Beginners' Guide to Running for a Political Office


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E36M3
June 15, 2004, 09:07 PM
Please keep in mind that I'm no expert. In my state (not for long) the only remedy to highly disfunctional politics will be for teachers, doctors, businessmen and women, housewives, ect. to step forward and run for office. I'm on a small mission to get people involved so the following is working its way around my community. Take whatever I say with a grain of salt since it's my personal opinion only, but maybe some will find it helpful. I didn't address fundraising since that will vary greatly and you can't buy the truth at any price.
So... :

1. Find an organization. It would typically be the Democrat or Republican ones, but there are alternatives. Generally, if you embrace Democrat ideals then you'll serve the residents better as a Democrat - Republican ideals - Republican. Republicans that embrace Democrat ideals do no one any good.
2. Not to be cynical, but believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see. It's difficult to make sense of what goes on, but as George Washington said, "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.". Many who you'll interact with have wacky agendas to include ego problems. Disregard all of that, don't let it get to you and follow your instincts. Your instincts will let you down from time to time, too, but not nearly as much as the hidden agendas of others.
3. Maintain your principles and values. Be yourself and don't allow anyone else to define who you are. If you're stepping forward with the pure intentions of serving and making real and positive change then you're already way ahead of the pack. If you've ever said, "It's just the way it is and no one can really do all that much about it." then you're better of concentrating on your family and profession and forgetting about public service.
4. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Seeming disasters often turn into a positive. Speak the truth. You'll never go wrong there. I was told that a politician can't expose his or her feelings. That's kinda weak, if you ask me. That's maybe why we need fewer politicians and more real people.
5. This one's important: Some of you own your own businesses. As a business owner, if you're like me, you're somewhat particular about being efficient and effective in getting things done. That's why you're very successful. Keep in mind that most people don't share your enthusiasm for attention to detail. Don't hold that against them or let it get you down. Just do your thing, lead by example and stay positive.
6. When the going gets tough reconfirm to yourself why you're doing this. If it's for the "right" reasons then you're good.
7. Discuss issues that are important to your future constituents. An issue may be extremely important to you, but completely irrelevent to those who you're speaking to. Find what they're into and get into that. The best issues are the ones that no one will address, but that almost everyone agrees with. Have courage and open up that can of worms.
8. I've been told that the press is not your friendj. That's only true in some cases. In my case it was only with one reporter who's clearly a turd. All other reporters were perfectly professional and coureous. Always be coureous, enthusiastic and professional with the press. Don't "kiss up" to those who have personality disorders.
9. Don't get into negative campaigning. People are turned off by that. It may have worked in the past, but people today are more interested in the actual issues. It's even not a bad idea to say positive things about your opponents and how you'll do things differently. It's up to your future constituents if "different" = better. People, in general, are smarter than they're given credit for.
10. If you can join a Toastmasters group. They are generally quite a cross section of your community (many communities have them) where they meet usually twice a month to initiate and then hone their public speaking skills. If you're like just about everyone, you have a serious problem with public speaking. Jump off of that cliff and build your wings on the way down. I've seen seasoned politicians who are unable to hold a basic conversation to a small group. Speaking is like a fitness program - you must do it to get better and you're never really "there".
11. Have a "cheat sheet" that you're constantly changing where you list all of the issues and constantly adjust. It can even be very useful to lay on a table in front of you when speaking to a group. You should refer to it while driving, eating, ect. and it should never leave your side.

That's about it. It's kinda vague and many parts of the country are run well and many aren't. We're on this particular board because of guns. Chances are that your state government can't be trusted if they don't trust you with guns so, therefore, there is a huge need for people like you. Generally, responsible gun owners are very responsible in other areas as well - much more so than most people.
Be prepared to spend a lot of time away from home so make sure that it's all OK with your family. If you're the underdog, then chances are that your local political party is full of misfits and mental patients. Take charge and do what needs to be done. You're running for the people and not for a bunch of embarrassing losers. Ultimately, you answer to them only (the people) and not the union leaders, agenda punks or any other **** offs.

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MobileSuitPilotX
June 16, 2004, 12:23 PM
"Take Back Your Government!: A Practical Handbook for the Private Citizen Who Wants Democracy to Work" by Robert Heinlein (Originally entitled "How to Be a Politician")

Stay safe.
Justin

The_Antibubba
June 17, 2004, 06:58 AM
Kneepads and mouthwash! :barf:

What? you thought integrity and a desire to serve would beholden you?

E36M3
June 17, 2004, 07:21 AM
Mouthwash is highly regulated in New Jersey. You need a Federal Mouthwash ID Card and then you must get a permit to purchase mouthwash from your local police department after they review questionaires from 2 references and your spouse. Oftentimes, the request for mouthwash reduces the chance of even having a spouse which can slow don't the entire process. I'm not say'in that there's anything wrong with that, mind you.
All the while, our legislators are fighting for the right to have a partial birth abortion which is exactly why they don't want fetuses to be armed. I say arm all fetuses although most New Jersey politicians have already had their brains sucked out. You can tell by the collapsed skulls.

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