Civil Discourse Now

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GOP chair candidates' debate tonight: the secret of how to win elections

The Republican Party (GOP) of Marion County (Indianapolis) elects a chairperson March 6, this Saturday. Tonight the three candidates will discuss various topics that seem to circle around a single theme: how to “win.” Here’s the formula to achieve those wins.

1) GET PEOPLE REGISTERED TO VOTE. I did not write “get our people registered to vote.” Everybody, in both major parties, all “third” parties, independents, should have a goal of 100% of eligible voters registered. Why?

In 1974 I helped register voters at the Howard County 4-H Fair. People from both major parties worked to register as many people as possible. A lot of people are turned off by a GOP reliant on tools of voter suppression. To seek to register 100% would help break that view.

2) MAKE ACCESS TO THE POLLS EASIER. We should not make difficult a person’s ability to cast a vote. People have died to secure that right. Satellite voting centers help. It can be hard to figure out where one’s polling place is located.

Early voting allows people to get to the polls as their time allows so they do not lose time from work or family unnecessarily. Also, we have had absentee voting by mail for decades. We have plenty of time until our next (2022) elections tweak the system.

3) PARTICIPATE IN MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS. Local issues scream for fiscal prudence. Public subsidies for professional sports are not cost-effective. The convention industry is a relic. TIFS, long-term, are malignancies, not a panacea.

There’s more to our problems than money. And that’s a problem because the GOP’s image is of a party that cares only about money and protecting money held by the rich. The least the GOP can do is approach municipal finance responsibly.

THESE STEPS: The GOP will have to formulate policies in a “blue” county that appeal to the voters. This is how democracy works. You win elections by making sure the election system itself works. Then you let the voters decide. It’s not magic.

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