Welcome to the Republican Party—let’s plug you right in …
The Republican Party in Fairfax County must reverse the contraction trend that recent election results have made abundantly clear.
That contraction has included both the withdrawal of many dissatisfied Republicans from party activities and support and the failure to draw in new Republicans from a broad range of potential sources.
In past newsletters, I’ve emphasized one very important way to expand the party is to message effectively: to develop Republican positions on local issues, communicate them aggressively to county residents, and thereby draw in voters and volunteers to the Republican Party. Build it and they will come! It’s a critical part of Republican expansion but insufficient by itself.
I’ve also emphasized the need to recruit volunteers year-round, especially at the precinct levels, so we can maximize the Republican voter turnout effort. Again, a critical part of expansion but insufficient by itself.
The third part of this effort to expand the party is to target appeals to formal and informal groups that have members who likely might vote for Republicans if they better understood Republicans and Republican messages.
Who are such groups? How about veterans organizations whose members have experienced a disciplining, patriotic experience aligned with Republican principles?
How about religious organizations, whose flocks practice an uplifting faith in God and respect for the rights of individuals that contrasts sharply with the Democrats’ stress on identity politics?
How about gun rights groups? In light of the Democrats’ knee-jerk, “take-away-their-guns” solution to any shooting, should not most gun owners by a ready source of Republican support?
What about ethnic groups? Why do Republicans fear the increase of “ethnic groups” in Fairfax County? In most cases, the Republican message will resonate with members of “ethnics” in these groups, but in too many cases the Democrats have sold their messages more effectively than the Republicans. Shame on us.
How about young people just entering the workforce or starting their careers? Are they out of reach for Republicans, or have we not tailored messages for them and sought them out?
I propose the FCRC develop a strategy and approach that delivers Republican messages to the above groups and others. Of course, the best way to do so is to work through members and the media of such groups to establish and cultivate relationships with potential Republicans. As we do that, we should develop solutions to issues of importance to these groups so potential Republicans can experience or at least understand Republican solutions.
Results don’t often happen overnight, but a steady broadcast of Republican messages and a steady presence of Republicans in these communities will inevitably attract “Republicans who don’t know they’re Republicans.”
The final step in party expansion through appeal to groups that are homes to potential Republicans is to assimilate fully into the party those that indicate a willingness to join the Republican Party. We should reject the Democrat approach of treating them as a special group of Republicans—no labels of “Gun Rights-Republicans,” “Asian-Republicans,” “Christian-Republicans,” etc. —just Republicans.
A key Republican message is we stand for individual freedom and rights. We should practice what we preach and welcome individuals from all walks of life into our melting pot. Let the Democrats mutilate themselves with their divide-and-conquer tactics. Aggressive Republican assimilation of new members will help draw other members seeking the label of Republican, not hyphenated Republican.
Let’s turn Fairfax County’s Republican Party into a welcoming organization for those practicing Republican principles and leading Republican lifestyles.
Answers to Questions & Comments Presented on the Campaign Trail
- Why are you and some Republicans accused of being anti-family? As a husband of 43 years and the father of four children, I certainly am pro-family. I know few, if any Republicans, who have spoken against families. Some people have commented that I’m anti-family because I say I will work as the FCRC Chairman on a full-time basis. No, the reality is I am retired from my regular work and have the time to work the FCRC Chairman’s job on a full-time basis. I’m convinced Republican vote totals in recent elections show the FCRC will require a major overhaul to get Republicans winning again in Fairfax County. That overhaul will require full-time leadership at the top.
- How much pay will you take if elected as the FCRC Chairman? Zero! I will not take any money for the FCRC Chairman’s work. In fact, I expect to give up considerable compensation from consulting work that I would do if I were not serving as a full-time FCRC Chairman. In future years, I would hope that we could raise enough funds so that FCRC’s budget could compensate a future FCRC Chairman, District Chairmen, and other key volunteers, even if it’s only some form of stipend for their generous volunteer efforts.
- Will a retired person be able to draw younger Republicans into the party? Yes. It’s not the age—it’s the attitude. I spent nearly 20 years instilling enthusiasm into the boys and girls youth basketball teams that I coached. The FCRC has to establish an enthusiastic, welcoming attitude to Republicans of all ages. That means showing an interest in their organizations, issues, and interests and actively trying to draw them into the party. That means including young people as part of our FCRC recruiting team. And, yes, having people of all ages play active roles in the FCRC. How about using the merit of one’s contributions, not age, as the yardstick for measuring a Republican’s worthiness for an FCRC position?
- Did the Hannigan campaign illegally tamper with the filing forms that were submitted? Absolutely not. An allegation to that effect was made this past weekend but was quickly shown to be completely unfounded. In the words of John Whitbeck, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia: “I have looked into this situation thoroughly and would conclude the following for what it’s worth. There certainly is no evidence that there was any misconduct on the part of the Hannigan campaign, and I state that emphatically.”