Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Getting to the Inside

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Getting to the Inside

I'll admit it. I want to be a Kansas GOP insider, but the truth is, they don't just let anyone in. Don't ask me who "they" are, because I don't know. Right now, I'd say "they" is whoever Gov. Sam Brownback says is in charge.

And it's been that way for at least the last two years, and probably longer.

I started going different GOP events several years ago. If I mentioned specifics for my reasons for joining, I'm pretty sure I'd out myself. So, for now, I'll keep it on the down low.

I've always actively assisted in campaigns -- especially for the KS-03, which for years belonged to Dennis Moore. I'm a conservative and former Congressman Moore left the taste of yesterday's wine cooler in my mouth. That is to say, the existence of a Democrat (a liberal one at that) representing me in Washington made my teeth feel fuzzy.

I would go to the offices of whoever was running to kick him out of office and stuff envelopes and make phone calls. I never felt particularly welcome, and I was always a little turned off by the apparently required 20-year-old blonde volunteer coordinator who wanted me to sign my name to some drivel letter to the editor ghost written by some other staffer. Let's just say, I felt like my talents were wasted in those efforts, and I also felt like finding people's talents and using them in the most helpful and productive ways was not a priority. That's a little inefficient and a whole lot dumb.

A few years ago, I decided to step up my involvement. Quite simply, those politicos need me. I've held a real job in the private sector for several years. I don't get dressed up in suits to go to political picnics in July. This makes me an anomaly among the political set.

I started attending GOP events, going to different club meetings and in general getting involved with the hopes of eventually being brought into the inner circle.

So far, this effort has been an epic fail, and I'm not sure why.

I suspect the powers-that-be (whoever they are) fear regular people who don't suck up and refuse to simply go along to get along. I'll get along, but if I think a politician is doing something wrong, I have zero problem mentioning it to them. I believe next to elections that's the simplest way to hold them accountable to the people. By simply saying, I'm watching you. I saw what you did there. I disagree. No arguing. No shouting. Just, I'm your boss and I'm paying attention.

I'm not sure what exactly I mean by insider, but I know that when I attend meetings and events, I feel like an outsider more than three years into my quest to get on the inside.

I find this strange. I'm educated. I'm smart. I work hard, and I'm personable. But obviously I'm doing something wrong.

This blog is my attempt to determine where I went wrong and how to fix it. I'll document here as much as I can. Sometimes, this may not be possible, because Republican events are sometimes small, and I hope not to out myself.

I'm open to suggestions in moving to the inner circle. I don't want to be a player, but I do hope to be a voice of reason for the powers that be. I'll let you know how it goes.