May 2, 2012 at 8:51 am

How to Get Involved in Politics, the One Thing You Can do to Make a Difference

by

I’ve been working professionally in national and state politics since I graduated college in ’98. In that time my friends and family routinely ask me, “how can I get involved in politics?”

The most important thing you can do is help educate others about conservatism, the Constitution and most important of all, actively counter the media’s distortions of news reports, conservative ideas, conservative candidates and U.S. History.

The best way to do this is through the use of social media.  If you catch some error in the nightly news correct it on Facebook or Twitter.  If you hear some tired piece of conventional wisdom trotted out about American History, take the opportunity to set the record straight using your Facebook or Google+ account. If some politician or Liberal is shamelessly spinning an issue do the same.  And use this website, BigFacts.org, and share the information you find here via Facebook and other social media. Each post, other than the blog articles, is formatted to fit into a Facebook status post.

The idea behind BigFacts.org is to use factoids and the personal credibility you have with your circle of influence to counter the media’s noise and start to educate the public (i.e. your friends, family and coworkers) about conservatism, American politics, conservative candidates, world events and U.S. history a little at a time.

This may not seem that earth shattering but give me a second to explain why it is.  There are two critical points to make:

1.  While the effect of the media’s liberal bias on voting behavior is probably impossible to truly know, it is powerful nonetheless. According to a 2007 Yale University study media bias contributed 8 percentage points to Democrat candidates. Regardless, it is safe to say if we had an even remotely impartial press Liberals and Democrats would get roundly defeated each and every election.  Bottom-line: the mainstream press cannot be overlooked in any election and must be contended with at every turn.

2.  If your friends don’t vote or only vote sporadically it is likely due to the fact they’ve made what seems to be a reasonable decision: they believe they don’t know enough to vote so they leave it up to those they think do. A 2006 Pew Research study showed that 60% of intermittent voters “say they sometimes don’t know enough about candidates to vote.” I would contend this is the number 1 reason why more people don’t vote and specifically why conservatives struggle at the ballot box so often, especially given America is a center-right country. These so called “intermittent voters” comprise most of our swing voters. Where do you suppose they get their news? It’s either going to be from their friends or the mainstream media. The noise, and that’s exactly what the news cycle is, noise, is so deafening that if a person possesses little in the way of historical knowledge the news is going to be largely meaningless. To sound informed many people will compensate and repeat the “noise” they’ve heard the most. If you’ve never watched “How Obama Got Elected,” you’re in for a bit of a shock.

By regularly, humbly displaying your active interest and knowledge for politics to your friends you build and establish credibility. This is precious, precious stuff. Your credibility influences folks in ways you don’t even know. Your credibility, also known as “word-of-mouth,” has likely influenced your circle of friends to buy, say, expensive items or make critical decisions about jobs, schools, what doctor to see, what dentist to use. You have very likely directly impacted the purchase of many thousands of dollars worth of electronics, cars, house hold items and who knows what simply because your friends trust you. And it is the same with politics and the news.

So, take the time to post 1 or 2 facts from this site (be careful not to over do it) every day or so and build that credibility with your friends. Moreover you’ll be building their knowledge base so that they can grow to be more informed themselves. Before long they’ll be calling you asking you who to vote for next election and, eventually, they’ll have their friends calling them.

 

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