So here’s how it happened…
Julie Borowski of Freedom Works was asking questions on her Facebook page about what the priorities ought to be for the loosely-defined but self-identified Liberty Movement. Some of the answers were, um… well… less than substantive.
FRN’s own @NJ_libertarian witnessed this, and got pretty frustrated, and so he talked on his show last week about the tendency of some of us in the ‘liberty movement’ to address challenges and problems with some of the shallow ‘YAY! LIBERTY!’ messaging that he saw on Julie’s thread.
That show was seen by Leslie P of Conservative Union, and got her to asking the question of how groups like CU and FRN and The Party of Choice can take an active role in equipping people on the ground for 2014 and beyond. So Leslie called a meeting.
Aside: I, for one, HATE meetings, particularly political ones, having suffered through scores of them over my many years as an activist in politics. At the same time, I understand that some really great things can come out of good meetings, and I still go to them. My favorites, though, are online meetings; mainly because I don’t have to shower to attend them if I have other priorities. Like naps.
Still, Leslie called the meeting as a way to explore cooperative efforts among several online communities with members spread across the continent, and we definitely wanted in on that. So NJ and I made sure we were there.
The discussion was pretty long, about an hour and a half of recorded time (with quite a bit unrecorded, but who’d watch 2.5 hours of people trading war stories?). Still, it started all of us in attendance thinking of ways we can pool our various strengths and resources to start making a difference.
There are three main priorities that came out of the discussion: the 2014 Senate races, learning how to better communicate our ideas to apolitical people, and helping activists in their local areas learn to vet candidates. Between us, we had quite a few resources and ideas about how to proceed.
Firstly, Conservative Union is exploring the idea of hosting a US Senate Candidate Hangout series in conjunction with FRN and TPoC, in which they would invite some of the 2014 hopefuls running against Democrats who are vulnerable. By highlighting these challengers, CU will be able to give them a broader platform for fundraising and phone banking, and will also help bring national attention to candidates who might have a good chance at helping to flip the Senate to Republican control. Bolstered by their state chapters, CU will have the ability to target the most important races not only online, but hopefully on the ground as well.
Secondly, Cori and Andy Peth from The Party of Choice will be putting together resources to help all of us on the rightward end of the spectrum learn better how to communicate the ideas of liberty. Andy and Cori have wide experience in messaging core conservative values to people who aren’t die-hard Republicans, and their efforts to teach others these tools can do what the RNC and the various Big Liberty groups have been unable to do – message those values in a way that has a broader appeal than merely to people on the right.
Thirdly, with my history and experience with grassroots activism, I’ll be able to share the resources and knowledge I’ve developed over the years to enable even people with very limited experience in activism to become more active and effective. Whether it’s for vetting candidates, turning out the vote in an area, navigating party politics, or using social media to share information and connections; even a little bit of training can help boost the effectiveness of a new activist tremendously.
A couple of things we definitely agreed on unanimously: it’s going to take all of us, working together, to achieve some victories in 2014; and 2014 and 2016 are just the START of the effort we’ll ultimately need to make. I’ve been saying for a long while now that we need a win, and a big one, to keep the momentum going. But that doesn’t happen if we merely sit back and watch events and rant and complain about them. There’s a place in the Freedom Army for everyone, a task for each soldier. And no matter how high- or low-profile the job is, each one is vital to the overall effort if we’re going to turn things around in this country and take control back from the progressives who have worked so long to achieve their goals.
We’ll be doing the Google Hangouts weekly for the foreseeable future, and the hangouts are made public so that anyone can join to watch and comment. If you don’t know what you can do to help achieve some victories in 2014, come join us for one, and see if we don’t have something that can help you get started where you are.
In the meantime, here’s the maiden voyage of our little partnership, with hopes of much collaboration and many hashes in the ‘WIN’ column to come.