To do so, we must—and can—build a well-organized, fully staffed Magisterial District/precinct structure that powers the Republican Party’s volunteer efforts, political/social interactions, and electoral successes.
“All politics is local.” A corollary to that axiom is that success in local politics depends upon volunteers. The more effective one’s volunteers are in a local area, the greater the chance a local politician will win an election and, likewise, the greater the chance a state or national politician will win a majority of votes in that local area.
For sure, many reasons contribute to winning elections—candidate capabilities, candidate messages, comprehensive and accurate voting data, available funds—but a necessary condition for consistent party wins in any area is a well-organized, fully resourced volunteer structure for effectively harnessing the energy of party members.
In football, the best running backs, quarterbacks, and pass receivers cannot advance the ball consistently without a powerful interior line that enables their run and pass heroics. The real pros say “blocking and tackling” wins the games.
So too in politics, where well-qualified, well-funded political candidates promoting strong messages can only succeed by relying on a vigorous volunteer “machine” working for them to win over voters. Real political pros build such “grassroots machines” to win consistently.
A strong, grassroots organization—“an army of volunteers,” if you will—is one essential service that the Republican Party can provide to all Republican candidates seeking office in the county. This army would provide the door knockers, phone callers, social networks, campaign literature distributors, envelope stuffers, yard sign hosts, etc., who collectively elevate GOP voter turnout and deliver Republican wins. (Remember, in local elections, 70% of identified registered voters traditionally fail to vote, meaning there is a significant, even determinative, number of non-voting Republicans in that 70%.)
“An army of volunteers” readily available to support them would provide all Republican candidates the means to drive voter turnout. Tapping into that established army would save candidates the time, work, and money required to develop their own “volunteer militias” and enable them to spend more time on message refinement, voter engagement, fund-raising, and other campaign activities that would further strengthen their electoral prospects.
Put in military terms, a well-organized and fully resourced district/precinct structure in Fairfax County would serve as a “force multiplier” making primary and multiple secondary contributions to electoral success.The Republican Party will win consistently in Fairfax County if it fields a well-organized “army of volunteers” at the district and precinct levels that delivers the “blocking and tackling” necessary to turn out the Republican vote.
Squads, platoons, companies, and even battalions of such a volunteer army function effectively in some parts of Fairfax County but not uniformly across the county’s nine magisterial districts.
A key part of my plan for reinvigorating the Republican Party in Fairfax County calls for the FCRC to take the lead in recruiting, organizing, empowering, managing, and leading a grassroots army of volunteers that delivers to every Republican-endorsed candidate running for office in Fairfax County the means to hike GOP voter turnout reliably and win elections.
Building such a well-organized, well-staffed grassroots structure in Fairfax County is doable. I say again, it is doable. In a county of 1.1 million people, there are plenty of Republicans more than willing to provide some form of help. While some areas of the county may be fertile for volunteers than others, the county is rich in potential Republican volunteers.
But they need to be approached and asked for their volunteer service. When done with respect and enthusiasm, I have found the average Republican, regardless of age, sex, race, shirt color, or any other labeling category that popular culture restrictively imposes upon people these days, often willingly says, “Sure, I’ll pitch in. I’m busy, but if you have something reasonable for me to do, I’ll give it a shot.”
Many times the yard sign host soon volunteers to hand out literature at back-to-school night then starts making phone calls and moves on to knocking on doors as a “Block Captain” in his or her neighborhood.
I know of what I speak. Over the past few years I have built a list of over 100 people in my Waples Mill precinct who have “signed up” for volunteering to help Republican candidates in some capacity. Not all will be able to contribute to every campaign and election, but we have plenty of volunteers to cover each campaign with a reasonable workload being shouldered by each volunteer. “Many hands make light work!”
Let’s see, using half that number, 50 times 244 (the number of precincts in the county) equals 12,200 volunteers. By gosh, we would have ourselves a Republican army, one that could materially help deliver Republican wins in the Virginia state Senate race in 2018 and, most critically, in the 2019 elections. Working together, we can do it.
A future article will review how the FCRC can recruit and manage such an army of volunteers.
Editor’s Note. Your editor of the Fairfax Free Citizen is running for Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee. The convention to elect a new Chairman will take place in mid-March. The above article is the fourth in a series of articles explaining the reasons for my candidacy and the program I plan to implement if elected. The first three articles in the series are here, here, and here.