This year, rather than sitting on the sidelines, I decided to volunteer to help on a local conservative’s campaign. This particular candidate had a small campaign going, running against someone that hadn’t been challenged in two election cycles. I’m two months into helping him, and I’ve both knocked on quite a few doors to campaign and hosted a small fundraiser at my house.
What I’ve experienced in just this small amount of time has really surprised me.
When I started going door to door with a survey and some candidate literature, I expected to get yelled at. Given everything we hear on the news, walking around and campaigning for a conservative candidate seems like a quick way to get attacked by some nut-job left-wing whacko. But that hasn’t been my experience. Most people are pretty decent. A few have actually invited me into their homes. Nobody has swore at me, or told me I was trying to put people in chains, or anything else awful.
The second surprise is that most people I polled aren’t registered to vote. In fact, most people weren’t really following the election at all. Maybe its a Virginia-politics thing, since the governor elections are off-cycle from federal elections. When asked who people would vote for, most answered as “unsure.” Now, that might be because I’m polling them in person, and among their friends they have stronger beliefs. But I thought it was telling that there were so many people seemingly out of the loop of an election that directly affects them.
Hosting a fundraiser was a surprise disappointment. Despite having a really good candidate, I found that most conservatives are lazy. My church is significantly more traditional, yet nobody, repeat, nobody (save one family that is a close friend to mine) from my church showed up, despite our pastor encouraging it. Getting other conservatives to show up was incredibly difficult. Keep in mind this wasn’t a “300 dollar a plate” event. We had pulled pork, macaroni and steamed vegetables. More importantly, people had plenty of time to interact with the candidate and speak to him personally about what concerned them. You couldn’t find an easier way to interact with a potential politician, yet it felt like a Joe Biden press conference. Personally, it was really disappointing, and it makes me think that most conservatives are an awful lot of talk without any action.
I highly encourage people to get involved now with your local party. Talk to your city about becoming an election official, since you have to do some training and get registered. Volunteer to go door to door now, because its far less scary than you might imagine. Check that your friends are registered to vote, and not just in the federal elections. And for crying out loud, be willing to donate to candidates that have your values, especially the local candidates that control things like school boards, redistricting and local tax rates, and who are far closer to your concerns than your federal representative. Because if you don’t, the other side is going to out-compete you, and we’ll get more years of the same stupid policies.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Please take a minute to stop by Amazon and buy my book, “To Build A House,” available on Kindle or in paperback.