The demands of a powerful interest group sometimes collide with the demands of voters. In this video, what all office holders would be wise to remember when running for office.
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Last Saturday newspapers made it a page one story. Another school shooting. This time in Texas. More dead children. More dead teachers.
President Trump promised to do everything in his power to protect school kids, the same promise he made three months ago after 17 were killed at a High School in Parkland, Florida. Other political figures offered their perfunctory thoughts and prayers for the slaughtered children, their grieving parents, siblings and friends.
The sorry truth is this. Parents will again grieve and bury their children. The political class will offer a few more empty words and hollow rhetoric. Then pray that it doesn’t happen again before the next election.
It also illustrates a truth about all candidates running for office, office holders and political parties. All face pressure from four sources.
- The press, which pressures them to act.
- The contributors, who pay for their campaigns.
- Powerful interest groups that offer important endorsements.
- And voters, who ultimately decide elections.
After president Trump promised last February to promote new measures to curb gun violence, he was visited by lobbyists from the National Rifle Association, a group that spent $30 million to help him become President. The lobbyists told President Trump to shut up about restrictions on assault weapons. He did. The NRA also made clear to the Congressional leadership that no such bill should ever see the light of day. The leadership complied.
In democracies, political parties and office holders often become captive of the interests groups and contributors that support them, unwilling or unable to respond to a public that begs for leadership. Sometimes those bonds can only be broken by indignant voters at the ballot box.
If you are running for office, or someday hold office, you too will find yourself subjected to pressure from the press, your contributors, and the interest groups offering endorsements you want.
It is wise to remember that your fate is ultimately decided by the voters who expect you to lead.
Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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