From time to time I like to use a quote from Edmund Burke, the Irish author, politician, and political theorist. Some may think it is somewhat confusing that I would use quotes from a devout conservative! Burke moved from Ireland to London and became a Member of Parliament for a long period of time. Nonetheless, Burke’s words seem full of wisdom and moral decency. Something that is sorely missing in American political activities today. For the purposes of this post I would like to focus on this quote from Burke from his work on Humility.
I think there is a lot of truth in that quote. It some point in time all of us who have been involved with political contests had to start somewhere. Tip O’Neill, the venerable Boston pol, served in the United States House of Representatives from 1953 until 1987 said it best “all politics is local” and that’s where most of us got our start in a local and district campaigns. For me it was a political race for a state senate seat in the legislature nearly 40 years ago. I have learned a lot about political campaigns from the 25 or so local and district campaigns I have managed since then. But two things are certain. First, nothing happens in political campaigns until some people decide to get off their iPads, or forget about Monday Night Football at the local pub, or turn off your TV and miss or record a few episodes of the Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. And secondly, there need to be new and younger people. I have nothing against the good old Democrats who have labored in the trenches for years and years. God bless them all. But I also know that nothing discourages a “newbie” to political campaigns and activism than being told “we tried that in 1988 and it didn’t work” without giving a reason for why it didn’t work. If you are new to becoming involved in a political campaign, you are extremely valuable to local and district campaigns. Carry on and don’t get put off by the old hacks. All that being said, here is first thing you should consider for becoming a Progressive Democrat wanting to get involved in a local political campaign.
I think it is important for you to know yourself. I know that sounds silly but I have used it in all kinds of campaigns that I have managed. It is a simple personality test, The Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator. However, it costs money, so for our purposes we will use another personality test on the Myers-Briggs and is free to take online. http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality Once you know four letter type you can get a brief description of it here http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.htm?bhcp=1 There is a lot of information on the web regarding the Myers-Briggs types if you are interested in learning more. Amazon has two really good books on type too; Gifts Differing and Type Talk are available used for little or nothing. If you would like to ask me a question about how your type would fit into a campaign just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to respond. This will give yourself a better understanding of where you fit in a local cam and district campaigns and why.