Geoff Diehl’s Supporters Are the Future of Mass GOP [OPINION]
If the supporters of Geoff Diehl want him elected as Chair of the Massachusetts GOP, they need to work within the system and impress the State Committee.
State Representative Diehl has indicated he is interested in becoming the Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party now that Quincy City Councilor Kirsten Hughes is giving up the position.
Diehl is the logical choice to lead the party.
Diehl lost to Senator Elizabeth Warren in November. It was an uphill battle from the beginning. He needed to do everything right, and then hope for a lightning strike-type of break to beat the incumbent Democrat. He did everything right, but the lightning strike didn't happen, and so he lost.
To earn the opportunity to lose to Sen. Warren, Diehl had to build his own political party within the Massachusetts GOP. Some years, the opportunity to run and lose as Republican in Massachusetts is open to anybody. This year, the opportunity to challenge Sen. Warren, a national hero to Democrats, was extremely competitive.
To win the nomination, Diehl and his team of supporters had to first beat two serious opponents at the state convention, and then again in the statewide primary election. John Kingston and Beth Lindstrom were incredible candidates with solid resources and experienced supporters. They didn't lose the convention or the primary--Diehl beat them.
It wasn't an 11th-hour scandal or a John Silber shocker by the candidates that derailed them. They ran strong campaigns, and Massachusetts will benefit if they come back and seek office in the future. Diehl is also better because of the competition.
The supporters of Diehl are all better political operatives today than they were when they got involved with his campaign. They have the experience that can only come from doing the work in a campaign. Having political opinions about issues is easy. Posting political material and debating others on social media is easy (and a waste of time during most campaigns).
The real political operatives are the individuals that can commit to a campaign, and accomplish tasks according to the needs of the campaign. Real operatives go door-to-door, make thousands of phone calls, secure yard sign locations, etc. And they recruit others to do the same things for the campaign.
Diehl had to build his own party for this election, and he has the experienced volunteers from his campaign to strengthen the Massachusetts GOP.
Those Diehl campaign volunteers who aren't officially members of their local city/town GOP committee need to formally enroll immediately. Call the state party and get the contact information for your local chairperson and go to the next meeting. Call your State Committee Man and Woman (two phone calls required) and introduce yourself if you don't know them already. You should reach out to your friends from the campaign and encourage them to join their local GOP committee, too.
The members of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee will be electing the next Chair by secret ballot very shortly. If you want to see Diehl elected, you should get involved with the party and work within the long-established framework of the party. It is "conservative" to work within the system to accomplish goals. It is fun, sometimes, to be an outsider and throw verbal bombs. In the long run, very little is accomplished by refusing to participate in the process.
If you worked on the Diehl campaign, or any GOP campaign this year, you probably have a few hours a week open now. Use what you learned and the friendships you made to continue influencing the political direction of our great nation.
Trust me, Diehl may have lost, but he made a positive difference, and you did, too. Don't let what you did disappear; keep up your efforts, and do it as a member of the Republican Party in Massachusetts.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.