Tea Party 2.0: Two Ways We’ll LOSE in November
By Guest Blogger John Burns
We’re going to lose.
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That’s right. You didn’t misunderstand me. WE’RE going to lose this election in November…unless we make a change. You see, there are two sure-fire ways to help our movement lose, come November 2nd.
Winning back the country from the grasp of Socialists is difficult work. It’s a task that will take many years and the tireless effort of countless individuals. But although this is a long-term process, winning this election is important. Because of this, we can’t get bogged down in internecine warfare, turf battles and ego clashes. And it may seem highly counter-intuitive, but for this specific election cycle where so much is on the line, we can’t forget that “perfect” ideological candidates (candidates who are “perfect” on all of our issues) aren’t always the best choice at the polls in the primaries.
In the process of working with tea party and 9/12 groups across the country, I’ve seen some disturbing trends. Now that our groups are starting to become more solidified, we’re much more willing to fight with one-another or exercise our egos than we are to work with one-another constructively. True leaders have small egos. True leaders don’t get embroiled in petty turf wars. True leaders relish widespread contribution. True leaders recognize that they don’t have all the answers and that they need help to build excellent teams. The level of your group’s success will be directly proportional to the amount of people your group has attacking a problem. More brains, talents, and abilities = more effectiveness. Precisely for this reason, it’s important to build coalitions with other groups, not fearfully guard one’s turf. There is no turf. There is only a community that needs to pull together to win. We must all have the courage to demolish walls or barriers between our groups and stop the in-fighting. Allowing this to continue is one sure path to failure.
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“Perfect” Candidates and Primaries
Another sure path to failure: making the perfect the enemy of the good. This election cycle is very similar to triage in an army field hospital on the battlefield. If you’ve got one man shot in the arm, another shot in the chest and only one doctor, some quick, decisive decisions must be made if both men are to survive. The doctor must attend to the chest wound first because it’s the most serious.
In a similar way, we need to stop the bleeding with this election cycle. This cycle, we don’t necessarily need anything fancy, just a candidate that can beat the Socialist candidate. If you’re going to hammer a nail into a piece of wood, you don’t necessarily need a gold plated hammer: you just need something that will get the nail into the wood. In some races, our favorite or best ideological candidate might not win the primary. But if the candidate that does win has a better shot at defeating the Socialist candidate come November, we can at least stop the bleeding. Later on, once we’re in a position of power, we can worry about improving the quality of the candidates.
Mark this well: nothing is more important this election than preventing Socialists from getting elected. To achieve that end, we need candidates that can win. In that sense, the “perfect” candidate isn’t always the best candidate. It won’t profit us a thing if we have the most perfect ideological candidate in the world who can’t beat the Socialists this November. It’s sad, but it’s true. It’s triage. Once we stop the bleeding, we can then focus on improving the quality of our stock of candidates. This election cycle is too important to let slip away because we’re not willing to prioritize victory.
If we do make the perfect the enemy of the good this cycle, we’ll have two more years of a Socialist-dominated Congress where they force-feed us more socialized medicine, taxation, and tyranny. We’ll have no one to blame but ourselves. We need candidates that can win. This primary season, be sure to vote the best choice, even if it’s not the “perfect” choice.