On Monday, I went to the party’s official grassroots group on Facebook and offered to answer questions. We got some great ones, which tells me this needs to be a regular occurrence.
Since Monday’s are often challenging for people, I will attempt to be available every Tuesday to do another “Ask Me Anything.” One of the keys as we prepare for our second year as a party is to maintain both transparency and direct communication with the grassroots. It was a goal of the party from the very beginning to be the most communicative party in America. Now, it’s time to deliver.
If you are interested in joining this growing group, you can find it here. Administrators are quick to add people when they request to join. Only one is directly affiliated with the national party, making this a true grassroots group.
Here are some of the highlights from the first round:
Q: Is a Bannon-supported candidate automatically ruled out for your support. #RememberMississippi
A: Candidates cannot pick who supports them, so no. I’d want to look very closely at someone who had support from certain elements, though.
Great question. Important one.
Q: What was the deal with the business set up to create printables, and other print materials? Who is in charge of what in the state of Utah. I’m interested in getting involved, but I keep getting a run around about who is in charge.
A: We’ve always planned on having our own campaign resources rather than outsourcing to RNC- or DNC-friendly companies. It’s still in the very early stages of development, but we’d love to be able to print our own materials rather than buy them from someone else. As for Utah, we are encouraging the formation of Federalist Party’s around the country. There have been two groups who have tried to organize Utah, but neither was able to get going properly.
This month we’re expanding on our state strategy. We’ve learned a ton in the months since we got started and are ready to apply those lessons to 2018. If you’re ready to help build Utah, we should talk.
Q: Are we endorsing anyone in the coming California Governor’s race? I am hoping that the Federalist Party will generate a contact list of who’s who in the new party.
A: Our role as a national party is to promote the tenets of Federalism and support the state parties. It will be up to the California Federalist Party once it is formed to run and/or endorse candidates.
One of the biggest problems with the two major parties (and to some extent, the other smaller parties) is that the national party invariably picks favorites. I spoke to a GOP candidate for Senate who lost last year. He attributed his narrow defeat to a lack of support from the state GOP who helped the Republican running for the other Senate seat much more than they helped him. When we discussed it further, he revealed that it was the national party that “frowned” on him and had the state put much greater resources towards the other GOP candidate.
The reason I tell that story is to explain why we will not be “running” or “endorsing” candidates directly at the national level. Just as we want the national government to leave most decisions to state and local governments and to individuals, we want the national party to leave most decisions to the state, local, and individual Federalists.
As for a “who’s who,” that will come in time. We’re still filling holes within the national party itself. There are plenty. For example, I could list myself as co-founder, writer, strategist, or even administrative assistant. Today, I’m filling multiple roles as are most people working with us.
The reason I want to participate in this group is because it was our original intention to make this a true grassroots effort with enough structure to avoid becoming the Tea Party but not so much internal politics associated with other parties that we’re easily corrupted. We’ve learned quite a few lessons over our first several months. One lesson is that we cannot attempt to control everything the states do from the national party level. Deep down I always knew this to be true, but I allowed myself to be swayed in the wrong direction. When we consolidate too much responsibility onto individuals with “power,” we’ve learned how easy it can be for them to abuse that power for nefarious purposes.
I’m going back to the beginning, before we even knew we would become the Federalist Party, and following my instincts that said we must make this as much of a grassroots effort as possible within a party structure. As soon as we have a who’s who, I’ll be happy to share it. In the meantime, I’m going to do everything in my power to maintain full transparency and be the liaison to activists within this group. We need it to grow. We can put up articles and do interviews, but it’s here in the halls of discussion that the heart and soul of the party will be born. I’m not trying to sound cheesy, but there’s really no other way to put it.
Q: The F.P. could use some big name endorsers if there are any.
A: I’ve traveled to DC to have conversations with potential allies. We’ve been on the phone with “big names” and are confident once we have our base built up to a sufficient level, some if not all of them will be ready to come on board. At this stage it’s best to keep big names away from the party. Otherwise, we lose our long-term sustainability by grasping onto short-term notoriety.
Let me give you an example using a big name I’ve never spoken with. If Glenn Beck were to announce he endorsed the Federalist Party tomorrow, it would make national news. The press would eat it up because he’s been outspoken in the past against the President and the press generally hates the President. We’d get a lot of short-term attention. Then, we’d no longer be the Federalist Party born from a groundswell of grassroots support. We’d become “Glenn Beck’s Party.” We’d grow with a quick burst, then fade into obscurity in the long run.
To make a real impact in America, we must grow the base to a self-sustaining size first. Then, we can start bringing in big names for support. If we do so prematurely, we’ll stunt our growth. With that understood, we have been talking to big names across the political sphere. Publicly, I’ve had great meetings with several media personalities, donors, and politicians such as House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows. Privately, we’ve spoken to a lot more than that. We must keep our public profile active and exciting without making too big of a media splash until we’re big enough. Otherwise, we run the risk of peaking way too early.
Q: We all know that forming a TRUE viable, 3rd Party is a marathon and not a sprint. Where do you see the Party 1, 3 and 5 years from now?
A: 2022 – making a full national push. We should be able to expect some state parties to be matured to the point they’re capable of winning DC seats and governors’ offices.
2020 – hitting local elections. I know every other party will be wasting most of their resources on a symbolic presidential candidate who will be their sacrificial lamb for future fundraising. We are realistic, practical, and have no intention of running in races we cannot win. We’re here to make an impact, not a statement.
2018 – grow, grow, grow. While there are a handful of local elections and even a pair of congressional elections that are intriguing to us, we will not play our hand unless it’s a winning one. That’s disappointing to some, but refer to our 2020 statement above. Impact over statement.
With all that said, we have to understand this is a very dynamic world. Political fortunes change faster than the temperature in Wichita. If we get hit with a flurry of donors, well-recognized candidates, or massive media exposure tomorrow, the timeline can change. We must always be looking ahead while being completely cognizant of the here and now. The important thing to remember is that we need to follow the roadmap we’ve had loosely before us for over a year. That means getting the word out.
We’re not planning on surprise fortunes making our path easier, but we’ll be ready to act if they do. In the meantime, we must stay the course and build groundswells of activists ready to make our voices heard at the right time. Whether that time is next month, next year, or a few years down the road, nobody can know for sure. We have to be ready for it when it comes.