Brothers, allow me to slip in a few things about the media and politics, as we begin our time together this month.
*First, make neither one--media or politics--your god OR idol. Your risk of getting hurt or deceived will be GREATLY reduced. BOTH of them are a game; a pursuit to be understood, mastered and, if possible, overcome with a political victory.
*Second, do NOT be afraid of either or them. Some media people and politicians rely on intimidation, bluff or bluster. God does NOT create a spirit of fear, but he gifts the Christian man with power, love and a sound mind. Do NOT cower in the light of the TV cameras, nor the press clippings of the politically connected.
*Third, whether you consume your news and information through traditional or social media, the younger set--the millennial-aged voter--for the most part, is still too lazy to turn out and vote. Colin Kaepernick is a perfect example of this fact. He talked a good game, but wasn’t registered NOR did he make it to the polls to vote, regardless of his social media rhetoric. End result: He quickly moved on from his political rants.
BUT WAIT…THERE IS MORE:
*Fourth, polls DO NOT vote. There have been too many instances lately of polls--even exit polls--showing one candidate far out in front, only for the polls to be dead wrong when the ballots were counted. Take a tip from Bruce Lee, from the flick “Enter The Dragon”: “Boards don’t hit back”. Simply stated, conduct your campaign as if you are ten points behind in the polls, but don’t rely on them or worship them as an indicator of victory nor defeat. As a matter of fact, don’t even bother to PAY for polling.
Just run, baby, run!
Allow me to share one of my favorite illustrations. Years ago, I was out of work. I went to a resume writing workshop just to polish up my credentials for future employment. The instructor dropped a bombshell on the class, right from the beginning.
“What’s the best resume?”
A few timid answers came forth, which he quickly proved wrong.
“The BEST resume,” said the instructor, “is the one that gets you the JOB!”
In other words, advisors are nice. ‘Helpers’ from your political party are good, too. However, it is up to the candidate to do the prayer work, home work, and street work to make their name and views known.
*Fifth, the candidate who has a firm grasp of the issues will likely win--and doesn’t resort to dirty politics--even IF dirty tricks are used on him--they will inspire their voting base AND attract other voters.
Voters want a REASON to vote for you OVER the other candidate. A clear understanding of the issues, and the ability to translate one or two of them into easy, bite-sized nuggets of political truth will attract voters EVERY time.
OLDER VS. YOUNGER VOTERS IN A SOCIAL MEDIA AGE:
The older generation STILL makes the regular trek to the polls, regardless of all the toys and gadgets that are shouted about through social media, and how easy voting has become. The ‘twitter-verse’ is not as large, nor as influential as one may think…according to the latest studies. Further, while young people DO tend to head for the flashier social media platforms, they often ignore the insight and training from ‘gray heads’ such as parents, teachers, or other respected older adults.
The young never seem to learn this lesson.
This was true for those of us who came up through the ‘summer of love’ era.
We were in the streets. Our parents were at the polls. The end result? Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. We are seeing history repeat itself. The result? Donald Trump. Likely, twice. If you don’t know your history, you won’t see it when it hits you upside the head for a second, third, or even fourth time.
THE ‘MAINSTREAM MESS’ OFTEN SPEAKS WITH FORKED TONGUE:
While the mainstream media (MSM) talks about the ‘need’ to getting people to the polls on election day, it speaks with a forked tongue.
Especially to Blacks.
The MSM usually ‘skew’ their reporting and coverage to ‘favor’ one type of political party (Democrat) over the other (Republican). That’s why…about a week or two before an election, IF the polling data shows stuff they don’t like (they read AND produce polls, too) they go about their business to influence people NOT to go to the polls via negative or doomsday-type reporting (media voter suppression).
The WORST thing that the mainstream media wants to see these days is full polling places with wide-awake and determined voters. Remember: today’s media is mostly liberal, anti-Christian, anti-family, and anti-conservative.
A very wise political axiom: He who turns out their base, gets the votes…and the victory. IF a candidate fires up their base, the base will likely bring their friends to the polls on primary and general election days.
POLITICAL SERVICE AREAS FOR THE SERIOUS:
In general, there are five areas one may serve in their political party before they embark upon the climb to run for public office:
1. Raising money or positive public profile for the party.
2. Recruiting volunteers and/or candidates for the party.
3. Running/managing a candidate’s campaign.
4. Serving on staff among party leadership.
5. Voter registration efforts around your city/county for your party.
Why am I mentioning service to one’s party? Rest assured…there are people who wanted to be doctors, and, once they got to their first biology class, couldn’t stand the sight of the guts of a frog. There are people who wanted to be lawyers, but discovered that they hated writing papers and studying the English language. Thus, one must determine IF they like the rough and tumble world of politics BEFORE making the commitment to enter the arena.
Volunteering is the best way to find out IF you like the process and want to take that next step up.
Again, I must mention this. IF you are a Christian, don’t be fooled. Your faith WILL be tested IF you decide to make that trek into politics. You will have a variety of NEW enemies, simply because you dare to state in the marketplace that you believe in God, through Jesus Christ. More enemies will surface when you stand against sin!
Brothers, I’ll make it plain. You must be willing to count the cost of your actions. A political career--even as a volunteer--involves a lot of prayer, reading, attention to detail, filing out paperwork, long stretches of mundane, repetitious work, and keeping up-to-date with the election laws of your state and municipality. Making the decision to become a candidate for elective office involves more of the same AND brushing up on your leadership AND people skills. My GOP political mentor, the late Larry Wharton, put it this way: “It’s all about knowing how and when to shake hands and kiss babies.”
RECRUITING, HARD WORK, AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
Wharton was not ashamed of being a Black man who was a member of the local Republican party. He had worked his way up into leadership, and, spent some of his time sharing his political knowledge with up-and-coming Black men and women who wanted to take part in the party and the political process. He was wise, friendly, and outgoing. He knew his role, the streets and his talents.
While Wharton never had the itch to become a candidate, he knew how to train those Blacks and whites to either become candidates OR party workers. He was a GREAT coach! He also let potential candidates know that they could win or lose based upon a LOT of factors. Victory for a candidate--even a new candidate--meant more work for them. The bigger the office sought, the earlier one had to reach out and work for votes and party support.
A loss for a candidate may hurt, but was NOT the end of the world. Wharton made it clear that everything revolved around timing, hard work, and perseverance…but it also revolved around being classy in victory OR defeat.
In order for more Black men to get into the political process for all three parties (Republican, Democrat or Independent) it takes the wisdom of those Men of color already involved with the process to recruit new talent AND ALSO for that new talent to seek out their respective political party and being ready to work.
Of late, I have noticed that there is a laziness in BOTH of these areas.
When it was time for my first shot to run, I had paid my dues and the recommendation was submitted. I got the nod from downtown to run for Precinct Committeeman. I was about to graduate from being a background volunteer, to candidate.
BACKGROUND CHECKS AND FAMILY SUPPORT:
Political parties don’t take public scandal or black eyes very well. Thus, anyone who enters a party from the low ranks to the leadership are subjected to continued background checks. These days, thanks to social media, one’s electronic footprint is included in the mix. IF you don’t like the idea of having someone poking around in your past, then you don’t belong in politics.
Political parties ALSO are very keen on your voting record. That will be checked to see whether or not you have consistently voted in your city’s primary and general elections AND your party affiliation. Generally, each party determines whom they draft into its ranks based upon a lot of factors, many of which I can not list here. Rest assured: IF you have a dirty background, clean it up…right down to what you have posted on social media.
IF the party can find it, so can the media. Best to tell on yourself FIRST! However, do it in such a way that you are honest, have a sense of humor, and realize that everyone has the capacity to be young and dumb, at some points in their lives.
Voters admire who has learned from his mistakes, and not OWNED by them!
SEARCHING FOR THE DIRT ON YOU:
Many media organizations help their various parties in searching through archives for articles and video clips on potential candidates. Of course some of this is done ‘under the cover of darkness’, but it is still done. If your party knows about the dirt in your life…it more than likely got it from a newspaper, radio, or television reporter OR their station.
What else is fair game for background searches of a potential candidate? Police records. Financial records. Church affiliation. Social clubs. Relatives who may be in politics in other states. Thanks to social media AND past FB and Twitter posts.
And, family…of course…your family.
Let me state this clearly, brothers. You and your wife MUST be going the same direction spiritually, biblically, and generally for a life in politics. If your family is not an asset, from your wife on down, it will become a liability with the going gets rough--and rough it can get in a very quick fashion.
MARRIAGE: GET THE RIGHT ONE BABY!
Brothers, if you marry well, a lot of the drama can be eliminated. You will have a spouse of upright character, and a powerful supporter of your political ambitions. I have met many wise wives of the politically powerful. They manage not only their own households well, but a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff for their husband’s political campaigns. Being married to a Proverbs 31 woman, brothers, is truly a godsend, brothers. Of that I can testify. BUT you must also be a Psalm 119 man in order to complete the picture. IF you can’t serve at home sir, forget serving the city or state.
A truly godly woman as your wife is a powerful woman who does not have to ‘brag’ about how powerful she is. Her character reflects her strength. The scriptures show that her children will call her blessed AND that her husband cherishes her and is a major leader in their home and in society…meaning that he is recognized as a political leader in his city.
If the husband and the wife are in order, the children will likely be in order as well. Yes, there will be ‘bumps’ along the roadway of life. Children who are entering their teens are going to be a handful. However, brothers, IF you have started them out well, when those teens hit…the storms should not be long nor deadly. Remember, politics can be wonderful…but the stresses on a home, even a Christian home, must be considered.
More to come next month.
Mike Ramey is a Minister, Modern Street Gangs Specialist, Political Consultant and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. “Ramey‘s Guide To Elective Office For Men” is one of a variety of columns that Ramey has in cyberspace. His address is still the same: firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2019 Barnstorm Communications.