by James F. Fitzgerald, Director of Field Activities
In 1980, The John Birch Society produced a video featuring Congressman Larry McDonald’s Education is the Key speech. Congressman McDonald understood, as many members of The John Birch Society do, that a sufficient understanding on the part of Americans is necessary if the Insiders are to be exposed and routed.
Newly awakened citizens who became involved in the recent election campaigns did so because they became aware of troubling key issues. It would appear, however, that their understanding is limited to seeking political action as the cure. The knowledge necessary to identify the real forces at work that are troubling them is woefully inadequate.
The challenge for members of The John Birch Society is to help prospects (especially those who are current activists) gain understanding that will lead them and their colleagues to meaningful corrective action and better decision-making in all their efforts.
In past years, good Americans who were elected to Congress have failed in their bids for reelection because the electorate failed on two fronts:
1. They were not sufficiently well-informed.
2. They did not hold their newly elected representatives accountable.
If just electing the right candidate would solve the many problems facing our nation, the solution would be quite simple. However, if the knowledge base is limited and accountability is not pursued, disappointment will follow. As a result, many newly awakened individuals will simply withdraw from all activity because they become convinced that nothing can be done to effect needed change.
Action without education creates frustration along with a demand for quick solutions. This is why we hear calls for a Con-Con, term limits, balanced budget amendment, etc., from individuals who may be well-intentioned but are making a serious mistake by putting action before education. Our job is to help these newly awakened activists to understand that being well-informed will lead to a much higher level of success, while avoiding the trap of relying on a quick-fix solution.
As one of our California chapter leaders informs his prospects,“This is mainly an educational battlefield rather than a political battlefield.”
In the January Bulletin, we recommended a door-to-door program for finding and starting new chapters by: (1) distribution of ObamaCare material along with a survey; and (2) then follow up in a week to collect the survey and discuss possible presentation meetings and membership. In the March Bulletin, we will have a similar program whose subject will be the economy. It will include a new reprint, a DVD, and a survey dealing with economic issues.
Also in the January Bulletin, a project for distribution of a “State Legislator Packet” was outlined by Larry Greenley. This is an excellent way for chapters or individual members to begin to help newly elected, like-minded state legislators understand their role and not fall prey to false and dangerous solutions.
- Participate in a door-to-door distribution of ObamaCare material including a survey, then follow up to collect the survey and suggest that the homeowner consider additional activity, a group presentation meeting, and membership.
- Personally visit your state representative, deliver the “State Legislator Packet,” and make follow-up calls to encourage him/her to make good decisions in their work as your representative.