USING THE 3 PILLARS –
2nd Pillar - Inefficient, Ineffective, and Costly Government
“We believe that Government is the most ineffective, inefficient, and most costly way to get anything done. As such, we are offering innovative, non-government solutions to our country’s social spending issues. ” – 2nd Pillar of the Constitution Party
The second pillar was developed specifically to tap into the angry and frustrated voter. Of all the pillars, this one also has the best chance of bringing in non-voters that have never participated in an election.
The core of this pillar is based on something that anyone who has ever worked with a government agency knows all too well – government agencies are inept.
While campaigning, you need to focus on how government agencies have failed to get the job done:
The main message of the 2nd Pillar is that we are looking for RESULTS, not just programs. It means that you, as a candidate, will use your position to promote solutions that are going to solve the issues of your community. It also means that we are going to look at every government program, every department, and every agency to determine if they are efficient, effective, and the least expensive way to get the job done. If they are not, then it just makes sense that we need to look to outside sources. Is there a non-profit or other organization that can get the job done better, faster, and cheaper?
Like the other pillars, this one ties into the other two. In this case, you should talk about how capitalism works because of the concept of Competition. If you have to compete, then you will find ways of doing it better and less expensively. The government does not have any competition and that is why they perform so poorly. We hold the belief that government organizations will become better simply by introducing competition to them. We may find that government agencies may be the best resource for us once they understand that their jobs are in jeopardy if they do not perform to their customers (i.e. taxpayers) satisfaction.
You want to capitalize on voter frustration. The government cannot get anything done. Government officials are always raising taxes and spending more each year on these programs but the situation normally gets worse. Even when the flaws of their plans are brought to their attention, they continue to go with the plan anyway. Most importantly, the funds never seem to find their way to those that you can use them. They get lost in bureaucracies and given to groups whose only qualification is that they donated heavily to candidates. This is one pillar that you don’t need to convince anyone about. Everybody already accepts the premise that government is ineffective, inefficient, and costly.
Your message needs to be focused on RESULTS. We want END hunger. We want to provide GOOD HOMES to the needy. We want to have the best education for our children. All of these community issues are not being solved by the government even though it has had plenty of time and a tremendous amount of money to solve them. At some point, we need to just acknowledge that they don’t want to solve these issues. They are simply using them to get us to vote for bigger government programs.
There are, however, some warnings that you need to be careful of when promoting this pillar: First, make sure that you are talking about programs and departments that you have actual control over in your elected position. Don’t be talking about changing state organizations if you are running for County Commissioner. Second, you need to be careful when discussing making major changes to entrenched institutions. Some government organizations (like Health Services, Education, and other social programs) are very complex and have many connections to other programs. Always be sure to explain that you are not going to make major changes that will cause upheavals nor will cause people to lose those benefits that they are relying on. Instead, you are going to promote a plan that will be a slow process of gradually moving from the existing structure to the new one with consideration for everyone involved. It is critical that you give the assurance that we are not just cutting and slashing, but moving resources from those that can’t to those that will.
The secret weapon of the 2nd pillar is that it can work with both Liberals and Conservatives. Now, I have always promoted that we don’t need the Liberals to win elections and the GOP made a big mistake by trying to cater to the Liberals. However, it does not hurt to get them to see us in a different light. Remember, that in most cases, you are running in a three-person race. A three-party race is very different than a two-party race. Even convincing Liberal voters that they may want to simply sit this race out because you have raised doubts about their Democrat candidate can have tremendous results for you.
Let’s use Welfare as an example. Feeding, housing, and providing for the poor among us has been a dismal failure. Part of the problem is that, for every $1 that we give to government, only 15 cents is getting to the recipients. The rest is going to bureaucrats and campaign donors. What if we had a system that was more efficient? What if we had a program that reduced our payment to 75 cents and gave 70 cents of that to the recipient? By taking out the fat government middle-man, both sides benefit. The recipients get better results (better homes, better food, better healthcare, etc.) and we pay fewer taxes. Win-win. Obviously, the savings would be much higher than that based on current government waste, but the concept is that government is wasting our resources and not using them effectively and efficiently.
The other component of this message is that every department and service will come under scrutiny. There will be no exceptions. Some of the bigger programs get more attention, but savings can be found in little things. For instance, what if the city, county, and school district combined their Facilities and Buildings departments into one organization and contracted it out to a company that does a better job with fewer costs? How much money do you think that each government entity would save? It would actually be in the millions for most metropolitan areas. You reduce manpower, travel time, equipment, management, and logistics. This type of thinking is how we differentiate ourselves from other candidates. They only think in terms of protecting government jobs, promoting bigger departments, and protecting “their turf”.
To be effective in getting non-voters and others to be involved, we need to bring out the frustration that citizens have with government inefficiencies. We need to “push their buttons” on their exasperation of paying too much money, bad customer service, poor results, and incompetent management. We need to point out how these organizations are disconnected with the public and are taking a “we don’t care about you” attitude. By plugging into these frustrations, we can get people motivated to take action and vote for the first time in their lives. It is that “We are mad as hell and we are not going to take this anymore” motivation that gets the common person to take action.
We also need to contrast ourselves with the GOP by stating that we don’t want to just cut funding to these programs but that our motive is to find real, effective solutions to these problems. We really care. Democrats say they care but don’t solve the problem. Republicans simply say that they don’t care and that they want those who are less fortunate to find their own solutions.
When you contrast yourself as the candidate that really cares and is looking for results vice just campaign slogans, then voters will be drawn to your message. You confirm the truth that they already know and then provide a plan to act on those truths.