Since this is an attempt to inform people as to our activities and strategies, it is also an attempt to create a document that serves future potential third party candidates.
While I had prepared to talk more on the campaign, one reader has contacted me with a question that is both timely and relevant. Much like a well run classroom, there must be the flexibility to address good issues as they come to the surface.
One person asked me to address the issue related to whether or not it would be wise to embrace other candidates who have lost in primary elections. This is a great question for exploration.
In general, there is an old saw that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. This often is the case in politics, especially if you are on the fringe and not a major party adherent.
First, consider that no one has an exclusive franchise on good ideas. Second, assuming that all the candidates are sincere in reaching the goal of acting in the best interest of the people as they envision those interests, then you may have more in common than not. Third, there is always benefit in working toward a similar end.
Never deny a good idea for purposes of creating an issue. It violates the rules related to running an honest and sincere campaign. Sure, you might get more votes, but you are walking on shaky ground and will always feel uncomfortable when that subject arises.
There are alliances in politics, often for the destruction of the leading candidate. Sure, you always need to run against the other candidate, but you have a choice of attempting to run harder or attempting to trip up the leader. Take the higher road. Short term, this sucks. Long term, it provides you with integrity. If you think change will happen overnight, you are in the wrong business. Patience is a virtue in good politics.
Always be careful when seeking or accepting allies. Remember they too have a constituency to which they answer. Don’t be unrealistic in demanding conditions for alliance. Instead, impose those limitations on your acceptance rather than they offer. If it works, fine. If not, you have clearly set your position as to how you feel toward their offer.
Remember that today is not tomorrow. The sands will shift during the course of the campaign. What seemed acceptable one day may prove difficult later. Alliances, by their very nature, can only exist if the parties are independent of each other but have a mutual interest. A complete embracing of the other’s platform denies them of their independence. Do not expect this blind loyalty.
That said, do not reject out of hand any offers for consolidation. There are benefits such as more feet on the ground, broader thoughts in your campaign, and a sense of mutual concern for the issue.
Never, and I mean never, reject any offer of alliance without speaking to the party making the offer.
Do not forgot that by embracing the offer, you are also assuming all the baggage that comes with it. To think that you will only enjoy the benefits is pure folly. You will be tagged with the sins of another. Thus, it is important to weigh the offer in this light.
Similarly, you must consider it in reverse when you are making the overture.
Weigh the situation, then act in the interest of your cause. Do not submit to pressure just because you need the immediate bump in exposure. It simply is not worth it.
Using this, let’s consider it in the current context of the Rhode Island governor’s race. It is timely in that there is a controversy over Ken Block. Should Healey accept Block’s support if offered? Should Healey solicit Block to join the effort? All hypothetical, but all possible.
First, consider the common ground, which in this case there is much. Second, consider the uncommon ground, which in this case there is quite a bit. I would probably consider them in the opposite order, but the choice is yours.
Block has the quality of being driven. He has extensive knowledge in matters related to the computerized campaign world (although it is surprising he did not use this effectively in his own campaign). He seems on the same page as to government efficiency.
The downside is that in making any agreement with him would entail several problems. He has clearly stated that he would support the Fung campaign if he did not get the Republican nomination. There is little room for him to honestly explain any other move. The extent of support under that pledge is uncertain, but he made it.
Then, there is the other downside in that there would be a perception that the wild rumors of a conspiracy are grounded. Since the Healey campaign clearly and unequivocally had no participation in any sort of a conspiracy with Block, such a move is foolhearty.
Block is identified with the Moderate Party, the party that hosts the Healey campaign, but he has disavowed his participation in the party. Everyone is entitled to return to the fold, but the respect for the return must be earned. Time would heal such wounds, and there is always forgiveness, but it is not immediate.
Mr. Block has clearly charted a course that, if unsuccessful, makes it appear that he was an opportunist. Had he been successful, he would be lauded. His loss on his bet makes it harder to swallow. Never forget, success has many fathers while failure is a bastard.
Therefore, in weighing the options, it would be unwise to seek alliance any more than on a philosophical level. There are many points of agreement, and they should be noted, but in the final analysis, all Block would bring to the current campaign would be a distraction. Stay on message.
While it is being discussed, also consider the opposite. Should Healey produce a statement saying that he does not want nor would he accept a Block endorsement? If you need cheap media attention, the answer is clearly “Yes”. If you are riding high in the media, the answer is “Why?”
Traditional two party politics would provide a different analysis. In two party systems the goal is to maximize the divide. In third party politics, the idea is to unify. As such, to alienate is not in the best interest of the movement.
. . . .
As to today, I am taping a Channel 10 News Conference program for airing on Sunday.
The campaign is working on recycling lawn signs, producing position papers worthy of consideration, and attempting to answer/coordinate all the emails from supporters and the press. This groundwork should not be ignored.
And, we are currently devising a strategy to empower people and take campaign funding to the people in a way that is both novel and beneficial to society. This will be outlined in the very near future.
Finally, please submit any questions that you feel need to be addressed. As you can see by today’s posting, there are many good questions that often escape me. I will try to address them as they arise.