The California GOP convention (Sacramento Feb. 22-24) is fast approaching, and electing a proper leadership for our state party is the groundwork we need to lay for the 2020 season. I have a lot of questions to resolve before getting there. And, much as I’d like to endorse a candidate for CRP chair, I’m not there yet.
But I can share what I’ve learned so far.
It’s no secret we had some devastating losses in our state in November. But when suffering a defeat, the current goal is to avoid a rout. And that’s our problem right now. I see a lot of anger, pointing fingers, looking for someone, something to blame. While we all want to introspect and figure how we want to do better, what I’ve seen are misrepresentations of what’s happening in the party. But as we all know, rage gets clicks in this ragebait era.
Rather than finding someone in our party to blame, we should understand the sobering reality that we are up against the most well funded, well organized state Democratic Party in the nation. Even longstanding Republican incumbents were outmatched 4-1 by billionaire out of state Democrats. On Prop 6 we were outmatched 20-1. And that doesn’t include the public money and institutions the Democrats had vouching for them, or their legally dubious ballot tactics.
Meanwhile, some candidates shy away from such sobering issues, instead promising glittering visions of victory, a bolder direction, better times. People should beware such promises. If your idea of a “bolder vision” that will get us inroads in California is abortion, guns, and Pelosi sucks, I have bad news for you.
I’m not trying to suck the wind out of your sails, I’m simply showing the direction of the fight we face. But don’t fear. We do have issues, passionate wedge issues, that will get sane Democrats to come to our side. Prop 10 lost by 61-39 in a state that otherwise goes 60-40 to the Democrats. People are getting fired up over the vagrancy issue.
My point is, passion is important, but polling matters. If you want to win in 2020, it’s critical to see past yourself and your own passions, and that’s what polling does, when done properly. It’s also critical to do real outreach, argue with people who disagree with us, stand up for what we believe in, and refuse to let the Democrats control the public sphere to smear us.
The CRP chair I will be voting for will be addressing all these issues. When that happens, you’ll be the first to know. Until then, rest assured I am continuing to ask these questions.