The 2012 Presidential Election taught the GOP a lot of things. Many surrounded a this core idea: modernization.
In a world of automation, it is abundantly clear that the human element can be incredibly potent, especially if that human is good at what they do. That being said, a human with amazing skills and know-how must stand behind all elements of modernization using the best of new and conventional wisdom and technology.
The GOP has done just that in hiring Andy Barkett of Facebook Inc to take over as the GOP Chief Technology Officer. The hope is that his years of experience as an engineer will help the GOP get the best tools for campaigning, fundraising and voter contact by getting the most effective tech available, all the while making sure that it’s used correctly. Further, his connections to talent within the tech industry will provide further depth to a pool of talent that the GOP could pull from.
The second major element of the GOP defeat surrounded a terrifyingly effective ground game that the Democrats managed to muster.
As stated by Peter Hamby of cnn.com: “Democrats showed decisively that their ground game… is devastatingly better than anything their rivals have to offer. In 2004, Republicans tapped the science of microtargeting to redefine campaigns. That is now ancient history.”
Where does the Provo Victory Fit in to all of this?
The Provo Victory Center is part of the initiative that seeks to combine the best of both elements of technological modernization and improved ground game. The Provo Victory Center is a permanent center for political activism on the part of the GOP loyal. It is a center for grassroots efforts that seek to take the enthusiasm of Utah Republicans to other states. Currently, we use the best in polling and research technology in our phone bank to make a difference in competitive Senate races in Colorado and Alaska. The Center will also a place that organizes and contacts other precincts to organize on the ground operations in other states to make the GOP ground game a fine tuned machine.
In the end it comes down to individuals deciding that they want a national government that reflects their needs and values. Activism here at the Provo Victory Center has a national impact on the political landscape by reaching people in their homes, all the while never going a few miles from home.
If you are tired of feeling like the national political scene is place that has violated conservative, time honored traditions, stop sitting passively. Get involved here and use your enthusiasm to motivate other citizens to a sense of what is good in politics.
Visit us at 249 N University Avenue in Provo, UT. Contact us with questions or concerns at provovictorycenter.wordpress.com
Chris Larson – Intern
Fact: Political Activism is sexy. Why?
Political activism, by definition, is the practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals. It takes passion. It takes dedication. It takes compassion. It take knowledge and the ability to articulate. Consequently, these are all things that are also attractive in mates.
Researchers at the University of Iowa find that such attraction to compassion is not a recent feminizing trend but a core human schema: “In an evolutionary sense, it makes sense that we would all be attracted to someone who is–or who we perceive to be–trustworthy, loving and sensitive, someone who will be there when we need them and who gives us support”
Further, men and women find that someone who really cares about what they do and the people they know are infinitely attractive than the indifferent or ambivalent. Passion attracts and says that this person will do something that matters about anything they decide to act on. This passion and attitude of caring is what last. Face it. We are all going to get fat, saggy, bald or wrinkly at some point. Beauty is temporary, but personality last forever.
From the Elite Daily on passion: “It’s the ability to set a goal in your life, be passionate about that goal, and have enough gumption to fulfill it as well as build your aptitude. Think about it. There’s nothing sexier than an intelligent man who knows what he wants, sets goals, and ultimately gets what he set out to achieve. Guess what? The same concept goes for females.”
Political Activism takes a great deal of dedication and the reality is that movements fade. Brian Martin, Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong, Australia, reminds us that “[m]ovements sometimes start with a surge of innovative action, as many people join, attracted by the exciting feeling of change and making a difference. After the first several years, though, the initial enthusiasm can decline, media attention fades, and the movement appears to lose momentum.” Shying away from movements since they are no longer in vogue demonstrates a weak constitution and a lack of everything heretofore mentioned.
Now I want to make something absolutely clear. This blog represents a bit of cheeky humor. But within humor there are always immutable elements of truth.
Activism is not Facebook ranting, posting scathing articles or liking sad pictures.
I blogger snatched a photo from www.crisisrelief.org demonstrates the importance of getting off your butt and doing something.
Jill Luke wrote an opinion piece for independent.co.uk that illustrates why social media is only a tool not a source of activism.
“Herein lies the danger of Facebook political activism. Our society has long depended on students to perform more than their fair share of its political outrage for it. We depend on social campaigning to find its loudest and most tenacious voices in our student unions. But writing a tetchy status update is a very different kind of political engagement to going on a march or even the old Amnesty approach of letter-writing. Because when you get angry on Facebook, nothing actually happens.
Liking, posting and commenting makes you feel like you’re doing something without actually making any difference whatsoever. The opiate of shouting something into the abyss, which is essentially what Facebook activism is, purges your outrage but prevents it actually turning into anything useful. Liking someone’s status complaining about the Bedroom Tax is not the same as actually doing something about it. If a Facebook status is the equivalent of someone ranting at a bar, then “liking” it is the same as shouting “yeaaahh!!!!!!” when they’re finished speaking. You get the high of getting it off your chest and “raising awareness”, but being aware of something is only useful if that awareness turns into more than pity.”
The point that I’m trying to make with all of this is to make activism appealing. To be frank, I don’t care if you are an American communist, Tea Party reactionary or Socialist Radical. I want people to be actively engaged in the political sphere so that they can make pains to build a world that they can be happy living with. But here at the Provo Victory Center we provide a way for conservative citizens the most bang for their buck for their initiative for visiting.
Don’t do nothing. Do something. Become more attractive while doing it.
Come visit us at 249 N University Ave Provo, UT. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what is on your mind. If you like what you see here, check out our events on Facebook at facebook.com/RNCprovovictorycenter.
Chris Larson – Intern
Yesterday saw America observe Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember those who died in service of the United States of America.
It is a day that is commonly marked with community picnics, family gatherings, barbecues, memorials and speeches. But the origins of what is now a national holiday has a much more somber purpose.
Brief History of Memorial Day
Originally called Decoration Day, May 30th was a common time to decorate the graves of those killed in the Civil War. It’s history now is now somewhat forgotten and the origins of Decoration Day are a bit fuzzy. But the long and the short of it according to the Department of Veteran Affairs and the City of Waterloo, New York, the first officially recognized Decoration Day was celebrated on May 5 1868, three years after the official end of the Civil War. But it is also noted that several local derivations of something like Decoration Day have genuine origins all over the southern and eastern United States.
President Lyndon B. Johnson helped to forward the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, to create more three-day weekends. Congress passed the act June 28, 1968.
Why Memorial Day is Important
I find two reasons why Memorial Day is important.
Many holidays in the United States are based on remembrance and the feast, anthropologically speaking. Days of remembrance are ritual based days that often exist in society to create common experiences that smooth over conflicts based inherently in diversity of human thought. The benevolently viewed ends of ritual is to create a society that gets along based on a common experience or practice. Similarly, the feast is a way to add a positive common experience by giving the impression that as a collective group there is abundance. It hearkens to our earliest days as a society when humanity made a living out of what it scrape off with simple stone tools. By gathering together and enjoying a good meal that is separated from other meals by time or setting, people feel good about the current state of things and are more appreciative of the moment.
All the reasons mentioned above are true. Great social benefits is given to having common holidays. But the benefit of the collective often forgets the individual, especially the individuals for which is purposed.
We are to remember the service men who fight and die for our lifestyle so we don’t have to. Think about that for a bit. Were it not for the dedicated and damaging work of the military men and women everywhere, each citizen would be tasked with taking arms to defend hearth and home. There are great horrors in the world that would find there way here were it not for those who stand ready to meet the dark with their firey fury.
President Andrew Garfield gave a stirring address at Arlington Cemetery on May 30, 1868. In my opinion, it stands as a supreme testament to what we ought to think of Memorial Day.
“I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung.”
Veterans live with the price paid
We are surrounded by men and women and woman who pay the price of freedom. A banker would immediately recognize that this creates a credit that is charged to all men and women to use the freedom given to the fullest extent possible. The first act of freedom should come in the form of an expression of thanks. Say thank you to a veteran and listen to their stories. I was told by a veteran of World War II when I was young that he never wanted to remember again the things that he had experienced. But, he mentioned that simply being acknowledged and appreciated for his work meant the world to him. He did tell me thing about his time in the war, like having to improvise parts for Jeep engines and rigging road barriers to blow. I think it helped him to talk.
In closing, take a moment to watch this TED talk from Andrew Chambers. I can’t remember a moment that captures the raw weight of what combat veterans carry. Say thank you. Do what you can to help them. Do not fear them. Appreciate them. Have empathy. They are the sword and shield of America.
Saturday saw our monthly National Day of Action.
How did it go? It was a smashing success!
The Provo Victory Center was the number one call center for the May National Day of action by outpacing the runner-up by about ten percent and performing 60 percent better than the average call center. Roughly, the Provo Victory Center made about 5200 calls to close Senate races in Colorado and Alaska.
Volunteer Eric Tryon won $25 gift card to Olive Garden for both longest call session time and the most call completes for the day. Also, Scott Ashmont $25 gift card to Texas Roadhouse for having the most calls dialed.
All of the calls by our dedicated and driven volunteers were made in attempts to reach people who had previously voted in elections, but have not voted in previous elections to see if there is any kind of political leaning either way for further campaigning.
We managed to garner some attention from local paper Deseret News. They published an article on their website after having Lisa Riley Roche speak to Utah GOP Chairman James Evans and RNC Spokesman Ryan Mahoney.
Far beyond political volunteering we see that such participation is encouraged by many establishments that are relevant to Utah that help to make the day a success.
From mormonnewsroom.com, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages and expects political involvement in politics:
“The Church does:
- Encourage its members to play a role as responsible citizens in their communities, including becoming informed about issues and voting in elections.
- Expect its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that members of the Church come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in partisan political matters.”
The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City’s Government Liaison released a document called “Faith and Politics: Catholics are Called to Political Action” reminding members that political involvement is important to creating a common good:
“Per the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation. This obligation is rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus Christ and to bear Christian witness in all we do. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person. . . . As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life‟ (nos. 1913-1915).”
Update 5/21/2014 9:26 a.m.
“People often focus on getting others involved and politically active — but forward motion can take us in the wrong direction if we’re not pointed where we should go and making sure we don’t deviate course. While every individual should be engaged in improving their lives and the world around them, it’s important that they first learn about and understand key principles that will channel their energy and put them on the right course. Before speaking out, listen up. Before fighting injustice, make sure you understand what real justice actually looks like.”
Further, I add my thoughts in the same line of thought Mr. Boyack. Whatever you do, be sure that it is what you want to see in the world. Be sure that you understand the ins and outs of political action. Be aware of who wins; who loses; who is taken advantage of; your attitude if on the other side of an issue; and, above all, act with the compassion and humility to know that one will never have all the answers. But, not moving for fear of ignorance can be just and dangerous as not moving at all.
Come down to 249 N University Avenue, Provo, UT 84601 to check us out. Or, email Steve Jackson at email@example.com for more info.
Chris Larson – Intern
The question “what does it mean to be…” followed by some kind of adjective or noun is a powerful introspective question. It is a question that we all need to ask often. It should be noted that there are element of the self that are unconscious and difficult to control and conscious portions that are actively controlled by our will and decisions.
For example, we can decide that we will do more for our health and make changes to our diet and exercise a little more. This requires no small amount of drive and willpower. Some are better at making these introspective changes than others. No matter who you are, you have the capability to make changes within you. This is the same with the world around you. This is what being a Republican is all about.
So… what does it mean to be a Republican?
There are a many great things that interns – like me – are not allowed to address for lack of official representative power. But there are several things that I can say that are more or less universal to more than the GOP.
It seems like more people today are ignorant or ill-informed on a lot of topics (some including basic American history and political process) despite the infinite capacity of the internet to provide information. Republicans need to be knowledgeable of how the government work at municipal, state and federal levels; the ins and out of the Party itself; possibilities of individual action within the community; of the news of the day at municipal, state, national and international levels.This last point needs to be carefully explained.
First, when addressing news people need to understand some ultra-basic questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Also they need to ask who has what to gain from as many angles as possible. Who has what to gain and who has what to lose? Who is being exploited? What would I do or feel if I was in that situation?
Understanding and talking about current affairs always needs to be done with tact and deeply informed opinion. If you can’t hold a conversation about a topic without getting riled up you need to hit the books (or net) and get educated and stop taking differing opinions as a personal attack. An opinion is not policy that you have to follow. It only has as much power as you give it.
Being a republican without being political active is like saying that you are a bodybuilder but you never go to the gym. Just as the gym is the bodybuilder’s place of functon, the Republican finds their place of function is the voting booth, the volunteer center, the food bank, the pavement flyering or contacting unregistered voters.
People wonder how to be political active here is a list within a list. Note that Facebook is excluded. Political activity needs to happen in reality to have maximum effect. I’ve read more political articles than I can count and it hasn’t made it any easier to get to the polls than if I had not.
- Volunteer at the Provo Victory Center. Here we can help you direct your desires to where they need to be.
- Volunteer where ever you can to make a difference in your community. All activism is political activism. You make the world the way you want it when you volunteer.
- Vote! Vote! Vote!
- Make financial contributions to candidates or campaigns
Believe that positive change can happen through concerted effort. If there is no faith in action then action will not happen. If action doesn’t happen then change will not happen. Allowing one’s self the opportunity to believe that they can do some good in the world in invaluable to their attempted efforts.
Stated again, if you don’t believe that you can change anything nothing will be change. Never leave want to see happen in the world in the hands of other. Take control and act.
Chris Larson – Intern
Nerd is in vogue. It is ignorant to say that Mr. Silver’s brain is the only thing making him desirable. His thinning, mussy hair, soft lisp, round baby face, his academic slouch and thick 50s style glasses make him a hipsters daydream. To some… this is ethos enough to make his prediction golden even if they include a range of 11 going in either direction.
Add the fact that the man is a University of Chicago Econ grad (with honors nonetheless), an accomplished journalist, baseball genius, savvy business man and is now a media proclaimed oracle – it would appear that he has obliterated the colloquialism popularized by Mark Twain about Statistics: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
What did he say?
The GOP needs 6 seats to take the magic 51 seat majority.
So far Mr. Silver’s projections go something like this:
- The GOP wins West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana Senate seats
- Arkansas has a 70% chance of going to the GOP
- Louisiana has a 55% of going to the GOP
- North Carolina has a 55 % of going to the GOP
Mr. Silver’s official projection is that the GOP wins 6 seats +/- 5. This means that of the seats up for grabs, the GOP has a chance to grab any number of them not exceeding eleven.
Nate Silver’s break down goes like this: a 60% chance the GOP will hold 51 Senate Seats at the end of the election; 40% Democrats holds on to the majority in the Senate; and, 30% chance of the GOP winning all eleven.
Stats are great at projecting the likelihood of future events given several fixed factors at the present. The reality of the world is that everything is in flux and nothing is truly known until the moment is upon us.
This is where the unpredictability of conscious characters really means something. That’s just an attempt of sounding more intelligent than I really am and saying that your actions can make a difference. The reality is that people’s actions now influence the result of tomorrows outcomes. For example, our actions here at the Provo Victory Center are an attempt to help out the GOP in Alaska and Colorado. Alaska, according to Mr. Silver is given a 45% chance of going to the GOP. The concerted actions of volunteers in Alaska and in Provo could make up any number of percentage points in reality that aren’t known by stats.
The point is this: you can make a difference. Come to our National Day of Action on 5/17/2014 from 9AM to 9PM
Hit up this link for details.
Our Government is built on participation
A quote from Thomas Jefferson was used in a previous used in a post.
“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”
This is particularly true within election cycles.
In the 2012 Presidential Election, the Bipartisan Policy Center reports that only 57.5% of eligible voters actually turned out for the General Election. This represents a 4.8% dip from the 2008 Presidential Election. This is typical of presidential elections. But in a system where only 67.7% of citizens are eligible and 57.5% of eligible voters actually participate, the 2012 Presidential Election represents only 38.9% of the general populations of citizen’s interests.
This is a frightening statistic to this writer. Despite having only about 40% of eligible voters participate during the 2012 Presidential Election (about 212,700,000 people), every man, woman and child is required to live with the results.
It is frustrating to think that no matter the outcome of an election that one is stuck with the results.
But it is more frustrating to this writer that people think that they are powerless to change the outcome of elections or that people complain about the status quo when they take no initiative to make attempts to change their environment.
In truth, we have the rule of the apathetic, not a majority.
Why you should participate
The argument that “one vote makes a difference” can be called naïve and laughable. This is true. One vote represents only one three hundredth of a million of a percent in a national election. But that ought not dissuade participation in elections. Not voting because it won’t make a difference is like saying there is no point in living because everyone dies. It is an argument that says that one contribution is so tiny that it doesn’t matter.
But the fact is this: it matters.
Roughly 200 million people in 2012 decided that they were going to represent their own interests and vote for a candidate that they could live with. Are their opinions any better than yours? No! No one opinion is of no better.
Franklin D. Roosevelt echoed a similar sentiment in 1938 at a speech given at Marietta, Ohio.
“Let us not be afraid to help each other—let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and Senators and Congressmen and Government officials but the voters of this country.”
In the context of this quote, not voting is like giving up our right to govern ourselves. Affecting change starts with a group of individuals who take action. It is simple as that. If one doesn’t act, one can’t expect any change that they would want.
Many people act because they don’t know what to do. The rest of the article will consist of links and explanations of each link as it concerns to helping people get involved.
This is a link to register to vote online in the State of Utah: https://secure.utah.gov/voterreg/index.html
This is a link to election information in the State of Utah: http://elections.utah.gov/
This is a link that will help you link to any other states or US Territories for voter registration: http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx
Finally, one can always come to the Provo Victory Center to get more involved. We are located at 249 N University Avenue Provo, Utah 84601. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Life is series of mystery. Politics ought not to be a mystery. But, it often seems like every few years your news channel or social media get blown up with some smiling, well dressed politician campaigning for some position. You know that having representatives that have your same political leanings is important so that you have laws and policies you agree with. But you just don’t know these people. How did they get to get to be the smiling face of a party? Who says that they truly represent your interests?
This is where your involvement becomes relevant to the political process.
Every state has a different system. But there are general steps that are universal to state that use a caucus system, the system used in Utah. To learn about the nuances of Utah’s caucus system go to www.utgop.org. Here are the general steps to get you going:
- First, citizens gather at caucuses to vote for delegates. A caucus is a gathering within a small geographical area called a precinct. A delegate is someone that is chosen to represent the districts interest. The citizens at the caucus nominate people they think would be good delegates to represent their precinct at larger party conventions. The nominees then give presentations that spell out what issues are important to them. You then vote on a delegate that you think represents your interests. It is very important to be sure that you choose someone who best represents your interests because these delegates then go on to larger conventions to choose who gets to be on the ballot for certain elections.
- Next, the delegate you selected goes to larger state conventions where they nominate potential candidates for whatever election is relevant. After nominations and presentations as to why potential candidates represent the area the best, the delegate you chose votes on who should be on the ballot for that election. Sometimes there are ties or no clear winners after the first vote. The delegates keep voting and discussing who should be the candidate until a clear winner is chosen through run off or cascading votes. Most work like this: the delegates vote and the potential candidate with the least number of votes is disqualified. The cycle continues until there is one clear winner of the candidacy.
- After the delegates select a candidate, they are then the official party selection for candidacy for that election. This is where you come in again. You go to poll stations in general elections to choose which parties candidate get to take that office.
Here is a story that outlines one example of the whole process in motion.
You go to a caucus and find that Jane Doe really represents your interests and the interest of the precinct well. You nominate her to be a delegate. It turns out that a lot of people feel the same way and she is chosen as a delegate for your precinct. Jane Doe then goes to a convention where the goal is to choose a candidate for an open state senate seat. Using her knowledge of what your interests and the interest of your precinct are, she votes for Joe Busybody to be the party candidate to run for the open state senate seat. There are no clear winners after a first round of voting. The candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated. Jane Doe votes again and again until there is a clear winner. Turns out Joe Busybody wins. He becomes the party representative for that elections cycle. The general election comes around and Joe Busybody is your party’s candidate chosen by a delegate that you chose. Now, you get a chance to vote for a candidate that represents your interests and it all started with you.
Does this help demystify the mystery of how the party system works? If there is something that you want to know more about, feel free to send us an email at email@example.com and we will do our best to answer your questions regarding the caucus system.
Chris Larson – Intern
Mothers are important. It’s true. I am of the opinion that mothers provide the emotional core of the family. If weren’t for a loving mother, many people would not be where they are today.
As reported by William Herndon (Abraham Lincoln’s biographer and law partner), Abraham Lincoln declared the following:
“All that I am or hope to be I get from my mother; God bless her.”
Mothers create a universal heritage for all humanity. You wouldn’t be here to read this post if it weren’t for a mother. Even if your mother wasn’t prominent in your life, more often than not, some kind and gentle soul stepped in to fill that mother’s role of love and nurturing.
Without mothers, no one would be there to kiss boo boos, make sack lunches, provide clean underwear, explain the perplexing mysteries of life like where babies come from or provide an all-in-one chauffeur, psychological, tutoring, crafting, and cosmetic service.
On this blog we try to incorporate what we feel about issues in the context of our participation in RNC’s Provo Victory Center.
Borrowing from the 2012 Platform of the RNC, I feel that this quote encapsulates what our feelings in this context.
“We are the party of independent individuals and the institutions they create – families, schools, congregations, neighborhoods – are to advance their ideals and make real their dreams. Foremost among those institutions is the American family. It is the foundation of our society and the first level of self-government. Its daily lessons – cooperation, patience, mutual respect, responsibility, self-reliance – are fundamental to the order and progress of our Republic. Government can never replace the family.”
Government can never replace the family. And, nothing can replace a mother.
Further, the tradition of a mother and a father in a stable home is a place beyond compare. I know because I am the product of such a home.
I love my mother. She is the foundation and beginning of every good thing that I have in my life. She is my compass and refuge. She is the greatest woman I know. Today, I say that I love you.
Here is final salute to all mothers who have made humanity so great.
“We love you mothers, everywhere.”
Chris Larson – Intern