Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rules for Political Engagement [an abridged article by Gary North]

Here are 10 facts of US national politics that you must understand to get meaningful change.

1. You can't beat something with nothing.
2. 80% of politicians respond only to two things: (1) fear; (2) pain.
3. Bureaucrats (tenured) respond only to one thing: budget cuts.
4. Political reform never comes as long as the tax money flows in.
5. The #1 goal is to reduce the government's funds, not re-direct them.
6. Congress's club system sucks in 80% of new members by term #2.
7. Politicians listen to their peers, not to their constituents.
8. Money from the government buys off most voters.
9. Most citizens care little about politics and know less.
10. This gives influence to organized swing-vote blocs.

When our friends get into power, they aren't our friends any more.
When a movement is in either political party's hip pocket, it will be sat on.


1. Vote for a hard-core challenger on the other side against a squishy incumbent. This rule separates the hard core members from the soft core members. Do what you can to defeat any incumbent, no matter which party he belongs to, if he is squishy on the issue you regard as fundamental. Incumbents must become deathly afraid of your movement. As Sen. Everett Dirksen put it so long ago, "When we feel the heat, we see the light." In short, do not settle for the lesser of two evils. Eliminate them both, one election at a time.

2. Hold your newly elected politician's feet to the fire the first time he breaks ranks on a key vote. He is like a puppy. When he leaves a mess on the carpet, get out the switch. The second time he does it, warm up the car. You and he will be taking a trip to the pound. Politicians respond to only two things: fear and pain.

3. Get him to sign a resignation letter. Before you work for him, make sure he has signed a resignation letter such as:

To the voters of [district, state]:
I am making this public. If I ever vote for [whatever], I will turn in my letter of resignation to the [government body] within 24 hours.
If I fail to do this, I expect voters to vote against me at the next election, since I clearly cannot be trusted.
I expect my opponent in the primary to defeat me next time, and if he doesn't, my opponent in the general election will. And should.
Very truly yours,
Name Candidate for [whatever]

You will see who is serious about your #1 issue and who is not by means of a signed resignation letter. Post it online. If he refuses to sign it, start working immediately to undermine and replace him.

4. Track all of his votes on your #1 issue, and post them online. If there is no record of his vote, call his office. Have his assistant send an email to your committee after every vote in this area, explaining it. This is boring. This is time-consuming. This is vital.

This would make a great civics project for home schoolers: track a candidate for the school year. Then turn it over to a new student. Have a committee run the sites, but students can do the grunt work.

5. Find out who his largest campaign donors are. This will tell you who will have the most clout when he takes office. Investigate the PACs. Investigate the donors who send in the maximum donation allowed. Are they members of one group? Post this information on the site that you set up to monitor his votes.

6. Instill fear. This is your #1 task, once he takes office.

7. Inflict pain. This is the basis of #6.

8. Trust, but verify. If your group refuses to verify, it should not trust.


Politics is not based on love; civil government is based on coercion. Don’t love him. Monitor him. Impose negative and positive sanctions wisely.

We are dealing with dedicated, power-seeking, and often ruthless people. Don't try to buy them or sweet-talk them. If they don't vote your way, defeat them. This, they understand. This, they fear.

Either they are on your menu, or you are on theirs. I suggest the former.

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