I don’t say or write a lot around church about my political involvement on the county Republican Central Committee. I try to keep these pieces of my life as rather separate. So I would point out that this blog, though referenced on such as the church web page, is actually of my own creation and expense apart from the church.
Like many local residents, I received a plethora of robocalls in the final hours leading to the recent primary elections. And though something of a political junkie, I found them as annoying as so many others who complained to me and our Central Committee.
Many who run for public office secure the services of an advisor who counsels them to use these calls. But why … when there is so much anecdotal evidence that they are distasteful and even counterproductive for the outcome sought?
The sad truth is that they work! Consultants identify that name recognition is just about the most critical ingredient in a winning campaign. Research has demonstrated that people will vote for a person whose name they have most seen and heard, even if they do not know a thing about that candidate’s positions!
Though we may all wish to simply shut down our phone lines in the days leading to an election, the actual best long-term deterrent to robo-ruptions is an informed electorate. The existence of a voting public largely engaged in an active understanding of the major issues and players would nullify the effectiveness of hit-and-run election techniques.
Our country and our state face issues of immense significance in the immediate future. The proposals as to how to address these issues are oft radically different. Now more than ever we need an engaged and knowledgeable electorate.
This is not a Republican issue alone – though it often seems that way around here, since there are more GOP candidates for everything than Democrats seeking office. Neither is it a local issue, as this annoyance is common in other regions.
Those who have been involved in this activism longer than have I (with just 3 years) tell me that they have attempted over and over to get candidates and campaigns to minimize this activity … all to no avail. I believe the trends are much against positive outcomes from these intrusions. But with a variety of critical referendum issues on the ballot and hotly contested elections, the calls are not likely to decrease anytime soon.