Definitely imitating North here, in his article How to Make a Great Living by Losing Conservative Campaigns While Spending Millions
Hey, I never claimed much originality. I just want the truth, and I go to who provides it.
Let us begin with a common story in politics: a smart campaign staffer helps win a high-visibility election and decides to become a consultant.
The new consultant is soon involved in another win or two and is suddenly able to sell his services to many campaigns.
While able to give his few early clients a great deal of personal time, the consultant quickly finds it impossible to give the same type of service to half a dozen candidates simultaneously.
Unable to supervise detailed operations involving many layers of people in many campaigns at once, the consultant directs his client campaigns toward media-intensive, rather than people-intensive, activity. Media decisions are few in number. They require skill but little time.
The consultant also realizes it is very much in his own financial interest to have as much of his clients’ budgets spent on media as possible.
Most consultants take a 15% commission (over and above client-paid production costs and his retainer) from media vendors for all placements.
The consultant knows he gets no commission for campaign funds spent on people-intensive activity, such as:
● precinct organization
● voter ID phone banks
● voter registration drives
● youth effort
● the Election Day process to get out the vote
With their budgets warped toward media spending, candidates and in-state organizations are led to measure the progress of campaigns by dollars raised and tracking polls.
It’s the main theme of the West today: “Kill the future. Get me what I want now.”
Conservatives love it, as much as Progressives do.
Christians had better spend the time, as well as the money, to build a different road.
The consultant, now prosperous and enjoying a changed lifestyle, has ready access to and influence with some incumbent officeholders.
He decides to branch out into lobbying, where his influence enables him to pull down some really fat fees from major corporations, trade associations, and even foreign governments which have major financial interests in the decisions of elected and appointed government officials.
By now, most of the consultant’s income does not come from election campaigns. But he continues to take some candidates as clients, partly to keep his valuable ties with incumbents and partly because there are in each election cycle some rich candidates and others able to raise big war chests. These war chests will be spent largely on campaign media, still a fine source of income for the consultant.
Not all successful consultants behave this way. But a great many do.
This growing problem with consultants has many bad effects:
● The unnecessary losses of many good candidates each year
● The looting of millions of dollars misspent on media
● The suckering of many rich candidates who are falsely led by consultants to believe they can win
● The increasing perception that campaigning is mostly mudslinging TV commercials
● Worst of all, the general decline of citizen participation as activists and, often, even as voters in the political process
Historically, volunteer participation in elections has been the greatest preparation for competent campaign management and good candidates in future elections. That source of new activists and candidates can dry up when campaigns focus on paid media and neglect grassroots organization.
A dead grassroots places all political power in the hands of the Right Sort.
Win-win, so far as our bipartisan Ruling Class is concerned.
In defense of his practices, the consultant develops an outspoken contempt for any proposal for significant campaign expenditures except for paid media.
Kill the future.
Take what belongs to it, and give it to me, and I will make sure you win the election.
And isn’t getting what you want right now the only thing that matters?
Now, from North’s comments:
To get a local candidate screened, you have to be involved in precinct work. To get him elected, you have to invest more time and some money. You had better find out how the campaign spends your donations. In other words, you have to monitor what happens to the money. Otherwise, the money is going to wind up in the pockets of full-time hustlers.
Almost no one does this locally.
Almost no one knows how politics actually works. The hustlers know how it works, and they exploit it.
It’s easy to write a check in good faith. The hustlers know this and exploit it.
This goes on, decade after decade.
And again I shout:
“Local politics! Local organization! Local networking! Spend the time – yes, money, but especially the time – to build up your people, where you live.“
Unless you actually enjoy losing, decade after decade.
As your Betters – from both parties – grow ever more wealthier, and ever more contemptuous of the Inferiors they frankly enjoy grinding down, every day of every month of every year.