Congressman in Training

by Jeffry R. Fisher

Becoming by doing:

I have a strategic plan to position myself to run for Congress based on spending some time doing everything I can to represent my district even before I actually hold a seat. Technically, I would be a lobbyist, but instead of being a corporate stooge or single issue drummer, I would serve a whole bunch of neighbors who don't think that the incumbent listens to or understands us.

In other words, I aim to become a Congressman in Training. My hope is to learn some of the ropes, make a few friends in high places, gain some visibility/ink, and, if I am lucky, build some early fundraising momentum. As an added bonus, I might even have some good effect on pending legislation... I am a creative thinker after all. Even when forced to contend with legislation outside my principles, I expect to regularly have practical ideas that haven't occurred to any of the 435 official representatives.

Spreading the Practice:

If the concept catches on, then we conservatives and libertarians could build a sizable alternate congress of trainees waiting to supplant some, most, or even all of the incumbent democrats. Wouldn't it be nice if tax payers and property owners in all of America's congressional districts had supportive representation in DC, even if some of us were outsiders?

We could hold caucuses and divide subcommittee assignments so our interests are spoken for in every hearing and on every bill. If a few actual representatives sympathized enough to grant us an occasional ear and a few good photo ops, then we in training could get some press and improve our chances to unseat our D's in the next election. A political consultant who could "make it so" would become big indeed. I'd be happy if folks just remembered that it was my idea. I just hope that we do it to them before they do it to us.

The first steps:

Unfortunately for me, I am not an experienced campaigner, and I am not wealthy. Therefore, I need some guidance and financial aid. I am looking at this like graduate school. I have a basic four year degree in an outside subject (physical sciences) plus a couple decades' dabbling in politics and studying history and economics as a hobby. Now I need to "go back to school" to change careers. If I survive a year or three scratching at the doors of power, then I could see if an ex-programmer can be popular with voters. Could I convince anyone that the House could use a representative with basic knowledge of physics, chemistry, engineering and computers?

Do you think I have any hope of raising funding by styling myself as an alternate representative in DC? Would my district's conservatives and libertarians support me speaking on behalf of issues and positions that the incumbent ignores or opposes? Naturally, though I would primarily associate myself as with my own district (Washington's 3rd), I would hope to draw support from nationwide from many who would want my efforts to continue and who would like to see another district flip from 'D' to 'R'.

Copyright 2003-2008 by Jeffry R. Fisher: Permission is granted to reproduce this article in whole, but only in combination with attribution, the original title, the original URL, and this copyright notice.
Jeffry R. Fisher is the founder and president of Propagate Ltd, which is liberating digital content as