Saturday, January 28, 2017

Precinct Captains, Social Media And The 2017 Elections


Grover Cleveland is the only mayor (Buffalo) to become president. Will Eric Garcetti be the  2nd?

-by Alice Marshall

Have you ever wondered how it's possible for such rotten Republicans to get elected? Or how it is possible to smear good progressive politicians? Lack of information.

This is especially true of local elected officials. How many people could name their state legislators, even less discuss their legislative record? Very few. Social media can remedy that.

The Virginia House of Delegates and the New Jersey and North Carolina legislatures are up for election this year, as are at least a dozen races where special elections are already scheduled or in the process of being scheduled. So if you are an activist in these states you can use social media to publicize the work of those you support and soften up the opposition. Follow every twist and turn of the legislature, and every time the opposition betrays the public trust, use Facebook, Twitter, and your blog, whatever platform you use, to alert your followers to what is happening. Post news stories to the regional subreddits so that voters know in real time what is being done in their name. Long before Labor Day rolls around you can drive up the negatives of your opposition and protect those politicians you support.

[Also keep in mind that there are important mayoral elections this year in Atlanta, New York, St. Louis, Miami, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, Seattle, San Antonio, Buffalo, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Boston, Detroit and San Bernardino.]

Create news alerts on the names of every local politician you wish to track, and then share those links on social media whenever you think appropriate. If you are on your neighborhood or civic association's email list, that is a good place to share news articles. You could share press releases of your favorite politician on such lists, but I would advise caution in that regard. The same people who might be interested in a news article might not be receptive to a politician's press release.

Don't worry if your link doesn't receive any clicks or shares. The power of precinct work is in its cumulative effect. It is sufficient to make your point, it is not necessary to “win the internet.” What you are attempting here is to draw the connection between your elected official's actions and what is happening in your community.

Ideally the Democratic Party would have a team doing precisely this. But realistically that will not happen. Besides the whole point of being a precinct captain is not leaving this sort of thing to the party. If you take care of it, you know it will be done, and done to your liking.

Social media is a double edged sword; you can stab yourself if you are not careful. From my book, The Precinct Captain's Guide To Political Victory :  
Twitter-- use it. Reporters are on Twitter and do searches on hashtags. Twitter is an easy and economical way to influence the press.

Twitter-- don't be a jerk. Reporters are on Twitter and Twitter is an easy and economical way to make an ass of yourself and embarrass your campaign.

Do not join and/or participate in online mobs, even, especially if the candidate's campaign encourages it. Don't let yourself be used that way.

Don't get into a wrestling match with a pig.
Used with discretion, social media can be a powerful tool. Use it consistently, and by Labor Day your work will be half done.

UPDATE: A Little Addendum From A Purple County In California

A View From The Inside Of The Other Side
-by Anonymous, edited by DWT

Last night I attended a Pro-President Trump meeting... Last night 3 of us went to a group meeting. Two women and one man. What we saw and heard was both scary and informative. The meeting was led by 5 men and we counted approximately 70 people in the room including us. We counted 13 women.

They started the meeting with a pledge of allegiance to the flag. Then they jumped into discussions, the first being the Marches. It was a lot of WTF and why don’t they just shut up. They discussed the report that there were no arrests so that meant that the police and the media were lying. The leader(s) then gave them an “action item” to find anything to dispute the no arrests report and to put pressure on the police to arrest protestors. Several people in the group admitted to being at the March to try to interfere, but felt they were bullied by the Marchers and had to stop “for their own safety” (actual quote). They questioned why so many people “got away with it” (Marching). It seemed to be a hot point with them.

They moved on to reports from the teams. They have teams and committees with specific tasks, ie: daily phone calls and collect tally’s of who makes phone calls to their Reps. It appears they call throughout the day, and each call is either a different issue or their personal favorite.

They have a team that monitors the public blogs and event postings of the Liberal groups (specifically mentioned Indivisible and MoveOn.) They laughed at the Indivisible Guide when one leader said “the Liberals will never get organized and carry any of this out, the snowflakes give up too easily, "a little heat and they melt." They talked about the “visit your representatives office event” that was planned for earlier in the day which was posted on MoveOn and all over FB. They also were at their reps offices, and a handful admitted to going to the Democratic representatives office in their own district to have their voice counted.

They have a team who spies on FB posts. When the man who was with us asked how to do it, he was told that if he was a member of Pantsuit Nation it’s almost an automatic in into most closed groups, and then once you are in one, you can get invited to others. Someone on their team joins all the public and open groups. Their report included reading a few actual posts, in a mimic whining voice, where the members were posting their concerns and frustrations and why bother. They actually cheered this. One leader applauded the report and said, “we don’t care if they like what we have to say, we don’t need them to agree with us. We just need them to give up, shut up and stay out of our way.”

They discussed some of the issues and the recent signed orders from the WH. Some of this discussion sounded intelligent, as if they had researched not only the issue, but how to present it to get the buy-in from the group. It felt to us like a persuasion/programming tactic.

They broke into their teams and anyone not on a team was asked to choose one to sit in on. We each went to a different team. Each team talked about their mission and their strategy. The phone team assigned times for each phone call and a number to text after you called. They practiced scripts. The Anti-Abortion team talked about how to plan protests at Planned Parenthood and other clinics, to find the names of doctors who perform abortions and out them by protesting at their offices and clinics. The communications team discussed the content of their newsletter, the content they were borrowing from other newsletters and articles from Briebart that they wanted to circulate. We didn’t get the names of the other teams that we didn’t sit in on but there were 4 others.

We found out that this group used to be a young Republican group and after the election and seeing the actions of the Liberals, they changed to a support Trump group to stand up for him and against Liberals.

I don’t believe all groups are this scary, however, they appear to be organized. One of the members in one of my groups, changed her registration to Republican so she could see what they do from the inside. She gets phone calls from a phone bank, sometimes several times a week, about issues and actions she should take, she gets their weekly newsletter and she attended a local Rep meeting. Her report is similar only in that they are very organized, take daily actions and communicate often.

So knowing this, what do we do?

Our recommendations:

1.) Don’t give up.

  2.) If you marched, email your local police to write a thank you for their part in keeping the peace.

3.) Get organized. Even if you are not with an organized local group, you can organize yourself. Set aside certain times for certain actions based on what you CAN do. We are all under time constraints and work/family/life commitments, however, find what time you CAN give. We have found that being with an organized local group that you can see and touch helps us to stay focused and feeling our strength.

4.) Determine what actions you CAN take-- when and how many phone calls, emails, visits, protests CAN you do. Focus on that. 

5.) Limit your time reading all the comments on FB. Too many can become overwhelming and can end up feeling like you are carrying a larger burden.

6.) Find and cross post the good results that are happening, so we can all see the progress. It may be small steps like the postponement of a cabinet position approval/rejection, however, every step counts. If you have ever attempted to lose weight, you remember how some days feel like nothing is happening, and then little by little the results start to appear. Whatever goal you have reached in little steps, remember the little steps got the momentum started. Stay strong.

7.) Find support when you need it. It’s been shown that if you vent to someone who is also venting, you both stay in the same spot. If you can vent to someone who will HEAR you without judgement and without chiming in, you can both get through it faster and back to feeling stronger. If you both need to vent, take turns; 2 minutes each venting and really HEAR each other, then switch places. When the venting is done, take a positive action.

8.) Take a break. Do something positive for yourself every day (more a few times during the day if you need it) that doesn’t include thinking about politics-- exercise, spas, reading a good book, writing a love letter. Find something that bring you joy and shifts your energy.

9.) Don’t give up. We are Stronger Together.

The opposition may believe that a snowflake is fragile when the heat is on, however, although the snowflakes may melt, enough heat can also cause a boil. Together, we can be an avalanche, and if we can focus our boiling angry energy we can be the heat that they fear.

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At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must commend Alice Marshall for coming up with a good strategy. It feels right, and just might be effective in aiding the change in course the so-called Democratic Party needs. In fact, using this same tactic against the corrupt DNC would have to have some kind of a beneficial effect, even if the results aren't likely to be especially noticeable right away. It will take years, just like the proverbial oak growing from the acorn.


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