or retired isn't a hindrance. In fact, it can be an advantage. Mature, responsible viewpoints are welcome and needed.
      • Understandable - there's nothing hard to understand about this. You don't have to study up or master anything difficult.
      • Reinforced - you won't be alone. Turn on talk radio in any corner of the nation and you'll hear people who share your concerns. Go to a party meeting and you'll probably find others like yourself.
      • Accessible - there's nothing blocking you from entering this process. The door's open. You just have to assert yourself a bit. If you're not enrolled in a party, then you can join one and become active immediately.
      • Respectable - you're not being asked to do anything radical or revolutionary. You'll be acting entirely within the existing system. If anything, you'll be serving the community in an esteemed capacity.
      • Universal - the entire nation is divided into precincts. Serve where you live. That's where you're needed.
         
  • Is there a bright side to this?
    • Yes, the way forward is free and clear. We need only act. Run for your precinct.
    • We don't need to wait for anything. We don't have to pass any laws, change public opinion, search for leadership, lobby any state houses, elect any Congressmen, take anything to court, or march on Washington.
    • It hardly involves money. Great sums aren't needed.
    • We don’t even have to organize or create a new network.
    • The only organization we need already exists. It’s all set up and waiting for us. It’s the existing party system. The two major parties are already established in every state, organized down to the precinct level everywhere. All we need do is run for those precincts. They're barely defended, if at all.
    • Compys only dominate the party committees because others don’t run. As a rule, compys can’t run effectively as compys. They can be easily displaced by non-compys.
    • We haven't any reason to conceal what we're doing. We're simply exercising our political rights in a conventional manner. Who can complain about that?
       
  • Why should talk show hosts like this issue?
    • In terms of talk radio, we've found the Holy Grail: the one perfect response to give to callers whenever they say, “I’ve contacted my Congressman, what else can I do?”
      • The answer is: "Run for your precinct."
         
  • How do people react to this issue?
    • Reactions fall into two categories: the quick and the slow.
    • The quick response comes from people who fail to grasp the issue. They find the matter too time-consuming. Besides, it's old news to them. They know all about it. In fact, it's just like some other pet issue of theirs. (It never is.)
    • The slow response comes from those who are just beginning to get it. They don’t know what to say. They find the presentation straightforward, yet hard to process. They're scratching their heads for questions, but don't really disagree with anything. The strangeness is because they’re experiencing a - wait for it! - paradigm shift. (Actually, we've always detested that expression. But it does seem to apply here.)
       
  • How are you going to organize and lead people with this approach?
    • We’re not.
    • We’ve no plans or desire to organize or lead anyone, except within the narrow confines of our stated mission.
    • We’re an educational group, just pushing this one concept: run for your precinct.
       
  • How can you claim to be non-partisan?
    • We don’t care what party you belong to.
    • Sure, if you’re not in a party, then we advise you to join one.
    • But whichever one you favor, you should consider running for your precinct.
    • Conventional wisdom says our nation is too partisan. We say it’s not partisan enough. It may sound paradoxical, but in a non-partisan way, we urge people to be more partisan.
    • In a democratic republic, free political speech is essential to guarding the people's freedoms and their pursuit of happiness. Good government relies upon an active and open debate. To debate, to take "a part", is to be partisan. There’s nothing wrong with it. Those that say different are mostly urging you to shut up.
       
  • How will you know if your group is accomplishing anything?
    • We’ll know we’re making progress when:
      • talk show hosts start challenging listeners to run for their precincts.
      • compys start complaining about being misunderstood and picked on.
         
  • Aren’t your goals unrealistic?
    • You’d better hope not.
 

The Issue in General


  • What’s the nub of this issue?
    • Too many political party committees consist of too many of those who are overly tied to government (compys).
    • This causes most Americans to be poorly represented in the political process.
    • When political committees are dominated by compys, it has major consequences which lead to bigger, more expensive, and more intrusive government.
       
  • There can’t be that many compys. How can they pose a problem?
    • Anywhere you go, there are tons of compys, though fortunately, most of them aren’t active in politics.
    • “It isn't silent majorities that drive things, but vocal minorities.” - George Jonas, National Post, February 21, 2009
    • The only solution is for more non-compys to participate in local party politics.
       
  • What percentage of local party committees are dominated by compys?
    • No one knows.
    • No one can conclusively prove compys dominate party politics in any state...
    • ... but at the same time, no one can prove they don’t.
    • There aren't any real numbers out there.
    • Indisputable numbers probably aren't obtainable.
      • Think about it. How could you obtain any?
      • Election results might tell you who was elected in some places (leaving aside the appointed precinct men). But how would you go about finding out what they're tied to?
      • What are you going to do, take a phone survey?
      • Lists of county precinct men, along with their contact information, aren’t readily available.
      • How many counties in how many states would you have to study to get representative numbers?
      • More importantly, cooperation from compys wouldn’t be forthcoming.
      • People aren’t going to voluntarily describe themselves as being "compromised."
        • And for sure, many would find the question and its implications offensive.
      • How could anyone verify any gathered information?
      • One would reasonably expect compy-controlled committees to resist any effort to obtain an accurate assessment.
        • Such resistance would be as simple as a refusal to participate.
        • How would you get around that? These are voluntary groups of private citizens. They don't have to report anything, and no one has the authority to compel answers.
        • Are you going to ask local observers to evaluate other people's ties to government? (Yeah, that'd go over real well. No one would ever dispute that.)
    • Want to get a feeling for the difficulties involved in this? Here’s a public challenge to anyone bold enough to take it up:
      • Attend any local or county party meeting and ask for a show of hands of all those in attendance who “draw a government salary or benefits, or have a vested interest in getting along with those who do.”
      • If your question isn’t gaveled out of order, it’ll probably be instantly objected to. (“Why are you asking?" "What do you mean?" "Where do you get off asking that?")
      • “Shut up!” they’ll explain.
      • But if you do get a straightforward, unopposed, and unequivocal showing of hands indicating the committee is dominated by compys, be sure to let us know. We have a prize waiting for whoever’s first.

    •  
  • If there’s no hard evidence to show compys are a problem, then why do you say they are?
    • Because simple logic tells you: compys are a problem.
      • Everyone knows something’s not right. Most voters oppose the constant push for bigger, more expensive, and more intrusive government. But this isn't reflected by way elected officials act (despite their rhetoric).
      • If compys aren’t a problem, then why do they always seem to overly influence the political committees you’re personally familiar with?
      • Look around. Who makes up the officers and the executive committee of your local county committee? How do they make their livings?
      • What does your gut tell you? Do you think the topic of compys would be a big hit with your local party committee?
      • Do you see government growing smaller anywhere?
      • How come your party doesn't urge people to run for their precincts?
      • Have you ever been asked to run?
      • Why don’t you get party mailings or phone calls about this issue?
      • What kind of group, seeking to expand its influence, avoids asking people to participate in it? Why the secrecy?
      • When was the last time your local party committee publicly and strenuously opposed a local tax levy?
      • Have you ever heard of your local party committee, or other one, censuring one of its own office-holders for being too liberal?
      • Why would they refrain from exercising that kind of authority?
    • Finally, if you feel compys don't dominate the party where you live, that’s great. But name all the fine principled leaders in your area that have a record of opposing bigger government at every turn.
      • Recount the substantial ways they’ve reduced the total government expenditures.
      • Name the public agencies they’ve helped eliminated.
      • List the industries they’ve worked to deregulate.
      • Cite all the times they've been attacked by the newspapers for being "uncompassionate" or "heartless."
      • And please don’t claim Joe Congressman as a great leader if you can’t name a single important issue he’s effectively championed in Washington. Something for which he actually paid a price. Something he gave more than mere lip service.
         
  • Do compys ever admit they dominate party committees?
    • Heck no. They might lose their control if it became an issue.
    • However, if you attend party committees, you will occasionally hear compys slip into compy-speak.
      • For instance, before an election, you might hear a compy say something like: “We all need to work in this coming election. After all, you’ll want everyone helping out when your race comes around.”
        • Compys are prone to forget, non-compys don’t have a race of their own coming around.
           
  • What’s the biggest misunderstanding people have about this issue?
    • They don’t understand there’s a democratic process within the democratic process.
      • Our republic operates as a representative democracy. The people elect men and women to represent them at different levels of government.
      • The democratic process is dependent upon political parties, which themselves are set up to operate in a democratic fashion.
        • Most folks don’t understand they’re represented to their political party, not just to their government. This happens at the precinct level.
        • Due to their ignorance, the representation they receive to their party is often quite poor.
        • Because of this failure within their party, they also get poor governmental representation.
      • If all you do is vote in the general election, then with few exceptions, at best, you have the option of choosing between two candidates: the Democrat or the Republican.
      • If you decide to take a more active role by voting in the primary elections, then practically speaking, you still can only choose from the candidates listed on your party’s ballot.
      • However, prior to the primary election, party delegates have typically acted to back certain candidates, while discouraging or running off others. It can be a very rigged game.
      • When most party delegates are of one sort (compys), the party’s eventual nominees are likely to reflect their preferences.
      • If the process is biased towards a certain type of candidate at the lowest levels, why would you expect a different sort to rise to higher levels?
         
  • Won’t politics always be dominated by those inside of government?
    • Only if too many of those in the private sector abdicate their responsibilities.
    • Benjamin Franklin spoke of this challenge at the inception of our nation, "We’ve given them a republic. Now let's see if they can keep it."
       
  • We all have family members, friends, or neighbors who are compys, as you define them. And according to you, anyone tied to a compy is a compy. So then, aren’t we all compys?
    • In a sense, yes, but not to any meaningful extent.
    • Most ties are so minimal as to be negligible.
    • For instance, your cousin might be a public school teacher, but few teachers are involved in local politics, and if he is, his involvement is unlikely to affect your political actions.
    • On the other hand, if you're married to the school district superintendent, that can be a very definite influence. Especially if they've enlisted you to serve, along with them, on the local party committee.
    • Most compys aren't politically active. So if one's ties are only to non-active compys, it isn't likely to be of any great consequence on this issue.
       
  • Is party politics really a type of representative democracy?
    • Sure it is. That's how it's set up.
    • Why shouldn’t it function that way?
       
  • Don’t the voters have their say in the primary elections?
    • Voters in primary elections can only choose between the candidates offered on their party’s ballot - unless you want to bother talking about write-in's.
    • But who’s offered on the ballot is often greatly determined in advance by precinct delegates.
    • Practically speaking, few candidates run for state representative, city councilman, or town trustee, or county commissioner, sheriff, recorder, auditor, engineer, coroner, judge, clerk of courts, etc. unless they're backed by their local or county committee (or at the least, not opposed by it). This kind of backing is usually arranged (or denied) long before the average primary voter has a chance to hear of some individual.
    • Typically, local and county committees (compys) work to prevent contested races from being waged in party primaries. "It wastes party resources."
    • In those relatively few times where several candidates are competing in a primary for one office, the local political party has often endorsed one of them. In such case, the deck is stacked in his favor. Their backing will usually give the guy an overwhelming advantage (which of course, is why they give it). Not only will party regulars be encouraged to financially support the endorsed candidates, but they'll also be discouraged from supporting any of their opponents. But there other advantages as well. By being endorsed, one may be able to send out mailings using the party's mailing permit, saving the candidate thousands of dollars. It can mean receiving free behind-the-scenes "in-kind" help from state party staffers. Such help can involve such areas as the writing, artwork, layout, targeting, and handling of mailings and phone calls. It can also open the door to major financial contributions from other Republican committees and organizations.
    • Even where the party makes no official endorsement, primary candidates favored by party insiders can receive substantial informal backing.
       
  • If all politicians are the same, what difference do your proposals make?
    • We've never said they were all the same.
    • Sure, all elected government officials are compys. Still, they're supposed to represent your interests. And they'll hear you better if you have a position within the party apparatus.
    • Officehoders need to be held accountable. And to do so, we shouldn't have to wait for the next election. They should routinely listen to, interact with, and represent the party committees within their districts.
      • If they’re not so inclined, then they should face the real possibility of being turned out of office.
    • Now if you're worried that this sort of interaction would be too burdensome for the average Congressman... don't worry too much for him. Each one of them has offices and staff set up to handle "constituent services, " services which are paid for with your tax dollars. They have all the resources they need to fulfill one of their prime obligations, which is to stay close to their political base.
       
  • Can you point to any place where your proposals have been implemented?
    • We've certainly seen localities where a large number of non-compys have suddenly decided to run for their precincts. And we saw the resulting vigor and focus it brought to the affected committees... as well as the alarm and indignation it spread among many compys. As a consequence of these non-compys having run for their precincts, we've seen incumbents turned out of office - including a Congressman or two.
    • But regrettably, in state-wide terms, there's little to point to. To our knowledge, no state party has ever actively worked (beyond giving lip service) to encourage non-compys to run for their precincts.
      • Changing that is what this effort is all about.
    • We hold by the maxim that the best government is the one closest to the individual. Decisions should be left to the lowest possible level, from the federal government, down to the states, counties, municipalities, neighborhoods, and finally, down to the families.
    • But none of that works if voters are disconnected at the precinct level.
       
  • Well, is there any evidence indicating the importance of the local level?
    • Certainly there’s empirical evidence indicating the closer and more active the political process is to the grassroots level, the better an entity is governed.
    • Opinion polls consistently show voters have more confidence in their local government then they do with government at the state and national level.
    • New Hampshire, which has a relatively small population, also has the largest of any of the state Houses of Representatives (400 members). This means the relative weight of each person's vote with respect to his state representative is greater than in any other state in the union. Not coincidently, New Hampshire is the only state with neither a general sales tax nor a personal income tax at either the state or local level.
    • Logically, it's as simple as this, the fewer the voters that an elected official represents, the closer he'll stay to them individually.
    • As the size of an electorate grows, the relative importance of each person's vote diminishes. If you doubt this, the next time you want a pot hole filled, try putting a phone call thru to the President.
    • Because local officials tend to represent fewer voters, they generally do a better job of it. This is mostly due to the fact that voters have a closer view of how their tax money is being spent, and an easier time in removing incompetent officials.
    • In 1789, at the implementation of our nation's constitution, there were approximately 30,000 citizens per congressional district. Over the years that number has risen to nearly 700,000. Do you believe we've become better represented by Congress as this number has grown?
       
  • What makes you think everyone employed in the private sector is for more limited government?
    • We don't. They’re not.
    • But if more non-compys were elected to represent their precincts, the net effect would bring about more responsible government.
       
  • Wouldn't this issue go away if we enforced term limits on elected office-holders?
    • No, term limits might actually make the situation worse.
    • The main concern of most officials is to stay in office - or rather, in some office (as compared to being laid off, one office can be as good as another).
    • Where there are term limits, the political process can be turned into a game of musical chairs. This increases the pressure on office-holders to focus on lining up their next position (as opposed to doing a good job in one they're in).
    • Obtaining that next job slot can increase an office-holder's need to play along with those who control the inside influence within their party (compys).
    • Therefore, term limits might not increase an office-holder's responsiveness to his constituents so much as his pandering to compys.
    • File it away as another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
 

Precinct Men


  • What can precinct men actually do?
    • Essentially, precinct men are the party. It reflects their interests.
    • Precinct men can lead and shape their parties in numerous ways. It can vary from state to state, depending on how party rules are set up. But when the votes are there, the rules change. To summarize, precinct men can do the following:
      • They can elect party leadership that'll strongly push for more responsible government.
        • ... as opposed to compy-picked party bosses.
      • They can encourage and promote candidates for election - or oppose them.
        • Sometimes, the most important thing precinct men can do is to keep other precinct men (compys) from giving party endorsements to certain candidates.
      • Precinct men can question, advise, and hold office-holders accountable.
        • In recent memory, there have been plenty of Congressmen and Senators who should've been censured by their local party committees, and opposed by them in the next primary.
        • By the way, have you ever seen that happen? Anywhere? Want to guess why not?
      • They can pass resolutions calling upon their state and national party and government officials to act upon strong principles.
        • As an example, they can pass county resolutions declaring their support of the Tenth Amendment movement, which seeks to restore the Constitutional balance between the states and the federal government. It'd be instructive to see which party officials might fail to fall in line.
        • Sure, it's good for a voter to email or phone a Congressman on a specific issue. But a strongly worded resolution from his county committee is a far, far harder thing to ignore.
          • It only takes one person to stand up and make a motion to adopt a resolution urging a Congressman or a Senator to support or oppose a particular bill.
          • If anyone says such resolutions simply aren't appropriate, then our response is: why not?
          • Perhaps in some states, party bylaws might prohibit local or county committees from passing such resolutions. Fine. Make a motion to instruct your committee's delegates to the state committee to support such a resolution.
          • Pretty soon you learn. You win by going on offense.
        • Imagine how much bolder Congressmen might be if they knew they were being publicly backed in their home districts by their local committees.
        • Or how hesitant a Congressman might be to support a certain bill if it meant opposing the stated position of his local committees.
          • When was the last time your county committee supported anything other than the election of more of its members?
      • They can show leadership on issues involving county and municipal tax levies. Agency heads should be held accountable.
        • Or as a voter, do you like having a different tax levy sprung at you at every election?
        • And why is every county agency constantly facing a budgetary crisis?
    • A precinct man can act as an informed resource to the voters of his precinct.
      • People often have no idea who to vote for in local races, especially in a primary.
      • Simply by attending a few meetings, precinct men can gain the contacts to learn who's worthy and who's less so in local races.
      • If the precinct man is seen as a true representative, he can advise voters on which candidates should be supported.
    • It's a question of how the power of the party should be used. Should it represent the desires of its party's voters? Or should it serve the interests of compys?
       
  • What do you say to those who feel running for their precinct isn’t worth their time?
    • Alright. But don’t overly complain about what happens in politics... or to your country
       
  • Do you think enough people can actually be persuaded run for their precinct?
    • Why not? There’s a lot riding on it. What’s a few meetings?
    • There're lots of people listening to talk radio. You’d think some of them might want to act upon their knowledge.
    • Look at it as an opportunity. It offers a civic involvement of a higher order - yet an entirely accessible one.
    • This isn't like putting aside your normal job to run for city council, the state legislature, or Congress.
    • Running for one's precinct is very doable. It's only a step above mere voting. But it's an important one.
       
  • Do precinct men actually represent precincts?
    • It’s the same as with Congressmen. Do they actually represent their districts? They’re supposed to, but many only appear to do so when their constituents demand it. And often, not even then.
    • Sadly, most people are unaware they’re even represented to their party by a precinct delegate.
    • Can you imagine how irresponsibly some Congressmen might vote if their position was similarly unknown to the average voter?
       
  • Why haven’t more people run in the past for their precinct?
    • Intentionally or not, they were typically left in the dark by their party's officials on how to get involved.
      • Running isn’t hard. But you have to know when and how to do it.
    • More importantly, they didn’t realize the importance of their participation.
      • No one ever explained the problem of compys to them. They always figured the party was just run by 'activists' and 'do-gooders.'
    • They feared if they ever tried to become active, they'd be asked to do too much volunteer work.
      • Party officials like to frighten people away by preying on their fears.
    • They’re intimidated by compys (usually without realizing it).
      • The uninitiated typically feel lost, lonely, disoriented and inept at party meetings. They keep waiting for something worthwhile to happen – and it seldom does.
         
  • Who has the time?
    • It doesn’t take much time.
    • We’re only talking about a few meetings. In some places, it's only one or two, total. And they're held close to home.
       
  • Isn’t it hard to be a precinct man?
    • Compared to what? Valley Forge? Iwo Jima? Those were hard.
    • Attending a few local meetings... that’s pretty easy.
       
  • What if I'm not well-known on my street?
    • Where to begin...
    • First off, in a lot of precincts, if you run for the office, you automatically win, because you'll be unopposed. So it wouldn't matter if your own mother couldn't remember your name.
    • Secondly, who's representing you now? If it's anyone, do you imagine they're well known? Trust us, they're probably not one of the Kennedy's.
    • Think at a higher level. Can you name your state representative and state senator? If you can, pat yourself on the back, because most people can't.
    • The point is, practically no one is well known on the local level.
    • Buck up. If you tell somebody on your street that you're running to represent the party precinct, do you think there're going to feel you're unworthy? No. They'll either think "Uh, okay," or "What's a precinct?"
    • Don't worry about being shy. If you step forward, you'll simply be that guy who stepped forward. How bad could that be?
    • What's the worst thing that could happen? You might lose. Big deal. You can live with that.
    • Don't let shyness keep you from doing the right thing. Trust us, after you've told a couple of people that you're running for the precinct, you'll begin to feel like a natural. Just don't get a big head about it.
       
  • If someone volunteered to be a precinct man, wouldn’t they be roped into doing a lot of party grunt work?
    • No. Running for precinct delegate doesn’t obligate you to man any phone banks, knock on any doors, or stuff any envelopes.
      • If you’re ever asked, feel free to just say no.
    • Anyone who claims you're obligated is only trying to con you.
    • If you’re elected to represent your precinct, then that’s your only obligation. You fulfill it by attending a few meetings. Period.
    • Compys use the fear of grunt work to scare people off from party participation.
    • Look at it this way. When anyone’s elected to Congress, their job is to represent their district. Not to man phone banks. Same with a precinct man.
       
  • Isn’t there any easier way to handle this precinct business?
    • Yes. Go talk to a like-minded neighbor.
    • Explain that the two of you should step up as manly men (or girly-girls, as the case may be), and agree to alternate running for terms as the precinct delegate.
    • If he agrees, flip a coin – the loser has to run first. You’ll have a fifty-fifty chance.
    • And if your neighbor does serve first, then who knows? He may find he likes being involved and “in the loop.” He may decide he'll want to continue with it. Then you’re off the hook.
       
  • What if you went to the trouble of being elected a precinct man, and found you were the only non-compy?
    • Probably, you won't be the lone non-compy.
    • But if you are, then at least you’ll know we weren’t exaggerating about the problem.
    • And if you are the only one, then anything you say or do will probably count as progress.
       
  • Since practically no one can name their precinct man, doesn’t that suggest the irrelevancy of the position?
    • No, it indicates the extent of the problem.
    • Compys want voters to remain in the dark. It’s the only way for them to wield the power they do.
       
  • Why would major elected officials be swayed by precinct men?
    • Imagine picking up a newspaper and reading that your Congressman, one who’d been posing as a big government opponent, was being censured by his party’s local county committee – for being out of step with the wishes of his constituents, spending too much and being too liberal in how he votes in office.
    • If that were to happen, do you think it might have an impact on some voters?
    • Do you think it might have an effect on the Congressman?
    • You bet it would.
       
  • Do precinct men have the knowledge to correct their Congressmen?
    • Sure. The democratic process works, when not short-circuited.
    • We're supposed to elect representatives - not Caesars.
    • Let's use the process the way it was intended. Before it's too late.
 

Compys


  • Isn't compy just another word for (take your pick) public employee, politician, bureaucrat, hack, office-holder, government careerist or insider, etc.?
    • No, compy is a more comprehensive term.
    • All public employees, politicians, bureaucrats, hacks, office-holders, government careerists or insiders are compys. But all compys aren’t necssarily any one of the preceding list. Nor is that list exhaustive. If you concern yourself with only one of the categories, then you'll miss the big picture, which is, they all tend to act in concert.
    • It's important to note, "compy" is an objective term, as opposed to a subjective one.
      • For example, is that guy a bureaucrat or a public servant? It's in the eye of the beholder. But either way, he's a compy.
    • Also, the term "compy" is intended to be neutral and not derogatory. For instance, calling someone a "hack" is clearly an insult. On the other hand, describing them as a compy is at least something of an attempt at being matter-of-fact.
       
  • What about the terms: administrative class or political class? Aren't they the same as compys?"
    • No, though maybe it'd be easier for us if at least one of them was.
    • The term administrative class doesn't work, since many compys could only vaguely be described as part of an administration, such as prosecuting attorneys, or not at all, such as commercial developers.
    • The "political class" is a term Rasmussen Reports, a polling agency, apparently invented to label those who look favorably on the growth of big government. Or in their somewhat convoluted words, those who aren't aligned with "the mainstream, or populist, view" which "sees big government and big business as political allies rather than political opponents."
      • We do understand though, that some people use the term "political class" in the Humpty Dumpty fashion. "It means just what I choose it to mean."
    • As Rasmussen uses it, the "political class" is a vague subjective term based on peoples' personal opinions. Conversely, "compys" is an objective term. Practically speaking, either a person is or isn't compromised by his ties to government. It may not be something you could determine in a phone call. But a group of reasonable individuals, if they knew enough facts, would probably agree on whether someone was or wasn't compromised.
    • We can empathize with those who have begun employing the term "political class." We suspect they do so because they've begun to sense a desire to identify compys. But we'd be concerned if their embrace of the term was done out of desire to muddy up an issue for the sake of promoting certain agendas.
    • Frankly, it does little good to wonder if someone else at a political meeting is part of the political class. But if you know he's a union official in the fire department, or a staffer at the county engineer's office, then yes, you can reasonably conclude he's a compy. That sort of recognition can be quite useful.
      • If you don't see how, then you've probably never attempted to count up likely votes at a local party meeting.
    • This brings up a major problem with conflating "compys" with the "political class." Many big government-favoring liberals, who would be categorized as part of the political class, aren't compys. If you use the nebulous "political class" term, you risk losing the precision of the "compy" word, and thereby the ability to make useful distinctions.
      • On the inside of local party politics, the real problem for conservatives isn't with liberals, it's with compys.
      • Typically, a conservative can recognize a liberal when he hears him speak. But conservatives are often misled by compys because they're harder to spot. They can take you unawares.
      • The guy in the next row may dress, act, and sound like a conservative. For that matter, he may profess to be one. But if he works for the county's planning commission, it might motivate him to speak up for some liberal candidate who's carrying water for his department's favorite project. That's not something the conservative in the next row can recognize. Which is why it's useful for him to know beforehand that the other guy's a compy.
         
  • How does this relate to lawyers? Aren't lawyers the problem?
    • No, "compy" is hardly synonymous with "lawyer." Lots of lawyers aren't compys and most compys aren't lawyers.
    • If every compy lawyer was suddenly to quit all involvement in party politics (and we're not saying they should), then compys would still dominate too many local and county committees.
       
  • What’s so wrong with compys dominating party politics?
    • When a party's apparatus is dominated by a special interest group, it’s actions will reflect that group’s interests - often to the detriment of its base.
    • Compys tend to be compliant and complicit with the growth of big government.
    • Your party precinct should be represented by someone who reflects the interests of your neighborhood – and not those of a special interest group.
       
  • Why should anyone automatically think compys aren’t supportive of limited government candidates and policies?
    • Ask yourself this: do you really think people closely tied to government are likely to favor candidates that would limit and roll back its growth?
    • Do you see government growing smaller anywhere?
       
  • Are you saying public employees can’t be against bigger government?
    • No, they can surely be opposed to bigger government as individuals.
    • But in groups, don’t bet your rent money they’ll support limited government initiatives.
       
  • Aren’t you being unfairly harsh and insulting to elected officials?
    • No. Think of any elected official as your representative – your agent. If he properly represents your interests, then that's great, he's doing his job. Appreciate him.
    • But if he represents your interests poorly, then sack him, and get a better guy.
    • If you had a legal problem, would you happily employ a lawyer who represented you poorly? Would you keep him on if you felt he was more inclined to represent the interests of his fellow lawyers than yours, or perhaps even to the detriment of yours?
       
  • What factors help compys to dominate political parties?
    • The compys’ self-interests are the things that drive them in party politics. The typical compy is there because it serves his career interests. An interest group made up of such individuals will often outwork the rest of society.
      • And let's note, after a period of time, most compys are likely to forget why they started attending party meetings in the first place. Eventually, they come to think of themselves as simply being "public spirited."
    • The flip side of the compy’s self-interest is the non-compy’s apathy. Most people in the private sector don’t want to spend time worrying about government and who’s minding city hall.
    • Party politics generally has a disreputable public image. This deters many people from getting involved, while serving the interests of compys who don’t want a wider participation.
    • The news media is generally dismissive of party politics at the grassroots level. It doesn’t make headlines or bring attention to the reporters that cover it. As a result, non-compys are often left in the dark about what's happening in their own political party.
      • The easy way for reporters to cover local party politics is to stay in touch with a short list of party bosses. After developing these contacts, it's natural for them to be reluctant about disturbing them over such trifling matters as the make-up of their power bases.
      • Winston Churchill purportedly said, “there’s no such thing as public opinion. There’s only published opinion.”
      • What passes for news reporting and commentary on local politics is pretty much the amplified views of politically active compys.
         
  • Are compys at all politically vulnerable?
    • Yes. Compys can’t admit what defines and unites them without exposing themselves to criticism.
    • If the chairman of your local county committee had to answer charges that it was dominated by compys, how would that go over with the public (if the news media actually reported it)?
      • Sadly, in many places, it wouldn’t cause nary a ripple of concern – unless someone spoke out against the outrageousness of it.
        • That's another reason why one voice can be so important.
    • With all else being equal, a non-compy can almost always beat a compy for a precinct if the latter’s connection to the public sector becomes an issue.
    • If one was needed, here’s a campaign pitch for a non-compy running against a compy for a precinct seat.
      • “I’m (name). I’m a (occupation) and have worked at (employer) for the past (whatever) years. I live on (name of street), and have done so for the last (whatever) years (pick one: “while raising my family”, “with my wife/husband”, “in retirement”, or “while doing what I can for the community”). I’m running for (party) precinct delegate because I’m opposed to the constant growth and irresponsibility of government. My opponent for this position is a (his job description) at/with (his agency/department or connection with government). I'd prefer our neighborhood wasn't represented to the party by someone so closely tied to government. That's why I respectfully ask for your vote in the primary election.”
        • If someone said that to you, wouldn't that be enough to get your vote?
        • Just lay out the facts.
        • In general, the voters aren’t stupid, just under and misinformed.
           
  • Are you saying people are corrupted simply because they’re public employees?
    • We're saying everyone’s driven by their self interests. Compys are no different.
    • Pick any group: plumbers, doctors, engineers, shoe salesmen, or senior citizens. If a political party was overwhelmingly dominated by any one of them, wouldn't you expect it to be reflected in the actions it took?
      • And it's especially troubling to see party politics dominated by people whose livelihoods are overly tied to government.
    • In terms of corruption, be aware that a party should be judged by its actions, not its rhetoric.
      • Lots of compys can talk about the need for reining in government spending. It’s the results that matter.
    • In 1776, Adam Smith, the great free market economist, wrote, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." But compys don’t work to raise prices. For them, it’s taxes.
       
  • Don't government workers have the right to be politically active?
    • Sure they’ve the right, and they can contribute a great deal to a lot of discussions.
    • But we’re uncomfortable with them dominating the political process.
       
  • Apparently you want to start throwing everyone off the county payrolls?
    • No. If someone’s doing a good job in a necessary spot, why should they be thrown out of work?
    • This isn’t about cutting local and county government payrolls (although that’s a legitimate issue of its own).
    • Our concern is with Americans obtaining a proper representation within their chosen political parties.
    • Besides, compys shouldn’t feel a need to be active in party politics in order to hold on to, or advance in their jobs.
      • Wouldn't that be considered a form of “pay to play?”
      • Isn’t “pay to play” a disreputable practice?
         
  • How does this apply to federal and state government?
    • Under the Hatch Act, federal employees are allowed to be members of a political party and to participate in political caucuses and conventions. But they’re not allowed to take an active part in managing political parties nor to be a part of conducting or managing political gatherings.
    • Several states have enacted their own state Hatch acts.
    • Still if such statutes didn’t exist, one wouldn’t expect federal and state employees to cause many problems within local and county committees. They don’t have nearly the incentive to dominate them as do local and county level compys. If your position answers to state or federal administration, it doesn't help you much to control the local town hall.
 

Ideological Concerns


  • This concern about compys, how does it tie in with big vs. small government arguments?
    • Obviously, if compys control too many party committees, it's likely to lead to bigger, more expensive and intrusive government.
       
  • This opposition to bigger government, it's a conservative thing, right?
    • Yes, most conservatives oppose big government, but not all - not in reality. Some conservatives will promote certain programs that lead them off in wrong the direction. It always gets them into trouble.
    • But no, conservatives don't exclusively own the issue of enforcing fiscal sanity.
       
  • What if I'm a libertarian?
    • If libertarians can't support this issue, then we don't know what they could.
    • Come on in, the water's fine. Run for your precinct.
       
  • What if I’m a moderate?
    • Unfortunately, many professed moderates are simply those who are unprepared or unwilling to identify with a strong set of principles.
    • As such, they can be temperamentally unsuited to run for their precinct.
    • However, if you know what you want and are willing to speak up for it, then by all means, run for your precinct.
       
  • What if I’m a liberal?
    • Run if you like.
    • But most liberals share with compys a desire for policies that lead to bigger government.
    • Since compys already dominate so much of the political process, there’s little reason for liberals to run.
    • Besides, the goal of many liberals isn't to safeguard the private sector against compys; it's to become one and find a place at the public trough.
       
  • How would this help conservatives? Don’t they already dominate the Republican party?
    • They dominate the voting base of the Republican Party. But due to compys, their numbers aren’t reflected by their elected and appointed officials.
    • But maybe we're wrong. Maybe where you live, the Republican Party has continually supplied scads of leaders who have governed conservatively.
       
  • Doesn't this country need another Ronald Reagan?
    • Reagan was great, but let's not get carried away. For instance, he didn't, or couldn't keep Congress from growing the budget tremendously while he was in office.
    • All the same, even if a new Reagan were to be elected President, he'd still have to govern with a Congress, judicial system, and state legislatures resulting from a political process dominated by compys. One guy can't handle all that for you.
    • What we need is for everyone to be their own Reagan in their own precinct.
    • Elected officials are supposed to represent you. Put yourself in position where it’s harder for them to ignore you.
       
  • How does this situation hold for Democrats who oppose big government?
    • Over the years, big government opponents within the Democrat Party have become increasingly isolated, marginalized, and down-right scarce.
    • Still, if the Democrat Party is the place for you, then advance what you believe in by running for your party's precinct.
 

Party Concerns


  • What’s your main complaint about the major political parties?
    • To our knowledge, there isn’t anywhere a state political party that, by its actions, strongly encourages the average voter to consider running for his precinct.
       
  • Wouldn’t your proposals undermine one of the two parties in particular?
    • We’re unconcerned with defending either party.
    • All the same, we believe any political party that genuinely sought to connect to the voters at the precinct level would be greatly strengthened.
       
  • If your actions strengthened one party, wouldn’t that be at the expense of the other party?
    • Not necessarily. It might strengthen both.
    • Some people automatically assume our reform efforts would more help the Republican Party. But arguably, it might help the Democrat Party more.
      • As things currently stand, Republican committees already have to pretend they want to curtail government spending.
      • But Democrats often act like big government opponents don't exist in their party. So any real recognition of them could be quite a positive development.
    • We’re in favor of anyone running for their party’s precinct if they’re willing to speak up for what they believe in.
    • Let the chips fall where they may.
       
  • Do we need a third party?
    • No.
    • Anything that could be done in a third party, could be accomplished far easier in either or both of the two major parties.
    • If good people, ones you're aligned with, are fighting to save one of the two major parties, why would you want to abandon them - especially if they could succeed with your help?
    • Besides, if a strong third party was ever created, it would face exactly the same problem of compy infestation.
    • Compys show up wherever there’s power.
    • Stick with the two parties, and get at least one of them cleaned up.
       
  • What do you say to independent voters?
    • If you don’t have a party, then you've no voice in many of the most important decisions. By the time you can express yourself in a general election, it’s often too late.
    • Essentially, you’ve partially disenfranchised yourself. And compys are generally happy when you’ve done so.
       
  • Isn't the Republican Party run by Big Business and country club types?
    • That’s a myth - and probably always was. It's something liberals have actively promoted, and Hollywood has always been nuts about.
    • But it’s a convenient myth, especially for voters who'd like an excuse. One needn’t feel guilty about being inactive in a party that’s run by the likes of Thurston Howell the Third and his wife, Lovey.
    • If you doubt it's a myth, put it to the test. Attend any local or county Republican Party meeting and go around meeting people.
      • It’s a good bet you'll find few of them have anything to do with Big Business or country clubs.
         
  • You seem to think political parties aren’t interested in volunteers. How could that be true?
    • Distinctions need to be made. All parties are happy to have people come in and volunteer their help.
    • Parties are always interested in “worker bees,” people who can help man phone banks, hand out literature, and prepare mailings.
    • But the parties aren’t particularly interested in empowering these volunteers. By and large, they won’t encourage them to run for their precincts.
    • Party bigwigs are generally too worried about losing their personal power to take any chances by empowering non-compys.
       
  • If participation is a good thing, then shouldn’t states that hold presidential primaries shift over to caucus voting like Iowa?
    • During the presidential nominating process, one hears a lot of nonsense about the supposed virtues of caucus voting in comparison to primary elections.
    • In states like Iowa, the caucus rules are written by insiders (compys) to cater to their interests. (On this matter, we owe a major hat tip to Jonah Goldberg of National Review.)
      • The caucuses are often held in the homes of individuals, an environment which can intimidate outsiders.
      • Participants can expect to devote upwards to three hours at such an event.
      • The Democrat Party don’t even conduct their caucuses by secret ballot. You have to publicly declare your preferences.
      • Not surprisingly, the elderly, handicapped, shy, and anyone working the evening shift can feel discouraged from participating.
    • In Iowa, only ten percent or less of the registered party voters typically participate in their celebrated caucuses.
    • States that use primary elections traditionally produce a far higher voter turn out.
       
  • How does the process of electing precinct men change from state to state? What’s the best way?
    • In some states, precinct men are listed on the ballot and elected in party primary elections.
    • In other states, party voters have the option of attending specially called local or county caucuses. At these meetings, residents of each precinct vote to elect a own precinct delegate (if anyone from the precinct bothers to show up).
      • In these caucus states, running as a precinct man can be a one-and-done process. You show up to run for your precinct. If you gain the position, you're immediately called upon, along with your fellow newly-minted precinct men, to elect a representative to the next higher level committee (perhaps an executive committee, or a municipal or county one). After completing this task, your job as precinct man is finished and you're dismissed. ("Thanks for coming. Here's a pamphlet!")
      • Naturally, in such circumstances, we urge you to run for the next higher level, or at least to get together with like-minded folks to back a non-compy for this next position.
        • The hard part can be in quickly figuring out who's tied to the public sector.
        • Here's a hint. You may meet someone in your group who'll try to impress you with how active they've been in the party, and will mention the many positions they've filled in the past. Somehow though, they won't get around to saying how they make their living. Assume they're a compy.
        • There're only two reasons for showing up at a party caucus. Either you're there to make things better (hopefully, you), or you're there for your private interests (all too often, compys).
        • Here's another tip. Openly declare a strong preference for candidates that come strictly from the private sector. If everyone looks at you sideways, it could be because they're all compys.

       
  • Can’t we trust party insiders to put forward the best candidates?
    • You're kidding, right?
    • Too many party insiders are simply compys. Their interests are very likely not yours.
       
  • But what if I'm encouraged by the principled direction my party is now moving in?
    • If your party is apparently taking a fiscally responsible stance in Congress or your state legislature, then that probably means it's in the minority position.
    • It's not hard for office-holders to talk tough when their party is out of power. Compys can easily accommodate themselves to such rhetoric. It costs them little. And many of them think they actually mean it.
    • The question is, when has your party ever held a majority in Congress or a legislature and actually reduced the size of government?
      • And by that, we mean doing things like deregulating, abolishing agencies, flattening and eliminating taxes, reducing the total expenditures, etc.
      • Real reductions. Not just reductions in the rates of their growth.
    • When a compy-dominated party comes into power, it has an incredibly hard time keeping itself from passing out goodies and expanding government.
    • For a party to support actual efforts to rein in government, its local and county committees have to be dominated by individuals from non-compys from the private sector.
       
  • Won’t this effort simply irritate party leadership?
  • Why don’t you make this effort from within one of the parties?
    • For one thing, we’re non-partisan.
    • Secondly, nothing’s stopping anyone from calling on their party's officials to urge voters to run for their precincts. Godspeed.
    • Still, where compys control a committee, they'd probably smother this kind of effort.
    • In any case, everyone should have a chance to consider this issue, including nonaligned voters.
       
  • Haven’t other groups tried to take over party committees in the past?
    • Certainly many political groups have sought to influence Presidential caucuses in states like Iowa. But they were there to back certain candidates, and not to change or control the actual party committees.
    • And yes, at times, other groups have sought to control local committees in various states. But they’ve never been successful in the long run.
      • They always failed because you can’t sustain such efforts from the outside.
      • The mere appearance of being controlled from the outside will undermine an effort’s effectiveness.
      • Ultimately, such efforts are just attempts to circumvent the democratic process.
    • But what we're proposing is entirely different.
      • Our group (Run For Your Precinct) isn't trying to take over anything.
      • We’re only urging people to work within the existing process and to run for their precincts. If they’re elected, what they do from there is up to them.
      • We’re not pushing any candidates or any other agenda or issues.
      • We’re small “d” democrats. We believe in representative democracy.
      • We’re also small “r” republicans. We believe in living up to our republic's constitution and its entire Bill of Rights.
         
  • How do you expect party officials to respond to your efforts?
    • “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
      • supposedly said by Mahatma Gandhi (but don't quote us).
    • Presently, we’re in the stage of being ignored.
       
 

Practical Concerns


  • Can just one person have an effect?
    • The simple answer is: you’re seldom alone.
      • Trust us, you won’t be the first person to want to improve things.
      • In fact, others might wonder where you’ve been all this time.
      • At most any political party meeting, you’re likely to find non-compys. Just speak up, mentioning your frustrations with the party. Afer doing that, kindred souls will often come by to introduce themselves.
    • But yes, one person can have a significant effect, and sometimes a tremendous one.
    • To start changing things for the better, all it can take is for one person to raise the question of whether or not compys are dominating their local committee.
      • The last thing compys want is for this question to be raised.
      • They know they can’t publicly defend the power they wield.
    • There’s an old political saying. “The only battles you really lose are ones you don't fight.”
      • Simply raising the issue of a committee’s composition accomplishes something. It puts the opposition on the defensive.
      • A visible controversy over compy infestation of a committee (particularly a Republican one) might actually garner a few newspaper headlines (which can alert and motivate other local non-compys). A simple letter to the editor can sometimes achieve this effect, although contacting a reporter directly might be more advisable. But be prepared to be quoted, and choose your words carefully. You won't be getting any love from the compys.
      • Given the usual bias of reporters and their editors, a newspaper might well welcome a chance to report about a party squabble. And the coverage can work to help the good guys.
    • The key is, everything worthwhile has to start somewhere with someone. But don’t expect it to be painless. There’s always a price to be paid. Even if it's only being frowned at by 'party regulars.'
      • As Rush Limbaugh says, “Pioneers take the arrows.”
    • If nothing else, try talkng a friend into attending party meetings with you. It’ll give you someone to sit and kibitz with. There are worse ways to pass an hour. And maybe your friend will start thinking about running for his precinct.
    • Besides, what do you have to lose by representing your precinct? A few hours of your life? You can spare it.
    • Your grandchildren may someday ask if you ever did anything when this nation was sliding into socialism. You’ll want to answer in the affirmative.
       
  • With regard to compys and political parties, are things any different than they’ve ever been?
    • Hard to say.
    • Compys have been around longer than our republic.
    • But in the past, other competing interest groups have sought to control political parties, such as labor unions and organized ethnic groups (not that we're longing for the return of such days).
    • Local graft and corruption also used to make government more of a prime field of opportunity for 'enterprising individuals.' There was less concern back then of anyone like the FBI dragging people before courts, and off to jail. So those factors may have diminished the influence of compys.
    • Also in the past, local and county governments were a smaller part of the total work force than they are today.
       
  • What’s different about today?
    • The growing size of local and county governments.
    • The size of labor unions in the private sector workforce has been shrinking for decades.
    • Meanwhile, the number of unionized workers in the public sector continues to grow.
    • Many formerly powerful ethnic groups now have considerably less cohesion and influence.
    • Due to better law enforcement, there’s probably less graft and corruption. Local government is perhaps less of an attraction to your garden-variety crook.
      • Government corruption these days is more about vote buying on the wholesale level (by pandering to special interest groups), than with retail influence peddling (though that certainly still goes on).
        • Compys, though, can be comfortable with either approach.
    • All the above factors leave the field more clear and open to compys.
    • Also, the political left is increasingly advocating socialism in an outright fashion. Compys and socialists can share many common agenda items.
    • But on the positive side, limited government supporters are better informed, due to the alternative news media of radio talk shows, cable television and the Internet.
      • Certainly without the Internet, you wouldn’t be reading this.
         
  • If you’re correct about this issue, why is no one else talking about it?
    • Somebody has to be the first.
    • Still, doubtless thousands of people have probably sensed the problem, seeing something of it in their own locality. But the national implications have never dawned on them. They've never seen the forest for the trees.
    • Meanwhile, others are probably more informed on the situation, but say nothing since it might be inconvenient to their political interests.
    • Finally, there have been many good people who have grasped and articulated part of the problem, but who didn't see the complete picture.
      • For instance, they might have focused on the enormous growth of the public sector, but didn't realize how it translated to the two major parties.
      • Or in thinking of public sector influences, they'd be wary of union officials - but county administrators would completely escape their notice. Then they'd be left wondering how the party "blue-bloods" or "country club" types had managed to put a strangle hold on their local party. ("Somebody must be pulling strings behind the scenes.")
      • Meanwhile, at the other end of the situation, others would discover the importance of running for their precincts - but then fail to understand who might oppose them within the party (compys). ("It's almost as if they didn't want people participating!?")
      • Or if elected as a precinct man, they'd be surprised when their appeals to principle seemed to fall upon deaf ears. The supposed indifference of others (compys) would leave them baffled and discouraged. ("Why are these people even here?")
    • Then there's also the fact that it’s not an easy issue to explain quickly. It can’t be conveyed in a ten second sound bite.
    • It doesn’t serve the interests of the “mainstream” media.
      • They wouldn’t want either of the two major parties perceived as being dominated by compys.
      • After all, when you've failed to report on a problem for decades, it's probably easier to go on sweeping it under the rug.
      • Not only that, but if you reported on this issue, God forbid, you might actually slip and use the word "compy." Sophisticates can't be seen using such words.
    • Sadly, big time pundits and media figures generally aren’t too concerned with politics at the precinct level.
      • For the most part, they have the "we don’t do windows” mentality.
      • Remember, no one ever gets famous by rubbing elbows with the hoi polloi at local party meetings.
      • Besides, their prime sources of information are usually high office-holders that are closely tied to party bigwigs. They wouldn't want to jeopardize those connections.
         
  • Aren’t there any good office-holders?
    • Sure there are. But even the good ones are compys. And like all of us, they need to be protected from their worst impulses of their self-interests.
    • Most people run for office because they want to shape and control things. They seek power. But limited government is contrary to that. It’s about personal liberty and responsibility. It’s about allowing people their pursuit of happiness and relying on natural market forces to keep things in balance. Such impulses need to originate from the people at the grassroots level, since they often run counter to the inclinations of the power seekers that would rule them. That’s why the democratic process is so essential to safeguarding liberties. It provides citizens with a way to voice and support their desires. The problem comes in when compys short-circuit the process at the precinct level.
    • Have you noticed that the campaigns that excite most limited government supporters are usually ones involving candidates coming from outside the normal political process? Ronald Reagan's campaign would be an example. There're reasons why people look for celebrities from radio, television, Hollywood, and other industries. One reason is that they're unconsciously looking for someone who's different from the disappointing compys they're familiar with.
       
  • Won’t this effort enable single-issue voters to take over their parties?
    • Aren't compys single-issue voters? Their overriding issue is protecting their government-dependent livelihoods.
    • Besides, in the common view, you're only a single-issue voter until you’re elected to an office. Once you’re elected, your interests are presumably as varied as the next guy's. Why shouldn't the concept works with precinct seats the way it does with Congressional ones.
       
  • Are you opposed to local anti-tax committees?
    • No, not at all. But if you'd support such groups, why wouldn’t you also run for your party’s precinct?
    • Do you want your group to increase its impact? Tell everyone in it to run for their local precinct.
    • It's sad and wasteful when thousands of people will attend a Tea Party rally, and no one thinks to urge them to run for their precincts.
    • Take a lesson from compys. When they want something, they get active in a political party.
    • Why stay exclusively on the outside when you can also have a seat on the inside? Why sidestep a precinct spot where you'll be accorded full “rights and privileges?” Remember, by keeping a seat warm, you’ll also be keeping a compy out of it. It’s a two-for-one deal.
       
  • What if your prescriptions lead to more liberal government?
    • All logic and evidence suggests they won’t.
    • Besides, leaving things to compys isn’t resulting in better and more limited government, is it?
       
  • Do local political machines have any real influence with voters?
    • Sure they do. They elect the kind of office-holders you usually see.
    • Or where you live, do you see a lot of limited government advocates getting elected from the private sector?
       
  • Haven’t people heard enough about politics?
    • Well, they've certainly heard a lot about politics. But it's mostly been the wrong things.
    • Politics isn’t intrinsically complicated or tiresome. It only becomes that way when people are hiding who they are and what they want. That happens a lot with compys.
       
  • With all the political activity currently going on, why do more people need to be involved?
    • Face it, most of the political activity one sees is simply other people discussing it on television. Or passing nutty emails back and forth. That hardly represents a frenzied state of local activity.
    • Ask yourself this. In the last election, did you see people competing with each other to represent your precinct? (Yeah, we thought not.)
    • When you see that kind of activity, then the level of involvement will be about right.
       
  • How can you deal with the fact that politics turns off most people?
    • You don’t need to persuade your neighbor to run for the precinct. You only need to persuade yourself. At the very most, you might get around to asking him for his vote.
    • What our nation desperately needs is political leadership of the right sort. Not only on the national level, but everywhere, including the precinct level. Wherever you live, be a leader and run for your precinct.
       
  • You seem to want more conflict in politics. Don’t most people want less?
    • Serious matters require serious discussions. That’s what the political process is for.
    • If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. But then don’t gripe about the cooking.
 

The Web Site


  • What’s the meaning of your website’s artwork (the people in the painting)?
    • Our web site’s masthead uses an image of the painting Abendgesellschaft (The Dinner Party) by the German painter Adolf von Menzel (1847). It reflects the kind of wholesome discourse between friends and family members that promotes the best aspects of our republic. "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." - Ronald Reagan.
       
  • Aren’t you being mean to civil servants?
    • Our society can’t do without compys. Some do very necessary jobs, and often quite well.
    • So we’re not disparaging their work - only addressing their political activity. And in fact, most compys aren’t politically active at all.
       
  • Do you have a book out connected with this issue?
    • No. If we had gone to the trouble, too few people would’ve read.
    • Instead, we boiled down the message and stuck it on a web site. Let anyone read it there for free (as you're doing).
    • The goal wasn't to gain recognition or to make money.
    • The idea was to maximize the public’s exposure to the concept.
       
 

Off the Wall


  • What if I’m not sold on the whole democratic process? What if I don’t like the fact that my vote counts the same as any no-account, knucklehead? How do you respond to that?
    • Uhhh... run for your precinct! It’ll give you an increased say at a higher level.
    • Parties need to provide leadership to the voters, especially the knuckleheads.
    • If good people from the private sector don’t step forward, that leadership will only come from compys, who'll favor bigger government.
       
  • What if I don’t trust any party?
    • It's easy to be a skeptic. But to fully express yourself politically in this nation, you really need to be associated with a party.
    • Pick one and work to make it right.
    • If you think you're too pure to associate with a political party, who's interests do you think you're hurting?
    • You're either part of the problem, or part of the solution.
       
  • Why aren't lefties calling for people to run for their precincts?
    • There’s little need. Liberals and compys tend to share the same agendas.
    • We can't imagine any far left-wing group like ACORN would ever call for people to run for their precincts. Such groups seek to isolate people - not to empower them.
    • But if some group like ACORN did, we expect that would be the day Congress would start seriously investigating all of their activities.
      • But, hey ACORN, go prove us wrong. We double-dog dare ya!
    • Still, it's entirely possible that somewhere on the Left, someone's calling for it. But we wouldn't know about it. You can't expect us to spend much time trudging through the fever swamps of leftist websites. People who thought George Bush was Hitler aren't worth fretting about.
       
  • I hate political mailings and phone banks. How does this relate to them?
    • The best political mailings come from people you’re close to. For instance, if a respected friend tells you in an email that he likes someone running for township trustee, then that’s about the best possible political mailing.
    • But if a letter can’t come from someone you’re close to, then it's good for it to come from someone within the neighborhood... someone who's likely to share your viewpoint.
    • For instance, let’s say your precinct is represented by Dave, an electrical contractor who lives down the street. You hardly know the guy. But you know he’s in the private sector, keeps his grass cut, and you haven’t heard anything bad about him. Now wouldn’t you probably look favorably on a brief note from Dave, putting in a good word for a guy running for state representative? Especially if he tells you he has strong concerns about the spending inclinations of that guy's opponent?
    • As for phone efforts, if a call can’t come from someone you’re close to, then it’s better if it comes from someone down the street.
    • Phone calls can be a nuisance... but they can be of value, especially in low turnout elections.
    • Imagine you’re in the middle of February and come home to find a short message on your answering machine. It’s that guy Dave, down the street. He’s reminding you there’s a special election tomorrow for the sole purpose of voting on a local tax hike. Dave’s against it, thinks the local budget is irresponsibly exorbitant, and says they’ve only scheduled this election in the dead of winter so they can slip it by unnoticed. Would you look unfavorably on getting such a call?
       
  • Is the old expression true, all politics is local?
    • Not always. Local party committees can often be controlled by county committees. Sometimes local committees will be in cahoots, happy to be in the control of a larger committee.
    • Meanwhile, the average voter is almost always more interested in what’s going on at the federal and state level then the local and county level. What's happening in Washington D.C. is practically all one ever hears about from the news media.
    • But yes, all political power starts at the household and precinct level.
    • There's one sure way you can almost always get people to briefly shift their eyes off the federal level, and onto the local. You do it by asking for their vote to represent the neighborhood.
       
cartoon cartoon
That's it? Because I was
expecting something, you know... more substantial.