Activism Starts with Action
Conservatives want change. We want politics to be more about individual responsibility and less about taxing and spending. We are dismayed with the tone of political races when the winner is the one that will tax and spend the most.
Too often this results in us not doing anything about it. The premise of Heritage Action is that if we all take authentic action, we will see conservative policies enacted and our nation changed for the better. Heritage Action is based on conservatives choosing to do something.
Jack Kimball, a business man from New Hampshire is a great example of choosing to do something. (Full disclosure: I coordinated Jack’s campaign before moving to DC.)
Jack was frustrated with rampant government spending, the political class’s solution to every problem. The government’s assumption of delinquent mortgage debt put him over the edge. He decided to stand up and say something. He owns an industrial cleaning company on Route 1in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, making his sign visible to thousands of drivers each day. Jack, in his usual hyperbole, rhetorically asked if we should all stop paying our mortgages.
Putting a few words up on his sign was relatively easy, but Jack was taking action to express his conservatism.
A few days later, a local reporter interviewed Jack, because his sign caused a stir in Portsmouth.
A sign in front of Jack Kimball’s Route 1 Bypass business advertises his cleaning services, as well as his politics.
President and owner of Great Bay Facility Services, Kimball’s sign now displays a message to southbound drivers reading, “Let’s all stop paying our mortgages.”
“Most of us live by the rules. We pay our mortgages, and sometimes it’s difficult, but we do it,” he said. “We, the guys who follow the rules, shouldn’t be subsidizing those who don’t.”
Then he was on Fox and Friends, a national cable show.
Jack began talking with Tea Party activists and conservative groups around New Hampshire. His message was simple: DC and Concord (New Hampshire’s Capitol) don’t get it and the people need to elect new officials.
Thousands of people across New Hampshire agreed with Jack. He started a campaign for governor. He ended up getting 25% of the vote in the primary, less than a year after he’d been a political nobody.
Since the election, Jack has worked to keep the Tea Party organized and energized, capturing the attention of the Wall Street Journal for his efforts.
Jack Kimball, a New Hampshire business owner and activist who tried unsuccessfully to challenge a Republican Party favorite in the state’s gubernatorial primary, is now trying to bring together the state’s tea-party groups in hopes of vetting presidential candidates in the spring, and perhaps making an endorsement.
If he succeeds, that could make Mr. Kimball an early example of how the tea party is changing the rules—forcing candidates to seek help from a political rookie as aggressively as they would a governor or senator.
Putting his opinion on a sign outside his business led Jack to the forefront of the conservative resurgence in New Hampshire. Jack’s story illustrates Heritage Action’s premise: taking action can put our country back on the road to freedom and prosperity. It is time for conservatives to re-commit to activism.