During the 1980 presidential campaign, I was given the responsibility of organizing for Ronald Reagan a national grass-roots volunteer effort. I first divided the country into major groupings--religious, professional, nationalities, ethnic groups (blacks, Hispanics), farmers, senior citizens, veterans, labor, small business and so on. We then enlisted the best leaders of each group on national, state and local levels, who were charged with communicating the concerns of their groups as well as Reagan's response to their concerns.
The results were profound. We were able to increase dramatically the percentage of the votes of these groups so that the governor ended up with a landslide victory.
If we had followed through and built on this base after we won, I believe the Republican Party could have become the majority party. However, it never happened. Once the "professionals" took over, it was back to doing business as usual.
President Reagan is the most compassionate, kindest man I've ever met. I know he cares for the people--all the people. Yet he is being pictured as just the opposite.
The situation in Central America is being distorted by those who truly do not understand how dangerous this situation is for our country and by our enemies, who are distorting the facts and winning the propaganda war.
The president's economic program has not been effectively explained to the people. Had it been, the people would have understood that, in the long run, they would be far better off than they were in the past--if they would give the program a chance to work.
The problem has been, and is, that the Republican Party does not have the grass-roots volunteer organization to explain this to the people, by their peers, in their language. If they had, we would be getting their all-out support. 4 Another problem is that those people who worked their hearts out for Reagan in the campaign never got the important jobs in the administration. Instead, the ones who hold most of the important jobs and who are in positions of influence are the "experienced Republicans" of past administrations, who in most cases were not loyal Reagan supporters and, in my opinion, do not truly believe in him or his programs.
It is never too late, although time is running out. What must be done immediately is to rebuild the volunteer grass-roots organization on a national level and bring into the administration people who believe in Reagan's programs and who are loyal to him. Once this is done, I believe we will see dramatic change in the support for the president's domestic and foreign policies. We can still make a major turnaround in 1982 and get the all-out support!