Lessons of the Paul Campaign – Introduction

Like many (if not most) of the people who worked in the grassroots of the Ron Paul campaign, I entered the “game” a political neophyte. Actually, strictly speaking, I was always politically “aware” but never “active” – which again is the common profile amongst Paulistas. I was one of the few “hardcore” who committed to the effort on a more or less full time basis. I had a variety of skillsets to bring to the table, and I did a lot of things over my year of on-again-off-again involvement, but what I worked on the most was what is called in politics “Field Operations”; phone banks and block walks, voter ID and GOTV. I did a bit of this stuff myself, but also helped organize the effort county wide – an effort that involved close to 900 people at the precinct level and around a dozen coordinators to keep ’em moving. At peak from around mid January through the March 4th primaries, I put in approximately 60 hours a week.

I learned a lot of lessons in the field ops push, as well as through my other work with the Austin Meetup Group (sometimes the largest MUG nationwide… we traded off with the NYC MUG constantly). Some lessons were bitter, some constructive. Some were lessons on politics in general, some were professional, some were ideological. I don’t know that any specific point I can make is particularly profound or revelatory; but it seems that I do have a pretty unique take overall, one that comes from my own personal synthesis (Hegelians beware) of my learning experiences.

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9 Responses to Lessons of the Paul Campaign – Introduction

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt Like many (if not most) of the people who worked in the grassroots of the Ron Paul campaign, I entered the “game” a political neophyte. Actually, strictly speaking, I was always politically “aware” but never “active” – which again is the common profile amongst Paulistas. I was one of the few “hardcore” who committed to the effort on a more or less full time basis. I had a variety of skillsets to bring to the table, and I did a lot of things over my year of on-again-off-again involvement, but w […]

  2. Brandi says:

    Good Article Chuck, I think the message here really is, that we know how to access the information that we need to canvass areas and make phone calls. We even know down to the “T” what areas are most accessible, or easier to canvass. I think a third Party movement would be a very good change for many of the people that got involved for the Republican Party GOP. Many people were crushed at the convention after the blood, sweat and tears they put into this campaign. I actually never voted before March 4th, 2008. Ron Paul “cured my apathy”, a few months before that time I had to register Republican in order to vote in the primaries. Since I have been involved as an activist, at the grassroots level for Republican Party, I have seen more corruption in the last year or so then I ever imagined. Ron Paul was right when he said we where “getting our political education”. The message of hope to keep our civil liberties and uphold the Constitution is spreading like wildfire amongst not only people here in America, but there are Ron Paul Meetup groups all over the world. I think this makes a huge statement, however I also believe if we continue to work within the Republican GOP we will get NO WHERE. There are political officials that won’t even swear to uphold our Constitution. The Republican Party is obviously not only broken, it’s flat out BROKE! I want to continue the Campaign for Liberty. I think it is a wonderful idea, but after my experiences with the Republican Party, I have no doubt we will NOT reach our goal working within their party. We have all the information available to us that we need to start a 3rd party, or even combined 3rd parties. We have the resource, and the knowledge that we need to make it happen. If you really want to get your political education it is going to have to be from the “grassroots” moving up, but you have to figure out for yourself what that means to you.

    Brandi D.

  3. Norman says:

    Yeah, I came in much like you did, just without the full time work to commit. Politically aware, but not all that active. Although, I have been interviewed on KXAN before… But that’s way back, like 2006. Hahaha.

  4. chuckyoung says:

    Brandi…

    Stay tuned. This broken GOP thing is a big part of what I want to address.

  5. Patricia Janz says:

    I was not active within the party, but voted and talked Ron Paul up. I am still planning on voting for Ron Paul. Hopefully I can write him in since I don’t vote on a machine. I do believe he would win if he would get away from the two party’s that are negative. My whole family are Ron Paul supporters. I have never voted republican until now. I keep praying the americans will see the light and vote the right way. There is only one choice—–Ron Paul. If we want to see America be the country we know it can be. Patricia

  6. David says:

    I just wanted to point out that EVERYBODY votes on a machine. Even if they are mail in, they are counted in a programmable counting machine.
    The National Clean Elections Lawsuit has been attempting to change this. There are 150 of us that got together under the organizing skills of “We the People”, and made an attempt at a lawsuit to force hand counting and scrapping the programmable machines. A couple weeks ago all but the New York suit was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

    New York is going ahead, the rest of us can best help by supporting them, IMHO.

  7. Michael says:

    Chuck,

    I think we may have met here in the Austin RP meetings, or at State. You raise some good points to which will reply more in a few weeks when I have more time and I’m back in town. I completely agree that there are lots of potential allies among Dems and indies and we should seek them. However, I think we have a historical opportunity to gain influence in a major party (Rep.) thanks to Dr. Paul. We just need to stick with it and be patient for a few years. There are many grassroots Republicans who agree with our message on most issues, who have been spooked by their leadership into thinking we’re crazies, but they come around when you get to know them and work with them and talk with them one-on-one. But for our numbers needed for even more influence, we need to bring new activists into the Rep. Party. They can be disillusioned Republicans, or indies or Dems or Libs. I was about to explore the Dem Party as more fertile soil for our message, until I saw the spontaneous growth of the RP movement in the Rep. Party. Now we have a foothold in a major party that can serve as the best foundation for the freedom movement. We have and will be more successful as activists in the convention process first, before we will be successful at the polls. The intensity of our people, shown by willingness to get out and do more than just vote, gives us that advantage.

    Michael

  8. Brandi says:

    By the way Chuck, I appreciate what you are doing to make people aware of the circumstances we are facing. With that said I think it is time for people to REALLY “WAKE UP” and smell the felonies in the White House. If you really want to make a difference, and you not going to do it behind a voting machine. Voting once does not make you accountable for society. I had to learn that the hard way… In order to make a true difference in this world, you have to think like the “crooks” do (our gov. that is) and hold them accountable for their actions, (don’t be afraid of them), and have A LOT of freaking courage (they will harass you). If you don’t have the “balls” to stomach it then maybe you are barking up the wrong tree. Don’t be a slave, be a LEADER… The only way to do that is to BEAT THEM AT THEIR OWN GAME. I have discovered how to do this myself; however, you will have to find your own path.

    • David says:

      Brandy,

      “I have discovered how to [be a self-governing citizen]; however, you will have to find your own path.” You find truth but keep it to yourself? My, how fruitful!

      I have discovered how to take the battle to the D.C. al Qaeda, as well. I don’t mind sharing it, either. The corrupt mob has operated since Andrew Jackson’s presidency at least; since Dishonest Abe’s time, it’s been in overdrive. Citizens don’t have a chance unless they’re willing to play offense and defense, all the time, viz:

      Offense: http://www.myamericaagain.org

      Defense: http://www.taxhonestyprimer.blogspot.com

      Cut off their funding, right at your checkbook; the ‘family-level secession’ that 67 million of us have already adopted. That’s defense; that’s Tax Honesty.

      Then, turn to offense: bring every corrupt politician home to face multi-count state criminal indictment, which violations happen to also be violations of the US Constitution in their capacity as a member of Congress.

      As a Floridian or New Yorker or Texan, you just care about their actions as a fellow Floridian, New Yorker, or Texan. You get the state court to bust them and seize their worldly assets, just as they did to Bernie Madoff. The exemplary effect of those enforcement actions can’t be overstated in our day of out-of-control government on every level, in every nation.

      “You will have to find your own path” is not very helpful, Brandi. “Be a leader”, you say? A leader shows others the way out of the pit; don’t hoard your helpful ideas.

      Join your local AmericaAgain! chapter, or help start one. Also, read the Tax Honesty Primer and then go out and do the right thing: let’s put teeth back in the 9th and 10th Amendments or we soon won’t have a rule of law at all.

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