6/6/11

I’m pushing myself through Descartes’ “Discourse on Method” right now. Usually I write notes on nearly every sentence I read in political philosophy: my notes on the Republic are extensive, at the least (whether they’re good is another story). But I feel like I haven’t done enough reading recently, so I’m just making mental notes (i.e. “keep track of this theme”) and soon I’ll cut right to the secondary source I have on the work. Richard Kennington has a nice essay on the “Discourse on Method” in the History of Political Philosophy.

I’ll write something about what I’ve learned campaigning soon. The primary election is June 7th, Tuesday: if you live in Camden County, NJ, please vote column #1 and support Joshua Rocks for Freeholder. After the primary, there are probably going to be a few meetings where we shape strategy (how many votes do we need? Who exactly can we get to deliver them? How do we target those voters and make sure they’re aware and interested?) and hone the message. The latter has been on my mind recently. Saying “primary election June 7th vote column #1” to voters over the phone isn’t a bad thing, but it is limited in many ways (and will literally be out-of-date soon). One thing I think I’ve learned: the “get out the vote” efforts are distinct from the other ways a campaign operates. Ideally, they serve as a reminder to the people you’ve already contacted and informed to do what needs to be done. Any less than ideal, you’re gambling a bit.

We need a message where the audience we broadcast to builds itself, taking an eager, active interest in Josh’s platform. I think parts of a mailer we put out earlier might do the trick:

I’m running for Freeholder in Camden County to try and break the current Democratic monopoly over the Board. The county is facing a $43 million deficit and has laid off 260 employees already. The jail is not receiving adequate funding. One wonders about continued services to seniors and maintenance of the parks.

….I want Camden County to run well so people want to live here. The residents deserve better than to be pushed out of their own homes by higher taxes and poor services.

….I’ve lived in this county all my life. I say this over and over to every group I meet. Good government needs to take the fact we want to live somewhere seriously, not just let us face the full brunt of bad times and their incompetence. Again, I want people to be in a position to choose Camden County. This is not simply “Democrats are bad.” This is we can do better.

Your thoughts are welcome about what themes need to be emphasized. I’m very partial to Josh’s point that this has been his home all his life. The moral case for good government is mixed in with something personal; the need for change is obvious. The concern for the future of Camden County and its residents almost doesn’t need to be stated.

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