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Tulsa, Oklahoma Campaign Management Training


As part of American Majority’s Constitution Day Training Bomb, the Tulsa 912 group will be hosting American Majority on September 17th for a Kickoff to Election 2012: Keys to Prevailing in Politics & Transforming our Nation training session in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event will be held at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 12802 S Memorial Drive in Bixby, OK. Training will begin at 11:00AM and conclude at 3:00PM.

American Majority will be unveiling new materials, covering topics such as*:

  • GOTV
  • Online Identity Management
  • Using New Media in Campaigns
  • Fundraising and Budgets

Registration for this event is $25.00 per person, and includes lunch and training materials. Reserve your tickets by registering online today!

Registrations will be accepted at the door.

For more information, please contact Seth Brown at 405-605-6338 or Seth@AmericanMajority.org.

*Presentation topics are subject to change.

Tulsa, OK Candidate Training


Every elected official, from school board member to state legislator to the President of the United States plays a vital role in shaping the policies and direction of our communities, states, and nation. These offices deserve men and women who are grounded in the principles of liberty and individual freedom. American Majority’s political training is designed to enhance your campaign effort through targeted education and resources.

American Majority Oklahoma is hosting a Candidate Training on Thursday, July 7th, in the Clubhouse of the Delaware Crossing Condominiums located at 2814 E 90th (just north of East 91st South and Delaware) in Tulsa. The training will run from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, with registration beginning at 5:45 pm. Registration is $20.00 per person.

Regardless of campaign experience, American Majority’s Candidate Training Program makes running for office easier! American Majority Candidate Training Seminars are designed specifically to educate candidates on every level how to run effective and victorious campaigns and prepare them to become successful elected officials.

The Candidate Training Program includes:

  • Lectures* from campaign veterans, including:
    • Administration & Committee Formation
    • Communication Strategy:  Messaging, Medium, and Positioning
    • Earned Media & Dealing with the Press
    • Campaign Fundraising & GOTV
  • Interaction with individuals thoroughly involved with the issues confronting your state.
  • The opportunity to network with other liberty-minded candidates.
  • A complimentary resource guidebook full of material designed to further assist candidates. 

    Political Training Registration

    Upon completion of this political training seminar, candidates will receive continuing education materials, access to podcasts and other presentations, communications curriculum, and suggestions to help them utilize think-tank resources.

    If you have any questions, please contact Seth Brown at seth@americanmajority.org or call 405-639-8896.

    American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

    *Lectures are subject to change.

The Top 10 Things I Miss About Nancy Pelosi Being Speaker of the House

With the current budget battle raging in Washington, many members of Congress have commented over the last several weeks (with all civility, of course) about how they should be fixing the problems facing our country.

The media has (fortunately or unfortunately) given ample time for many on both sides of the aisle to put in their two cents, and as crazy as it sounds, our representatives have not disappointed.

I, however, was especially pleased to see former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, have her time in the sun to tell us how horrible conservative members of Congress are.

Nancy Pelosi

Goodness, how I have missed you, Nancy.

As a matter of fact, her recent time in the spotlight reminded me about just how much I have missed her being Speaker of the House.  I even put together a list:

The Top 10 Things I Miss About Nancy Pelosi Being Speaker of the House

10. The historical transparency of Congress during her time as Speaker.

Oh, wait a minute.

9. The new tone of civility and honesty she helped create within Washington.

Okay, that didn’t happen either.

8. The way she “drained the swamp” of rampant corruption in Congress – especially within her own party.

Just kidding about that one, too.

7. Her beady eyes, maybe?

(No link provided…Thankfully)

6. Her unbelievable talent of winning Blink-Offs against Dick Cheney during State of the Union speeches?

No, really. Here’s the video proof.

5. How about the fiscal discipline and responsibility she oversaw?

Hahahah. Good one.

4. But, seriously, who suggested I cover this topic?

3. Ah, how about the patience and restraint she showed as she led the Healthcare battle even when she didn’t actually know what was in the bill?

What am I saying? This is just getting silly.

2. Um, the way she used children and the elderly to score political points?

Oh, never mind. She is STILL doing that.

1. Is there really anything I miss about her not being Speaker of the House?

Well, I do miss her having to say stuff like this after she lost the speakership.

That has to count for something, right?

What about you?  Anything you miss about Nancy Pelosi being speaker of the House?

Top 10 Dark Horse Republican Presidential Candidates

With the presidential election only about 20 months away, the list of GOP nominees is slowly starting to come into focus as “exploratory committees” and PACs are forming almost on a daily basis.

The names are well known: Gingrich, Palin, Romney, Bachmann, Pawlenty, Daniels, etc.

And while some of these names might not excite all of us (or any of us for that matter), I do have some alternative suggestions for some dark horse GOP candidates that we may want to consider…

Or maybe not.

Regardless, here are the Top 10 Dark Horse Republican Presidential Candidates:

10. Arnold Schwarzenegger…Take our word for it that he was in fact “born in Hawaii”.  And no, you cannot see the birth certificate.

9. Unnamed Crazy Lady in Arizona…I just want her to run for president so that she will stop sending me all of her whacked out, conspiratorial mass e-mails even though I have begged and pleaded to be taken off her list for two years!

8. Rand Paul / Les Paul / Chris Paul / RuPaul…The assorted candidates with the last name of Paul break down like this:

The first is probably still a few years away from becoming a serious candidate though he is rightly beloved by the Tea Party. The second Paul on the list is an entrepreneur who created some of the most well known guitars on the planet…but he is also dead. Next comes a well known NBA basketball player who has no chance because he just so happens to be a massive Obama fan.  The last Paul on the list is best known for being  ABSOLUTELY FAB-U-LOUS

7. Chuck Norris…His campaign will focus on threatening roundhouse kicks to the face to those who refuse to vote for him.

6. Seabiscuit…If we are making a Top Ten up of dark horses, we have to include Seabiscuit, right?  I mean that movie that came out about this horse a few years ago with the dude from Spiderman was awesome. I think I even cried at the end.

(And including him on this list just shows you how damn hard it was to come up with names for it.)

5. Colin Powell…No, really, just hear me out: He is still a Republican. And he is a brilliant military mind. He is also a former Secretary of State. Plus, he has great name ID.  And…

Okay, screw it.

He is nothing but a RINO liberal who still publically supports the man he would have to run against for the presidency. He knows it and we know it, too, Colin!

4. Steve King…He would have to take time off from writing his new novel which revolves a small town in Iowa where Muslim teenagers turn into bloodthirsty devil-clowns every night at sundown.

Wait, is that the wrong guy?

Oh yeah, that is Stephen King.  My bad.

3. Tom Selleck…Sure, he is a registered Independent, but he fancies himself a Libertarian. Plus, he is big on gun rights and plays a character with the last name of Reagan on his current CBS show Blue Bloods.

And I’ll be honest with you: I would work my butt off to see that mustache behind the desk in the Oval Office.

2. Ron Paul…Love him or hate him, let’s be honest in the fact that his chances are not very good. Sort of like the chances that I will not receive hate mail for the next one on this list…

1. Glenn Beck…If nothing else he would usher in a new era in politics by brining on Gold Line and Food Insurance as his official campaign sponsors, he could help finance the campaign by charging even more exorbitant fees for people to become “The Insiders of Insiders Extreme”, and he could eventually make piles upon piles of money by writing and selling a book about his campaign experiences!  Makes me wonder if Glenn is all about the money, money, money!?!?

What do you think about the list?  And do you have any other better ideas?

The Top 10 Jobs Barack Obama Should Consider Instead of Being the President


With our president AWOL on most every domestic and worldwide issue (with the exception being Michelle Obama’s war against really tasty food), we’ve come up with some potential jobs for the president to consider.   If nothing else, he can file these jobs under the “created” category as he talks about the debacle that is the stimulus.

Furthermore, we will gladly give him all of these ideas because it really is starting to appear as if he does not even want to be president anymore.  It is sort of our way of saying, “Here is the door, Mr. President.  Do not let it hit you on the way out, sir.”

So in the spirit of wanting to help Mr. Obama reach his fullest potential, here is the list of  jobs for the president to do instead of, well, being the president:

10. “Mom Jeans” Model: Yep, this is our mighty president. Be proud, America, be proud.

9. IRS Special Agent in Charge of Healthcare Enforcement: American Citizen! Where are your healthcare papers!?!?

8. Stranded Car Pusher: I’d bet a Slurpee that the car stuck in the ditch is of the Government Motors variety.

7. Boyfriend to United Nations/Foreign Leaders: The term “Escort” or “Gigolo” could easily apply as well.

6. Advocate for All Outdated, Inefficient, and Vastly Too Expensive Technologies: But Green Technology will win the future! Promise!

5. Professional Sports Watcher: What does the American Public need in these troubled times?  A strong and firm leader?  Nope. Distractions, that’s what!

4. Natural Disaster/International Incident Photography Coordinator: International crises in Japan and Libya? I’m so oblivious that I’ll go to Brazil and play soccer with a bunch of kids instead!

3. A Danseur (Which is a male ballet dancer – I had to Google it): Because he is such a dainty and delicate man, beloved the world over.

2. Kenyan Ambassador to the United States: Did you really think we could put a list like this together without a Birther joke?

1. Co-President of China: No words…No words at all.

What did you think of the list?  Any other ideas for us to pass along to him?

The Top 14 Things Said to the Wisconsin Democratic Senators by Their Spouses Upon Their Return From Illinois

This past Saturday the 14 Democratic Senators from Wisconsin who had brazenly shirked their responsibilities to the people of Wisconsin by opting for a cowardly month long escapade across the border in Illinois, finally came back to their rightful place – Wisconsin.

And while the labor union and other assorted leftists gave them a “hero’s welcome” when they “bravely” (think storming the beaches at Normandy) made their way back to the capital in Madison, evidently the welcome they received from their spouses at home was not so welcoming.

Here is just a sampling of what might have been said to them by their spouses:

(And for full disclosure, the list presented above is for entertainment – i.e. humor – purposes only.  None of the quotes or situations presented are true…as far as we know.)

14. “What’s that, Tim?  Did you just ask me what that smell was?  That’s the damn garbage I let pile up during the month you were not here to take it out!  It looked like to me that when you left you were running from all of your responsibilities – one of which is to take out our trash!”

13. “Why yes, Spencer, I did take the liberty to relocate you to the living room for an indefinite period seeing as how you decided a month ago to take the liberty to relocate to Illinois for an indefinite period.”

12. “Oh, no, Timothy, I did miss you.  But when you said you were leaving for a while and didn’t know when you would be back, I decided to move on.  You remember our pool boy, Kevin, right?”

11. “No, Jon, what that letter says is that we have 30 days to vacate the premises not vacation from the premises.  It’s called foreclosure, and it’s what happens in the real world when people massively overspend, miss work for a month, and can’t pay their bills, you idiot!”

10. “All your suits are at the dry cleaners, Dave.  Oh, wait, never mind.  They are all at Goodwill because I threw them out after you left me all alone for a month, you jerk.”

9. “Well, Jim, I couldn’t exactly let the Lego Millennium Falcon sit completed on the kitchen table for God knows how long after you ran off to Illinois.  But don’t cry.  You can put it back together, dear.  Surely it won’t take that long.”

8. “Were you not in Civics class that day, Robert?  A recall is when the people decide to remove or replace an elected official before their term is up because they were doing a crappy job.  Sound familiar?”

7. “You were gone for one month, Chris, and all you brought back was this shirt that says ‘I holed up in a motel just across the border from Wisconsin like a scared little girl for an entire month because I refused to do my job, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt’?  Really!?!?”

6. “Sure I ate out every night, Julie!  Did you really expect me to cook for the entire month you were gone?”

5. “No, Mark, those UAW fellas you know didn’t drop off an envelope full of cash while you were gone.  And even if they had, I wouldn’t tell you!  You left me all alone for a month and accomplished absolutely nothing with your stupid publicity stunt!”

4. “Yes, Fred, I saw you on the TV.  And I heard what you said about doing the right thing.  But let me tell you something, buster, the right thing was to come home, do the job you were elected to do, and take care of your damn family.”

3. “I have no idea how long it is going to take to do a month’s worth of laundry, Lena.  But you’ll have plenty of time to do it in the next couple of weeks while I am out partying with my buddies every night.”

2.  “It’s not like I can return it, Kathleen!  Do you know how many miles I have put on this Harley in the month you gone hanging out in Illinois and not doing your job?”

1. “Oh, are you looking for your Dom Perignon, Robert?  I’m so sorry but I drank it and replaced it with some Pabst Blue Ribbon now that you are all about representing the Working Man, you hypocrite fleebagger.”

What do you think of the list?  And what would you say to these men and women if you had the chance to meet them?

Top 10 Ideas for MSNBC to Try In Order to Increase their Ratings

I am just going to come out say it: I loathe MSNBC.  I really do.  I cannot stand that network.  At all.

And because of this, I LOVE the fact that they consistently get beat down in the ratings by Fox News.  Seriously, I delight in their misery.

So it is that I came up with some ideas for MSNBC in order to try in an attempt to raise their normal viewership (somewhere in the neighborhood of 87-92 folks nightly) to at least the lower triple digits.

In fact, I would be so proud of them if they hit 100 viewers.  I am getting choked up just thinking about it.

Thus, here are the “Top 10 Ideas for MSNBC to Try In Order to Increase their Ratings”

10. Integrate a multi-colored “Chris Matthews Tingle Meter” (with suggestive musical soundtrack) into the telecasts of Hardball for those moments when President Obama really gets Chris going.

Bow chick a bow wow.

9. You know what?  Forget it.  From now on have Chris Matthews host the show in. the. nude.

8. Bring “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” back as a 3-D show.

Because there is nothing like watching an overbearing, condescending, snarky, and maniacal liar in 3-D.  Nothing.

7. Quietly change the name of the network to MSNB-FOX.

6. Introduce yet another primetime show with a screaming, white, balding, middle aged, liberal male as the host…

What’s that?

They did that already?

Well, hello Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz.  Nice to see you both.  Thanks for coming.  Good to have you on board.

5. Six Words to Ratings Gold: Air Lockup 24 hours a day.

4. Highlight the fact that Maddow is a lesbian…If you know what I am saying.

3. All MSNBC shows will have one conservative guest each night.  However, said conservative guest MUST BE personally attacked and berated to the point of the show’s host utterly and awkwardly embarrassing themselves and the network.

Because you know, that has been such a ratings bonanza in the past.

2. Present a week-long expose on the Koch Brothers in which each MSNBC host magically connects them to the conspiracy to cover up the following stories:

A. The overwhelming evidence of the Loch Ness Monster (JUST REPLACE THE L IN “LOCH” WITH A K!).

B. How William Howard Taft’s failed economic policies massively benefited Koch Industries during the year 1912 even though Koch Industries wasn’t actually founded until 1940.  Whatever.

C. The role the Koch Brothers played in the slow and agonizing death of the Hollywood career of the dude who played Screech on Saved by the Bell.

D. How the Kochs knew about and failed to stop the framing of my cousin Jerry who got fired from McDonald’s after he allegedly got caught smoking doobies in the walk-in freezer at the back of the kitchen during the summer of 1989.

1. Say goodbye to the MSNBC slogan of Lean Forward

Say hello to the new MSNBC slogan:  Bend Over.

So, what do you think of the list?  You got any other ideas?

Tulsa Battlefield Training, April 23


Our nation was founded by ordinary citizen activists desiring a government that was accountable to the people.  Today, ordinary citizens in every citizen and in every community are tired of the status quo and are ready to get involved like they never have before to demand accountability.

American Majority’s purpose is to address these passions by providing education and resources to help you reach your goals.

To that end, American Majority desires to challenge concerned citizens to turn their focus to state and local issues with the first annual Tulsa Battlefield Training.

This event will provide those in attendance with two things:

First, the Tulsa Battlefield Training will give those in attendance a clear picture of what is happening at both the state level and local level with government spending, waste, and clear explanation regarding how all levels of government got into this mess.

Secondly, the Tulsa Battlefield Training will also provide tool, resources, and specific ways that attendees can get involved in the local government structure – whether as informed citizen activists or candidates for local office.

Confirmed Presenters Include:

  • Ned Ryun, President of American Majority
  • Michael Carnuccio, President of Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs
  • A Local Blogger Panel Consisting of Michael Bates of Batesline.com; Jamison Faught of MuskogeePolitico.com; and Peter J. Rudy of OklahomaWatchdog.org
  • Plus Presentations by the American Majority Oklahoma Staff

The Tulsa Battlefield Training will take place on Saturday, April 23rd at Tulsa Technology Center located at 3420 S Memorial Dr. from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Doors open at 8:30 am.

Registration is $20 per person (which includes lunch and all materials) – space is limited.


Political Training Registration

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Seth Brown at 405-639-8896 or e-mail him at Seth@americanmajority.org

You do not want to miss this event!

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

The Karate Kid and Ronald Reagan

As a child of the 1980’s, I protested vehemently when my wife recently went and rented the updated, Will Smith-ified version of The Karate Kid. The film stars his son, Jaden, and is a remake of sorts from the CLASSIC film of the same name that came out when I was six.

And yes, I absolutely adore the original.  I love it for a number of reasons: Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi, a 37 year old Ralph Macchio playing a teenage Daniel, and Elisabeth Shue simply being Elisabeth Shue.

Plus, the crane kick at the end still gets me.  And the scene where Daniel dresses up like a shower for the dance and then gets chased by the Cobra Kai in their skeleton costumes is awe-some.  But I digress.

In regards to the updated version, it was not as bad as I thought it would be.  Jackie Chan does a decent job as the maintenance man turned martial arts teacher and I grew to love little bitty Jaden Smith as the Daniel character.  Plus, using China as the setting was a brave move that paid off.

And while there is no crane kick at the end of the film, they really did do a nice job with the sappy and victorious ending.  (I don’t want to completely ruin it for anyone who has not seen the film.)

Now why do I bring all this up?  Because while the idea of re-making a classic film that came out only 27 years ago makes me nervous, the folks who produced it changed the movie up just enough to not be a total rip-off of the original.

And thankfully, they also inserted enough subtle references to the original to pay honor and homage to it.

Basically, those involved did their best not to totally re-make The Karate Kid but rather make a film that followed the same story but in a new and fresh way while also giving the original its proper respect.

Which brings me to Ronald Reagan.

Anybody else notice how seemingly each week some potential GOP presidential nominee distastefully communicates that they are the new and updated version of the Gipper?  Does this make anybody else sick to their stomach?

This hit a fever pitch a few weeks ago during the celebration of what would have been Reagan’s 100th birthday.  From what I saw and read it very much seemed that some of the potential nominees wanted to exhume the guy’s body and use it as their future running mate.

But guess what? Just as there will never be another Ralph Macchio/Elisabeth Shue version of The Karate Kid, there is not another Ronald Reagan waiting in the wings to run for president.  Seriously, that person does not exist.

The simple fact is that Ronald Reagan will justifiably forever be the torch bearer of the conservative movement.

But lest we forget that he was a once-in-a-lifetime president, politician, and leader.  He was as transformative, charismatic, and strong as any public figure in the last 150 years.

So while we should learn a lesson from Will Smith (wait for it) and emulate Reagan’s legacy and philosophies (such as striving for a more limited government, lower taxes, and a firm hand to spread freedom around the world), we should also be encouraging our up and coming leaders to TRY NOT TO BE THAT MAN ALL OVER AGAIN!

Seriously, can’t there be a presidential hopeful who pays homage to the man without implying they could be our generation’s version of him?

Furthermore, the need for a new type of Reaganesque leader on the right dovetails nicely with this article about just how great the need is to groom and raise up a new “Great Communicator” on the conservative side of the aisle.

And no, Ronald Reagan cannot be that person for us.

Thus, the application to these truths is that as a conservative movement we must identify, encourage, and support someone who is like Reagan without trying to be Reagan all over again.

And, yes, that does sound a lot like how Will Smith handled remaking what is perhaps the greatest movie of my generation.

Transitioning from a National Mindset to a Local One

With the end of mid-term election season quickly approaching, nearly every poll, blog post, and even MSM news story has come to a similar conclusion: at least one house in Congress (and possibly both) is almost guaranteed to flip from one party to another.  And on a larger scale conservative and center/right candidates should also make rather significant gains in statehouses and governorships from sea to shining sea.

Frankly, much good will hopefully come out of this election cycle.

But is our work done on November 2nd?  Have we truly changed our country after the election results are all tallied?  Are we to sit back and simply revel in what we have done before focusing on 2012?

The answer to each of these questions is clearly NO.  The unavoidable truth is that there is MUCH more work to be done.

However, I don’t mean just on a national scale – I mean in our own backyards.

The state I live in, Oklahoma, does something very interesting each fall when people are thinking about holiday plans, the end of the school semester, and anything other than politics: they have school board candidates in every district across the state file to run for office…during the first Monday through Wednesday in December.

Yep, if you want to run for school board in Oklahoma, you have to file at the most random time possible.

What this also means is that a month after the election season finally “ends” for 2010, a new one starts right back up.  And most people don’t even know it.

In fact, a majority of people probably have no clue that people are filing for an office that directly impacts their kids and their communities in some very dramatic ways.  And it is only natural that if they don’t know about school board filings, they surely do not know about the school board elections.

And we wonder why school board elections on the second Tuesday in February across Oklahoma typically see voter turnout anywhere between 3%-5% in each community.

Thus, for many school board candidates ignorance is bliss at the ballot box.

But so what?  Who cares about school boards anyway?  You should.  Why?

Because think about this:

The President of the United States chooses and thus advises the Secretary of Education, who heads the Education Department.  The Education Department is pressured by the National Education Association (a powerful and liberal teachers union) in a variety of ways to impact education legislation in Congress.  Then the same issues being pushed by the NEA at the national level are then also pushed by local chapters – the Oklahoma Education Association in my home state – who also lobby and look to persuade state legislators, the state Department of Education, school administrators, and school board members about issues they deem important.  In turn, the state Department of Education and state legislature then set guidelines and mandates for school district administrators and school board members across the state who in turn pass them on directly to the teachers who spend 8 hours a day inside the classroom with our children.

Thus, our last line of defense in this chain of national impact at the local level in education are school board members who are willing to stand up and fight for fiscal responsibility, authentic educational accountability, school choice, unbiased teaching materials, and unheeded transparency within the education system.

So, sure, it is great that the House is going to change hands in a few weeks, and I am excited as anyone to see folks from across the country stand up in defense of our freedom and liberty over the coming years.

But if you really want to impact your community and the future of your kids, don’t stop after November.  Don’t allow your natural inclination to rest and relax after your victory so that you lose sight of your local community.  Don’t let the strides we have made on the national level get overlooked at the local level – especially with school boards.  Don’t cease working to save and change the country you love so much.

The time is coming to transition from a national mindset to a local one.  The time is coming for conservatives to run for these local and vitally important offices or energetically support those who do run.  The time is coming to get off the sidelines in local elections just like we have in the national ones.

Simply put, the time is coming when we will continue to work for freedom and liberty in our local educational systems.

Seeing the Light Born of a Dark Two Years

In the middle of October, 2008, when I still had my own personal blog (never again) I predicted that Barack Obama would win the Presidential election.  Though the poll numbers were still pretty tight at that point, the writing was on the wall as far as I was concerned.  Thus I conceded a month early and wrote a post about what conservatives should do next after the November elections.

The purpose of the post (entitled “The Conservative Reaction: A Call to Action”) was to ask the question:

“What should we as Conservatives do after the election we face of an overwhelming Democratic House and Senate and a newly elected Democratic President?”

Now, two years later, I wanted to go back and see how conservatives have done.  Thus, here is what I wrote as the “Five Things I am Going to Try to do During LUPO – Life Under President Obama”.  Check them out along with my new comments underneath.

Number 1: As a conservative, Barack Obama’s election means I must stand firm in my convictions and be ready to defend my positions…

First off, I know of many folks who immediately started reading up on the free market system, the constitution, and the history of the founding fathers in order to begin educating themselves.  Additionally, conservatives have been challenged by prominent conservatives to know where they stand and why.  And overall, conservatives have started going on the offensive more and more as the country has been taken down the road to even more massive government and less individual freedom.

Because people have embraced this responsibility, it has truly been incredible to see how many folks are now openly touting their conservative beliefs and their love for liberty.  Well done, American public.

Number 2: As a conservative, Barack Obama’s election means I must be creative in how I get my message to the masses…

When I wrote this post two years ago I was really curious how this was going to play out.  But two years later, I see how conservatives are using tools like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and conservative websites to truly spread the message of conservatism effectively and strategically.  Heck, even conservative candidates are (finally) eschewing traditional media sources and taking their message straight to the people.

It is truly amazing to know that our better ideas and principled positions are finally starting to reach the average citizen – and it is humbling to know that American Majority has been at the forefront of this movement through our trainings, outreach, and education of a new generation of concerned Americans.

Score another one for the good guys.

Number 3: As a conservative, Barack Obama’s election means I must unite with those around me who believe as I do…

The implications of this advice are obvious two years later – The Tea Party Movement.  Not only has the movement grown exponentially since the spring of 2009, but it has also become a political force in all parts of the country.  And while the MSM mocked it, misunderstood it, and tried its best to kill it, the Tea Party folks have continually gotten more and more excited about cleaning house in Washington.  Thanks for that, President Obama; in reality, we owe you big time.

Oh, and just to channel my inner Al Gore, since I wrote about the need to unite and come together about 6 months before the Tea Parties started, I will take full and complete credit for them.  Yea for me.

Number 4: As a conservative, Barack Obama’s election means I must not give into the lie that conservatism is dying…

Well, obviously this is not the case.  Even though the pundits declared a new era in politics and the death of the conservative movement, we’ll see just how dead we are on November 2.

However, as a side note, if the (hopefully) decisive election results don’t clearly state the case for the country’s desire for smaller government, less spending, more accountability, and decidedly more transparency, then maybe Chris Christie can get in someone’s face and explain it to them nice and plain-like.

Number 5: Lastly, as a conservative, Barack Obama’s election means I must embrace the hope that even though things look dark now, there is a light upon the dawn…

Ah, yes, hope.  Not a false hope or a government-built hope, but a genuine and authentic “clean-out-the-halls-of-Congress-kind-of-hope” is what I feel when I look around the country and see people working hard to change our country for the better.  It truly is a blessing to see that apathy is slowly being replaced once again by the American desire for freedom, liberty, and prosperity.

Thus, before we battle for the next 20+ days for the future of this country, take a second to enjoy the fact that the horizon is breaking forth through the morning dark.  Relish the thought that soon our anger, our disgust, and our weariness will soon be replaced by a steadfast resolve to hold a new batch of elected representatives responsible for their actions and their votes.

For it is nearing the time to go from educated and informed voter to become educated and informed constituents once again – this time with a new focus and a renewed strength to see the American Dream make its comeback.

And be sure that while our days have been dark for the past two years, the light of freedom will show itself very bright very soon.  For this reason, I am thankful and encouraged by what has transpired within this movement during the past two years and what will happen many years into the future.

Fight on, fellow Americans, fight on!

Lessons From My Three Year Old Daughter

My three year old daughter is awesome.  She’s got more energy than Lance Armstrong, she has an active and never ending imagination, and she is finally (God bless her) figuring out the difference between right and wrong.

More amazing than that, however, is that my daughter has taught me much in regards to advancing the Conservative cause.

(Quick editorial note from my daughter: “Daddy, I am almost four!”)

Thus, here are three lessons I have learned from my daughter that I want to share with fellow Conservatives:

1. Conservatives need to learn to share and play well with other Conservatives…

This is a constant battle at our home.   For some reason when my daughter has friends over she becomes territorial, greedy, and stubborn with her bounty of toys.  She goes from being a princess to being a total monster.

But if you think about it the conservative movement is much the same way.  Within our tent I have seen Tea Parties, 9/12 Groups, and especially our main political party ally be absolutely unwilling at times to share best practices, imaginative ideas, contact lists, and chances to work together.

Granted, in many cases there are certain laws we must be careful to abide by. 

However, if we fail to share key information and ideas with each other (in the proper time and place), we continue to lose the opportunity to unite under common ideas and banners for a common good.  The unfortunate consequence are missed strategic instances to advance our cause – all because of turf wars, information hoarding, and, (to put it bluntly) an unwillingness to share credit.

It is almost as frustrating as my daughter screaming about another kid playing with her Dora backpack.

2. Conservatives need to learn to make “Good Choices”…

The phrase “Good Choices” is the battle hymn of our household.  By this constant drumbeat we are doing our best to make our daughter realize that her choices (good or bad) have consequences.

Indeed, this too is something that all Conservatives need to learn.  Why?  Because as our movement grows and continues to prosper, all of us will increasingly be under the scrutiny of the Left.  At this very moment they are patiently waiting for us to say something “racist”, do something “extreme”, or make a choice that they can use to advance their narrative of us being “hate-mongers”. 

Folks, it is not enough to simply talk about integrity – we must also live lives of integrity.  We must focus on why our ideas and philosophies work better for more people.  On the flip side, we must avoid only talking about how horrible someone is or how much we don’t like them just because they believe and live differently than we do. 

Simply, we must stay above the fray of the nasty, dirty, and personal attacks from those who don’t agree with us.  Let them hate all they want.  This is who they are. 

As individuals and as groups we must make wise choices about how we go about changing our country and taking it back to what our Founders envisioned.  We must not become that which we despise.  Like my daughter, we must learn to make “good choices”.

3. Conservatives need to learn to “use our words”…

As crazy as it sounds, my daughter throws the occasional fit (yes, it’s true).  She starts screaming and crying and very quickly gets completely incoherent.  Thus, she fails to communicate to us what the problem is.

It is in these situations that my wife and I say to her, “It’s okay – use your words.”  What we are doing is trying to calm her down enough to effectively tell us what she is thinking and feeling and why she is so upset.

Why is this important for conservatives?  As people who truly believe in this movement, we must learn how to effectively communicate our views, our plans, the truth, and why our ideas are better for this country.  We must understand how to communicate as candidates for public office, as those who will hold our elected officials accountable, and to those who will increasingly want to fight this battle alongside us.

At the same time, we must use our words carefully and effectively in the midst of our righteous anger, an opponent that will do anything to win, and an electorate at large that is oftentimes apathetic and uneducated about the issues.

I truly believe in my heart that the ideas of the Conservative Movement are better, wiser, and add nothing but prosperity and freedom to our nation.  Thus, I am choosing to use my words to encourage, teach, and change this country through those ideas.

If we as the Conservative Movement can learn to do all of these things, we will be well on our way to winning the battle that lies ahead for our liberty and freedom.

And those are not bad lessons to learn from a three year old.

Guymon, OK Activist Training

Our nation was founded by ordinary citizen activists desiring a government that was accountable to the people. Today, ordinary citizens across our nation are tired of the status quo and ready to engage for the betterment of their communities.

American Majority is pleased to announce an Activist Training will be conducted on Saturday, September 25th in Guymon, OK to provide citizens with the tools necessary to become effective activists.

The training will take place at the Chamber of Commerce located at 711 S. E Street in Guymon from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM.  Registration opens at 12:30 PM and the cost is $25 per attendee.

The training will be conducted by a certified American Majority Mechanic Trainer (read more about your trainer at the end of this article).

Topics* to be covered during the Training include:

  • The System (an in-depth look at the system we’re in, how we got there, and what we can do about it)
  • Grassroots Action (ideas and practical steps to engage our communities and organize a coalition of volunteers)
  • Precinct Power (changing your community one precinct at a time with specific micro-targeting and focused action)
  • Patriots 2.0 (effectively utilizing social networking tools, blogs, wiki projects and other technologically-driven platforms)

Full training materials, samples and supplements will be provided to help you apply what you learn to your organization, candidate, cause or community.

Political Training Registration

If you have any questions or would like additional information, contact Lynn Ballinger at Lynn@AMMechanics.org or call 620-287-3311.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change.

About Your Trainer

Lynn Ballinger is a marketing and public relations professional in southwest Kansas.  She is a past Western Kansas Director for Concerned Women for America.  She has been a volunteer on numerous campaigns, organized legislative luncheons, congressional letter writing campaigns and patriotic essay contests for area schoolchildren.  She currently serves on the Finney County Fair Board and the Southwest Arts & Humanities Council.   Lynn is also a member of First Southern Baptist Church of Garden City, KS and is most proud of her two children – Alexandra & Benjamin.

The trainer for this event is a certified American Majority Mechanic Trainer as part of the American Majority Mechanics Program.  This individual was identified, trained and certified to conduct Activist Trainings on behalf of American Majority.

The American Majority Mechanics Program was launched in 2010 with goal of training citizen-activists to equip others to become engaged in their state and local communities.  The program is named after the roughly 30 citizens who called themselves “Mechanics” and organized an intelligence network designed to monitor and inform the citizenry about British activities in New England colonies on the eve of American independence.  Among its most notable members was Paul Revere.  For more information on become an American Majority mechanic, please contact us.

Norman, OK Activist Training

Our nation was founded by ordinary citizen activists desiring a government that was accountable to the people.  Today, ordinary citizens across our nation are tired of the status quo and ready to engage for the betterment of their communities. American Majority’s political training addresses these passions by providing education and resources to help you meet your goals.

American Majority Oklahoma is pleased to announce an Activist Training will be conducted on Tuesday, September 14th , in Norman, OK, to provide citizens with the tools necessary to become effective activists.

The political training will take place at Coach’s Restaurant located at 102 W Main in Norman from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  Registration and dinner begins at 6:00 pm.  The cost is FREE with the purchase of food, but donations will be accepted.

However, space is limited, and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Topics* to be covered during the Training include:

  • Building Coalitions and Reaching Your Community (ideas and practical steps to engage your community and organize a coalition of volunteers)
  • Government 101 (how government operates, how legislative and executive bodies work, how to get involved)
  • Holding Government Accountable (how to hold leaders accountable once they are in office)
  • Effectively Communicating Your Views (how to write effective letters to the editor, opinion editorials and blogs, using social networking tools and wiki projects)

Full training materials, samples and supplements will be provided to help you apply what you learn to your organization, candidate, cause or community.

Political Training Registration

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Seth at 639-8896 or e-mail seth@americanmajority.org.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change.

Avoid Being the “Zombie Candidate”

Among the seven candidates in the recent Republican primary for Oklahoma’s Fifth District Congressional seat were a current state House member (“Candidate A”), a former state House member who previously ran for this seat 4 years ago (“Candidate B”), and the former director of the largest Baptist church camp in the country (“Candidate C”).

Here is what happened on Election Day: “Candidate A” received 18% of the vote while “Candidate B” received 32% of the vote.

And in a stunning and surprising win, “Candidate C” (the former church camp director) received 34% of the vote.

But those results only tell half the story…

Who Are These Guys?

As my buddies Trait and Brett have previously and masterfully documented here and here, Oklahoma’s primary season was quite entertaining and many lessons should be learned from many of the races.

But this Fifth District race was especially interesting because of the unlikely result.

In reality, this primary was supposed to be a two-horse race between “Candidate A” (who had the backing of much of the business community) and “Candidate B” (who had been actively campaigning for the office for the past 2 years).

But something funny happened on the way to the voting booth.

As the campaign really began heating up, it became apparent that there were three candidates who were going to battle for the nomination and not two as previously believed.

“Candidate A” had raised A LOT of cash and had some decent TV ads.  He had also gotten some good press over the last couple of years in the state House and had viable name ID.

Unfortunately, apart from that he was a very bland candidate with no real narrative to set him apart from “Candidate B” and “Candidate C”.  It was almost as if he was a “zombie candidate” in that he ran a decent, well funded campaign but did not do nearly enough to set himself apart and motivate enough voters to cast their ballots for him.

On the flip side, “Candidate B” had been campaigning for two years, had also raised a ton of money, was very active among the grassroots, and had spent big money on TV ads that highlighted (over and over) his military service.  He constantly communicated how he had helped “prosecute” the War in Iraq and how he had won a bronze star for his service.

That was his narrative, and he pushed it and pushed it and pushed it.

That leaves “Candidate C”.  A political newcomer, “Candidate C” quietly built a massive volunteer army, went to every political and civic event on the calendar, and used his church connections to build name ID and raise a substantial amount of money little by little around the district.

Moreover, the narrative he pushed could be encapsulated in his campaign slogan: “We’ll never change the status quo in Washington BY SENDING THE STATUS QUO TO WASHINGTON (emphasis mine).

Armed with this message and narrative as the ultimate political outsider, not only did “Candidate C” force his way into a runoff, but his win in the primary caught many people off guard and even had “Washington Republicans scratching their heads”.

In the end, “Candidate C” came out of nowhere and “Candidate B” finished strong partly because of the narratives they pushed and how they stood apart from their fellow competitors.

Unfortunately “Candidate A” somehow forgot the age old phrase that “People don’t buy the steak, they buy the sizzle” and lost out on reaching the runoff with a disappointing result.

What Can Potential Candidates Learn?

There is a great lesson to be learned from this race and others from around Oklahoma in regards to how candidates can differentiate themselves from their opponents.  These lessons are especially important before primaries when candidates actually agree on many issues.

So how do candidates stand apart from the crowd when running for public office and avoid becoming “zombie candidates” with no real flair or sizzle?

1. Push a Distinct Narrative/Identity: The example from the Fifth District race captures perfectly the role a narrative/identity plays in picking up votes.

2. Push a Different and Distinct Message: While this may be easy during a general election, the Democratic primary for governor in Oklahoma is a great example of how one candidate stood apart from her competitor before the primary by pushing an entirely different message.

In what ended as a surprise win, the message of the current Lieutenant Governor during her gubernatorial campaign has been one of social issues such as equal pay for women, children’s issues, and education reform.  She has pushed these issues in a very calm, cool, and personal way and in a consistent manner.

However, her competitor, the current Attorney General, focused his message mainly on jobs and the economy.  While his message was definitely timely and adequate, it did not convey the same type of emotional response or passion of his opponent’s message.  While some say the Attorney General was also outworked and out campaigned, the difference in message was also very obvious.

Subsequently, though he was heavily favored to win, the Attorney General narrowly lost to the Lieutenant Governor in the gubernatorial primary by 1,493 votes.

3. Campaign Differently than Your Competition: Lastly, a great lesson can be learned from taking the high road and avoiding the type of negative campaign tactics the electorate at large does not appreciate.

An example of this occurred during the Republican primary for Attorney General in Oklahoma.  With both candidates working hard with much the same message, one candidate decided to go negative in a TV spot.  The strategy apparently backfired as this local blog points to the fact that the candidate who was attacked saw his poll numbers and fundraising efforts increase mightily in the weeks after the ad aired.

It must be pointed out that the candidate who was attacked never fired back at his opponent but rather stayed on message and stayed above the fray.  In the end he won the primary handily by 12 points even though he did not raise nearly as much money as his opponent.

In summary, these few examples show how candidates must run their campaigns in such a way that allows them to stand out in the crowd.  If you are a candidate, whether through your narrative, your message, or by the way you campaign, differentiating yourself in any way from your fellow candidates is vitally important if you truly want to win your election.

And if you do these things, you can and will avoid becoming the dreaded “zombie candidate” in your race.

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