“Amateurs talk about strategy and tactics. Professionals talk about logistics and sustainability in warfare.” — General Robert Hillard Barrow (USMC).
You know the old saying, “All politics is local.” Well, after devoting a year and a half of my life to running for Congress in an R+32 district, I have decided that politics is not only local, it is all about logistics — logistics and sustainability. Logistics is all about knowing what resources we have, where they are needed and getting them there. Even in politics that same rule applies. You will not be able to sustain a project, or an operation, or a city without the ability to supply the resources necessary on a consistent basis to sustain it over time. Political resources and the logistical infrastructure are what rural Texas Democrats need the most.
What we must do now is design a way to identify the resources necessary to sustain political operations in rural Texas year round. Then we need to provide the logistical means by which we can get those resources to where they are needed, sustain them over time and concentrate them where needed most when election time comes. We cannot wait for the Texas Democratic Party to do this. At least I can’t. I have been waiting for over 30 years for the TDP to get it together. At 55 I can’t wait another 30 years. We do not have the luxury of time.
What I mean by political logistics and political infrastructure is not anything new or complicated. Simply put it is the kind of support rural Texas has not had since before the days of Ann Richards. Here are a few examples.
County Party Services — a single point of reference that is responsive and equally available to all counties in the area or region (not located in Austin), recruiting and training county chairs, training county and precinct chairs, active assistance in the field
Regional networks and regular communication networks
Year Round Regional Directors responsive to the County Chairs, not the State Party
Polling, focus groups and crafted messaging that appeal to rural voters in a given region or area
Providing technical support for websites, social media, VAN
Creating a VAN that works for rural areas.
Print and mail support (essential in rural communities)
Above all else we need a system of mutual accountability for ourselves and for each other to do the work. Complacency will destroy everything we have achieved so far. We must not go backwards. We must move forwards or die as a party.
These are just some of the things that are needed. There are likely others I have not thought about. How this can come about all over rural Texas I do not know for sure. In my area of Texas (west of I-35) we are starting a PAC to try to fill this gap — to provide these services that the TDP has not done and does not show any indication it will do, or can do successfully.
Texas is too big for a one size fits all solution, or any organization to be able to fill this gap. I don’t care who does it or who gets the credit, so long as it is done and done well. My vision is that over time we will see various coalitions and groups across the state banding together to do what the TDP has not, all over the state. Sooner or later the TDP will catch on and say, “I must catch up with them for I am their leader.”
Jon Mark Hogg is a lawyer in San Angelo, Texas and a former Democratic Candidate for Congress.