◆                      ◆The Advocates for Self-Government Presents     OPERATIONPOLITICALLY      HOMELESS                 ...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                                     Advocates for Self-Government              ...
Advocates for Self-Government                                      Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual             ...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual       Advocates for Self-Government                                             4
Advocates for Self-Government                                   Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                ...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                                  Advocates for Self-Government                 ...
Advocates for Self-Government                                 Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                  ...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                                   Advocates for Self-Governmentallows us to fin...
Advocates for Self-Government                                 Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Doing An OPH: Adv...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                                    Advocates for Self-Governmentan hour or two....
Advocates for Self-Government                                    Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual            Doi...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                                    Advocates for Self-Government Doing An OPH: ...
Advocates for Self-Government                                    Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manualthe chance that...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                                     Advocates for Self-GovernmentInformation Bo...
Advocates for Self-Government                                          Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manuallong. Onc...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                                     Advocates for Self-GovernmentIssues side of...
Advocates for Self-Government                                   Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual              Do...
Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual                                     Advocates for Self-Government          Conc...
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  1. 1. ◆ ◆The Advocates for Self-Government Presents OPERATIONPOLITICALLY HOMELESS THE QUICK, GET-RIGHT- T0-THE-POINT MANUAL! ★★★ Mini-Manual For Operating An OPH Booth F I F T H E D I T I O N By Scott A. Kjar ◆
  2. 2. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-Government About the OPH Manuals This is the OPH Mini-Manual. It’s the short, get-right-to-the-point version of the OPH manual. It has fewer details, and quickly gets to the How-To portions. The Mini-Manual is drawn from the OPH Maxi-Manual. The OPH Maxi-Manual is much more comprehensive and tells you everything you could possibly need to know about how to run a successful Operation Politically Homeless booth. It offers expanded background, explanations, examples, and options. The OPH Checklists and OPH Sample Documents can be used with either manual, or alone. Both manuals, along with the Checklists and Sample Documents, are available online at www.TheAdvocates.org. Feel free to use whichever manual best suits your own needs. For some items, you may want to read more information in a particular area, and can refer to the Maxi-Manual. For other items, you may want to get right to the heart of the matter, and can rely on the Mini-Manual. Copyright 2006 by the Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless, OPH, The World’s Smallest Political Quiz, and the “Diamond Chart” are trademarks of the Advocates for Self-Government. The Mini-Manual, the Maxi-Manual, and the Checklists and Sample Documents together comprise the Fifth Edition of the Operation Politically Homeless Manual. Fifth Edition by Scott A. Kjar, with additional editing and design by Bill Winter. Advocates for Self-Government 213 S. Erwin Street Cartersville, GA 30120 770-386-8372 800-932-1776 www.TheAdvocates.org info@TheAdvocates.org Permission to reprint or duplicate this manual is hereby given, provided that this copyright notice page is included, and other attribution as appropriate is included in such reprints or duplications. 2
  3. 3. Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Table of Contents■ Welcome to OPH . ............................................................................................. 5■ OPH in a Nutshell ............................................................................................. 6■ OPH Background. .............................................................................................. 7 What is OPH, anyway? Why do we do OPH? When should we do OPH?■ Doing an OPH: Advance Logistics. ....................................................... 9 How do I get a time and place to do OPH? How do I recruit volunteers to help? What materials will I need? Should I contact the news media?■ Doing an OPH: Show Time!. .................................................................... 11 What should I wear? What should I say if the news media show up?■ Doing an OPH: Working the Booth. ................................................... 12 Can you start with an overview of what will happen at the booth? How should I arrange the booth? How do I get people to take the Quiz? How do I figure out where people belong on the Diamond Chart? How do I get contact information from the prospective libertarians?■ Doing an OPH: Follow-up. ......................................................................... 17 What should I do with the names I get? Should I hold OPH in conjunction with an Intro presentation? What should I do at the Intro presentation?■ Conclusions and Comments. ................................................................. 18 What if I want more information about OPH? 3
  4. 4. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-Government 4
  5. 5. Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Welcome to OPH!W elcome to OPH — Operation Politically Homeless. In the pages of this manual, I will describe what OPH is, how youcan do your own OPH, and how to make surethat your OPH is successful. I’ve been doing OPH for several years. I haveadministered thousands of Quizzes, seen peoplewith all manner of political views, been askedquestions ranging from the insightful to theprovocative to the absurd, and generally hadfun. That’s right, I had fun. I have to admit something right now: I’msomewhat introverted. Of course, in themovement for liberty, a lot of us are. And theidea of going out into crowds, meeting hundredsof people in a single day, and chatting witheach of them for a few moments is not the way Iwould normally care to spend my day. But with OPH, it’s okay. I don’t have tomake idle chit-chat with people. I don’t have totry to remember everyone’s name. I don’t haveto worry about whether I know anything aboutthe local sports team, or a particular TV show,or the latest gossip. Instead, in my dealings with these hundreds presented and explained, and you can select theof people, I only need to know two things: the way that makes the most sense to you. Afterbasics of liberty, and how to operate an OPH booth. all, you’re the one running your OPH booth. Presumably, if you have this manual in your And along the way, maybe you’ll think up ahands, you already know the basics of liberty. new technique or two that makes your boothAfter all, OPH is about outreach, and if you’re more successful. If so, tell us about it!doing outreach, you already know that there is The lessons, methods, and options presentedsomething worthwhile in liberty. in this manual have all been thought up by My task, then, is to teach you how to run previous people doing OPH, refining theiran OPH booth. Think of this manual as a “how- techniques, testing them out, and generallyto” book. After all, I’m an introvert. I like check seeing what works.lists. I like it when people explain things step- Read on to learn more about how you canby-step — I like it when everything is laid out organize and successfully run your own OPH.like a recipe. You will be helping people better understand Like any recipe, there will be some options. their own views, and you will be furthering theYou can add chopped nuts to your cookies, or a movement for liberty in the process.touch of cinnamon to your pudding. And remember, OPH is fun! And you can use different ways of Scott Kjarorganizing the OPH booth, or of convincing June 1, 2006people to take the Quiz. These options will be 5
  6. 6. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-Government OPH In a NutshellW hile this entire manual explains the person’s answers, you quickly realize where what OPH is all about, how to this person’s overall political leanings are. do it, when to do it, and much You point to the Diamond Chart, standing on an easel. Based on the person’s answers tomore, it never hurts to get the nutshell the Quiz, you indicate where on the Chart thisversion first. That way, you can better person belongs.understand how the details fit together, The person prints his or her first name on aand what you are trying to accomplish. In small colored sticky dot, and places that dot onthat sense, everything you need to know the Chart at the point you indicate. This pointis on this page. Everything, that is, except will be within one of the Chart’s five areas: conservative, liberal, libertarian, statist, andfor the details that make it work! You can centrist.think of the rest of this manual as merely If the answers fall in the libertarian section,being an expansion on this page. you invite the person to an upcoming event. You also ask for the person’s contact infor-I t’s a warm, sunny day. You are working at an mation, so that you can inform him or her of outreach booth, perhaps at a county fair, a upcoming activities. city festival, or a college campus. You call If the answers fall outside of the libertarianyour booth Operation Politically Homeless. section, you thank the person for participating, A person approaches you at the booth. The and you move on to the next person.person has seen your banner, or perhaps theDiamond Chart, and is curious. The person wantsto know what’s going on. You hand the persona small piece of paper.Across the top are thewords “The World’sSmallest Political Quiz.”There are 10 statementson the paper. For each,the person has threechoices: Agree, Maybe,and Disagree. In a couple ofminutes, the person hascompleted the Quiz, andhands the piece of paperback to you. Looking over ■ Operation Politically Homeless is simple: You give people the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, add up their scores, put a colored dot on the Chart, and collect contact information if they score libertarian. And it’s fun! 6
  7. 7. Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual OPH BackgroundI n the next few pages, I will give you libertarian area. Those who Disagree more than some background information about they Agree move toward the bottom, into the OPH. I will explain what OPH is, why statist area. Thus, we can evaluate each person on bothwe do OPH, and when we should do OPH. axes. A person is to the left or right of the center, and also to the top or bottom of the center. ThisWhat is OPH, anyway? makes it easy to get an overall evaluation of the Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) is a person’s political belief system.fun and exciting libertarian outreach technique. Ultimately, OPH is an outreach tool that At the OPH booth, we combine two key serves both to identify prospective libertarians,elements — the World’s Smallest Political Quiz and to increase societal awareness of the complex-and the Diamond Chart — to evaluate people’s ities of politics by providing a more realisticoverall political ideologies. In simplest terms, two-dimensional model of political belief.people come to the OPH booth, respond to the10 statements on the Quiz, and learn wherethey lie on the Diamond Chart. Why do we do OPH? The interpretation of these results comes In any movement, including the movementfrom a simple two-dimensional analysis. The for liberty, there are two basic ways to grow:normal left–right scale cuts right across the convince people to change their views, or findmiddle of the chart. Those who Agree with the people who already share your views.economic statements and Disagree with the Both techniques are used by libertarians.personal issues statements appear on the right Some libertarians prefer to “sell” liberty or(or conservative) side of the chart. Those who “teach” liberty to non-libertarians. This is veryDisagree with the economic statements and fulfilling, but it is also very time-consuming,Agree with the personal statements appear on since it takes a long time (often several years)the left (or liberal) side of the chart. to convince a single prospect. At the same time, there is a separate top– Other libertarians prefer to “troll” forbottom axis. Those who say Agree more than libertarians, that is, to find people who arethey Disagree move toward the top, into the already libertarians but don’t know it. OPH 7
  8. 8. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-Governmentallows us to find these people easily andquickly. By various estimates, libertarians make upsomewhere between 15% and 30% of theAmerican electorate. Yet, when people are askedabout their political views, fewer than 5% —and often fewer than 1% — self-identifythemselves as libertarians. That means thatthere are a lot of libertarians out there who justdon’t know it. There is no easier way to find and identifythese prospective libertarians than to do OPH.And that, to answer the question, is why we doOPH.When should we do OPH? The purpose of doing an OPH is to identifyprospective libertarians so that you can invitethem to join your local organization. Thus, thebest time to do OPH is when you can meet two should also schedule a few other activities sooncriteria: you expect to find a lot of prospective afterward. Schedule an “Introduction tolibertarians, and you can assimilate them into Libertarianism” presentation, or a mock debateyour group. Let me expand on those two points with group members playing the roles ofa little bit. liberals, conservatives, and libertarians. First, OPH is a volume tool. It’s a numbers Schedule a discussion about some of the funnygame, pure and simple. The more Quizzes you things that government has done. Schedule angive, the more prospective libertarians you will activity related to your target audience (e.g., iffind, the more members you will gain, and the you are doing OPH at a gun show, follow upmore activists you will unleash. with a gun-related activity; if you are doing You want to go where the people are. You OPH at a hemp festival, schedule a medicalwant places where there is a lot of foot traffic, marijuana presentation; if you are doing OPH onand people are willing to pause for a couple of April 15, find a speaker to talk about theminutes to take the Quiz and see the results. libertarian view of taxes, etc.).Common places for OPH are state and county In conclusion, you want to hold an OPHfairs, city festivals, gun shows, flea markets, when you can expect to see a lot of people, andcollege campuses, or even busy street corners. when your organization is in a position toThe steadier the foot traffic, the more potential quickly follow up with the new names. Whenlibertarians you will encounter. you put these two elements together, your Second, you want to make sure that your chances of overall long-term success improveorganization is ready for a batch of new names. dramatically.If you hold an OPH, identify a large number ofprospective libertarians, and then never followup with them, you have wasted your time. Veryfew of the prospective libertarians will followthrough on their own; almost none will contactthe Advocates for Self-Government or any otherlibertarian organizations without a little nudgefrom you and your organization. Thus, when you plan to hold an OPH, you 8
  9. 9. Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Doing An OPH: Advance LogisticsI n this portion of the manual, you will well before there is the big rush for the stadium. learn what to do in advance of the OPH, Once you have decided on a time and place that is, how you go about preparing for for your OPH, you will need to see about permission. Call the organizers, and ask aboutthe event. By “advance logistics,” we are the rules for getting a booth. They will providetalking about finding a location for OPH, you with the information, including the size ofgetting permission if necessary, recruiting the booth, the materials that they provide andvolunteers, making sure that you have the the materials that you provide. Some events willappropriate materials, and contacting the be free, but others may require payment rangingnews media. from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Make sure that you are clear about the financial arrangements.How do I get a time and If you are doing the OPH on a collegeplace to do OPH? campus, you will probably need a student group You want to select an OPH time and place to sponsor you. If there is a campus libertarianwhere there will be a lot of people on foot who club, a Second Amendment group, an organ-are willing and able to stop for a few minutes at ization working for medical marijuana, or theyour booth. State and county fairs, city like, this is a good place to seek such sponsor-festivals, flea markets, concerts, gun shows, ship (not to mention a good source of vol-Oktoberfests, downtown parks, outside of the unteers to work at the booth). If there is nopost office, and college campuses are all likely such student group, contact the student govern-OPH locations. ment, or student activities office, and see what My suggestion is that you find a venue that the rules are for starting a club. Using OPH towill have a lot of local people, but not a lot of find new campus members is a great kick-offtourists. After all, you want to gain names for event for a new student group.your organization, rather than merely gainnames in general. How do I recruit Also, pick a venue that will not be toonoisy. A street dance with live bands may make volunteers to help?it very difficult to hear your co-workers or the You can do OPH alone, but it is usually morepeople who are taking the Quiz. A stadium successful if there are more people working.concert where you set up a table out in the Generally, 2-4 people make a good-sized crewparking lot might be okay, because the sound for an OPH. Unless you have a very large boothfrom the concert might not be so bad out there. or a large open-air space, more than four peopleA booth at a fair or on a campus is usually okay. at your booth can get crowded. In any case, it In addition, you want a steady traffic flow, doesn’t take very many people to work at annot a frenzied rush. Standing outside of the OPH.football stadium after the big game — as the The obvious starting place for volunteers iscrowd heads for home — is probably not with members of your group or organization.conducive to getting many people to stop and Pick up the phone, and give them all a call. Telltake the Quiz. On the other hand, if there is a them what you are doing, when it is, how longbig tailgate event before the football game (or it will take, and ask them to help.even the evening before), you may want to find Some people will help all day, others maya good location, and get people to take the Quiz give a half day, and still others may only offer 9
  10. 10. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-Governmentan hour or two. Keep track of who is supposedto work when. If you are not already a member of alibertarian-oriented group, but you are planningto do an OPH, then you are probably trying tostart such a group. Contact the umbrella groupyou plan to associate with — whether it be theAdvocates for Self-Government, NORML, thestate or national Libertarian Party (or otherlibertarian-leaning political group), JPFO, orwhatever — and ask them for some leads. Theymay well have some names of people in yourarea who have already expressed a desire to helpout, and are just waiting for someone to comealong to coordinate some activity. And if nothing else works, remember this:you can do OPH alone. The advantage to havingmore volunteers working at the table is that youcan administer more Quizzes and evaluate morepotential libertarians. But it is perfectly possibleto work the table alone if you absolutely cannotfind anyone else to work with you.What materials will I need? The most important things you need are theDiamond Chart, copies of the Quiz, pens, colored ■ Having the Chart on an easel is a greatstick-on dots, and volunteers. You may also way to attract people to your OPH booth.need a table, an easel, and a couple of smallbags. You can get the Diamond Chart and copiesof the Quiz from the Advocates. You can get theother materials locally. Be sure to read thesection on “Working the Booth” for more ideasabout how you can arrange your table, and whatother materials might be helpful.Should I contactthe news media? Absolutely. While an OPH is primarilydesigned to identify prospective libertarians, italso serves to show clearly the differencesbetween libertarians, conservatives, liberals,centrists, and statists. As such, it is a great toolto show your local media representative. 10
  11. 11. Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Doing An OPH: Show Time!R emember the old adage: you don’t IHS, or other group you are affiliated with, and get a second chance to make a their respective contact information. first impression. Since you are at Be sure to point out the overall results you have so far. Explain the general trend — e.g.,the table as a representative of some organ- which group seems to be the most represented,ization, whether it is a state libertarian and which group is the least represented? Also,group, a local issues group, or some other since you will compile the final results after theentity, you want to make sure that your day is over, offer to fax the final tallies. If theappearance and demeanor convey favorable results get in soon enough, the reporter mayinformation about your organization. Re- work that piece of information into the story. I would like to toss in one extra hint aboutmember, this is not about how you normally dealing with the news media. In my experiencelook or act; it is about how your audience — and in the experience of many others withwill react to how you look and act. whom I have spoken — attractive and articulate women are more likely to get coverage than areWhat should I wear? men. If you have an attractive, articulate Your exact attire will partly be determined woman working at the table, designate her asby the type and location of the event. If you are the reporter’s key contact person, and makeat a professional event, you will want to wear sure that she gives the statements and explainsprofessional attire. If you are at a casual event, the process. And if there is a photo, make surethen casual attire is acceptable. Think about that she is in it.how your target audience will be dressed. Then, A secondary effect of this is that if womenyou will want to dress that way, or slightly are seen as prominently participating in yourbetter. organization, women may subsequently join the Another item that is important but often organization. In the movement for liberty, weoverlooked is skin care. If you are going to be generally have more men than women, so any-outside, you will want some sun screen. If you thing that helps recruit more women is a big plus.are in an area with bugs, an insect repellent is agood idea. Don’t forget some drinking water.What should I say if thenews media show up? First, make sure that they get shots of theDiamond Chart, and of one or more individualstaking the Quiz. Next, explain to the reporterwhat the Chart is, and how it separates folksinto their respective ideologies. Along the way,make sure that you drop in other relevantcontact information, like the Web site forthe Advocates for Self-Government(www.TheAdvocates.org), or the name of theLibertarian Party, the Republican LibertyCaucus, the Democratic Freedom Caucus, Cato, 11
  12. 12. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-Government Doing An OPH: Working the BoothI n this section, you will learn how you How should I can arrange the booth, get people to arrange the booth? take the Quiz, evaluate the Quiz, and This is where you have a lot of options.put the results on the Diamond Chart. And How you should arrange the booth is basedmost important, how you get people to substantially on what options you are using.give you their names and contact infor-mation before they leave the booth. After The Spartan Boothall, that’s the real reason you are there. I usually run a very spartan (simple) booth made up of the following items:Can you start with an ■ Diamond Chart on an easeloverview of what will ■ Copies of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz ■ Several clipboards (I use about seven when Ihappen at the booth? work alone, and about 10 when I work with The overall flow of the booth is pretty other people)straightforward. You will get people’s attention ■ Lots of pens (buy a lot of cheap Bic pensand attract them to the booth. If you are using because they will walk away all day long!)the Harris Jars, you will have them “vote” in a ■ Sheets of colored stick-on dotsjar. Following that (or if you are not using the ■ Flyer giving details of my upcoming “Intro toHarris Jars), the next step is for people to take Libertarianism” speechthe Quiz. ■ Table (if the fair or other location does not Once they take the Quiz, you will evaluate it supply one)for them, figuring out whether they are liber- ■ Table cloth (hangs down far enough to hidetarians, conservatives, liberals, centrists, or the stuff under the table)statists. Upon completing that determination, ■ Extra supplies in a box under the tableyou will show them where they will put their ■ A small plastic bag taped to the back of thecolored stick-on dot onto the Diamond Chart. table for completed Quizzes If they are in the libertarian section, you ■ Small garbage bag under the tablewill invite them to attend the next meeting,event, or activity of your local group, and also When running this stripped-down version ofask for their contact information so that you the booth, just arrange the clipboards aroundcan notify them about future meetings, events, the table so you have easy access to them asand activities. you move around the table to talk to people. You will give them literature or information Keep excess supplies under the table, not on theas appropriate, drop their completed Quiz into table, since they will clutter up your space.your Quiz bag, and move on to the next person. Special Hint: take the caps off your pens. People That’s pretty much the entire OPH in a never accidentally walk away with a pen thatnutshell. Of course, a little more explanation of doesn’t have a cap!some of those details might not hurt. The key to OPH is volume. Get people to take the Quiz, and then, if appropriate, get their contact information. Often, having a lot of flyers, brochures, caps, refrigerator magnets, magazines, or similar items at your booth merely slows down the process, and increases 12
  13. 13. Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manualthe chance that someone will want to argue some money in one of these five jars. The rest ofwith you over something. the booth is made up of the Chart, clipboards, The Spartan Booth is OPH — nothing more copies of the Quiz, colored stick-on dots, and soand nothing less. on from the Spartan Booth. Instead of asking everyone to take the Quiz, you only ask thoseHarris Jars who scored Seldom or Never. This pre-screens The Harris Jars are used both as a screening your audience.mechanism and as a fundraising technique. Another way you can use the Harris Jars isSince we recognize that many people are not to wait until people have already taken thegoing to be in the libertarian section of the Quiz. Before they leave the table, ask them toQuiz, it is often helpful to reduce the number of drop a little money into their favorite jar.people who actually fill out the Quiz and getplaced on the Chart. The Harris Jars fulfill this Candidate Boothfunction quite well. If you are running a booth for the candidate, For the Harris Jars method, you start with all you will want to be sure to add these items:the same items listed in the Spartan Booth, plus: ■ The candidate!■ Five clear two-quart jars ■ Banner with candidate’s name (e.g., “John■ A few dollars (coins and bills) for seed money Smith for Governor”)■ Banner saying: “Does government do a good ■ Brochures and candidate information job?” You will probably do the OPH the same, but You will put the banner over your booth as in the end, your purpose is to get people toa means of attracting attention. Your five jars, vote for your candidate. This may be a little bitwhich should be prominently displayed on the trickier than you think at first. After all, oncetable, are labeled “Always,” “Usually,” “About you have people take the Quiz, and you showHalf,” “Seldom,” and “Never.” With this them where they stand on the Chart, they willtechnique, you will ask people to “vote” with likely want to know where the candidate stands on the Chart. In this way, you are as likely to turn people off from voting for you as you are to turn people on to voting for you. If you are a liber- tarian, and the person in front of you has scored in one of their other parts of the Chart, they are likely to conclude that you are not the candi- date for whom they should vote. On the other hand, if you can get all those in the libertarian area to cast a ballot for you on Election Day, that might be a big improve- ment over what you otherwise would have polled. Just remember, the purpose here is to find people who are already libertarians but don’t know it; we are substantially less inter- ested in confirming for others that they are not libertarians. And■ The “Harris 5-Jar” technique is a good way remember: keep your table neat.to pre-screen your audience. 13
  14. 14. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-GovernmentInformation Booth Another thing that I have tried to mention You could offer a lot more information at over and over is that you should always keepyour booth. And, while I don’t recommend this, your booth neat. If your booth gets cluttered,you might decide that it is worthwhile to messy, or unkempt, you will quickly scare offadminister fewer copies of the Quiz and engage your prospective Quiz-takers.in a few more conversations. After all, those However, there are also some things thatpeople who stop to talk might actually turn out you should not have at your booth:to be people sincerely interested in libertarian- ■ Duct tapeism, and by chatting with them for a few ■ C-clamps to hold things togetherminutes, you could substantially increase the ■ Obscene or offensive shirts, pins, flyers, capschances that they will become involved. (How- ■ Grungy volunteers in stinky clothesever, you are also more likely to have to argue ■ Half-eaten food or food wrapperswith conservatives, liberals, and statists, but Duct tape and C-clamps are amazing fix-allshey — you are the one running the booth!) For for whatever goes wrong. Of course, they alsoan Information Booth, you might add some of look unprofessional, or even tacky. If you needthe following: tape, use transparent tape or double-faced tape■ Brochures from the Advocates so that your tape doesn’t cover or hide your■ Political party brochures materials. As for the other items, they convey a■ Brochures from think tanks such as Cato, FEE, negative impression to most people. You are IHS, or PERC trying to convey a positive impression, so you■ Magazines such as Reason or Liberty should avoid these things. And remember again■ Journals such as Journal of Libertarian Studies, that old adage: you never get a second chance Independent Review, or The Cato Journal to make a first impression. In this case, a major initiative should be toget people to take some information for later How do I get peoplereading. to take the Quiz? Caution: do not try to load people down This is one of the most important questionswith every single item at your table. Find out in the entire manual. After all, if no one takesthe person’s interests, and then offer them a the Quiz, then you are just standing there allcouple of items. If you give too much, people day watching people go past. And for thosewill end up being overwhelmed, and likely to introverts among us, this may also be the mostthrow it all away. If you give a little info — just difficult question, since we don’t automaticallythe right amount — then people are more likely approach other people in a way that sets them atto actually read it. And remember, with all these ease and makes them want to cooperate with us.different items on the table, it is important to Yet, this need not be a difficult part of thekeep the table neat. operation. If I may borrow from Nike com- mercials for a moment, you have to decide whatALL Booths to say, and then just say it. I have talked about some things to have at What you say may be partly based on howyour booth. One thing that I mentioned earlier you are organizing the booth, or on how peoplein the manual was a poster frame with a plastic look when they go past, or on something elsecover for your Diamond Chart. This helps keep it unrelated. The point is that you have to getclean and neat, and makes it easier when you someone’s attention first, and the rest follows.have to peel off the stick-on dots. You will have For example, if you are using the Harristo peel them off after every outing, or else you Jars, simply make eye contact with someonesoon have a blob of color and no one can even near the booth, and ask the question on yoursee the ideological labels underneath, at which banner: “Does government do a good job?” Youtime the Chart loses all of its value. can use this same line over and over all day 14
  15. 15. Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manuallong. Once people hear the question, you can Quiz where you can write the point total forpoint to the jars, and ask people to drop a each section. When you add them up, put thequarter in the jar of their choice. respective point totals in these spaces. You will If they participate that far, then you say use these numbers to figure out where the“Would you please take our 10-question person belongs on the Diamond Chart.survey?” And as you do this, hand over a Note that the points themselves don’t haveclipboard and pen. Place these in people’s hands any particular underlying meaning. They arebefore they have a moment to say “no.” After simply the mechanism by which we figure outall, they are going with the flow, and it is easy where the person belongs on the Diamondfor you to set the pace of your encounter. Chart. We could have used an entirely different If you are working at a candidate booth, you mechanism to indicate where people belong, orsimply ask people to learn about your candidate. used single digits instead of double digits, or“Are you familiar with Mr. Jones, candidate for many other systems; this one is just easy to use.Governor?” Once you have their attention, then It is not necessary for people to understandtell them that Mr. Jones is getting feedback that big scores or small scores have particularfrom people, and ask them to please fill out this meaning, or even to know what their scores are.short political opinion survey. After all, these numbers are only used to indicate My particular technique is somewhat akin to the point on the Chart where the person belongs.a carnival barker. You have all seen carnival It is the location on the Chart that has meaning,employees urging you to attend their show, or so don’t get bogged down explaining to thecome to their booth. “Five tries for a buck! Come person what their calculated scores are.on, give it a try!” They urge and cajole you to Let’s look at one example of scoring to givetoss ping-pong balls into saucers, or throw darts you a better idea of how this works. Supposeat balloons, or squirt water into a clown’s you have these answers:mouth, win a stuffed bear, guess your weight, What are your views on PERSONAL issues?or whatever it is. These carnies get your Government should not censor speech, press, media, or internet. ......... Dattention, and just ask over and over and over. Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft. ............ A Since I frequently do OPH on college campuses, There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults. .............. A Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs. .................. AI tell students that they should stop and take There should be no National ID card. ................................................. Amy test, that I guarantee they will pass, thatevery answer is a correct answer, and so on. What are your views on ECONOMIC issues? End corporate welfare. No government handouts to business. .... M While I take no for an answer, I don’t take End government barriers to international free trade. ................ Mno answer for an answer, and I keep pitching to Let people control their own retirement. Privatize Social Security. . Dthem until they either say okay, no, or are out Replace government welfare with private charity. .................... A Cut taxes and government spending by 50% or more. ............... Aof earshot. Eventually, I might say somethingcute enough that the person turns to me andagrees to take the Quiz. ■ Personal Issues You would add 80 points for the four Agree answers (20 + 20 + 20 + 20), and 0 points forHow do I figure out where the Disagree answer. Thus, you would put 80 inpeople belong on the Chart? the space under the Personal Issues section. Once they have taken the Quiz, you willneed to evaluate their answers and figure out ■ Economic Issueswhere they belong on the Chart. This is very In this case, you would add 40 points forsimple. You will calculate a score for the the two Agree answers (20 + 20), and 20 pointsPersonal Issues, and a separate score for the for the two Maybe answers (10 + 10). We add 40Economic Issues. You give 20 points for each + 20, and get a total of 60 points for theAgree answer, 10 points for each Maybe answer, Economic Issues section.and 0 points for each Disagree answer. For easy reference, there is a space on the We will find the number 80 on the Personal 15
  16. 16. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-GovernmentIssues side of the Chart, and see where its line more dubious. And uncertainty leads togoes up and to the right. We will then find the rejection. Better practice what you will say andnumber 60 on the Economic Issues side, and see then say it smoothly, cheerfully, andwhere its line goes up and to the left. We call confidently; don’t just blurt something out.this person an 80-60, and we find the spot When I find someone who scores in thewhere these two items intersect. This point is in libertarian section, I usually respond like this:the top portion — the libertarian section. “Hey, that’s great — you’re a libertarian. DidWhoopee! That’s what you are looking for! you know that?” (pause for answer) “I’m here today with (my local group) and we are out trying to identify people who already believe the things that we believe — like you. If you give me your contact information, I’d be happy to inform you of upcoming activities and events that you might find interesting.” At this point, I hand the Quiz back to the person and turn it over to the back, where I have the spaces for the person’s Name, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone, and E-Mail. I also hand over a pen, and then I shut up! Don’t talk while the person is writing this down; talking at this stage will reduce the number of people who actually fill it out. And be sure to get the e-mail address; it is easier and less expensive to send e-mail to your contacts than it is to send regular mail. Once I’ve got their contact information, I tell them about our upcoming group activities. I like to do OPH in conjunction with an “Intro- Once you have evaluated the Quiz three or duction to Libertarianism” presentation. Andfour times and figured out how to place people because I often work on college campuses, Ion the Chart, you will realize that this is a very frequently hold an Intro presentation on thateasy task. For the person taking the Quiz, of very night, to get those who are reallycourse, it might be tough to figure out because enthusiastic. I often hold another Intro sessionthey have likely never done this. But once you in about two weeks, for those folks who need ahave scored a small handful of Quizzes, you will little time to put the event on their calendar.be able to find where folks fit on the Chart as if Remember, the main purpose of the OPHyou were an old pro at it. booth is to gather names of prospective liber- tarians. It is not to argue with every con-How do I get contact servative or liberal who comes along and wantsinformation from the to pick a fight. If you want to do that, you don’t need an OPH booth; you merely need aprospective libertarians? sign that says: “Libertarian wants to argue with First, you should be aware of the things you Liberals and Conservatives. Step up and give meshould not do. Do not say, “Uh, like, would you, your best shot!” You will have all the argumentuh, like to, y’know, be on my, um, mailing list?” you need, and you won’t have to go to theThe answer to this question is always “NO!” effort of putting up an OPH booth. Being uncertain is the kiss of death inoutreach. If you are uncertain or tentativeabout this request, then the other person, whohas less information than you have, will be even 16
  17. 17. Advocates for Self-Government Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Doing An OPH: Follow UpF ollow-up is a crucial element of the the libertarian area will usually either be OPH event. A good follow-up event interested right away — or won’t be interested soon after the OPH will significantly at all. And if the person is interested right away, you need to have an event right away.increase your conversion rate — the number The best thing to do is to hold an “Intro-of people who actually become members of duction to Liberty” presentation that veryyour organization. Since a main purpose evening, and another within two weeks of yourof OPH is to find prospective libertarians OPH. Strike while the iron is hot. Have anwhom you can then get to join your group, opportunity for the person to immediatelydoing the OPH without doing the follow-up begin learning more.pretty much misses the point of havingthe event in the first place. What should I do at an Intro presentation?What should I do with I suggest you start off by “borrowing” from some great libertarian book, such as David Berg-the names I get? land’s Libertarianism in One Lesson or either of There are three key things to do with all of Harry Browne’s campaign books, Why Governmentthe contacts you get. Doesn’t Work or The Great Libertarian Offer. Just First, enter them into your group’s database read them, pick out the basic themes, arguments,so that you can mail information, newsletters, and examples, and give the presentation.and other information to them. If you really don’t want to write your own Second, enter them into an e-mail manage- speech, that’s not a problem. The Advocates hasment tool, such as Yahoo Groups, so that you some pre-written speeches that you can deliver.can send e-mail to them. (This is faster and far You can buy the script from the Advocates, andless expensive than regular mail.) you can even listen to a tape of someone else Third, share the information with the delivering the speech before a live audience.Advocates, who will help pass these names Also, have a sign-in sheet. Have someonealong to other libertarian organizations, such as working at the door, and get every attendee tothink tanks, magazines, or book sellers. sign in when they arrive. Sometimes, the infor- And remember this: contacts grow stale! mation from the OPH table will be illegible, orWhatever you are going to do with the names, you may have spilled coffee on it, or somethingyou should do it immediately! else can happen. It’s better to get the infor- mation again. And that way, if someone brings aShould I hold an Introductory friend, you will get the friend’s information, too. A final suggestion: End every introductorypresentation after the OPH? presentation by inviting attendees to join your I do. In fact, this is the key to all of my group and become volunteers. Remember, youOPH events. I don’t just do OPH simply because don’t just want these folks to become libertariansI like doing it (although I certainly like doing — you want them to become active libertarians.it!). Rather, I do OPH to try to get people What can these new volunteers do? Theyinvolved in my organization. And for most can help staff your next OPH booth! Put thempeople, if they are going to take any action, it to work recruiting the next generation of liber-will be right away. tarian activists. That’s the only way our A person whose results place him or her in movement will grow. 17
  18. 18. Operation Politically Homeless Mini-Manual Advocates for Self-Government Conclusions and CommentsA fter they come to the OPH, after The Maxi-Manual and the Checklists and you add them to the mailing list, Sample Documents are all available online in after you give the Intro Presen- PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format. They can be downloaded for free at www.TheAdvocates.orgtation, after you share the names with There is additional information availablethe Advocates, you can prepare for your at the Advocates Web site, including a verynext OPH outreach event! thorough FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.What if I want more You might even send an e-mail to me personally, if you come across me out in cyber-information about OPH? space. For that matter, if you catch me at just This Mini-Manual is taken from a longer the right time, I might come help you set up anOPH Maxi-Manual. In the interest of brevity, OPH table and give an Intro to Libertarianismsome sections have been reduced, re-written, or speech. Good luck, and never forget: OPH is fun!eliminated entirely here. The Maxi-Manualincludes more background on the DiamondChart, suggested wording options when you dealwith people at the table, and much more. Thus,the first place to look for more information is inthe Maxi-Manual. In addition, you can look at the “Checklistsand Sample Documents” file. It includes a checklist to track everything you are doing, samplepress releases, information on how to compile apress list, and so forth. Just print these out, andfollow them like a game plan. ADVOCATES for SELF-GOVERNMENT THE LIBERTY BUILDING • 213 SOUTH ERWIN STREET • CARTERSVILLE, GA 30120-3513 WWW.THEADVOCATES.ORG • PHONE: 770-386-8372 • FAX: 770-386-8373 • EMAIL: QUIZ@THEADVOCATES.ORG 18