The Left is Gunning for Idaho: Reclaim Idaho - Part 2 (and What to do About it)
The Idaho Tribune piles on to show that Reclaim Idaho is a progressive operation. The Tribune provides screenshots of social media posts of its employees and supporters. Pictures of its campaign contributions are at the link. Pretty tight connections to Antifa. Much confirms what Brian Almon wrote last week in his The Left is Gunning for Idaho: Reclaim Idaho Edition. This proposition has been demonstrated.
Conservatives need to get to the point where we ask ourselves what are we going to do about it.
An interesting tidbit from the Tribune's Samantha Collins concerns Luke Mayville, Reclaim's Founder.
Luke penned an article titled “How Progressives Win in Rural America” detailing his “grass roots” activism throughout the state involving hundreds of progressive Democrats.
Luke believes rural America can become a “hotbed of progressive politics.”
It would have been even more helpful if Samantha read the article and laid out the Reclaim plan. Mayville's article appeared in Commonweal Magazine, a left-wing Catholic website, but a not uninteresting site. A couple of features in Mayville's plan.
His strategy is to build personal relations and trust with the voters that he is appealing to. The TLDNR (Too Long Did Not Read) is that the signature drive worked because it was personal, interactive, and appealed from local resident to local resident. Discussing the Medicaid expansion program. Mayville writes:
During the signature drive and in the months leading up to the vote, the efforts of our county teams became local campaigns in themselves. Volunteers appeared on the nightly news and the front pages of newspapers. County leaders were recognized for their work with awards from local civic groups. Volunteers developed confidence as persuasive speakers and organizers. They developed lasting relationships, and many spoke of discovering the extent to which others in their community shared many of their own core commitments. Several county leaders stepped up to run for office for the first time, advocating for Medicaid expansion along the way.
What all of this amounted to was a unique, if old-fashioned, strategy of persuasion. Rather than rely exclusively on poll-tested advertisements on television and social media, we challenged local residents to appeal to their neighbors directly. It may not be true—as many progressives dream it to be—that bold appeals and face-to-face persuasion can reliably convert rural voters to the progressive side of every issue. But when it comes to many bread-and-butter issues of economic justice—stagnant wages, rural hospitals going bankrupt, public schools closed for lack of funding, small businesses squeezed out by corporate consolidation—these realities are deeply felt, and face-to-face appeals can persuade voters that an alternative is possible. People who might not consider themselves progressive can be rallied to causes that make their lives and those of their neighbors more free and secure.
In some Idaho counties, loyal teams of five to ten volunteers bore the brunt of the work. Elsewhere, a groundswell of volunteers joined the effort. In Bonner County, the mostly rural county where I grew up, there were eventually over two hundred people who carried petitions. Once the initiative had qualified for the ballot, many of those volunteers continued as local spokespeople for the cause all the way up to Election Day—discussing the issue with neighbors, writing letters to the editor, even appearing on radio shows to debate local politicians. Medicaid expansion would win Bonner County with a solid majority of the vote, despite the fact that Trump had won the county by a 35-point margin just two years earlier. At last count, there were 2,471 Bonner County residents newly enrolled in the Medicaid expansion program, many able to see a doctor for the first time in their adult lives.
Ask yourself if Republicans are willing to do the same thing in an organized, methodical way. If not, then we will probably watch Reclaim go from victory to victory.
Mayville's accomplishments are impressive. It is time to learn from him in the sphere of political operations.