(Not sure if the CCH model has worked, or can be simulated in a political environment, but as a big believer in the idea we physically need more Republcans, Ed starts a great discussion here. - promoted by Paul R. Ferro)
[This will be the first in a series of constructive articles about the future of the party, in light of the election for MassGOP Chairman. I realize that many would prefer this just be a contest of ideology and resume, but I think it should it actually be about substance and ideas. For every person who makes fun of me for not "understanding how politics works", I get five Facebook messages thanking me.]
There is much talk about the MassGOP's 11% registration. In the context of the race to succeed Chairman Maginn, the issue matters a lot. All the candidates want to increase that number, which we must.
For instance, State Committeeman Rick Green, on this issue, says that the goal will be to register five new Republicans per precinct. He says nothing publicly about how to do that. Kirsten Hughes says she will get registration from 11 to 15%. She speaks about getting new non-traditional GOP voting groups to support Republicans, talks about doing registration drives (what does that mean?), and wants to bring the Ron Paul people into the party. David and Dean don't discuss raising registration directly, but they get into a lot of supporting activities that would help. (I could find nothing from the other candidates. Please put in comments if you would like.)
But one model that we should take inspiration from is the Catholic Church. They, like us, have a brand problem. They, like us, have all kinds of people who are, on paper, members, yet they don't participate. They, like us, have people who have left. They, like us, know they have great basic principles to stand on. Yet, they, like us, are in decline.
|I suppose they could just declare, "We will get 5 new Catholics per parish." But they realize they have a massive brand problem, different kinds of lost sheep, and the need to keep the faithful effective in this re-evangelization.
One of the things they did was create an awesome website: Catholics Come Home
Here is a snapshot of the front page of their website:
You click on a door, based on whether you are not Catholic, one who isn't involved, or one who is very involved. Each leads to a separate set of multimedia content tailored for that audience. It's really wonderful.
I think this is exactly what we need to have for the MassGOP.
(Republicans Come Home?)
We need to reach out to new people, help registered Republicans to be involved in some way, and help the activists be more effective.
Of course, if you want to do this, you're going to have to admit that we have a branding problem. Very few want to do that. (Most are just afraid to admit our failure, some really are dumb enough to think the brand is just fine.)
But we must own up to how bad the brand is, and we have to address it head-on. The place to start is not at the precinct level, but online. (Once we reach people, we can direct them to Wards and RTCs.)
A great website in the model of Catholics Come Home would be a great place to start.