The Lemonade and Cookies approach to Ground Game.Submitted by theMaskedInvader on Tue, 01/24/2012 - 13:31
-The Lemonade and Cookies approach to Ground Game-
or how I learned to stop worrying and love the process.
So, it's pretty clear that Paul has a lot of passionate supporters. It's fair to say that he has the passionate vote pretty much on lockdown. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KztzhBUdI0w There you have. Great isn't it? But here's the sad truth: getting the passionate vote isn't all that hard. Passionate voters respond to simple messages: 'end the war' or even 'start the war'.
But these make up about 10% of the population. Now, with the financial crisis, wars etc. there's a slight increase, which translates rather nicely into the numbers Paul saw in 2008 and how he's doing right now. There's definitely something of a groundswell going on, but this doesn't automatically translate into a win. There are more steps in between.
Because there is still that 80% that doesn't really care. They know politics is important. But they really don't feel any passion for it, for a variety of reasons. Just calling them apathetic really doesn't cut it.
These people are moderately happy with their lives. They may realize that there's is a lot of room for improvement, but they're put off by too radical changes or when they come too fast. A status quo can only remain a status quo if it keeps just enough people just comfortable enough. A change in that balance could work out for the better, but just as well for the worse.
Imagine this: you're lost at sea. Stuck on a large iceberg that's slowly melting. You figure that going like this you've got a couple of months of aimless floating left before it's completely gone. Not a great prospect, but still better than drowning right away.
Then all of a sudden you notice a second iceberg. Well, maybe not a real iceberg, more like a thin plate of ice. It's much smaller, but it's approaching pretty fast and appears to be heading somewhere. Must be a different sea-current or something, you don't know. You also don't know where it's heading, but at least it appears to be heading somewhere.
Would you jump? Knowing that there is no way back once you make the jump. Knowing there's a chance that the smaller iceberg might not support your weight and break, or sink, leaving you to drown.
For a lot of voters out there, Ron Paul is that iceberg. It's up to the campaign to convince people to jump: Yes, we are going somewhere! No, it's not breaking. It's safe!
I've said this before and I'll say it again. The biggest challenge right now is convincing people Paul is a safe candidate for them. (and explaining exactly how unsafe the others are..). I think the campaign, and especially the grassroots are kind of stuck in still trying to convince people that "Yes, we are indeed another iceberg. Not a mirage." And this is something the establishment media are very effective at using against you.
To a Ron Paul supporter this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KztzhBUdI0w) gives a huge boost. To Ron Paul himself it's absolutely vital and what gives him the energy to run. But, to outsiders it can be slighty intimidating, because they just don't share that passion for politics. Imagine you're a Romney supporter (lol, I know..just try harder). Would you just casually walk up to a gang of Paul-supporters to talk to them about issues? Or are you too afraid to get ganged up on and blasted about being ignorant and stupid and a slave to system.
Understand, the voters you need to get to become potus are not part of the loud minority, but the silent majority. You may feel strongly about civil liberties or sound money, but to a majority of people civil liberty means 'as long as I'm not bothered doing my daily business' and sound money means 'as long as I can still drive my car to buy groceries, we're good.'
Reagan won because he got these people behind him. Clinton won because he got them. The people that don't live their politics, but rather consume it when they have to. They don't particularly like it, just like we don't like paying for our gas. But boy do we like to drive places... that's what politics is to them.
And that brings me to lemonade and cookies, cause I'm strange like that. If you meet Romney/Gingrich/Santorum supporters don't get into an argument with them. Invite them over for lemonade and cookies. Everywhere Paul goes there should be lemonade stands, homebaked cookies and pies, attractions for the kids, all of that. Make it a circus! Not a media circus, but a people-circus. Invite opponents over and make them stay for the barbeque. Don't bomb them with arguments, you don't have to bully people into supporting Paul. That's the uniqueness, use it! Make sure people have great time when they're among you and send them home with a bunch of superbrochures in their pockets. Don't protest for Paul, Party For PAUL!
You don't convince people on the spot, you might be able to out-debate them until they give up and walk away, but that doesn't help. People generally convince themselves. Just think about how you got turned on to Paul. I'm willing to bet it wasn't because someone approached you, destroyed all your arguments and turned you around. I'm willing to bet that there was a bit more of process involved there, because you are much, much smarter than that.
You turn only the dumb ones that'll support anything that can put together a mildy coherent argument. They're the followers.. gain enough momentum and they'll fall in line with whatever you tell them. Until then, they are of little use.
But you want to smart people, the normal people, family people. They may not be as informed as you are about politics, foreign policy and the economy. But that doesn't make them stupid or ignorant, they have different priorities. They're also angry and frustrated with politics as usual, but they're not just going to jump ship because someone makes a good argument. It has to feel safe.
When undecided voters return home from a Paul-event they should feel warm and fuzzy. Like 'wow, those people were really nice, and really talking about something. Why don't I read this brochure and see what they're on about?'
Cookies and Lemonade.
I'm not just saying this because I'm a warm, fuzzy guy that likes that sort of thing. In fact, I'm not and I don't. This is cold, hard strategic thinking. What's the main problem with the other candidates? Their main weak point? Right, no groundgame, no grassroots. When Newt is talking about starting a real grassroots campaign, you should know it's a fluke. You don't start a grassroots campaign, it gets started for you. The only one that has something that looks a bit like grassroots is Santorum, which is why he's right now the biggest threat to Paul, even though polls would suggest differently. And when you go up against Obama he will have the grassroots, the media and the establishment in line.. so you want to be prepared for that. In '08 Obama won because his people had the lemonade and cookies. Turn that weapon against him.
The power of the media is being grossly overstated, by the way. Media has no real power. The only power it has is that it can influence the debate, but only marginally so. They only talk about what they think people will want to hear. They can lie and skew their reporting to suit their interests, but only so much before it becomes too obvious. They'll try to evade uncomfortable topics, unless they can no longer make it look like it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.
Corporate influence works the same way. Of course a major company is going to support Romney. They think that'll work out best for them. But what do you think happens when they notice how Ron Paul represents 40% of the American people, or even a solid 20%. To them that means 20-40% purchasing power..they'll get on that quicker than you can say 'new car'.
Anyway, another day another long post... Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think and most of all: DISCUSS!!