Pay attention to the Democrats …
Not only have Republicans lost heavily in Fairfax County, the Republican Party appears to have been surprised by the losses.
Politics is all about competition: a comparison of one party’s vision and principles over the other’s, one candidate’s promises over his opponent’s. On election day, candidates emerge from the polls with a big “W” or a big “L” next to their name.
Of course, it’s not just in politics where serious win-loss competitions take place. Organizations of all kinds must compete successfully to survive.
One key characteristic of high-performing organizations is they know their competitors—their strengths and weaknesses, their tendencies, their strategies and plans, their resources and limitations.
In sports, every football coach I know studies the film of his upcoming opponent and builds the team’s game plan on exploiting the opponent’s weaknesses and avoiding its strengths. Duh!
In the military, every attack planning session I ever participated in started with a review of the terrain and the enemy’s capabilities and plans. It’s always nice to know where those machine guns are before assaulting the hill.
Businessmen know their competitors cold and are always striving to outdo them. In the competitive government contracting world where I worked for 20+ years, we routinely engaged in “Black Hat” simulations of competitors during the bid process and often performed price-to-win analysis where we would completely develop competitor bids, including pricing, so we knew what the home team had to do to win.
In politics, most consistent election winners have good insight into their opponents’ vision, plans, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, tactics, resources, etc. Presidential campaigns spend big bucks figuring out what their opponents are doing and designing ways to counter their strategies and tactics. They call it opposition research, which leads to full situational awareness and no surprises.
Does FCRC have an opposition research committee or team that is informing county Republicans and candidates about Democrat strategies, plans, strengths, weaknesses, etc.? No well-organized, well-staffed, and consistently aggressive “OPPO Research” capability that I’m aware of. We seem to be “operating in the blind”—selecting candidates, raising funds, develop positions (on the few issues we do so), and supporting political campaigns—without fully understanding what the Democrats are up to.
And the Democrats, how are they doing? In short, they’re watching us like a hawk and reacting accordingly. Is it a surprise that they seem to outfox us routinely, raise more funds than we do, and win elections with increasingly larger margins. They’re driving through the fog of competition using fourth-generation OPPO research goggles, and we have yet to remove the scales from our own eyes.
Are we surprised that we’re losing elections by increasingly large margins?
If elected Chairman, I will organize an “Opposition Research” committee whose sole focus will be to:
- Gather (legally and ethically) all available information on demographics in Fairfax County and the Democrat Party in Fairfax County and individual Democrat candidates running for office in the county. Plenty of information is available on Democrat websites and blogs and through both social media and interaction with Democrats.
- Analyze the collected “raw reports” and provide ongoing assessments of Democrat capabilities, intentions, and plans, both generally and for specific political campaigns.
- Respond promptly to FCRC, district, precinct, and political campaign requests for desired information and analysis.
(By the way, at one point in my business career, I was the company executive who oversaw one of the largest programs in Iraq and Afghanistan charged with gathering and analyzing information about the views and attitudes of these countries’ populaces, a subject of vital interest to local and country-wide military leaders.)
Will OPPO Research by itself win elections by itself in Fairfax County? Of course not. But, as we get better and better at it, it will improve our capability to counter the Democrats every chance, which should be our goal as the minority party in our heavily Democrat-dominated county.
OPPO Research is one key piece of the puzzle. When combined with other new and strengthened FCRC capabilities, it will help drive up the GOP’s “Pwin” (probability of win: sorry, I couldn’t resist the business lingo).
Remember, to defeat the Democrats, we must understand and define them.
More to follow.