A decade ago, people like me — grassroots people — didn’t have much of a voice in the political structure.
Volunteers were, and too often still are, the lowest on the totem pole. Ask anyone who’s ever spent some time making phone calls or going door-to-door — most “undecided voters” are treated better than the average campaign volunteer.
For 18 months out of a 24-month election cycle, we were ignored. Come summer of an election year, candidates seemed to suddenly find our phone numbers, and we were important again.
“Hey, we’re having a rally this Saturday at the campaign headquarters. Bring the kids! Hey, while I’m thinking of it, can you bring your township’s yard sign list from the last cycle? And can I count on you to go door-to-door for us next Saturday? Hey, while I gotcha on the phone, do you think you would mind hosting a coffee for me? We’ll bring our yard signs — do you think you could talk some of your neighbors into taking a few? And hey, I hate to ask you this since you’ve already done so much to help me over the years, but we know those guys are desperate to win this race — we already know they’re gonna go negative — can I count on your support of $250 to help me fight their lies?”
Today, thanks to the Internet, people like us have a stronger voice, one that travels far beyond our precinct or township. Your average entry-level volunteer has, at their fingertips, access to more information than the party chairmen had ten years ago — and I guarantee that each of you reading this right now knows more about what’s going on in Missouri today than the old-line politicos who still refuse to use “the Internets.”
Today, while reporters still make the obligatory “they did this”, “no we didn’t” point-counterpoint calls to the state party spokesmen and consultants, those same reporters start their day by reading Missouri’s political blogs.
In recent years, two of the most controversial political operatives in the state have joined the blogging world.
The top Democratic operative in the state — Roy Temple — has a website, Fired Up Missouri, dedicated to “responsible government, strong communities, and secure families.”
One of the top Republican operatives in the state, Jeff Roe, started a website in May of this year. The site is called The Source: its mission is “to engage all users, and further promises to entertain and enlighten readers with the latest scoops and hard hitting investigative reporting.” Furthermore, according to Roe, The Source “will bring its best each and everyday [sic] in the constant pursuit of the TRUTH!”
The purpose of this site is not so high-minded.
I started this site to share my thoughts on Missouri politics, campaigns, and the Internet.
I’m not a real journalist, and I’m not a political consultant. I don’t pretend to be either.
I’m a grassroots guy, a former staffer who just so happens to pay more attention to politics than most normal people do. I’ve been around campaigns for a dozen years now, and I have a few thoughts about the way campaigns are run and the people who run them.
If you like what you see on this site, come back for more. If you don’t, go away. I promise that my feelings won’t be hurt.
If anything you read on this site offends you, you are probably too sensitive and should re-examine your priorities in life.
There are thousands of political bloggers in this country. Some, it seems, were weaned from the nipple way too early and spend their adult life trying to get noticed — and their blog is their means to do it. Sometimes they coo to their bosses for approval. Sometimes they cry to the media for attention. Sometimes they make a mess just to ruin someone else’s day, or career.
Whether you’re a grassroots guy or gal, a journalist, a party insider, a major donor, an elected official, or — like some of you reading this right now, a potential political activist — I hope that between today and election day, you’ll take something worthwhile from this site.