My personal leap of faith

Dear Friends,

I never imagined writing this letter. When you find yourself surprised by it, please rest assured that you cannot be more so than I.

On April 6, I begin a new role as Director of New Media for the Republican National Committee. I am honored and humbled to be selected. I am also thrilled to be following the great work of my dear friend, Cyrus Krohn and his team.

I am anxious to begin the task of using new media and technology to demonstrate that our country’s founding values, among them -the revolutionary recognition that God granted people inalienable rights, a limited government which administers to the affairs of the people at whose pleasure it serves, understandable laws which apply equally to all people, a vital defense used judiciously and reluctantly, reliance-on-self and generous charity by choice- are still the guideposts for liberty, fairness and access to success for every American. Those who know me are aware how dearly I hold these principles. The republicans long held a lead in technology: I am excited to join the team that is helping to regain it.

Above all, though, I am stunned to be heading to D.C. Like many of us, I’ve never cared for the notion that Americans should divide ourselves by political party.  Nevertheless, they are a reality. The American people must choose their future.  We do that through political parties as much as individual leaders. I do not agree with the path the onto which the party currently in power has driven us.  I believe my party will correct our course.

I decided to leave a company I started and love, and to relocate my family because I am alarmed by what we have all witnessed in a scant eight-weeks. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid have swiftly driven Americans into truly unprecedented -and perhaps unsustainable- levels of debt. President Obama’s professional political advisers have followed their own advice  –“never waste a good crisis”– to move all Americans -with strikingly little debate- into government-administered health care, many Americans into a permanent dependency upon their neighbors, and our hardest working citizens away from their right to secret ballots. Our President has shown no willingness to rein in his partners. Like many conservatives, I considered “going John Galt”; instead, I am headed to Washington D.C. to lend whatever small measure of help I am able to contribute to communicate why we Republicans best represent American values. I believe conservatives around the country are doing the same in their own ways.

My first goal is to help return the Republican party to a majority position in the House. Perhaps ironically, I believe that functioning in an environment which requires cooperation may, in fact, bring out the best qualities of our President, who is so uniquely gifted in persuasion. For such a big role, I am no doubt too small but, with the help of a staff far smarter than me, and an energetic base of technology professionals, I will accept the steep learning curve.

Our President has made clear his commitment to technology. I am pleased to agree that technology can be a bridge to knowledge. The RNC will use technology to gain knowledge -we will solicit criticism, hear it, display it and address it. We will connect constituents with their leaders in two way forums and we will employ technology to help demonstrate why unlimited government is inherently unsustainable and how I believe Republicans will care for the nation’s money like responsible people run their home budgets. Most of all, we will use technology to engage the creativity and passion of our like-minded neighbors who are leaders and creators in technology. We know that group-wisdom will always be superior to what an office of people in Washington D.C. will ever deliver.

I ask your for prayers and well-wishes, your input and your continued friendship.

Sincerely,

Todd Herman

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~ by gotliberty on March 18, 2009.

27 Responses to “My personal leap of faith”

  1. Hey Todd,

    I was in Hanson’s MCDM class you spoke in last quarter. Congrats on the new post. As one of the few Republicans in the MCDM program, it is great to see the RNC looking at the future and bringing in people with the knowledge to help steer the GOP in the right direction. Good luck and hopefully you can wake some people up about the power of new media and technology.

    Brian Johnson

    • Brian – I am thankful to have your note and your support. I don’t know how much knowledge I have—some, I guess. The DNC has an amazing machine and the President just had a million people sign a pledge to support HIM (and, yes, I find that just a tiny bit spooky in that, I would hope, some of those people might just disagree with him once in four years … just as I hope to agree with him soon … but, I digress). One thing we conservatives -and classic liberals- working in technology can do is to admit whom we are. We will need your help, Sir. This is an open channel (as you can see from the hate-mail, above). Please stay in touch!

  2. Glad to see you like my site, I’m flattered. Are you on Twitter?

    • Dan! – Wow! I am blown away that you saw and responded. My Twittering has been for my company, so I will have to see if I do that in this role. I would much rather have other people do so—our members and our supporters. I will private mail you. I don’t know a thing about your politics but it’s really a gas to see you post here. Thanks and I will get in touch.

  3. Hey good luck with going to Washington to defend the rights of rich white folks against the popular Preisdent and his proposals thathave overwhelming support in the heartleand of this nation. Maybe you’ll turn the party of ‘No’ into the party of ‘No thank you.’

    And just so you know, Martin Luther King Jr. was a liberal. So you really outgh to remove him from your cheesy banner.

    • MomneyMuck@Gmail.com: Thank you for your comments. Yours is the type of thoughtful, constructive criticism from the caring, deeply principled left-wing of the democrat establishment that enriches debate, informs minds and make clear -as clear as the sky of the purest azure- that you are motivated only by the truest form of diversity, a commitment to open exchange of ideas and for the good graces of all Americans. I am certain that Reverend King would be thrilled to know that he has amongst his supporters a person capable of using E.S.P. to determine another man’s views on race and -as a hat trick- a supporter who admonishes people to not respect the Reverend should they disagree with some of his politics while, at the same time, being overwhelmed by the shear greatness of the Reverend and his blessed accomplishments. I am, in short, a fan of your towering intellect. Thank you.

  4. First, congratulations on your new endeavor.

    I’m compelled to comment, primarily because I read “Microsoft” in an industry newsletter, a company I admire and owe a lot for the great tools it offers.

    I respect your beliefs but I hope you can find a different basis and tactic for your attempt at reviving the Republican Party.

    You see, there are enough loud voices that spew empty mindless rants, and while they do have an audience, it’s the same “already captured” audience. All that does is make already rabid believers even more so, it does not bring a positive “ROI” to your bottom line.

    If you expect a new audience, please grant your new audience the benefit of logic – I’m sure this isn’t a new concept coming from an industry where logic is the product.

    So to start, please:

    1. Don’t pass on a new version of history that somehow began only in November 2008. We’re where we are because of the mistakes made, prior to that date in time.

    I think you’d do better by acknowledging it, moving on, and talk more about your own version of recovery, in a positive manner.

    2. I think logical people don’t need much to realize that the spending done these days is spent/targeted locally, to the people of this country. Today’s debt is real and is at least spent on local programs.

    Yesterday’s debt, which was just as real, was spent on rebuilding foreign countries. Please move away from the notion that yesterday’s war debt was a “freebie”, it’s not, and continues to grow today.

    3. Please understand that ordinary people will not connect with a version of health care that either (a) simply blasts a new idea to fix a broken system, or (b) insisting that the broken system is the way it is.

    I do believe we are all responsible for ourselves, and our health, but since we really haven’t yet fully understood the human body (gosh, we haven’t even cured the common cold) and how an affliction can suddenly hit us, having to go through a list of ailments just to know whether or not I should go to get treatment is a broken system.

    Yes, one shouldn’t have to do this, but the reality is that people do, ironically, trying to be responsible with finances – re: can I afford this treatment? Will I have to suddenly rely on loans and other programs just so I can get treatment? And sadly, “I think I can live with this ailment”, because the alternative is dire (I’ll lose my house, can’t afford to feed by kids, lost education, etc.).

    # # #

    These are but a few things I hope you’ll listen to. I’m obviously on the opposite side of your beliefs, but just like most people (I hope), not rabid believers of some notion of “party line loyalty”.

    Talk smart, respect your audience, offer logical; rational ideas, and although I understand that my last hope is likely a pipe dream, please do try to separate yourselves from making decisions that affect an entire populace based on religious preferences – it doesn’t take much to see that doing so makes us just as “crazy” as some of the theocracies we’re trying to “inject” democracy with (and just have a different version).

    This tactic/strategy may not grab its 15 minutes, but it does something better, plant more solid roots in the minds of your new audience.

    • Ed – This is just a brilliant comment. I am tremendously thankful that you took your valuable time to write it.

      I am willing to wager that we could come to much agreement on what you discuss. Speaking for myself -not the party, as only Chairman Steele speaks for the RNC- I love your point about history having not begun on November 4, 2008; indeed, we started digging this hole long ago.

      I also adore what you wrote about logic and, candidly, I obviously believe logic is on the side of conservatism and Constitutional Foundations. It will take far smarter people than me (read: actual coders, Flash devs, economists), but, I do want to move beyond he said / she said arguments and into the realm of fact as presented with technology.

      The point you make about our current deficit spending being targeted internally is a worthy point to make. From the basis of logic, I would ask if it makes sense to have paid the Washington D.C. “carriage-cost” -as well as the interest we shall pay to countries like China- to spend that money. I hope we can use technology to make some determination of that.

      Because of the thoughtfulness of your comment I am tempted to continue on in point-by-point discussion but, I prefer to take you up on your challenge to do this in a new way—yes, through logic expressed in “new media”.

      Please consider this an open-invitation to communicate ideas and criticisms. If we do well, I hope you will give our ideas a fresh look.

      Gratfeully,

      -Todd

  5. Too-many-hyphens! Stop it!

  6. [...] his open letter on having this grave responsibility bestowed on him, Herman says he’s “thrilled” “honored and humbled,” [...]

  7. Todd,

    Go to DC. Engage the RNC, engage the people. Obama won because he sounded like a conservative: Messages of hope and future resonate with people, and are the true messages of conservatives. It is precisely BECAUSE we care for our fellow man that we DON’T want universal healthcare. It is BECAUSE we care for our fellow man that we don’t want the creation of a nanny state.

    Not sure if it’s appropriate, don’t want to throw GWB under the bus and all, but we conservatives were up in arms when he wasn’t acting like a fiscal conservative.

    and if you put stock in Bill Buckley, at least he would agree you’re going to do God’s work:

    “I believe that the duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world. I further believe that the struggle between individualism [i.e. conservatism] and collectivism [liberalism] is the same struggle reproduced on another level.”

    Godspeed Mr. Herman.

    • Brien- My goodness what a nice thing for you to do and say. Thank you.

      I concur with you on the nature of caring for people by respecting their ability to achieve of their own God-given gifts. Conservatives and Republicans, I wager, would stand and fight for anyone’s right to sell, buy, try, share and fail. In those endeavors we find our true selves. If I had not cashed in many times on the right to fail, I would have no where near the experience I now have … or the blessings.

      But, as you know, there are those who want the right to never fail and to never have to see failure. Simple common sense alone tells us what awful children we would raise if did so on that basis. But, somehow we have reached a point where Fox Dynamics recently found that 68% of Americans think the Government should make sure we all have food. None of us want to see people starve, ever! But, how many really want to live with our very bodies fed by government; the politician who gives the cheeseburger can also refuse the fries. ;>

      I come from a liberal to progressive family and work in the People’s Republic of Seattle so, I also know that our brothers & sisters in opposition would say they also come from a position of caring. But, we know that the “easy” way to “care” -take from what the government defines as “rich” 60% of what they earn- also positions government as the arbiter of whom shall have what, it aggrandizes government as the “giver.” Charity, of course, does the opposite.

      The Onus, then, is upon us: we must better communicate how a reasonable level of self-reliance, the expectation that one works for what one needs and wants and, the resulting sufficiency-of-self will, in fact, allow us to be an even more charitable people.

      My task is to find & empower people far smarter than me to use our coming platform to help display the utter logic of our position and the way that it does, in fact, come from a deep-seeded belief in the power of the people to enjoy the blessings and responsibilities of freedom. The existing RNC staff all qualify as smarter than me so, we are getting there.

      Brien: I appreciate your note, I hope you will stay in touch and help us. We need you.

      • Todd,

        also hailing originally from the People’s Republic of Seattle, I know what you mean. I once had a girl in the U-district literally cuss me out for having a Bush sticker and “think freely, vote conservative” bumper sticker on my car.

        having worked for 5 yrs in digital media (started at Atlas in ’04) I’ve got a few ideas on how to do this new media thing. Let me know if you need any more “outsider” help in DC. Then again, Hollywood (my current stomping ground) needs as much help as it can get :)

      • Cool! Another under-grounder! We must connect. Are you on Facebook?

  8. I would like to begin by congratulating you on your acceptance of the new position with the RNC. It is a lofty endeavor but one that I am sure you will tackle admirably and decisively.

    As a party we must do a better job of using the “new media” to effectively communicate our philosophy and vision for the country. We have failed to effectively define ourselves. The extent we have failed to do so, is the extent to which we have allowed others to define us.

    By honing our message and using political technology to organize and communicate we can maximize the number of activists and party faithful engaged on issues of importance to conservatives.

    Best wishes and God’s Speed to you and yours in this new journey. Count me as one who is ready and willing to provide assistance in any way possible.

    • Ryan- You are counted in, Sir. Thank you for your suggestions and kind words.

      Honestly, as is always the case, it will be The People who make the difference. Speaking as Joe-Citizen, not and RNC employee, I agree that we have failed in many ways to properly tell our story. Worse, though, we have been sitting by while Jon Stewart tells it for us.

      Please stay in touch and know that, when we get some things in place, the Bat Light is going to go off and we will need you.

      Have you created your RNC profile?

      Thank you again and fire-away with suggestions!

    • I agree about the need to better define ourselves, but I wonder if the problem also lies in the need to better defend ourselves.

      • I do think we must do a better job of defending ourselves and of offering ourselves—that it to say, of being openly principled people.

  9. 2 words
    lame
    pathetic

  10. Thank god you aren’t going “Galt” on us!
    Oh, by the way, what vital function do you provide for humanity? Doctor? Nurse? Reliever of suffering?
    Oh, gasbag.
    Wonderful.

    • Dear BB_Andy11@Yahoo.com – I whittle fine musical instruments from the jawbones of prehistoric cartoon characters … oh, and I start businesses, employ people, patent technologies and help big companies earn lots of honest profit through new, digital media segments. My biggest contribution, though, is just trying to be a good Dad/Husband.

      I am aware that none of those qualities rise to the level of importance of a reflexively rude Comment-Troll but, no one is perfect. Enjoy your day at home.

  11. Todd, congratulations on the new job. I’m 32 years old and a former California Assembly intern and US Congressional intern. Currently an executive manager and entrepreneur. I’ve longed for some enhanced technological acumen in the Republican Party. Please email me, as I’d love to share some thoughts with you.

    Pubically, I would encourage you to:

    1: Stand for Constitutionally sound principles.
    2: Target and focus on minority demographics without pandering or sacrificing conservative principles.
    3: Target youth.
    4: Focus on grassroots movements.
    5: Use your influence in the Republican Party to push the importance of supporting politically viable and electible candidates to office.
    6: Buck the trend of trying to make the Republican Party more attractive to voters by making it look more like the Democrat Party. Only by sound principles and sharp contrast will Obama-backlash voters know to come to the Republican party for real “change”.

    I have some very specific idea’s I’d love to share but if I don’t hear from you, good luck and I’ll pray for your success.

  12. I love it when you right wing jesus freaks come in your pants over Ayn Rand. You know she was a hard core athiest who is laughing in her grave over your “prayers”.
    She would eat your pathetic ass and spit you out if she ever met you.

    • Andy, I thought the left were pillars of tolerance. What is with all the swearing and bashing of personal beliefs. You have your “messiah” running the government now, don’t waste your time with us…just go and enjoy your crushing victory over the conservatives and enjoy the utopia that is the Obama administration.

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