Review: Taking Back Your Government: The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy

Taking Back Your Government: The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy
Taking Back Your Government: The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy by Daniel Schultz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I recently took a big step in my local political involvement by submitting paperwork to run for Precinct Committeeman. I know I need to be involved. I know I have a lot to learn and I was excited to find this Kindle eBook for only $0.99.

The short version of my review: I appreciate Mr. Schultz’s attempt, but it fell short of the mark.

I verbalized my first impression to my wife by saying, “Wow! Anybody can write a book!” This short book would benefit immensely from an editor’s touch. I appreciate Schultz’s passion, but I suspect it clutters his delivery.

This book would have been better off as a blog post or article somewhere. There just isn’t enough original material to warrant calling it a book.

Now that I recorded my criticism, allow me to share the part of his message that I liked.

An increasing number of individuals realize that the political system, if not broken, is at the least way off course. Common opinion is that politicians are corrupt, dishonest, and make deals for the benefit of themselves and the special interests that back them. Rarely does one hear any dispute to this perception.

I share this perception and frequently wonder what can be done to steer the government back on course to its Constitutional foundation.

I have passed through phases of spinning my wheels in the mud of Facebook rants, blogs, and study groups. All of them can contribute to the discussion, but as Schultz writes, it will be “through DEEDS, not just words” that we affect real change.

The author offers several statistics that point back to a recent blog I wrote that identifies a disengaged and disinterested public as one of the greatest failures of our current political culture.

In 2007, “the Maricopa County Republican Party had over 4,000 openings for precinct committeeman and my Legislative District had only 32 per cent of its Precinct Committeeman positions filled.”

Not enough individuals choose to participate, but I suspect they are asking what can be done? Recently, I felt inspired that the key to real change is local involvement. That is why my wife and I joined up with a friend and his wife to run for Precinct Committeemen (PC).

Why are PC’s key and what do they do?

PC’s are key because they are allowed to vote on local party leadership. These are the same leaders that tend to back incumbents. These are the incumbents that, in large part, have rejected the limitations on their powers and duties clearly identified by the Constitution. Schultz says it thus:

“If those who accept, understand and advocate conservative principles become a majority IN THE PARTY RANKS, guess what? The Party leadership voted in will be those who accept, understand and advocate conservative principles.”

What PC’s do outside of voting for leadership within the GOP is explained by Schultz as five duties:

1) Register new voters
2) Canvassing their precinct (typically one square half-mile)
3) Get out the vote – by helping voters get access to ballots and by posting signage
4) Find election judges – (Schultz doesn’t explain this one)
5) Be a poll watcher

These are simple tasks. There are no formal requirements for what a PC does for how many hours. The key is to identify what you can do and do it as much as you reasonably can.

After listing the importance of PC’s, how to become a PC, and what the PC’s duties are, Schultz essentially quotes parts of the Constitution, amendments, and the Preamble. He then uses a good portion of his book to review the platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties.

I found his section headings on the Democratic side sophomoric and offensive.

Overall, I do not recommend this book. It reminded me of a few important ideas, and there were a few good quotes, but it fell far short of what I wanted from a book about becoming a PC.

View all my reviews

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About Jonathan

I am a man whose life has been profoundly changed by a beautiful woman, 5 amazing kids, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Leadership Education.
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