News Category: From Morton Blackwell

Dr. William Murphy -- When LI Grads Succeed, Conservatism Succeeds
Dr. William Murphy -- When LI Grads Succeed, Conservatism Succeeds

Often in politics, there are doers, and there are thinkers.

The doers knock on doors, build organizations, and lobby for their movement.  The thinkers research and compose policy proposals; they’re academics who shape the way we see the world.  Both are assets to the conservative movement, and both are necessary to succeed.

Dr. William Murphy encompasses both qualities.

A Professor at the New England Institute of Technology, Dr. Murphy specializes in U.S. foreign policy and national security.  He is a veteran, Harvard graduate, former President at Peak Performance Technology Partners, and was Finance Director at Bateman for Congress in 1992 where he first met Leadership Institute President, Morton Blackwell.

But it’s his next project that’s potentially his most exciting yet!  After discussing his plans with Morton, Dr. Murphy intends to...

How to Communicate With Your Liberal Friends and Neighbors – Without Alienating Them
How to Communicate With Your Liberal Friends and Neighbors – Without Alienating Them

We’ve all been there. We’ve been unfriended on Facebook during the 2016 election cycle, forced into an awkward political discussion over Thanksgiving dinner, or attacked on Twitter for making a political comment.

Yes, the current political climate is hostile; but there is a way to communicate effectively without losing all of your friends.

The Walls Have Ears
The Walls Have Ears

You may be surprised to learn that the number of staff working each day to advance the conservative movement is small.  In Washington, D.C., it’s a few thousand at most.

This is great for your career!  Working in the small DC conservative movement, it is easy to get to know the influential players who can support your career advancement.  But reputations are made very quickly, and for those less savvy who don’t mature quickly, simple mistakes can be destructive.

One of the worst mistakes anyone can make in Washington, D.C. is to bad mouth their boss or their organization.

You can avoid these three common mistakes...

Using Snapchat As An Activist
Using Snapchat As An Activist

More than 160 million people check Snapchat every day -- and seven out of 10 of them are under the age of 35.

The popular mobile app first became known for users posting videos and pictures that “self-destruct” (disappear) after they’re played.

But there’s more to Snapchat than that. Members of Congress, media companies from the Wall Street Journal to the Food Network, and media personalities like Bret Baier are all on it too.

Here’s how you can make the most of Snapchat as an activist.

A Blog Can Be Great For Your Career
A Blog Can Be Great For Your Career

When people think about blogs, they usually dismiss them as a prehistoric way of getting ideas into the public realm.  Today many people prefer a 140-character tweet to a well thought out, self-published article that takes a lot of work to compose and publicize.

However, when it comes to your career, demonstrating passion for your field is critical.  Writing a blog, which is accessible to recruiters, could be what secures your next big opportunity.  Here are 5 ways writing a blog can benefit your career.

You can establish yourself as a thought leader

Recruiters will expect to see that you have knowledge of your field and show an active interest.  By writing a blog directly related to the professional area in which you want to progress, you can illustrate your interest and your ability to... 

3 Effective Ways to Boost Your Facebook Engagement
3 Effective Ways to Boost Your Facebook Engagement

You may notice a pattern every time you scroll your newsfeed. It starts with a relevant update, then an advertisement, and it doesn’t take long before a video starts auto-playing.

The biggest question on people’s minds when they see this pattern is, “How do I get my content to appear first in everyone else’s newsfeed?”

Here are three things you can start doing now:



I remember reciting my first speech
I remember reciting my first speech

I remember reciting my first speech – “Respect the flag . . . “ – those are the only words I remember, maybe because that’s the title.

Although I don’t remember the words, I do remember the feeling I had as a seven-year-old reciting the poem from memory in front of judges and others I didn’t know.

I was nervous. I had butterflies. And I knew I didn’t want to mess up.

I adjusted my sparkly Uncle Sam hat and waited for the judge’s nod while my heart seemed to pound out of my chest.

I drew a deep breath and began the poem. With shaky hands I...

Five things you should do in your first week at a new job
Five things you should do in your first week at a new job

Starting a new job is among the most daunting experiences in our professional lives.  After all, you only get one chance at a first impression.

As well as trying to wrap your head around your new responsibilities, learn the office culture, make friends, and demonstrate your ability, you’re also trying to keep your feet on the ground and build a successful future for yourself.

It is natural to want to keep your head down and not draw attention to yourself, like a mouse among sleeping cats.  This is a mistake!  Here are five things you should do in your first week...

Morton's Daylily Offer to Wednesday Wakeup Club Breakfast Attendees

Dear fellow conservative,

You may know that I cross breed and raise daylilies and send hundreds of daylily plants each year to Leadership Institute donors who have requested them.

Now I have a problem that I ask you to help me solve.

Each spring I carefully cross pollinate my most lovely and interesting daylily flowers to produce new varieties.  I harvest the mature seeds in August and plant them in trays to grow through the winter in my office windows until all danger of frost is past.  Then I plant the seedlings outside in flower beds.  A year later, the new plants bloom, and I can give really fine ones to LI donors with descriptions of their flowers.

The problem I hope you will help me solve is that last August so many seeds germinated that I have many more seedlings than I have room to plant in my flower beds.

I’ve filled with new seedlings all the available flower beds, and I have hundreds of healthy, extraordinary seedlings that will die if...

In Memory of Richard (
In Memory of Richard ("Rick") E. Hendrix (1957-2016)

With great sadness, I report the passing of a friend, a colleague, a leader in the conservative movement, and a good and humble man.

Rick Hendrix passed away yesterday, June 13, at Fairfax INOVA Hospital.  He was surrounded by his loving family and friends.

Rick worked as a direct mail fundraiser for more than three decades.  Most know him as a founding partner of ClearWord Communications Group, a successful and effective high-dollar direct mail agency.

For 10 years before that, from 1993 to 2003, Rick ran the direct mail program here at the Leadership Institute.  He oversaw a more than tenfold increase in the Institute's donor base.  Staff often joked that Rick could write in my voice even better than I could.

For the last 23 years, Rick provided the copy for many of the Institute’s monthly mailings.  His work generated millions of dollars in donations that have made the Institute’s many activities possible.

Rick volunteered as a lecturer for almost all of the Institute’s fundraising schools.  Over the years, he taught thousands of conservatives how to build fundraising programs for their organizations.  The entire conservative movement and our country...

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