by Becky Akers: The
‘Show Me’ States
Stevo. CreateSpace, 2012. [$3.99
paperback — but that's negotiable: "At the author’s request,
in order to increase the distribution of this title, the price of
this edition has been set lower than usual for a text of this nature."
Likewise, Thomas Paine devoted his profits from Common
Sense to General George Washington's hungry, cash-strapped troops.
I didn't want
to read, let alone review, this
the nuts and bolts — in fact, one chapter even bears that title
— of political campaigning. Specifically, campaigning for Ron Paul
so that he wins the Republican primary.
But I'm an
anarchist, with no faith in politics or the State and indeed, an
intense hatred of both. Author
Allan Stevo describes folks like me perfectly on page 38: we
"generally dismiss the role of government as a circus and a
waste of time and energy." We love liberty with every fiber
of our being; some of us, including me, even find political theory
and philosophy fascinating. But the down-and-dirty, how-to-win machinations?
No thanks. They exemplify everything we loathe about the State,
its lies and manipulations.
By page 13,
Allan Stevo had transformed my reluctance to raving enthusiasm.
Indeed, I'd go so far as to insist that this is one of the most
important texts friends of freedom can read in the next few months.
And it is incredibly empowering, too, because Mr. Stevo's central
idea is that our efforts, not those of the official Ron Paul Campaign
or even of the good doctor himself, let alone the corporate media
(or lack thereof), will crown him victor at the Republican Convention
And that, in
Mr. Stevo's opinion, is more essential than Dr. Paul's ultimately
winning the presidential election. Why? Because "America is
a place where neighbors rarely speak openly about politics, and
when they do, it is usually only to repeat media sound bites. An
Obama/Paul race will change that. Two differing ideologies will
Clash [sic]. One for greater individual freedom. The other
for more government. This competition of ideas will not occur with
other Republican candidates, since they are ideologically aligned
with President Obama when it comes to the power of the individual
over the power of the state." [p. 2]
Mr. Stevo believes
the echoes of Dr. Paul's debate with Obummer will reverberate for
decades: "These two men will face off and provide America with
two different choices for what the future holds. America will have
the opportunity to decisively choose which of those paths [to —
sic] take. Never in my life have I been able to experience
America the way America will look come autumn of 2012 as economic
conditions worsen and Americans look to two very different philosophies
to explain the cause and correction of the nation's problems."
But given the
mainstream's studiously ignoring or venomously savaging Dr. Paul,
how can he win the Republican nomination? Mr. Stevo provides the
answer — a relatively obvious and simple but explosively brilliant
one — from his experience as both a worker on campaigns and as a
candidate himself (he ran for the US House of Representatives in
Illinois' tenth district during 2005). He advocates "reaching
across the aisle" to Democratic friends via "social media"
and asking them to register as Republicans — I know: ugh! But it's
only for the primary — then vote for the only guy in either party
firmly and consistently working against the Amerikan Empire.
he points out, "Ron Paul is the lone pro-peace vote for president
and his party affiliation doesn't change that fact." [p.13]
(Besides, voting for Dr. P will infuriate the "real" Republicans,
the Newts and Mitts and neocons and fascists, which is a fine goal
in itself.) Ergo, he suggests "writ[ing your Democratic] …
Facebook friends to try to open up dialogues of understanding, and
ultimately asking them to register Republican in order to vote for
Ron Paul. I hope you will write your friends through email or any
other social network you use. These people are what I will refer
to as your u2018social precinct'…"
Mr. Stevo theorizes
that "social precincts" are far more valuable and viable
than the geographic precincts they are superseding, especially for
Ron Paul's internet-savvy fans. He discusses the use of precincts
in Chicago, whose politics he has studied and in which he's participated
for over 20 years, and shows how our "social," online
ones trump them: "What Americans today are lacking in relationships
with their neighbors, they are making up for in relationships online
at a distance," he writes [p 40]. And you can very effectively
"work" this precinct for liberty, following the three-part
strategy he outlines in his book:
Step I. Communicate
with your friend.
Get a promise from him to vote for Ron Paul.
Make sure he gets out to vote for Ron Paul.*
step is twofold:
to it that your friend is registered properly in his state
to vote for Ron Paul.
to it that your friend gets out to the polling place or caucusing
location to vote for Ron Paul on election day.
Mr. Stevo contrasts the influence each of us wields over friends
and family with his efforts on phone-banks during various campaigns.
Though he invested dozens of hours calling strangers and asking
them to vote for Dr. P, he wonders if any of them actually did;
he compares that with his proven success in requesting friends do
so and urges us to follow suit. (This isn't an either/or proposition;
as he explains later, we should milk our "social precincts"
fully and then volunteer our efforts on the larger campaign.)
It's no wonder
Mr. Stevo convinces so many of his friends to pull the lever for
peace and liberty: he's conciliatory and diplomatic. His attitude,
even towards those with whom he disagrees, is collaborative: Both
I and my socialist, Big-Government Democratic friends crave peace,
and Ron Paul is the only candidate we can count on to give it to
us. Therefore, I am presenting my buddy with something he very much
wants — he just doesn't realize it's out there. Or if he does, no
one has yet given him the opportunity to to vote for it. So I am
not a pest, I am a chum explaining how together we can achieve what
for liberty and its champion, Dr. P, don't argue with friends who
reject our message. We simply move on to those who agree and welcome
Mr. Stevo also
recommends wisely using the limited hours until June 26 (the date
of Utah's primary, the last before the convention). He cautions
against wasting time on the pursuits so many of us erroneously rate
"important," such as participating in online polls or
commenting on websites denouncing Dr. Paul. These don't guarantee
any votes, he points out: our efforts are better spent educating
our "social precincts."
to love an author so devoted to liberty's ascension that he pleads
on page 74 (out of 215), "…please stop reading this book
now. Please put it down, and get to work." [Original emphasis.]
I didn't obey and lay the book aside because of its easy, friendly
style and charm (despite the many typos plaguing such a hastily
written and published manuscript). Still, I breezed through the
whole thing in a few hours.
You can, too.
I strongly echo one reviewer's advice on Amazon: not only should
you immediately read Mr. Stevo's book, you should "Buy several
copies, distribute them amongst your friends!"
Akers [send her mail] writes
primarily about the American Revolution.