political campaign contributions
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We are constantly told that it is only big money that counts in politics. Perhaps this is so. But what if that’s merely an intimidation tactic? By convincing your enemy that you have the invincible weapon, your enemy will shrink from the fight.

The gun controllers have long complained that the big money of the evil gun industry controlled Congress-critters with lavish contributions. We know this is nonsense. The NRA didn’t buy a Congressman with a couple thousand bucks. It welded it’s influence by publishing letter-grades to its members who numbered no more than five million.

Today, the NRA has been reduced to a tottering shell of what it once was. It will take decades for it to be rehabilitated into something approaching its youthful vigor. Still, there is something to learn here.

It is said that all politics is local. That’s probably true. And, until recently, we have held faithfully to the belief that the only signature that ultimately matters is the one we give the polling official before being handed a ballot. How can we form that into a coherent tactic?

It dawned on me that the occasional checks I’ve sent to political campaigns might have gone for naught. Once the checks were cashed, the candidate lost track of any association between my contribution and my sentiments.

One hundred of us People of the Gun might each send a $100 check to a campaign, but the cumulative effect would be lost. Suppose, instead, that we pooled our checks and a representative of us — a “bundler” — delivered the entire $10,000 amount to the candidate with a message. That message just might register.

The message is that there is $10,000 and 100 votes behind a sentiment. Ignore that sentiment at your peril.

Concentrating our political clout in one iron fist at the national level might have proven to be a strategic mistake. We gave the gun-controllers a singular target to demonize and take all the flack. Perhaps that was actually an un-forced error.

As a thought experiment, imagine an entirely different tactic. Suppose, instead, that the NRA never gave a dime to any candidate. Suppose it never published a letter grade for a single politician.

What if, instead, it merely accepted the invitation to take a seat at the table in Washington. Suppose it evaluated the Congress-critters’ responsiveness to the support of gun rights and quietly fed its observations back to its 50 state affiliates.

The state affiliates might then have contributed to local candidates in their own states and in neighboring states where their members hunted and competed. The state affiliates might have sent their own letter-grades to their members. Would the Buckeye Firearms Association (or any of it’s 49 sister organizations) have taken a fraction of the Alinskyite fire suffered by NRA?

Take it down another level. Suppose the contributions and letter grades had originated from the Toledo Rod & Gun Club or Cincinnati League of Sportsmen. Local club chairmen would have had vastly more influence over their own Congressman than from even a state affiliate delegate. That would make it impossible for gun controllers to isolate, personalize, and demonize hundreds of local sports associations with the kind of concentrated fire and vitriol that’s been aimed at the NRA.

How about fund raising? When your local volunteer fire department holds its annual “boot day” contribution campaign can you resist the invitation to drop $10 in the boot of the fire-fighter whom you might one day “invite” to save your home? When you hear from your local club officers that a local candidate is good or bad on an issue pertinent to your local interest, would you pay attention?

In Senatorial campaigns, it’s likely that state affiliates would need to take the lead.  Nevertheless, each Senator is much more concerned with turnout in some key localities than others. Targeted message enforcement from local clubs would have a salutary impact.

The 50 state affiliates would retain their singular identities and independent internal politics as well as responsiveness to the members in their states. Moreover the networking among their leaders has been well established incidental to their activities at the national level.

The challenging political environment we face — in civil politics and in private association politics — seems to warrant an outside-the-box approach. Perhaps we ought to turn our attention to our respective state NRA affiliates and local clubs as focal points to concentrate our money and influence.

I’m speaking here of the state NRA affiliates and municipal sportsmen’s clubs figuratively, not literally. In any given state or locality, these organizations might be stymied by their own internal charters or politics. The important key is locality.

In Eastern Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Vally Tea Party seems to have become a force to be reckoned with in the Congressional districts where its members reside. It matters not at all that some such organization has nothing at all to do with the NRA or the shooting sports. What matter is that it makes its sentiments about Second Amendment rights known to the politicians it courts.

The practice of “bundling” is not as tightly regulated as are Political Action Committees.  The point – or points – are that the message is delivered along with a stack of checks wrapped in adding machine tape with a total.

What counts is the total at the bottom and the number of checks where the latter represents actual votes. What we can’t influence individually — not even in the aggregate — we might very well be able to accomplish if we find a method for focusing our strength on the right targets and in a concentrated beam.

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  1. Why do donations to politicians seem no more than an attempt to buy votes? Is it possible to donate to a political campaign and expect nothing beneficial in return? Expect that the donations will merely enable the politician to serve the constituency as a whole?

    • No offense here Sam, but… dude. Wake up and smell the bullshit.

      PACs? This is all political theater. A fucking clown show to keep the masses entertained watching one hand while the other stabs the nation in the back and picks their pockets. It’s been that way for decades because the country’s been a majority uneducated idiots for decades, like at least five decades.

      None of these people give a flying fuck about you or your rights. When they say they do it’s a lie, like talking gently to the dog you’re putting down. A trick to keep you calm while you’re herded towards things not for your benefit. A “constituency as a whole”? ROFL.

      Again, go back and ask yourself, how are you gun rights tied to the potential losses and gains of investing in transoceanic and transnational shipping? To steal an old internet meme; “When you see the answer, you’ll shit bricks.”

      This isn’t some grand conspiracy either. It’s stupid and power hungry people taking advantage of any situation that’s put in front of them. A situation generally created by a combination of entropy, idiocy, incompetence, greed and graft.

  2. Its sort of sad about all the deaths from guns but until we can carry our guns everywhere there will be more deaths. In this country everyone should carry a gun wherever they go without any laws and be ready to kill anyone doing these mass murders. Its proven that the more guns are in the hands of everyone then crime goes down.

  3. and so who and how do we find out what “local” organizations are active where we live so that we can join them and become more actively as well as vocally involved. I live in a heavily democratic county in Florida which has now gotten more so in light of the flight from demo run locked down dem hell holes and with them come the same politics that made where they left the places they wanted to leave!!!!

    • “how do we find out what “local” organizations are active where we live . . . I live in a heavily democratic county in Florida . . . ”

      Ask around among your gun friends; at gun shops. But as you point out, some of us (among the most frustrated) live in places where there is no good option. I, for example, am an hour’s drive from Lehigh Valley; but I have still been able to participate to a tiny extent.

      Think outside the box again. You and I can find an organization somewhere else in our states. A NYC resident can find an upstate NY organization to support. When a Congressman’s treasurer is filling out the deposit slip he doesn’t have time to check to see whether the ZIP code is inside/outside the District.

      My original point is that a bundler or PAC brings the money and votes of a contribution into a coherent and concentrated focus.

      (NRA once did that; however, that put all our clout in a single basket. When that basket went off-the-rails we were left with no infrastructure at all to funnel our collective efforts. Moreover, that concentration created an Alinsky-target that drew all the return fire. Like being the flame-thrower soldier attacking a bunker; he took all the fire.)

  4. I have to question if “all politics is local” given yesterday’s (and other) events.

    If a Congresscritter from outside your state can show up, tell people to “get more confrontational” and then a driveby shooting occurs targeting National Guardsmen mere hours later and the response of the entire world is to not even ask the question “Are these things connected?” when they swallowed the same argument hook, line and sinker but months ago, then perhaps politics is a bit bigger than “local”.

    • The problem becomes very local when it’s *your* state, city, and neighborhood the psychopathic congressbitch is telling people to set on fire.

      And she only gets to cause national problems because some locality full of morons keeps electing her over and over again. I wonder if she’d dare to say the same things in south LA that she’s saying in Minneapolis. (Maybe, maybe not; she does seem remarkably stupid, but you don’t get where she is without being smart about self-preservation.)

      Local action isn’t the entire answer, but I think it is true to say that it has to be part of any answer that’s going to be effective.

      • The best local action you can take is with your local school boards.

        The stats say this has been true since the initial drop in testing scores back in 1964 (and the nosedive every year after that for nearly two decades).

        No one’s done it. No one’s going to do it. It’s a national level problem, and has been since the aforementioned dates.

        Politics is like an internet connection in some ways. Upload and download both matter to some degree. But the truth is that at this point, the download matters a hell of a lot more IMHO because the main driver of the download is money doled out by the Congress.

        This wasn’t always the case but it is now.

      • “The best local action you can take is with your local school boards.”

        Lack of interest is a problem, but a *massive* issue is the lack of conservatives willing to be public school teachers.

        That is something the Leftists have mastered, their true believers become teachers, because they know how the material is presented to the kids molds young minds. They are so far ahead on this, we may never catch up.

        And our rights go straight down the crapper when the Greta Thurnberg (Sp.?) clones become an army…

        • There are a lot of threads that intermingle in terms of education.

          I’ll attempt to keep this [fairly] short and… probably fail.

          Ultimately though your base problem is that Liberal or Conservative there are a lot of similarities at the grassroots. Most of them are not well educated and have been poisoned by entertainment culture. They’re prone to emotional thinking and bumper sticker sloganeering. When this is pointed out they often get pretty nasty about it, something I have always had limited patience for and have a lot less for now, but I’ll “circle back” to that.

          Take the most Conservative people you can find and try to have a conversation about something extremely useful. Like property taxes. You will rapidly find two things: 1) Most have no idea how property taxes work and 2) don’t have the attention span to find out.

          The decline of education is multifaceted. The first part of it was taking over the SoEs which as I’ve said was probably basically complete by 1958. By 1964 your SAT records show that education has dropped markedly. This will continue until the early 1980’s where there’s a bit of a rebound until the mid-to-late 2000’s and then the bottom will fall out again. At no time will more than 1/3rd of the original losses be regained.

          The result is four generations (Boomers, Xers, Millennials and Zoomers) of people with a piss poor education, low attention span and a habit of “farming things out”. They have no real intellectual curiosity on average and are, by and large, self absorbed assholes. They’ve mostly never picked up the skillset to do any research on their own either. As such they’re easily led around on most topics by the best salesmen/women.

          The result is a country that’s governed more by snake oil salesmen with a capacity for emotional manipulation than anything else.

          If you want to reverse that you need concerted effort and a modicum of work from a majority of people. The fact that you can’t get that at this point makes the system irreparable. It also ensures that the cancer spreads unchecked, as it has.

          I’ve considered pointing this out in great detail here, the direct parallels between the response to Covid and gun control, or civil rights in general. But that’s like a 30 page paper full of shit most people won’t understand and I’m not going to run three intro level cell bio classes plus two history and another two poli sci classes on this website so that they can grasp the point. It is, IMHO, a lost cause. Because even if everyone here got it to a large degree, they couldn’t pass it on fast enough. I highly suspect that we’re over the event horizon here.

          I’ve said to Sam a few times: Look at how are your gun rights are connected to the potential losses and gains of investing in transoceanic and transnational shipping and what this means.

          I keep asking that question for a reason: I can’t just give the answer to you. It’s like doing your homework for you, sure you get the right answer now but until you have that light-bulb moment you won’t really grasp the overall significance. But once you do you’ll start to see the connections all over the place.

          This is exactly why I’ve often argued against the WoD here. It’s not because I’m pro drugs, though I am often accused of such positions. It’s because I recognize that the WoD is offering you the same choice as we were warned about by Franklin; The illusion of safety in trade for your freedoms and the freedoms of others. It’s just been couched in a way that’s acceptable to a lot of people when such an argument wouldn’t win them over on virtually any other topic. All it took the government was time to figure out the sales angle and they sold it. Quite well I might add. It’s entirely nonsensical and completely without logic but… it feelz good to a lot of people because it appeals to their base nature.

          IMO, it’s not about “the freedom to do drugs”. I couldn’t give a fuck less about that, honestly, though it does bring up the intensely interesting question of where the government or anyone else gets the authority to tell you what you can and can’t put in your own body and how far that extends. Which is part of why I needle obese people… prodding y’all to make some connections here. (But also because being obese is terribly unhealthy and disgusting and there should be a social stigma against it, which I’m happy to provide the way… say, a church provides a stigma against premarital pregnancy and such.)

          Anyway, where the metal meets the meat it’s about the intrusive nature of the police state that must be created, and has been, to combat drugs. That police state can be turned against anyone and, because of it’s roots in “drug are bad” (which is about as smart as “Orange Man Bad!”) the emotional pull is for people to allow ridiculously overreaching behavior because “drugs” but really because “feelz” they have about drugs.

          Consider the case of “Meal Team 6” and their little raid on a bar in Texas for now shutting down due to Covid. Where’d they get all that gear? The Feds. Why? Because WoD+GWOT= you have no rights and they have the gear to enforce it.

          But where did they get that “you will comply!!!” attitude? The WoD. Because all they have to do is say the word “drugs” to a judge and everything’s instantly “high risk” which means significantly reduced oversight for whatever the cops do. But why is that? Well, because drugs are dangerous. Duh. Well, so is Covid!

          Oops. You just gave the government the power to roll a Bearcat full of obese assholes armed with rifles and wearing PCs to a bar that didn’t shut down because… Covid. What fucking rights do you actually have? What can’t they stop you from doing? What won’t they resort to tac teams and rifles over? Increasingly, the answer all three questions is “nothing”. You don’t have rights because they can stop you and they will at rifle point if they decide to.

          And so, circling back like a idiot redhead behind a podium desperately trying to cover for a bunch of totalitarians hiding behind a fall guy with dementia… why does this bother me more now when it’s been going on longer than I’ve been on this planet?

          Because the noose is fucking closing. The power hungry sense an opportunity and they don’t intend to let it slip by. I don’t think a lot of people realize exactly where this is going. This keeps up and you will live in a totalitarian “people’s republic”. That’s not an exaggeration. Mostly the Constitution is already gone. It’s probably around a 98% chance that they pack the SCOTUS and then it’s game over. I mean shit, how long before todays State Department Recommendations on travel abroad become more than just recommendations?

          Further, mostly, your Soap Box is gone thanks to censorship and cancel culture. No matter how you feel about the last election, the Ballot Box is gone too because Congress has basically ignored “the people” for longer than my entire life. Electing one party pushes things in the wrong direction, electing the other does nothing to fix it or pushes it further depending on circumstances. The Jury Box is gone, with LE unable or unwilling to do anything and DA’s nationwide getting “woke” and unwilling to prosecute. We’re rapidly closing in on the last Box here being the ONLY option.

          And you will NOT like what you get from picking or being forced to take that option. Algeria comes to mind, Syria, Nigeria, Rwanda, Russia. And if you get a group strong enough to actually topple the government for good (which you probably will)? Likely you end up with Germany in 1934. Regardless, the chances the idea of an actual Constitutional Republic reemerges from that are very, very small.

          And regardless of what the boogbois or the Left think, it won’t be quick either. It will be a hellish slog for years. The government won’t just drone some rednecks and end it nor will the Patriots rapidly overtake DC in a glorious triumph. No, the countries I mentioned earlier are the likely model and that’s a hellscape even ‘Nam vets don’t actually get.

          And so, while we should attempt as hard as we can to make politics as usual work and try to reverse course through talk it’s time to start thinking some damned dark thoughts about what lines you have that you won’t allow to be crossed. Atrocities happen when people get caught reacting and have no idea what to do. They happen because they’re easy and effective. That doesn’t make them ethical or moral, just effective. Brutal utilitarianism is… well, brutal. But it does, potentially, offer you the opportunity to stop this early by splitting the bully’s lip for his trouble.

          Shit’s gonna get wild here this year. I’ve been saying that since last June. It didn’t matter who won the Oval Office. I’ve said that since last Summer too. Biden’s an idiot run by revolutionaries. The streets are on fire, the economy’s in the shitter, most people angry, depressed and scared. The country’s a powder keg. And if the D’s won, well they have no interest in fixing it. Ruling an ash heap is good enough for them as long as they rule it. OTOH, if R’s won the D’s would #Resist to the bitter end just to fuck shit up and the R’s wouldn’t have the balls to do what was necessary to even tell the truth, never mind DO something about it.

          At this point, IMHO, the question isn’t if there will be blood (technically there already has been). It’s how to minimize the blood while at the same time making sure it’s the right people who bleed. The one thing I do know for certain is that all the people talking “amicable divorce” or other such things are dreamers, like John Lennon, and John Lennon seemed like he was on top of the world right up until Mark David Chapman caught up to him. Those people are no different. Off in a dream world until reality comes crashing down on them.

          We will either talk this out or we will fight this out. Because it can be no other way.

          All the marbles. Prepare accordingly. I hope I’m wrong but I see very little evidence that I am.

    • The question is now will the libertarian atheists see Maxine Waters as a threat?
      Because of her previous statement calling on people to confront Trump supporters in public they said nothing at all. As far as I know Maxine Waters is a Christian just as Marjorie Taylor Greene is a Christian.

      As the saying goes, when they came for the trade unionists. I did not speak up. When they came for the Catholics. I did not speak up. When they came for the Jews. And I still said nothing. When they came for me. There was no one left to speak up for me.

      I know this is not the exact quote. But you get my meaning don’t you?

      “Marjorie Taylor Greene Says She Will Introduce Resolution to Expel Maxine Waters From Congress”


      • As someone who is…well…atheist-libertarian adjacent, let’s say…all I can tell you is that I and all the people I know who do fit that description are well aware that Maxine Waters and her ilk are a threat to every decent human in this nation.

        Also, Waters may call herself Christian, but she is definitely NOT Christian in the same way as Marjorie Taylor Greene.

        • We will see just how much “support” Marjorie Taylor Green gets from the Atheist libertarian talking heads. As well as the rest of the community.

          Unfortunately when someone sounds and acts like Adolf Hitler but they are not white. And they have a dark skin color. There are many people who refused to connect the dots. Instead they project their own irrational prejudices on to people who say nothing of the sort of what Maxine Waters espouses.

      • MTG will get virtually no support from anyone. The GOP is mostly spineless RINOs.

        If you want to be mad at a group of people for the state of the country I suggest you direct your ire towards those who actually have some level of real power and refuse to use it.

    • Let’s not confuse the issue with facts, furry one…

  5. It’s has always been local organization that gets anything done. That is why a local labor union or neighborhood churches are feared. Because they can organize and produce a real threat to a local politician.

    Same for any organized civic group. Money helps. But money didn’t help billionaires Steve Forbes or Pete Dupont when they ran for national office.

    • “Money helps. But money didn’t help billionaires . . . ”

      Precisely. Money will help our marginal candidate in two ways.

      If it puts him across the finish line that helps. If not, it may make him a contender; enough of a threat such that the winner takes notice and decides there are other issues where he will concentrate his attention.

      (The really strange thing about gun-control is that it’s NOT a CORE plank of the Democrat platform. Their platform consists of many planks on which they have built broad support. If there are 26 planks, each Democrat supports 20 of them. If THE Party were to remove the gun-control plank, how many of its voters would they lose? One?)

      Each politician ought to consider that fact in HIS PERSONAL platform. Does he NEED a gun-control plank? If he were “soft on gun-control” would his candidacy suffer? Or, is solidarity with THE Party’s platform on THIS ONE issue a decisive net negative for HIM?

      You have looked at this question from the opposite perspective. Implicitly, you’ve asked whether the singular gun-control issue in Bloomberg’s personal platform proved influential. You concluded that it did not.

      To paraphrase Stalin: ‘It doesn’t matter who spends money; it matters only who counts the votes.’ Our political battlefield just got much more complicated in 2020. Money was never ultimately decisive; it was votes. Today, money is not any more decisive; it’s ballots. We have to adapt our tactics to the reality as it’s developing.

      • The Christian Coalition in the 1980s terrified the Socialist Progressive. And in the 1950s and 60s the black church also terrified socialist progressives in the south.

        Socialist progressives hate organized religion. And hate religion in general. But they mask it as far as making fun of people’s belief in an invisible being.

        But what they really hate is the fact that the organization of organized religion can put people out on the streets to protest and to vote.

        Which is why the Socialist Progressive atheist has always hated the first amendment. I don’t care what they said in the past. It doesn’t matter about the Klu Klux Klan marching in black neighborhoods which they support. Or Nazis marching a holocaust neighborhoods which they support.

        They have never supported the First Amendment.

        The NRA is correct when they say their strength comes from the 5 million members that they have. It’s the 5 million organized votes that politicians are afraid of.

  6. Local money and visibility helps. Inundate your local state legislators and your Congressional folks. Get involved with whatever local groups there are (local chapters of national organizations, local shooting clubs, county sheriff [if your sheriff supports the constitution], etc.)

    Be a positive ambassador in your neighborhood and other circles. I work in the industry, so it’s easy to talk about my job and my passion for shooting.

    We have a long game to watch and a short game (2022 and 2024) to work toward. It is possible to flip Congress in two years. There are a lot of purple areas that tilted blue because so many were tired of Trump’s Twitter account. There is a lot of buyer’s remorse with the Dem Congress and Biden/Harris right now. Self-defense and security is a consensus-building topic (more so that inalienable rights and resisting government tyranny, though I agree with both). Despite what the media would have us believe, there are a lot of fence sitters who vote based on specific issues. We don’t need a lot more Republicans. We need fewer Democrats who can’t think for themselves and just parrot the party line. That is attainable for 2022.

  7. The true patriots are way outnumbered by the psychopath liberals.
    There is ONLY one way to rectify this situation and we all know what that way is.

    Whimpering in the night only emboldens the psychopaths while accelerating our fall into the abyss.

    George Washington did not whimper.
    Thomas Jefferson did not whimper.
    Patrick Henry did not whimper.
    Samuel Adams did not whimper.

    You get my drift…


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