Into The Breach Once More…
Since January I have embarked on a magical tour across Maryland, visiting Republican Central Committees and Republican Clubs in many counties. Rather than a widespread group depression among the faithful, as many in the media would have you believe exists, there is a collective re-grouping of these party regulars.
And there is optimism due to the election of Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee and the usage of new media.
Maryland Republicans are fortunate with former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Steele's election. Being "one of us," there is a bond that has been formed because we have shared global political experiences. Chairman Steele knows Maryland's problem with political demographics and has lived through them on many levels.
The same experiences he faced as Maryland's Republican Party chairman – and through his partisan defeats at the ballot box – have helped him understand the needs of his party at this seemingly dark time on a national basis. The RNC was wise to elect an optimistic man who has lived through tough political times.
Due to this, Maryland Republicans have a renewed optimism; and it is visible on local levels inside the party ranks. The buzzwords in Maryland have become "relevance and technology." Local politicos are starting back at their roots and becoming, once again, the voice of reason and trusted source within communities.
County committees and clubs are jumping in with both feet, into the high tech communication fast track. The locals now discuss the number of Facebook groups in which they participate and how many followers they have amassed on Twitter. Republicans have learned very quickly from the 2008 election to use the new tools that in-part defeated them.
This optimism and new media wave is not just with the rank-and-file. It has infected the Republicans in the Maryland General Assembly, too. Just a few weeks passed after the election before most Republican members created a Facebook page to start influencing and affecting a viral constituency.
The Minority Caucus in the House of Delegates has become hyperactive with information including posting excellent YouTube responses to Gov. Martin O'Malley's State of the State address. On the Senate side, the GOP caucus there has a website that could be considered the most up-to-date and best source for information in all of Annapolis.
The revolution of Republican technology is at all levels. Chairman Steele has prioritized tech issues on a national level, too.
"GOPTech" was the topic during his transition period. A tech summit was held and many of the best and brightest in the nation attended. Chairman Steele knows that communication in a fast-paced, viral age will be the key to information dissemination, and accurate information to the voting public means future GOP gains across the nation.
Maryland's GOP faithful are on this bandwagon. Local groups are working on laying the ground work to create a viral information system. In some areas it is just starting and in others it is a couple of months into the project; but, in either case, it is providing renewed commitment, spurring growth and conversation.
The Republican Party is talking outreach into neighborhoods in county meetings. The faithful are planning and teaching training sessions on grassroots activism. The party of Abraham Lincoln is preparing to march into the field looking for recruits to plug into the information stream. There is a renewed vigor and optimistic hope for the future.
Republicans in Maryland are a resilient group. They have been to the bottom, suffered defeats and remain a scorned minority in the traditional media. New media and direct disbursement of information, without the editing of political enemies, is boosting optimism. They have circled back to the basics.
Knock doors, make a personal call, smile and offer information. It is this confidence that will brighten the future of the Republican Party and it is starting in your neighborhood.