A thoughtful conservative activist in Illinois -- with strong ties to both the state's Republican Party and grassroots movement -- issued the following memo to a State Senator-elect. His sound advice on how to boldly navigate Springfield's treacherous political waters can easily be tweaked and applied to new members of Congress:
Random Thoughts for a New Legislator
1. First priority – ORGANIZE.
2. Springfield is a fetid dung heap of corruption.
3. Everything they do there is wrong.
4. Most of them are idiots, just look at the Brady [gubernatorial] campaign.
5. It and they will try constantly to suck you in. It is the natural pull of gravity.
6. And that equals death.
7. The status quo is your enemy, the taxpayer’s enemy and the public’s enemy.
8. Your choices are binary (Ask: Am I growing government, or growing liberty?), not multiple. Read Radical-in-Chief.
9. Always choose the anti-Springfield, anti-status quo, anti-business-as-usual option.
10. At least as significant as “conservative/moderate” is “reformer/establishmentarian.”
11. Conservative reformers will inherit public support.
12. Never speak in Springfield’s terms, always speak in taxpayer’s terms.
13. Only speak of successful examples of conservative reforms.
14. Friendly, quiet, knowledgeable and supportive.
15. “I want justice now.” – Albert Camus. Let others grant grace to the dung heap and ask the people to shoulder its burden. Advocate reform now, not next year or next session or next decade. Now.
16. Have a great time.
This simple missive contains a heavy jolt of distilled wisdom. If you hail from a district or state that just elected a freshman Republican to the House or Senate, I'd encourage you to forward this memo to his or her office. Simply substitute "Washington" for "Springfield," and send away.