1991 Freedom Activists Directory of anti-communists in the Soviet Empire
Morton C. Blackwell
January 1, 1991
1991 Freedom Activists Directory of anti-communists in the Soviet Empire
It's so like a fairy tale. The evil rulers are overthrown. The people rejoice and pick new rulers of their choice. Prosperity and good feeling then mark a new era of freedom. Unfortunately, actual events seldom end as do so many happy fairy tales. The people of Central and Eastern Europe are unlikely to live happily ever after. Unhappily, I foresee economic and political disaster in these areas, and soon, whether or not the Red Army soldiers all pack up and go home. Download the whole FREEDOM ACTIYISTS DIRECTORY
Conservative Inclusion of
Morton C. Blackwell
September 1, 2017
Conservative Inclusion of "Minorities"
By Morton C. Blackwell Conservatives can and must break the still-strong power of hard-line leftists over certain categories of Americans. Segregated political parties and segregated political activity are bad for our country and for those people who are segregated, even if they segregate themselves. Marxists have used this clever technique for generations, with considerable success. Others on the left have imitated their use of it. They set up a tightly-controlled organization purporting to represent an entire "group" or category of people. They then decry those in the defined category who don't kowtow to the organization and who do not share the organization's leftist policy agenda. The message is: If you don't submit yourself to our organization's entrenched leaders, you are a traitor to your personal identity. Leftists use identity politics on ethnic groups, women, students, salaried workers and any other category of people where they think it might work. Sometimes it works very well. Never mind that much or even all of that organization's policy agenda would actually hurt the people in the defined category. The underlying purpose of such organizational activity is to obtain and keep power for the organization's leaders. One reason for the effectiveness of this technique is the human dislike of criticism. Peer pressure works. No one likes to be thought of as "disloyal." Few people enjoy the prospect of being ostracized. Sometimes the persuasion involves more than social pressure. The Soviet and Chinese communists executed people for being traitors to their "class," and the African National Congress orchestrated widely-publicized murders, the "necklacing" of insufficiently revolutionary blacks in South Africa. Fortunately, in the United States we have a prevailing national system of treating people as individuals, not as members of any group or category. Americans' strongest and best response to group politics, which becomes "group rights," is to stand foursquare for individual rights. If we insist on treating people as individuals, rather than as members of this or that often poorly-defined category, we can take the offensive against leftist dividers who use the admittedly powerful, divide-and-rule technique. Of course, merely proclaiming that everyone should treat everyone else as individuals is not sufficient. Wise conservative and pro-liberty activists and leaders must actually treat every individual fairly and stoutly insist that all Americans' rights spring from our common American identity, not from ethnic, socio-economic or any other type of category. Conservatives cannot help themselves or our country by having leftist leaders in for tea, much less by pouring private or tax money into their organizations to fund more leftist political activity. Instead, conservatives must reach out and identify philosophically compatible individuals among the types of people among whom leftist organizers have had some success. In every category that the left attempts to segregate, one can find folks committed more-or-less to the principles of limited government, free enterprise, strong national defense and traditional moral values. Seek out the reasonably conservative people, the younger the better, who happen to be in categories long-targeted for organization by the left, people who share our American view of individual rights rather than group rights. Help them deepen their understanding of public policy issues. Then undertake systematic, persistent actions to recruit them into the public policy process, teach them political skills, and place them where they can be effective. Do all you can to advance and to protect them. Their success breaks down the leftist organizers' power monopolies. Expect fierce reactions from those whose dominance they threaten, as when Clarence Thomas was nominated for the Supreme Court. Leftist groups' leaders will undermine, denounce, and smear any conservative in any category they claim as their own. The left knows they must prevent the rise of such individuals if they can. Prepare for such vicious attacks and counter them with all the legitimate means available. Treating people as individuals works in America. The descendants of Irish and Italian immigrants and whole Protestant denominations which once were almost entirely Democrat in party affiliation are now largely Republican. In this long and arduous struggle, the truth helps conservatives -- the truth about the real nature of rights in America -- the truth that the leaders of the leftist group-identity organizations are obviously self-seeking -- and the truth that such leftist leaders often advocate public policies which, in fact, harm many people, sometimes almost all the people, in the defined categories their organizations purport to encompass. Conservatives can win this long contest between the idea of individual rights and that of group rights. Group rights is a chimera concealing a road to ever bigger government and the loss of all rights. That road is a dead end. Work hard and wisely to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in all categories of people. That road leads to increasing success.
Excellence Questions
Morton C. Blackwell
October 6, 2015
Excellence Questions
The Leadership Institute's Questions Which Can Accumulate Evidence of Excellence in Employees Character Do they tell the truth and neither exaggerate the good news nor conceal the bad news? Do they avoid using our organization's resources for their personal benefit? Do they behave personally in ways which will not bring scandal to our organization? Judgment Do they show good judgment in their routine activities? Do they react quickly and with good judgment when faced with unexpected problems? Do they distinguish well among bad ideas, good ideas, and the best ideas? Do they understand that unexpected problems frequently arise and therefore set and keep realistic deadlines for completion of their projects? Do they clearly understand the difference between a prudent test of a new idea and betting the ranch? Are they careful in their expenditures of our organization's funds, spending no more of donors' gifts than is appropriate to achieve good results? Do they keep in mind, in all they do, their responsibility to our donors? Do they wisely decide what constitutes good value for funds expended? Do they achieve worthwhile reductions in spending without hurting effectiveness? Do they clearly understand how very expensive staff time is? Do they intelligently, promptly, and faithfully follow instructions from supervisors? Do they keep their supervisors out of trouble by respectfully calling their attention to potential mistakes? Do they accept constructive criticism well and gracefully accept supervisors' decisions not to implement some of their ideas? Do they have good judgement in knowing when to make decisions themselves and when to refer to supervisors for decisions? Do they treat their subordinates respectfully? Do they avoid ever being officious or petty? At work and away from work, do they communicate only positive information about our organization and neither spread malicious gossip nor generate intra-office resentment and strife? Do they understand what would endanger the tax status of our organization and make sure that their actions and the actions of their co-workers would not trigger such problems? Both at work and away from work, are they solidly committed to the conservative position on all the public policy issues important to movement conservatives? If they are not enthusiastically conservative on every significant issue, do they cheerfully help conservatives with whom they disagree on some issues? Diligence and Work Habits Do they show initiative and do valuable things for our organization beyond what they are specifically directed to do and beyond the minimum required by their job descriptions, rather than do only what they have to do? Do they keep track of their work assignments and seldom let anything "slip through the cracks"? Do they set priorities well in doing their work? Are they personally well-organized as they do their work? Do they take no longer than they should to do specific tasks? Are they always well-dressed and well-groomed? Do they keep their work space clean and organized? Do they arrive to work punctually and cheerfully stay longer hours when necessary to get projects completed on time? Do they use their time well and not spend too much time on personal phone calls, sending out personal emails, or imposing on co-workers' valuable time with chit-chat? Have they "documented" in writing how they do their work so someone else could benefit from their experience and so our organization would suffer the least possible loss of their portion of our institutional memory if they get run over by a cement truck tomorrow or leave for any reason? Interpersonal Cooperation Do they demonstrate a positive attitude and contribute to good morale in our organization? Do they recognize and praise excellence in others? Do they work pleasantly with others in their department and facilitate teamwork which helps them do their jobs better? Do they work pleasantly with those in other departments and facilitate teamwork which helps our organization and helps them do their jobs better? Do they promptly and accurately report financial and/or programmatic data and other information useful to their supervisors and to development staff and programs staff? Do they go out of their way to treat well our donors, students, faculty, grads and co-workers? Are they polite even to those who are not polite? Do they acquire working knowledge of the other departments, communicate to other departments what they are working to accomplish, and coordinate their activities well with people in those departments? Do they accept and act in accord with our policy that other conservative organizations are our allies, not our rivals, and help us build ever-better relations with those organizations? Mission Achievement Do they fully understand and support the mission of our organization? Do they have a passion for helping conservatives become more effective activists and leaders in government, politics, and the media? Do they achieve things for conservative principles outside of the work they do for our organization? Do they fully understand their own duties and responsibilities at our organization? Do they understand the duties and responsibilities of others at our organization sufficiently to go to the right person to get specific things done? Do they handle well the most challenging aspects of their current responsibilities? Do their actions enhance the reputation of our organization? Do they achieve short-term goals and do all that is necessary to achieve long-term goals. Are they good mentors to newer, younger, or less-experienced co-workers? Do they help and teach interns, enable their interns to work at their full capacity, treat them with respect, and give them neither too much nor to little to do? Do they avoid letting any personal problems they have negatively affect their effectiveness at work? Do they identify and follow up with our outstanding students to advance our graduates' public policy activities? If their work requires writing, have they proved capable of regularly producing text which doesn't require heavy re-writing by others? Good, Better, Best Do they learn from their mistakes rather than repeating them? Do they recognize their weaknesses and work as best they can to correct them? Do they continue to improve their skills and increase their value to our organization through observation of others, formal training, and personal study? When they don't know how to complete a task for which they are responsible, do they seek out help and learn how to do it rather than burdening a co-worker with that work? Do they work constantly to upgrade the quality of the materials and procedures used here, rather than stolidly recycling old things which might be improved? Do they avoid making changes only for the sake of change and accept the proven value of old things which work well? Do they "think outside the box" and, regarding their own work and our organization as a whole, generate well-thought-out, creative, clear, and useful ideas which can be implemented with few or no amendments?
How to Present a Public Program
Morton C. Blackwell
October 6, 2015
How to Present a Public Program
Download the PDF version here. Introduction This manual is written especially for leaders of independent conservative student organizations or student divisions of campaigns who use public programs as a part of an overall strategy to advance a cause or a candidate of their choice. However, most techniques are equally applicable by anyone organizing public programs such as student government, speakers committees, professional clubs, educational groups, and entertainment programs, to name a few. Purposes and Types of Public Programs A campus political organization should schedule about one program a month and two or three major public program presentations a year in addition to your regular meetings. 1. Simple open programs These smaller, monthly programs educate and keep group members involved and interested in the group. Such programs may help to recruit new members. No special effort has to be made to bring in non-students, although each program should be announced in the campus paper, on bulletin boards, in a Facebook group or page, as well as emailed out to members. Ideas for smaller programs include: A school official A local newspaper editor or wire service reporter A panel of club members from an affiliate club on another campus A movie or documentary A local business or professional leader A local political party leader speaking on party matters An author A debate watch party Many groups have considerable success with informal discussion meetings. The group might meet in the student union building or at a local restaurant and invite a speaker with some special knowledge about a topic of current interest. The speaker gives a fifteen- or twenty-minute presentation and then leads an open-ended question-and-answer period with club members. The club should welcome speakers on different topics to expose the club members to a useful and interesting array of opinions. 2. Major public programs Major public programs should draw an audience well beyond a group's membership. They can convince undecided students and build enthusiasm among your group's members. Many major political leaders first got involved in politics after personal contact with a policy expert, candidate, or an important government official during a public program on campus. An important function of these public programs is their use as media events. This allows you to affect those who didn't attend the event itself as well as raise your group's profile on campus. You probably won't change many minds among the people who come. Most people who take the time to go to a political rally or publicized speech already have their minds made up. Therefore, pay particular attention to attracting media coverage with this event. Some examples of events where you want to maximize attendance and publicity are: A nationally-known conservative speaker A governor, senator, congressman, or other major office holder Candidates or potential candidates State or national party leaders National leaders of political organizations Visiting columnists Visiting economists or stock market experts Foreign policy experts Foreign diplomats Debates between Republican and Democratic officials Political rallies Films shown for educational purposes, for public relations, or for profit. Be sure to choose your major public program speakers carefully. Select those who will effectively promote your club's philosophy. You're not in business to provide audiences for your opposition. Your major event can feature a single speaker, or several who engage in a panel discussion. Seminars of half- a-day or full-day duration, while requiring greater effort and organization, can also draw a crowd. Major events require considerable time for planning and preparation. So you will probably not want to host more than two or three such major events per year. Planning the Event 1. Location and facilities Before any event takes place, your club should inventory the potential meeting locations. Most colleges have a list of locations available and will give it to you upon request. You can eliminate a lot of last minute headaches and be prepared to make quick decisions if you already have a sheet which lists the capacity, audio/visual capabilities, the cost, and scheduling authority's contact information for every potential site. Always underestimate crowds for a public program. It is far better to have an audience of 175 packed into a room which seats only 150 than to have an audience of 200 in a 300 seat auditorium. In one case, the newspaper headline would read, “Conservative speaks to overflow crowd,” and in the other case, even with greater turnout, the story might read: “Sparse turnout for conservative speaker at the university.” If you have to apologize, you'd rather apologize to an overflow crowd about a room a little too small than to your speaker for all the empty seats in a larger hall. The ideal situation is to have an expandable room. Many rooms have dividers which can easily be slid back. If you can reserve such a room, do so. When Ronald Reagan was scheduled to speak in the Assembly Center (which seats 7,000 when set up for a speaker) at Louisiana State University during his 1980 presidential campaign, his youth coordinator set up curtains to shrink the auditorium to seat only 2,000. On three occasions, the curtains had to be moved and more chairs brought in. If you have to apologize, you'd rather apologize to an overflow crowd about a room a little too small than to your speaker for all the empty seats in a larger hall. The ideal situation is to have an expandable room. Many rooms have dividers which can easily be slid back. If you can reserve such a room, do so. When Ronald Reagan was scheduled to speak in the Assembly Center (which seats 7,000 when set up for a speaker) at Louisiana State University during his 1980 presidential campaign, his youth coordinator set up curtains to shrink the auditorium to seat only 2,000. On three occasions, the curtains had to be moved and more chairs brought in. The event started nearly half an hour late. The constant increases in the seating area and requests for people to make more room because far more people had arrived than were expected created enormous expectation and excitement. Ronald Reagan himself dubbed it the “most successful event in my campaign to date.” Other options include providing a large screen TV and loudspeakers in another room for those who are not able to fit in the main hall. Since some reporters may arrive late, make sure you reserve enough good space for them. Place them near the back of the room to ensure they are capturing the crowd in their photos. Mark it off as the “media section.” Television cameras may require a raised platform in the middle of the room. Other considerations in choosing a meeting room include central location, easy walking distance from parking and dormitories, a well-known location, good acoustics, and availability of a good sound system. For major events, have a portable emergency sound system available just in case the built-in system suffers an attack of the gremlins. If your speaker is particularly effective in a question and answer period, another type of public program presentation which can be successful is an open-air speech at mid-day in a campus area with much foot traffic. A good portable public address system and a slightly raised platform can draw a good crowd. 2. Invitations When trying to obtain a “big name” speaker for a major public program, the three most important factors are advance notice, flexibility in dates, and solid guarantees of a well-organized, well-attended event. Invite speakers well ahead of time. Advance planning gives you time to draw a big crowd and fire up your troops for the event. Major speakers often require booking months in advance. Be clear about what dates and times are not good. Avoid weekends, especially on commuter campuses. Events the week before mid-terms and final exams could also be problematic. Check the calendar of campus activities and give an invitee as many alternative dates as you can. Avoid scheduling your event on dates that conflict with: Large sporting events Finals or midterms (or surrounding) School breaks Major campus events Local campus evets Holidays Your speaker will want to know this is a serious invitation which, if accepted, will result in a successful event. You should carefully type on club letterhead (if you don't have it, make it) all the details, including: The name of the sponsoring organization The appromimate size of the expected crowd Nature of the meeting (rally, dinner, debate, panel, or featured speaker) The suggested topics of the event (You can leave the speaker some freedom to choose topics if you wish, but it's still a good idea to suggest a few.) Wheather there will be a question and answer period following the speech Your intention to pay travel expenses and accommodations The payment you can offer, if any Opportunities for news media coverage Possible auxiliary activities, if your speaker has time If your group and the speaker share the same cause, and your program will advance this cause, let the speaker know that, too. Prominent people who know you and are known to the speaker might serve as references for your group. Ask these people to endorse your invitation with letters, emails, or phone calls to your invitee. A short history of other successful major programs your group has sponsored will help persuade a speaker to accept your invitation. If you don't know how to get in touch with the speaker you desire, the Leadership Institute may be able to help. The Leadership Institute (LI) helps independent conservative groups bring speakers to campus. If you have a specific person in mind, LI may be able to help you get in touch with the speaker to arrange the details of the visit. After you invite the speaker, it is a good idea to phone his or her office a week after mailing the invitation to be sure it was received and to ask if the speaker's staff have any questions you can answer. Once the speaker accepts, ask him to send you photos, biographical information, and useful information about the topic he will cover. After the event is set, maintain regular contact with the scheduler. Phone the speaker's office a week in advance and again a day in advance of the event to be sure everything is still scheduled. 3. Filling the Speaker's Schedule After a speaker has accepted your invitation, find out how much of his time will be available for other activities. Then try to schedule his time in order to get the maximum benefit from his visit. If the invited speaker has the time, you can expand his visit into a full day of events. Do not commit the speaker to any additional activities until he or his staff has approved them. Typical extra activities can include:?? An exclusive interview with the campus radio station or newspaper A lecture to a class Informal talks with students in the Student Union or wherever students congregate Meetings and interviews with student government and campus leaders to learn of their concerns Discussions, receptions, or meals with club members (very important to build enthusiasm) Interviews with local newspapers and appearances on local TV programs or talk radio shows. Operation Hometown – Arrange to have photographs taken of the speaker with club activists. Separate club members by hometown. When the speaker has a free moment, take casual photos of each group with the speaker and mail or email them, with appropriate identifying captions, to each group's hometown papers. Photos of local people with important public officials are almost irresistible to many local newspaper editors. Many opportunities for creative activity surround public appearances. Advance men for the late President John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign regularly set up flimsy barricades at airports, ostensibly to hold back the crowds. Crowds assembled behind the barricades. Aides posing as members of the crowd would push over the flimsy barriers at the moment the candidate arrived, allowing the crowd in a “spontaneous demonstration of enthusiasm” to surge forward and greet the candidate. All the while, TV cameras were recording the dramatic scene for the evening news. These ideas may be applied to other campus programs and not just your major events. Give every event you host an air of excitement. 4. Physical arrangements Even though you may wisely have reserved an undersized room, it is a good idea to set up fewer chairs than there is space for. Store extra chairs in an adjacent room or in the back of the meeting room. As the room begins to fill, set up additional chairs as necessary. This assures that every seat will be filled, starting with the front rows. When appropriate, decorate the room brightly with crepe paper, balloons, and posters. Ask your speaker if they have any Audio/ Visual requirements. Common AV requirements include: Projector Screen Laptop for flashdrive plug-in Internet access for videos or emails Microphones Audio speakers Extra microphone for Q & A Find out if he prefers to speak at a lectern and if he wants a lectern microphone (if a sound system is necessary). Wireless microphones are nice for speakers who like more freedom to walk around. Reserve a section in the back for the media, and make sure someone responsible gets the names of the reporters who do come. Live or recorded music helps to build spirit and enthusiasm, particularly as the crowd files in. Make arrangements for an American flag on stage. You should also provide a pitcher of ice water and a glass for the speaker. For a major event, or even a smaller, formal event, have someone offer an invocation and someone else lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Drawing a Crowd You can do many specific things to attract a crowd, but remember the most important fundamentals: Select an interesting program and spread the information regarding the event. 1. Advertising 1. Write and print up a flyer and send a campus-wide email inviting all students to attend, with bullet points explaining why they will benefit from attending. Place this flyer under every dormitory door the night before the meeting. Distribute this flyer by hand in student parking areas as commuter students arrive on campus. 2. Write a “Dear Faculty Member” letter announcing the meeting and explaining why it is important and why students ought to attend. Ask the faculty member to announce the time and place of the meeting in class. Place these letters, signed by a faculty member or student leader, in every faculty member's campus mailbox. 3. Avoid paid advertising. Take advantage of every possibility of public service announcements and earned publicity. Usually paid advertising is not cost effective and should be used only by campus speakers committees which are not on tight budgets. 4. Handmade posters are much more effective on campus than printed posters. Once a person reads one printed poster, he may ignore all the others. Handmade posters or memes, if clever, will each be read. 2. Personal Outreach 1. Many students will come if asked by a fellow student as a personal favor. If your club has developed a canvass system to identify and mobilize supportive students, every floor leader should invite every supporter and uncommitted student on his floor. 2. Make personal visits to professors in departments such as speech, economics, and government, and ask them to announce your program in class. Tailor your presentation to the particular interest of the professor. Sometimes teachers give extra credit to students who write analyses of the content or style of the speech. You should suggest this. 3. Certainly the supportive local party organizations should be invited. This would include party committees and their affiliated groups such as auxiliaries for high school students, women, and ethnic groups. 3. Media Outreach 1. Notify local journalists on and off campus, including broadcast and print media, about the event. Be sure your story is submitted well in advance of any press deadline. Personally follow-up your press releases with a phone call. 2. Personally invite local print and broadcast media with a phone call a few days before your program. Similarly, invite any non-hostile, local political bloggers. This is a helpful way to remind them of the event. Even if they are unable to send personnel to cover the event, if made aware of the program, they will be more receptive to subsequent news releases. 3. A show of interest among the public may also spark media interest if citizens call them asking for details of the event. To help show this interest, have friends call media outlets and ask for information. 4. Many media outlets will not report on the event, but they may print an announcement of the event in their paper if it is open to the public. Many universities and colleges now cater to local residents and non-students and encourage them to attend public forums or seminars featuring guest speakers on campus. 4. Coalition Outreach 1. Many other clubs may be interested in the topic. For instance, if the program will include a discussion of agricultural policy, the Future Farmers of America would be interested. If the commercialization of space will be addressed, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and other engineering groups should be contacted, etc. Make sure other clubs know early enough to put notices in their newsletters and on their bulletin boards. 2. Co-sponsoring a program with one or more organizations can sometimes help swell a crowd. But this should be done only if having co-sponsors will actually increase the crowd or media coverage. Be wary of having a bunch of do-nothings share your credit while providing nothing in return. Don't forget to invite allied groups from other campuses. 5. Social Media Outreach 1. Create a Facebook event page and ask everyone involved to invite their online network to attend. You can share the link to the event page on other student group Facebook pages and local conservative pages inviting them to attend and spread the word. 2. Share the link to the event page on Twitter using hashtags that will reach your local target demographic. 3. Consider sharing your event on Snapchat. Although this won't get you national attention, Snapchat may share it locally. 6. Concluding thoughts on outreach 1. Controversy draws a crowd. Don't worry if your opponents chalk up the sidewalks denouncing your speaker; open opposition creates student interest. 2. Some who disagree with your speaker can be specially invited too, unless they are likely to be truly disruptive. Managing the Public Program 1. Before the program begins Lighting is often a big problem at public programs. Your speaker should stand in the best-lit place in the room. Sometimes you will have to rent a spotlight which will beam at him over the heads of the audience. Always hang a group banner behind speaker to maximize group exposure and to get good photos. Never place a speaker in front of a window through which light is shining behind him. ?Never place a speaker in front of a mirror which will reflect back lights from elsewhere in the room. Never place a speaker in front of a turned-on light affixed to the wall behind him. Designate some people as ushers to oversee seating, answer questions, and distribute program or campaign flyers (if any). The ushers should also be on the lookout for hostile elements which might try to disrupt your public program. Where hecklers are likely, have many of your own group members arrive early, slip in, and seat themselves among the hecklers. This is not to confront or argue with them. Your people's presence prevents the formation of solid blocks of hecklers and dampens their group spirit. Regardless of your ultimate hopes for the event, don't call it a “rally” in your publicity materials. The word “rally” creates the expectation of a highly charged, packed event which is difficult to create. If a speech turns into a rally, so much the better, but raising expectations beforehand is not a good idea. Under-promise and over-perform. An old audience organization technique which is universally successful and not widely known is the diamond seating pattern. Four sharp people should be briefed beforehand to seat themselves in a diamond pattern in the audience. That is, one in the middle of the front row, one half way back on the extreme right, one halfway back on the extreme left, and one in the middle of the back row. In most speeches, there are pauses where applause is appropriate. The job of these four people is to look for these places and to applaud vigorously at the appropriate times. People seated in the audience are thus caught up in the obvious enthusiasm of the people around them. This technique can make even an average presentation into an outstanding success. The red dots indicate the placement of people in the audience for the diamond seating pattern. Another person should be designated to photograph the event. The photos may be useful for your publicity. And the frequent flashing of a camera strobe lends an air of drama and importance to the arrival, departure, and presentation of the speaker. Bright video camera lights turned on the moment the speaker enters heightens this effect. Another person should be appointed to manage the social media for the event. This person should tweet important lines from the speech and post pictures of the event. This will help create a buzz about the event. 2. Introducing the Speaker Do not be casual with your choice of who is to introduce your speaker. Have some competent person prepare a formal, lively introduction. The introducer must understand the audience has come to hear the speaker and not the introducer. Therefore the introduction itself should almost never be more than three minutes long. A good formula to use for a lively short introduction is the T.I.P.: Topic – what is the theme of this program? Importance – why should you be interested in this theme? Person – who is our speaker and why should you care what he has to say on this topic? The master of ceremonies should start the program only a little late. If you wait for late arrivals, those people who arrived on time will lose their enthusiasm. Usually, when programs are delayed in hope of drawing a larger crowd, no one else shows up. This devastating occurrence can be prevented by starting not more than 10 minutes later than the advertised time. Be sure the master of ceremonies encourages the audience to interact with the event via social media. Remind them of the event's hashtag. 3. The Program Have one or two group leaders brief your speaker on local “hot topics” among the students. A brief comment in the speaker's opening remarks about “your exciting victory in last Saturday's football game” will go a long way toward creating a bond with the student audience. For the convenience of the speaker, you should reserve a nearby room with a bathroom and give him 15-20 minutes before the presentation to freshen up and work on his notes. For a student audience, 20 to 40 minutes is a good length for the principal presentation. 4. Questions At most public programs, students expect to be able to ask questions. If the speaker is really good, this will be his chance to shine and to win many converts. You'll probably want to allocate another 30 minutes or so for questions. This should be announced at the beginning of the question period. There is no one best way to handle questions. It depends on many factors: the topic, the student interest, and the local circumstances. If the questioning is likely to be very lively, a firm, tough moderator should be named to keep the program orderly and save the invited speaker or candidate from having to be the “heavy” with any rude people in the audience. Possible ways to handle questions are: Audience asks questions by standing where they are (moderator should repeat questions so everyone can hear) Audience goes to fixed location(s) to ask their questions at a microphone(s) Roving moderator(s) with wireless microphones select questioners from the audience (Phil Donahue style) Audience submits written questions to moderator (less spontaneity) A panel of experts or reporters asks the questions (Better on technical topics. Can be mixed with audience questions also.) Be sure to be respectful of the opposition, especially while holding the microphone. Always prepare for the potential of a hostile crowd during the Q & A. Prepare in advance to have audience members with predetermined questions. To identify these friendly audience members to the moderator, provide them with, say, a red pen. Some thought should be given before the program as to which questions may or should be asked of the speaker. You should never try to limit the discussion to only planted questions, but there are a few reasons why you would want to at least have some planted questions: It helps direct the discussion to areas of importance, especially when the questions have strayed down irrelevant paths. It prevents the speaker from coincidentally taking only hostile questions and thereby appearing to have no support in the audience. In the opposite extreme, if the audience is largely favorable, it gives him a chance to show his stuff by giving good answers to tough questions, especially if you already know he has a good answer to a question. 5. The Recruitment Opportunity One of the world's most common and most serious political blunders is to spend hundreds of hours preparing a huge political rally only to let it come and go without ever getting the names and contact information (phone number, email address, and mailing address) of those in attendance. You may not be able to do extensive recruiting at all public programs, but you should almost always make some attempt to do so. You should also have a membership table clearly visible before and after the program so that students who want more information may talk with your club members. You'll find this a great way to recruit new members. The table should be located just outside or next to the door. Pass around sign-up sheets or ask people to sign in at the front door. If the event is a political rally, it can be expected that most of those present are supporters. The list from such a rally will be an extremely valuable source of new members or volunteers for future activities. Of course, if the speaker is willing to endorse your group and its activities at some point in the program, that will encourage interest. Even programs which are not yours can be a source of new members. Note the questions asked, and speak with the sympathetic questioners after the program. As soon as the event has ended, wrap up by informing the audience they have the option to take a photo with the speaker on stage, in front of your strategically placed banner. If possible, be sure to use a professional camera. Ask the audience not to use their phone cameras to save time. After the Event - Capitalizing Through Publicity During the event, note which reporters came and which media outlets are represented so you can get publicity to the others after the event. For the newspapers, post-event releases summarizing the event and the speaker's points can be helpful. Have people write letters-to-the-editor about the event to increase the exposure. An especially good writer could author an opinion piece on some aspect of the event and ask that it be printed in either the school or a local newspaper. Radio stations are actually the easiest to interest. Use a simple, cheap digital recorder to capture the speech and extract a 15-30 second segment of a forceful statement by the speaker (preferably followed by vigorous applause). You may also interview the speaker after the event and take a clip from there. Then call the radio station and offer them a “radio actuality.” Most radio station news rooms have the ability to record audio segments directly off the phone and replay them in their hourly news summaries. By using a segment you give them over the phone or by email, they can appear to have covered the event without ever sending a reporter. If the speaker has a few extra moments, many stations will record a short interview over the phone. A group member can screen stations in advance to find out who is interested in one of the above options. Be sure to keep all clippings and a record of whatever broadcast publicity you do receive from the media. Many printed articles can be useful as reprints. Send copies of good clippings to your donors. Send the speaker a hand-written Thank You note from your group. Conclusion You'll want to do your best, but realize that no public program is perfect. Very few public programs will be able to utilize all the techniques outlined in this manual. Do not attempt to do more than your available manpower and resources can accomplish. Although there is some risk from the bad publicity if a public program flops, the enormous benefits in building enthusiasm, recruiting, educating, and carrying your message to the public make the effort well worthwhile.
The Laws Of The Public Policy Process
Morton C. Blackwell
March 19, 2015
The Laws Of The Public Policy Process
Available in other languages here. 1. Never give a bureaucrat a chance to say no. 2. Don't fire all your ammunition at once. 3. Don't get mad except on purpose. 4. Effort is admirable. Achievement is valuable. 5. Make the steal more expensive than it's worth. 6. Give 'em a title, and get 'em involved. 7. Expand the leadership. 8. You can't beat a plan with no plan. 9. Political technology determines political success. 10. Sound doctrine is sound politics. 11. In politics, you have your word and your friends; go back on either and you're dead. 12. Keep your eye on the main chance, and don't stop to kick every barking dog. 13. Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. 14. Remember the other side has troubles too. 15. Don't treat good guys like you treat bad guys. 16. A well-run movement takes care of its own. 17. Hire at least as many to the right of you as to the left of you. 18. You can't save the world if you can't pay the rent. 19. All gains are incremental; some increments aren't gains. 20. A stable movement requires a healthy, reciprocal I.O.U. flow among its participants. Don't keep a careful tally. 21. An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. 22. Never miss a political meeting if you think there's the slightest chance you'll wish you'd been there. 23. In volunteer politics, a builder can build faster than a destroyer can destroy. 24. Actions have consequences. 25. The mind can absorb no more than the seat can endure. 26. Personnel is policy. 27. Remember it's a long ball game. 28. The test of moral ideas is moral results. 29. You can't beat somebody with nobody. 30. Better a snake in the grass than a viper in your bosom. 31. Don't fully trust anyone until he has stuck with a good cause which he saw was losing. 32. A prompt, generous letter of thanks can seal a commitment which otherwise might disappear when the going gets rough. 33. Governing is campaigning by different means. 34. You cannot make friends of your enemies by making enemies of your friends. 35. Choose your enemies as carefully as you choose your friends. 36. Keep a secure home base. 37. Don't rely on being given anything you don't ask for. 38. In politics, nothing moves unless pushed. 39. Winners aren't perfect. They made fewer mistakes than their rivals. 40. One big reason is better than many little reasons. 41. In moments of crisis, the initiative passes to those who are best prepared. 42. Politics is of the heart as well as of the mind. Many people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. 43. Promptly report your action to the one who requested it. 44. Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics. 45. Pray as if it all depended on God; work as if it all depended on you. Download a PDF version Also available in: French Danish Greek German Hungarian Japanese Korean Latin Polish Romanian Russian Spanish Swedish Turkish
Morton Blackwell's Writing Standards & Style Guide
Morton C. Blackwell
October 6, 2015
Morton Blackwell's Writing Standards & Style Guide
Introduction More than a decade ago, a generous, regular donor to the Leadership Institute in New Orleans wrote to me that LI stood out among all conservative groups she supported because, she said, "You treat me like an adult." Although we had not met, she wrote that she felt she knew me and considered me a friend. Later, when we met in person, she said other groups sent her computer letters, but my letters from LI were personal. Other groups, she said, wrote letters bordering on hysteria. LI didn't use gimmicks which would attract only the simple-minded. "You write long letters, but they're so interesting," she added. "You clearly explain the many good things you're doing. And I never see errors in your letters. I feel good about supporting your work." She felt many other groups showed incompetence through the poor quality of their mailings. For many years, I had her handwritten letter to me framed and on the wall in LI's production room -- for all LI staff to read and absorb. Somehow, her letter was lost in our 1996 move to our new building. I often hear similar compliments from generous LI donors. They see and feel what she saw and felt. When conservative leaders compliment me on how well LI retains and upgrades our donors, I think of that perceptive lady in New Orleans, Mrs. Rosemary Deutch. And I think about the immense value to the Leadership Institute of high standards in written communications. Our staff make this possible. I can set standards, but LI communicates effectively only because LI staff absorb and implement good writing skills. One final comment: A lack of consistency disorients donors. Remember that our donors like what we have written them. Don't make them uncomfortable by writing in a style they won't recognize as ours. Please note that I have printed in bold specific which most often require changes on materials submitted for my approval. Do me the favor of adhering to my standards these points. You'll save both of us time and aggravation. -- Morton C. Blackwell, September 2004 I. Page Layout A. Margins 1. Standard correspondence: 1.5” on the left and right. 2. LI letterhead: three lines or 1.4” top, 1” bottom. 3. MCB letterhead: 1.25” top, 1” bottom. 4. Second pages: 1” top and bottom. 5. Materials other than letters: 1” for all margins. B. Fonts 1. Courier/Courier New 12 pt. for all correspondence text. 2. Times New Roman for mass-produced booklets such as Read to Lead. 3. For advertisements and fliers, avoid using more than three different fonts. 4. Never use a font smaller than 8 pt., even for disclaimers. 5. Script fonts are appropriate only for invitations. 6. Don't use sans serif fonts for letter or body text; they are difficult to read. Why does Coca-Cola print their ingredients on their cans in all capital letters, in sans serif type, in small typeface, and in white letters printed on a dark background? The law requires printing of the ingredients. All these techniques make the text harder to read, and people don't buy colas because of their nutritional values or their preservatives. C. Tabs 1. Letter paragraphs should be indented 1 tab, equal to 5 spaces or ½ inch. 2. Block style (without initial indentations) paragraphs are appropriate only in memos. D. Pagination 1. The first page of a letter should usually not be numbered. 2. Page numbers for documents should appear at the bottom center of the page. 3. For correspondence, page numbers may be spelled out at the top left of the page, i.e., “page two.” Or you may place page numbers in the top right of the page or at the bottom center. E. Vertical Spacing 1. Single space between lines. 2. Double space between paragraphs. 3. Single space between bullet lists or numbered lists up to 5 items. 4. For more than 5 items, break list into equal groups of 2 to 5 items and double space between groups. F. Horizontal Spacing 1. Double space after period at the end of a sentence. 2. Single space after a semicolon. 3. Double space after a colon. G. Justification 1. As a general rule, all documents should have left justification. 2. Full or right justification makes text too hard to read. Only tables, books, and newspapers should use full justification. 3. Except on formal invitations, do not center each line of text even on cut lines (descriptions under photos and charts) or disclaimers; text with each line centered is harder to read. H. Headers and Footers Tables and graphs, on separate pages or not, should include headers and footers which include a title, print date and page numbers, if appropriate. II. Punctuation A. Comma 1. Use a comma between coordinate adjectives when not joined by “and.” It is my pleasure to recommend John Doe, a bright, independent, young man. 2. Use commas to set off dates, unless only the month and year are used. 3. Use commas to separate elements of an address. Morton Blackwell was born in La Jara, Colorado, in November 1939. 4. Use commas to set off direct quotations. President Reagan often said, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.” 5. Use commas to avoid confusion. To err is human; to forgive, divine. 6. Use serial commas. That usually will make the sentence easier to understand. Red, white, and blue 7. Except for formal business correspondence with someone he does not know, set off the salutation line for MCB correspondence with a comma, not a colon. Dear Mr. Jones, 8. Use a comma before a conjunction to separate what could otherwise be two separate sentences, as in: The dog ran off, and Joe couldn't find him. 9. Do not use a comma before a conjunction where it merely splits two verbs in a sentence. Don't write: The dog ran off, and chased a cat. B. Semicolon 1. Use a semicolon between items in a series which contain internal punctuation. LI staff come to us with many qualifications: philosophical commitment; reputations for achievement; inter-personal skills; writing abilities, which can be improved by study and practice. 2. Use them between independent clauses linked with a transitional expression. In the middle ‘60s, movement conservatives in the D. C. area were a small group; in fact, we could have fit in a single phone booth. C. Colon 1. After a colon: Capitalize the first word if it starts a complete sentence. If not: lowercase. 2. Use a colon after an independent clause to direct attention to a list. Many prominent conservatives wear Adam Smith ties: Congressman Dick Armey, Dr. Milton Friedman, and Reed Larson wear them regularly. D. Apostrophe 1.Use apostrophes for possessive nouns. To show joint possession, use an apostrophe with the last noun only. We went to Morton and Helen's “Briar Patch” for the weekend. 2.Use apostrophes for contractions and abbreviations. Avoid using the contraction who're. We couldn't do that back in the ‘60s. 3.Do not use an apostrophe before the “s” when referencing a decade. Back in the1960s . . . E. Hyphens and Dashes One hyphen (-) does not a dash (--) make. A dash is a space followed by two hyphens, followed by a space. You can use dashes for emphasis -- but sparingly. F. Quotation Marks 1.Always place periods and commas inside quotation marks. After he cried “uncle,” I let go. 2.Place question marks and exclamation points inside quotations unless they apply to a sentence as a whole. a) Dave cried, “You won the election!” b) Did your opponent cry “foul”? 3.When writing out a long quotation, it is appropriate to indent quoted material rather than use quotation marks. 4.Use quotation marks around titles of articles from periodicals, poems, short stories, radio and television programs and book chapters. 5.Use of quoted material adds spice to your writing -- and helps substantiate points. G. Question Marks Do not use question marks for indirect questions. The donor asked if we could send him another set of mugs. H. Exclamation Marks Use exclamation marks only rarely, and never to end a long sentence. Use with genuine exclamations. I. Periods Periods are often not necessary for common abbreviations of organization names. NATO, IRS, USA To repeat: Always skip two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence. J. Parenthesis 1. Always use when introducing acronyms. The National Right to Work Committee (NRTW) . . . 2. Use sparingly to make asides or to reference supplemental material. K. Brackets Use brackets around wording you insert into a quotation. Mr. Smith said, “I think [Governor Jones] is doing a great job!” (“Governor Jones” replaces the pronoun “he,” which might be ambiguous.) L. Ellipsis Use an ellipsis (space, period, space, period, space, period, space) when you delete portions of quoted material. M. Slash Slashes may be used sparingly to separate paired terms. Pass/fail III. Spelling and Mechanics A. Spelling 1. Always Spell Check your documents, and personally read through after the spell check. You may have intended to write the word “public,” but Spell Check will approve the word without an “l.” 2. Discriminate between words that look or sound alike but have different meanings. a) Affect (to exert influence) vs. effect (to accomplish; result) b) Its (possessive pronoun) vs. it's (contraction of “it is”) c) Loose (free, not attached) vs. lose (fail to keep) d) Their (possessive pronoun) vs. they're (contraction of “they are”) vs. there (place or position) e) Who's (contraction of “who is”) vs. whose (possessive form of who) f) Your (possessive form of you) vs. you're (contraction of “you are”) g) Lightning (a thunderbolt) vs. lightening (making less heavy) h) In the lead (front), he led (guided) soldiers who carried lead (metal) batteries. B. Hyphens 1. Do not use a hyphen in the word fundraising. 2. Avoid using hyphens to divide words at the end of a line in a letter. 3. Use a hyphen to avoid ambiguity (re-creation) and to separate double or triple letter combinations (cross-stitch). 4. Always use a hyphen with prefixes such as all, ex, self. Self-starter 5. Use a hyphen with the suffix elect. President-elect C. Capitalization 1. Capitalize titles used as part of a proper name. Except for the U.S. President, use lowercase for titles used alone. a) Then, Congressman Armey announced his retirement. b) The congressman traveled home for the district work period. c) I sent the President a book of anti-Soviet jokes. 2. Capitalize the first word of a quoted sentence but not a quoted phrase. 3. After a colon: Capitalize the first word if it starts a complete sentence. If not: lowercase. 4. Capitalize abbreviations for government agencies and corporations. 5. Headlines can sometimes be all in CAPS. Avoid sentences or paragraphs of text all in CAPS because they are hard to read. 6. English and German have different capitalization rules. Do not capitalize words unnecessarily. Write about the left, not the Left. Write about movement conservatives, not Movement Conservatives. D. Abbreviations/Acronyms 1. Use only when you are sure the reader will understand them. In general, abbreviations should be used only after the word is spelled out, followed by the abbreviation enclosed in parenthesis. 2. Once you have introduced an acronym, don't use it too many times without spelling out the words occasionally. 3. Use abbreviations relating to time and currency only with specific numbers and amounts. 40 B.C., $150, 4:00 P.M. (or p.m.) 4. Avoid inappropriate abbreviations. Xmas E. Numbers 1. Spell out numbers which begin a sentence or change word order to put the number later in the sentence. 2. Maintain consistency when representing numbers in a document. F. Underline and Italics 1. Titles of books, plays, films, web sites and names of magazines or newspapers may be underlined or italicized. 2. Use underline to draw attention to important points in your materials. 3. Use italics or underline for foreign words in an English sentence. 4. Never use underline and italics in the same text. Underlining is only a substitute for italics. G. Bold Use bold to set off headings and, occasionally, to draw attention to stressed text. However, too much bold text is difficult to read. H. Foreign Language Characters If your computer can do it, always use proper foreign language characters, such as à, é, î, ñ, ö. If not, insert symbols by hand in personal letters. I. Bullets Use bullets to draw attention to important points or to items in a series. Never use a single bullet. J. Decimals When presenting a column of dollar values within a document, align vertically by decimal. $3,000.00 24.50 122.14 Total: $3,146.64 K. Number Agreement Plural and multiple subjects require plural forms of verbs. Singular subjects require singular forms of verbs. 1. Correct: If you happen to know of anyone who would benefit from our training, please send him or her our way. 2. Correct: If you happen to know of any people who would benefit from our training, please send them our way. 3. Incorrect: If you happen to know anyone who would benefit from our training, please send them our way. IV. Word Choice A. Construction Elements 1.Avoid redundancies (“true fact”) in your drafts. 2.Word repetition may be used for effect, but use only when necessary. Variety adds spice. 3.Make your sentences direct; avoid needlessly indirect and complex structures. 4.Most great lines use short words. 5.Avoid pretentious language. 6.Use jargon and figures of speech carefully. 7.Choose your words carefully -- avoid misuse. Sometimes a word is just plain wrong. Other times a word is OK, but another word would be much better. Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” B. Active Voice, Not Passive Voice 1. In active voice, the subject of a sentence performs the action of the verb. The boy hit the ball. 2. In passive voice, the subject of a sentence does not perform the action of the verb. The ball was hit by the boy. 3. While both active and passive voices are grammatically correct in structure, a sentence in the active voice is strong writing while a sentence in the passive voice is weak writing. 4. A sentence in passive voice may make the reader work harder to understand the intended meaning. Passive voice can also hide responsibility for action, which is why passive voice is so often used in official documents or public statements. Mistakes were made. 5. A sentence in active voice is easier to understand than the same sentence in passive voice. Active voice creates vivid mental pictures of action for the reader. Passive voice creates confusion and a sense of distance from the truth. To write in the active voice, make sure the subject of the sentence performs the action of the verb. C. Strong verb choices 1. Active verbs are the strongest verb choices for effective writing. Active verbs provide clarity and vigor in writing. 2. Verb phrases that use a form of to be as a helping verb are weaker than simply using the active verb by itself. “I fight liberal bias.” is stronger than “I am fighting liberal bias.” D. Variations on verb usage When verbs are used as objects in a sentence and not as the core subject-verb team, you have two choices: a gerund (-ing words) or an infinitive (to + verb). In this case, gerunds are weaker than infinitives. “I prefer to work in my office.” is stronger than “I prefer working in my office.” Use infinitives, not gerunds, as objects in sentences. E. Avoid like the Plague 1. “As you know” or “You know” Don't write “you know.” If they already know it, why should you write it? Better to say, “As you may know.” 2. Errors of Fact Check all facts carefully. One careless error can destroy your credibility. 3. Exaggerations and Exuberant Self-descriptions Use of self-congratulatory descriptions such as ‘incredible,” or “fantastic” or “phenomenal” appear boastful or sophomoric. Use the remarkable facts about our programs, which can speak for themselves. You earn credibility when you understate rather than overstate. Exaggeration of problems, proposed solutions or achievements turns off readers. 4. “Hopefully” This word is an adverb, which must modify a verb. a)Correct: She prayed hopefully for her child's recovery. b)Incorrect: Hopefully we will win the contest. 5.“I” Avoid excessive use of the word “I.” Don't use “I” to start many sentences, particularly the first sentences of many paragraphs. Keep a high ratio of the uses of “you” to the uses of “I.” “You” or “I” at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph counts more than “I” or “you” inside a sentence or paragraph. 6. “Ideology” Never use “ideology” to refer to conservative principles. To veteran fans of Dr. Russell Kirk and young fans of Dan Flynn, ideology is correctly understood as a negative term for bodies of impractical ideas which capture the minds of fanatics. “Ideologue” is unquestionably a term of derogation. “Philosophy” (love of knowledge) is a term we can use to describe conservative principles and core beliefs. 7. “Importantly” Generally avoid “importantly.” It is not correct to say “more importantly” if you mean “more important.” a) Correct but awkward: A President of the United States generally acts more importantly than does a pickpocket. b) Correct: More important, Packards were great automobiles. c) Incorrect: More importantly, Packards were great automobiles. 8. “Like” Avoid writing anything such as: “I would like to invite you to . . .” Write “I invite you to . . .” or “I cordially invite you to . . .” Formal, printed invitations may read: “You are cordially invited to . . .” If you decide to do something, do it. Don't say you'd like to do it. 9. “Need” Use of the word “need” is a turn-off. It's a “stopper.” It can stop people from reading. People resent the suggestion that a “need” entitles someone else to their possessions. Do not use “need” in LI materials, except in rare instances which refer to a need of the reader. 10. "-ness" Avoid the ugly practice of making nouns out of adjectives by adding "-ness" when there's a perfectly good root noun. Adding "-ly" to an adjective often makes a useful adverb (graceful/gracefully or grateful/gratefully), but adding "-ness" to that adjective often makes an awkward and ill-begotten noun. Go back to the root noun. a) Correct: Her manners showed grace. b) Incorrect: Her manners showed gracefulness. c) Correct: He failed to show gratitude. d) Incorrect: He failed to show gratefulness. 11. “That” Avoid this over-used word unless your sentence doesn't make sense without it. “Which” is often better. Never use “that” or “which” when you refer to people; use “who” or “whom.” 12. “To Be” Do not use any form of the verb “to be” if you can easily restructure the sentence to use an active verb. Review every draft to minimize use of “to be” throughout your document. Unnecessary uses of forms of “to be” constitute sure signs of a poor draft. a) Correct: He impresses her. b) Incorrect: She is impressed by him. 13. “Want” Never use “want” to refer to the writer's desires or to a third person's desires. That's a turn-off. Everyone senses, deep down, that “wants” of others are unlimited, and, like “needs,” far beyond our ability to satisfy them. It is sometimes acceptable to use “want” to refer to the reader's desires. In writing, “want” is a feeble crutch, as bad as “you know” in spoken conversation. If you are doing something, it's a safe bet you want to do it; so saying you want to do it when you are actually doing it is worse than redundant. Incorrect: I just wanted to send you this letter because . . . 14. “We” Never use “we” to refer to LI. Use “we” only when it clearly means “you and I.” A letter with too many uses of “we” is a “we-we” letter. F. Choose Carefully 1.“Affect” vs. “effect” 2.“Capital” vs. “capitol” 3. “I” vs. “me” 4.“Its” vs. “it's 5.“Like” vs. “as” 6.“Principal” vs. “principle” 7.“There” vs. “their” vs. “they're” 8.“Which” vs. “that” 9.“Who” vs. “whom” 10.“Only” Where you place this word makes a big difference in the meaning of the sentence: Only she said she loves me. She only said she loves me. She said only she loves me. She said she only loves me. She said she loves only me. 11.Use contractions only when they make your text more pleasantly conversational, less stilted and easier to read. Avoid the contraction of “who are.” You may use who're in spoken conversation, but in writing it looks so much like a certain unpleasant word that it's a “stopper.” That is, it stops the reader, which interrupts the thought you may want to convey, and make what you write harder to read. V. Letter Copy A. Date Write out the date and center it on the letterhead. Or you may tab over five times, and then tab over five times also for the complimentary closing at the end of the letter. B. Address and Salutation 1. In typing people's names in their addresses, use the proper titles and forms of address. Use a title before the name. Avoid excessive abbreviation within the address, except the state code. The correct form on an address, on an envelope or in a letter, would be: Mr. John J. Jones 123 Anystreet Anytown, VA XXXXX This would be improper: John J. Jones 123 Anystreet Anytown, VA XXXXX If you know whether a woman is married or not, use Miss or Mrs. as appropriate. If you do not know if a woman is married, or if you know that she prefers Ms., use Ms. 2.Use a first name salutation only if you are certain it is appropriate. Many polite people, especially older people, resent unwarranted familiarity. C. The Opening Your first sentence should be short and should irresistibly lead the reader to read on. Recipients who open your letter almost always read the first line. It determines whether many recipients continue to read. Writing a first line which grabs the reader may take longer than writing the rest of the letter. Examples of “grabbers” include: 1. You don't know me, but I found your wallet. 2. I can tell you now who Deep Throat was. 3. Somebody told me something about your wife. 4. You may wonder how I got the giraffe into that elevator. 5. Personally, I get angry every time I see big media liberal bias undermining our country. D. Body 1. Keep it personal! a) Every letter, and sometimes every page, should have content that could only be signed by the intended signer. Text should include much information specific to the signer. b) For a mass mailing, nevertheless try hard to write to a person, not to a mailing list. c) To the extent possible, the letter should be specific to the recipient. Why are you writing him or her, rather than to other people? Why and how are the signer and the recipient “soul-mates?” d) You “you” them and they'll “yes” you. Next to a person's name, the word you can say most likely to focus that person's attention is “you.” 2. Strive to make what you write easy to read and attractive to the eye. 3. Construct short and declaratory sentences. Long sentences tend to be hard to read and hard to understand. 4. Be consistent with tenses. Do not hop from past to present to future if parallel construction is appropriate. 5. Paragraphs should be no more than 5 lines, 6 lines only in case of national emergency. Long paragraphs are hard to read. 6. Each page should please the eye. Mix short paragraphs with longer paragraphs to help draw the reader's eye down the page. Paragraphs all about the same length make the page look “gray” and harder to read. 7. Spice up your text by underlining, quotes, or using numbered or bulleted lists. Such variations tend to make the text easier to read. 8. The letter should repeatedly work to convince the recipient of the urgency of taking the action you want. Who writes a check or takes an action that is not needed right away? 9. If you want someone to contribute or to take action, your letter should stress the benefits to the reader if the reader takes the action you desire. 10. Development staff must check out all Programs-related text with the head of the Programs Department. Never promise anything which can't certainly be done. Under-promise so we can over-perform. Credibility counts most to serious donors. 11. Programs staff must produce materials and operate in such a way as to make donors proud if they knew every detail of LI programs. 12. You cannot write a letter too long, but you can write a letter too boring. 13. Thank yous. a) A thank you must be prompt and down to earth. b) It must be both professional and warm. c) It should include specifics about what is being achieved. d) Credit the donor, not your organization, with its achievements. E. Complimentary Close Letters drafted for Morton's signature should close with “Cordially” unless they are formal business correspondence to someone he does not know. F. P.S. The P.S. is second in importance only to the first line. Many people read the first line, then turn to the last page to look at the signature. Recipients then almost always read the P.S. Any letter written to generate an action by the reader should have a strong P.S. The P.S. should encapsulate the whole thrust of the letter and re-state clearly what action you request. G. Enclosures It is not always necessary to include in a letter the full title of an enclosure. Either is ok: 1. Enclosure: “1995-96 Election Cycle Business and Association PAC Study” 2. Enclosure: PAC Study H. "Sparkle" Unfortunately, writing can conform to all the rules of English and layout but still be dull as dishwater. You can accomplish only so much by following correct forms. People usually help people, not organizations. Strive always to add some personal "sparkle" to what you write. Examples: a cute turn of phrase a hint of clever, double meaning a shared "secret" which leftists wouldn't appreciate something interesting that's previously unknown about you a profound prediction about future events a dismay almost certainly shared by the reader a novel reason for hope an important fact you've discovered a heartfelt compliment a new way of saying thanks best and easiest of all, a previously untold and moving story. “Sparkle” also includes what the late Robert Bartley of The Wall Street Journal called “muzzle velocity.” By that he meant wording which has impact. Professionals don't write dull copy. VI. Other Materials A. Memoranda LI office memoranda should conform to the Reagan White House style. That memorandum form follows: January 7, 2002 MEMORANDUM To: All Staff From: Morton Subject: LI Memos Please take time to construct on your computer a memorandum template using the Reagan White House style for your inter-office communication. Thanks. Please note: 1. Use full left justification for memo text. 2. Do not tab memo paragraphs, but do double space between them. 3. Use “Subject” rather than “Re:” in your communications. It's more personal. 4. Insert four blank lines between the subject line and the body of the memo. 5. Do not use a complimentary close as you would to end a letter. B. Reports Construct your reports with the following in mind: 1. Use sensible/linear construction. Present topics in a logical order. 2. Effectively communicate your material. Needlessly wordy text bores the reader and hinder communication. 3. Reports must be paginated. 4. Label attachments so they may be easily referenced. 5. Title and date all reports as well as each table or graph in the report. 6. Insert “headings” to separate different topics. C. Graphs As you prepare graphs and tables: 1. Do not print words or data below 8 pt. font. Smaller is too difficult to read. 2. Graphs and tables should have a header which provide a sufficient description of the data it presents. 3. Graphs and tables should also feature footers which indicate the date the material was prepared or printed. D. Promotional Material Posters, fliers and brochures should feature: 1. Concise, readable wording. 2. High emotional impact. 3. Consistent typeface, all run horizontally. 4. “White space.” That is, an un-crowded look. 5. Easily comprehensible pictures, illustrations or other graphics. 6. For photos in printed materials meant to be handled by the reader, follow the “dime” rule: No person's head should be printed smaller than a dime. People can't react with empathy to a face whose features are too small to see. 7. Photogenic people. LI trains thousands of people. Use photos of the most photogenic ones. 8. Posters should have few words. The message on a poster should be strong and easy to understand. Good posters avoid subtlety. 9. Fliers and brochures should have no more than three different typeface styles. A greater variety makes them harder to read. 10. The text in a flier or brochure should be nothing but elaboration of its headlines and sub-headlines. A reader should “get” your entire message just by reading your headlines and sub-headlines. In fact, that's the first thing most readers do; they read the headlines and sub-headlines. Some readers do only that. The Editing and Approval Process A. Proof your Draft 1. Provide citations as necessary for quoted material. 2. If you plan to distribute proprietary materials, obtain permission first. 3. Make sure the LI address, other contact information and disclaimer are on each piece of material produced for public distribution. 4. Read your first draft thoroughly to check grammar, spelling, style and content. Don't rely always on your computer's Grammar Check. It's sometimes wrong. When in doubt, reason it out, perhaps with the aid of a dictionary. 5. Spell-check each draft on the computer. But that's not enough. 6. Print a copy after you correct your draft. 7. Have a peer review it. Four eyes are better than two. 8. After making your “final” corrections, do a final spell check and read through carefully again. B. Final Approval 1. Completely fill out a Mail Approval Form. They are required for all LI printed material and mass mailings – but not required for staff's personal business letters. Personal business letters drafted for Morton's signature do not require a Mailing Approval Form. 2. Obtain on your Mail Approval Form your Vice President's approval of your entire, proposed package. 3. Obtain on your Mail Approval Form the approval of LI's Communication Manager. 4. Schedule a meeting with Morton well in advance of your “drop date.” Allow time to schedule an additional meeting with Morton, because additional edits may be needed. 5. When you meet with Morton, present the Mail Approval Form and the entire, proposed package. Include all supplemental materials, fliers, business reply envelopes, etc. This rule of complete draft packages also applies to one-of-a-kind presentations prepared for individual major donors or foundations, although one-of-a-kind proposals do not require mail approval forms. 6. No material shall be produced for public distribution until Morton has initialed the Mail Approval Form. 7. As soon as possible after getting Morton's approval on your Mail Approval Form, return to Morton's assistant your original copy of the text on which Morton has personally written edits. She will note in the Log the date she received it. You may make a copy of Morton's edits for your own files. This file of Morton's edits will be available from his assistant for LI staff to review, which may help you in the future to meet Morton's required standards.
Political Management of the Bureaucracy - A Guide to Reform and Control
Donald J. Devine
July 14, 2017
Political Management of the Bureaucracy - A Guide to Reform and Control
<< Download the full PDF here >> Dear Fellow Conservative, I have arranged to have published for you a particularly timely book, chocked full of interesting and valuable information for anyone who wants reform in the federal government's personnel process and wants to learn how to shrink the bloated federal bureaucracy. The book is free for you. All you have to do is click on this link. Or buy it on Amazon by clicking here. Yes, I know that many of us (including me) prefer to read physical books, but I knew that more people would read it online right now if I could distribute it for free. Those who wish to have a hard copy will soon be able to buy the book on Amazon. Here's what my friend and colleague, Joe Morris, an Assistant Attorney General in the Reagan Administration, says about the book I'm giving you for free: "Donald Devine's Political Management of the Bureaucracy: A Guide to Reform and Control will be an evergreen book. It will be a classic in the library of conservative public administration and should be in the orientation packet given to each of the planners, transition team members, and political appointees of every future new conservative administration." -- Joseph A. Morris, former Assistant Attorney General of the United States under President Reagan Please see the Introduction I wrote at the beginning of this edition of Don Devine's book. Most conservatives know that government hiring, whether of political appointees or Civil Service employees, has long been a tragic mess. Dr. Donald J. Devine, who served as Director of the Office of Personnel Management in Ronald Reagans' first term, grappled with these problems at the highest level. He accomplished a lot where others have failed miserably. In this book he shares his experiences and points out how conservatives can achieve real reforms. You probably know other conservatives who share an interest in reforming and shrinking the federal bureaucracy. If so, please forward to them my free offer of this unique and powerful book. Cordially, Morton Blackwell President The Leadership Institute
Problems of Success
Morton C. Blackwell
October 6, 2015
Problems of Success
Because education tends to lead to success in life, you are here at Liberty University to get an education -- or at least that's what your family and Dr. Falwell believe. What you really learn and how much you really learn are largely up to you, of course. It helps a lot if you already have a thirst for knowledge. Some people seem born to learn and happy to learn. Others want to learn no more than is absolutely necessary just to get by in the world. For them, all study is boring, and study is even aggravating, because to study amounts to an admission of ignorance. And how many people do you know who are naturally happy to admit their lack of knowledge? Even a poor teacher can do well with students who already have a thirst for knowledge. But the best teachers are those who somehow can inspire in students that thirst for knowledge which will lead their students to success for the rest of their lives. Education involves learning facts, of course. But it also includes learning how to study, how to think, and how to make things happen. Someone once said there are three types of people in the world: Those who make things happen; those who watch what happens; and those who never know what happened. I hope that you are among the many at this large and growing university who already have or soon will develop that thirst for knowledge which will enable you to become one of those people who will make things happen. Liberty University has right now, in this hall, a great many people who will be future leaders of our country. Graduates of Liberty are likely to be better leaders than students now at most other colleges because, in addition to academic learning, your college experience reinforces your moral foundation for a God-centered life. Let us presume for a moment that you, personally, have become well-educated, that your thirst for knowledge has enabled you to learn how to make things happen, that you have already achieved a number of remarkable successes, that many people recognize you as a rising leader. Are you home free? Are your problems over? Not hardly. You see, success brings its own, unique set of problems. The Bible often gives examples of how pride goeth before a fall. A run of success, like power, tends to corrupt. That is not to suggest that you shouldn't strive to be successful. Far from it. You have an obligation to put your God-given talents to their best use. In college, you should strive to be the type of student your professors find it a thrill to teach. In business, you should become someone with whom it is a pleasure to work. In politics, you should act effectively for your deeply held principles. Back in 1982, I asked Dr. Falwell to comment on a saying I was teaching to young conservatives. It goes like this: "Pray as if it all depended on God. Work as if it all depended on you." Dr. Falwell immediately replied that the saying is theologically sound. To that same question, several other prominent religious leaders gave me the same answer. So there's no question that intelligent, moral people should strive for success. And striving prudently for success quite often actually does bring success. But when you strive for success, as you should, you should always keep in your mind that success brings with it its own, new set of problems. Be prepared in advance to deal with the problems of success. Foremost among the problems of success is the temptation, once you're really successful, to believe that you are so special that the rules no longer apply to you, that you're so important you can do as you please, without regard to the standards, ethics, and morality which contributed to your success. For a year now, the news media have heavily covered the troubles of a prominent national lobbyist named Jack Abramoff. You've probably heard a lot about him, almost all of it bad, very bad. Jack Abramoff made tens of millions of dollars. On the other hand, he has pled guilty to numerous felonies and is almost certainly going to jail for a number of years. The scandals surrounding him may destroy the careers of a number of politicians and could have a major effect in next November's elections. You probably have heard nothing good at all about Jack Abramoff. But I'm here to tell you the whole story, which is not to be found in the headlines. His entire story should be highly educational to you and to any other young conservative who strives for success. Jack Abramoff had a sterling reputation. Yes, a sterling reputation. I met and trained Jack Abramoff during the 1980 Youth For Reagan effort, which I oversaw as a volunteer. My faculty and I trained young men and women in five Reagan Youth Staff Schools that year and hired 30 of the best for campus organizing in the 1980 fall campaign. Jack Abramoff, then a student at Brandeis University and College Republican state chairman of Massachusetts, was clearly one of the most outstanding of the 300 graduates of those two-day training schools. I personally offered Jack one of our 30 field staff jobs. Jack graciously declined and told me, "I'm going back to Massachusetts and organize enough students there to carry Massachusetts for Reagan." I laughed and replied, "Jack, if you carry Massachusetts for Reagan, we'll win in a national landslide." He did, and we did. Governor Reagan beat President Jimmy Carter in Massachusetts by 2,421 votes. Jack's campus effort garnered many more than that number of student absentee ballots for Reagan there. The next year, partly on the strength of his remarkable success in winning Massachusetts for Reagan, Jack was elected chairman of the College Republican National Committee. There again he succeeded spectacularly. In 1980, the number of College Republican (CR) clubs on the nation's campuses had grown from 250 to 1,002. In 1981, Jack's campus organizing efforts increased the number of CR clubs to 1,100 -- a new record which remained unsurpassed until very recent years. While a national CR officer, Jack widened his network of friends among conservative Republicans, impressing everyone. Jack was courageously conservative on all the issues: limited government, free enterprise, strong national defense, and traditional moral values. Moreover, Jack obviously took his Orthodox Jewish faith seriously. He kept kosher. He would not travel on the sabbath. He deplored profanity and vulgarity. Jack dropped out of politics for some years to make movies, including at least one which had some worldwide success, an anti-Communist action drama titled "Red Scorpion." Then he returned to political activity and explained he had found that, without major financial resources, he couldn't control his movies' content because the industry inserted into them, against his will, gratuitous profanity and vulgarity. Back in the political arena, Jack benefited greatly from the magnificent reputation he had earned. He had proved himself highly intelligent, highly principled, and highly competent. Clearly he was a hard worker and a talented leader. He joined one of the best known and most successful legal and lobbying firms in the Washington, D.C., area. Because Jack had built a very wide circle of friends in the political process, those of us who had known him since the early 1980s expected him to be successful as a lobbyist. He started up an Orthodox Jewish school and spent a lot of his own time and money on it. His reputation continued as clean as a hound's tooth. Fast forward to today. His reputation lies in tatters. The wealth he reportedly gained as a lobbyist may be eaten up entirely as a result of his legal problems. He'll soon be broke -- and in jail. Many who relied on the sterling reputation Jack built from his youth stand now accused as guilty of consorting with this sleazy character, Jack Abramoff. That's a bum rap against some conservatives who relied on his good reputation. He may have betrayed and damaged them, but they should not be dragged down by the guilt-by-association method. Fortunately for me, I never had any business relations with him or any contact with his lobbying activities. But before allegations regarding his business and lobbying activities arose, I and everyone I know who knew Jack since he was a college student 26 years ago would have given him a highly favorable recommendation. Those who knowingly consort with sleazy people are culpable. Those who associate with people whom they know have good reputations are not. That does not, however, prevent the unfair use of the guilt-by-association technique by the opponents of even the most scrupulous people. Political activists and leaders have no secure defense against the possibility that some associate who has a fine reputation will somehow succumb to disgraceful temptations. Politicians and news media usually hostile to everything conservative revel in the disasters which now surround Jack Abramoff. Clearly, the left intends to use Abramoff to damage or destroy as many effective conservatives as they can, most notably former House Majority Leader Tom Delay. No surprise in that. Piranhas reveal themselves through their feeding frenzies. When the newspapers began to publish and re-publish excerpts from Jack's emails regarding his lobbying business, I could not believe he had written them. Surely, I thought, someone has made up those emails to smear Jack. Sadly, over time it has become clear that he has behaved in ways highly disappointing to those, like me, who knew and admired him from his youth. A principled person does not discuss his clients with contempt. A careful person does not send out personally damning emails into the immortal cyberworld. A moral person does not support opposing sides in order to profit from each. An ethical person does not defraud his associates in business. A loyal person does not set up his friends for embarrassment. Jack Abramoff's fall from grace is not unique. Sadly, I know too many examples of people who built good reputations and extensive political networks who changed dramatically and for the worse when they decided to earn their livings through lobbying or political consulting. A great many people can't resist temptations to increase their income. They hire themselves out to people or causes they would have spurned in the days when they built their reputations by consistent adherence to well-defined political and moral principles. Some sink mighty low. Jack has proven again the wisdom often taught me by my mother and my grandmother, "A good reputation is the hardest thing to build and the easiest thing to destroy." In political activity, when one abandons long-held principles and starts measuring success only by revenue, one should have the decency not to drag down one's formerly trusting friends. Those whose trust is betrayed are the victims. The victims deserve our sympathy and understanding, not condemnation. In his statement after pleading guilty, Jack Abramoff said that his greatest regret was the damage he had done to those who trusted him. Right. But when he was raking in those millions of dollars, while privately showering his clients with contempt, he didn't give much thought to the consequences. Blinded by his own success, Jack succumbed to some very human and very common temptations -- temptations which should be fought and resisted by any highly successful person. Think about this. What if Jack Abramoff had resisted all the temptations spread before him? What if he had decided to work only for clients and causes in accord with his previously long-held conservative principles? Would he have made as much money as rapidly? Probably not. On the other hand, had Jack stuck to his principles, he would certainly have achieved some financial success. He would have kept his sterling reputation. He would not now be headed to jail. And he would not have brought scandal to his friends or disaster to his family. I know of only three ways to learn the lessons of life. 1) You can carefully study the experience of others. You can't observe everything, but you can, by wide reading and formal education, learn from the experiences of your contemporaries as well as those who lived ages ago. You can learn from them all. 2) By observation, by paying attention to what goes on around you, you can learn from the experience of others. Careful observation benefits anyone in any field, from sports to science to politics. Lessons from the lives of Jack Abramoff and many others are unfolding before your eyes. Keep those eyes open, and you can learn useful lessons of life every day. 3) Finally, you can learn though your personal experience. That's learning by trial and error, better known as the school of hard knocks. Personal trial and error is usually the hardest way to learn anything, though I can't deny that that school teaches its lessons well. Its drawback, however, is that by the time you graduate from the school of hard knocks you may be too old to go to work. No matter how diligent a student you are of the school of hard knocks, you cannot learn by first-hand experience everything you should know. So if you leave this thriving Liberty University and have the success which your family, Dr. Falwell, your professors, and I all hope you will have, please keep in mind that you will then have to face a new set of problems, the problems of success.
Read to Lead
Morton C. Blackwell
October 6, 2015
Read to Lead
Download the PDF version here. Some people bluntly say they don't read. They say they would read if only they had the time. I will also be blunt: You have time to do what you choose to do. The more you read, the better you read -- and the more you enjoy it. People who don't read cheat themselves. By not reading, you limit what you can achieve, make mistakes you could avoid, and miss opportunities that could improve your life. Soon, as the gaps in your knowledge become apparent to others, you must reconcile yourself to not being taken seriously. Before going any further, I must make clear that I do not urge you to spend the rest of your days nestled in a cozy spot at the local library. Far from it. Actively involved in politics since the early 1960s at the local, state, and national levels, I understand the importance of action. Nothing moves unless it is pushed. Political activists elect candidates, pass or repeal laws, and determine public policy. But while boundless energy and enthusiasm are essential in activists, something else is necessary. To be successful leaders, activists must also be well - informed. How To Learn You can learn in three different ways: 1. By personal experience. You can learn by trial and error. Known also as the school of hard knocks, trial and error is the most painful way to learn anything. I can't deny that this school teaches its lessons well. Its drawback, however, is that by the time you graduate -- if, indeed, you ever graduate -- you're too old to go to work. Students who study only at this school learn things only the hard way. No matter how diligent a student you are of the school of hard knocks, you cannot learn by first - hand experience everything you should know. 2. By observation. By paying attention to what goes on around you, you can learn from the experience of others. Careful observation is invaluab le to anyone in any field, from sports to science to politics. But again, you cannot be everywhere. Everyone's individual power of observation is necessarily limited. 3. By studying the experience of others. You can't experience or observe everything, but you can, by reading, learn from the experiences of your contemporaries, the previous generation, and those who lived ages ago. You can learn from them all by reading their works and books about them. After you have accumulated a lot of knowledge about how the world really works, you can become highly effective and achieve many things important to you. In politics, it is not enough to know what's right. To succeed, your command of a subject must be so secure that you can persuade people you are right. And then you must activate them. You should have such a mastery of the issues that you can frame your arguments to anticipate and render ineffective your opponent's arguments. You should know all you can learn about what works and what doesn't work. How do you accomplish this? Schooling alone will not suffice. All knowledgeable people are largely self - taught. To read the rest Please view the PDF here
The Real Nature of Politics
Morton C. Blackwell
October 6, 2015
The Real Nature of Politics
The Real Nature of Politics By Morton C. Blackwell What I am about to share with you is probably the most important lesson you will learn at any time in your life about success in the public policy process. Conservatives did not understand the real nature of politics for many years and certainly did not begin to teach it systematically until the early 1970s. Many conservatives today haven't learned it yet. Please bear with me as I begin with the important historical background. I'll get to the key concepts soon enough. What was the greatest difference between conservatives who supported Barry Goldwater in 1964 and those who supported Ronald Reagan in 1980? Most people don't know the answer. The majority today aren't old enough to remember the 1964 presidential campaign, but Barry Goldwater's book, The Conscience of a Conservative, is still available and widely read. Fortunately, most people still remember Ronald Reagan and his conservative principles. Anyone who supported Goldwater in 1964 and Reagan in 1980 can tell you that there was no significant difference in philosophy between Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. You can see this for yourself. If you read The Conscience of a Conservative, published in 1960, you will see that Barry Goldwater's positions on public policy issues then were very close to those of Ronald Reagan in 1980. I can tell you from my personal experiences in the 1964 Goldwater campaign and in the 1980 Reagan campaign that there was one great difference between the approach to politics of the Goldwater supporters and the Reagan supporters 16 years later. The difference was that we Goldwater supporters tended to believe that being right, in the sense of being correct, was sufficient to win. We firmly believed that if we could prove we were right, if we could logically demonstrate that our candidate was of higher character and that his policies would be better for our country, somehow victory would fall to our deserving hands like a ripe fruit off of a tree. That's not the real nature of politics. I call that misconception the Sir Galahad theory: “I will win because my heart is pure.” Do you know what was the most used slogan of the Goldwater campaign? It was this: “In your heart, you know he's right.” Unfortunately the real world doesn't work that way, as we who supported Goldwater found out when Lyndon Johnson trounced us. Johnson got 41 million votes and Goldwater got 27 million votes. To this day I'm convinced Barry Goldwater would have been a better President for the United States than Lyndon Johnson, but Lyndon Johnson won big. Some Goldwater conservatives were so shocked and disappointed that they dropped out of politics and were never seen again. But not all of the Goldwater people left. Many of us stayed involved. Lots of us travelled similar paths and wound up working together. In 1964, I had served as the youngest elected Goldwater Delegate to the Republican National Convention. The next year, 1965, I came to Washington to be executive director of the national College Republicans. Others with solid Goldwater pedigrees moved into the national scene at about the same time. A young Goldwater supporter named Richard Viguerie came to Washington in 1965 and created his direct mail firm. He soon became the nationally dominant consultant in political direct mail and is still a leader in that field today. Another notable young conservative, Ed Feulner, also came to Washington in 1965, to work for a think tank. Then he became a leading conservative congressional staffer. Now he is president of the massive and effective Heritage Foundation. Another young Goldwater supporter, Paul Weyrich, came to Washington the next year, in 1966, to serve as press secretary for a conservative U.S. Senator from Colorado. Weyrich soon became the key conservative expert on politics on Capitol Hill. He later became America's most successful organizer of conservative organizations and institutions, playing a key role for more than 40 years in founding important new groups. All of us had supported Goldwater, but none of us was prominent in his campaign. In fact, none us even knew each other until we got to the D.C. area and began to build our own national reputations as fighters in different ways for conservative principles. But in those days, our past support of the Goldwater campaign was a priceless credential among fellow conservatives. Lee Edwards, a friend of mine who served as Director of Information in the 1964 Goldwater campaign had founded in 1965 what was probably the D.C. area's only conservative public relations firm. Now Dr. Edwards, he has become the nation's foremost historian and biographer of the conservative movement. In May 1972, Edwards introduced me to Richard Viguerie. A week later Viguerie hired me away from the conservative think tank where I then worked in D.C. He said, “Morton, I want you to come help me build a conservative movement.” Richard Viguerie meant what he said, and his words were music to my ears because building a conservative movement was exactly what I wanted to do. Soon, with my help as his political assistant, Richard began to gather frequently a small group of experienced, totally reliable conservatives who were serious about trying to figure out how to win for conservative principles. Included in our meetings were those I have named, including Lee Edwards, and others whom we believed shared our conservative principles and our determination eventually to win for those principles in government, politics, and the news media. We were tired of losing. We discussed what had worked well for the political left, why conservatives had lost so many political battles, and what conservatives might do to win in the future. It came down to this: What is the real nature of politics? Here was our first great conclusion: Being right in the sense of being correct is not sufficient to win. You don't win just because your heart is pure, even if you can prove logically that you are right. What, then, does determine victory? In our frequent meetings and discussions, we came to our second great conclusion: The winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and the effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective sides. That fundamental understanding changed our thinking. It explains why the side that's right doesn't necessarily win. Next we considered the vital question of what determines the number and effectiveness of the activists and leaders on a given side. Clearly, numbers and effectiveness do not depend on which side is right. Our third great conclusion was: The number and effectiveness of the activists and leaders on a given side in a political contest is determined by the political technology used by that side. That explains a lot of political history, including why bad causes, like communism, attracted a lot of activists. The people on the political left used effective political technology. In contrast, most conservatives had relied on proving we are right. Political technology can be roughly divided into communication technology and organization technology, with no neat line of separation between communication and organization. Most political technology is philosophically neutral. Techniques which work for the left can work for conservatives. Techniques which work for Republicans can work for Democrats, and vice versa. Similar techniques can work whether a public policy battle is an election or a legislative battle over tax rates, the right to keep and bear arms, abortion, or any other issue. In the 1970s, when we made what were for us these discoveries about the real nature of politics, we saw this new understanding as a terrific insight which could lead to victory for conservative principles in the public policy process of government, politics, and the news media. But because most political technology is philosophically neutral, most people who are deeply committed philosophically tend to disdain to study or use political technology. Instinctively, people devoted to their political principles tend to think learning mere skills is beneath their dignity because techniques are philosophically neutral. Such people are, after all, thinking about and proving their wonderful, deeply held views on important public policy questions. Is abortion the murder of tiny babies? What must be done to stop the spread of worldwide communism? What must be done to keep big government from destroying economic liberty and prosperity? “They will take my gun only by prying it from my cold dead fingers. God made man, but Winchester made men equal!” Serious questions. Serious people can get very excited about issues and philosophic differences, but they instinctively tend to think poorly of the study or practice of philosophically neutral skills. Political technology is composed of a universe of specific techniques. Of course, not all political techniques are philosophically neutral. Terror is an evil technique used most commonly by the left. Communists famously and effectively use terror to grab power and keep it. But most political technology has no inherent philosophical content. How you design a piece of political literature, how you raise funds, how you organize a precinct, how you attract a crowd to a political event, how you communicate to a mass audience online — those techniques can work for anybody. You may wonder now what I mean by techniques. Most of the most useful techniques don't involve complex computer programming. Let me use, for example, the techniques available for something as simple as a nametag. How often have you seen pre-printed nametags which begin, in big letters, with “HELLO, MY NAME IS”? That's a bad technique. The printed message is useless, and it takes space on the nametag which could be used for communication. How many times have you attended meetings where someone has thoughtfully printed nametags for everyone in advance, in letters about the size a typewriter would produce? That's a bad technique because it wastes space which be used for communication. How many times have you had to write your name on a nametag with a thin-line ballpoint pen? That's a bad technique because a name written by a wide-line, felt-tip pen is easier to read. Often people print or write names on nametags in all capital letters. That's a bad technique because capitalizing only the first letters makes the nametag easier to read. The name on a nametag should comfortably fill the entire space available. Where do you place a nametag? Most people instinctively place their nametags on their left shoulders. Wrong. The best place for your nametag is on your right shoulder, where people can most easily read it when you extend your right hand to greet them. Thousands of known techniques work. Very few techniques in politics are as complex as rocket science. Most are as simple as learning the types of print font which are easiest to read or what I have said about nametags. The right techniques can make you more effective in everything you work to achieve. Each good technique you use in politics makes it more likely that you will win. But many philosophically committed conservatives tend to believe that being right, in the sense of being correct, is sufficient to win. Those of us who began to meet in 1972 discovered the real nature of politics: The winner in a political contest over time is determined by the number and the effectiveness of the activists and leaders on the respective sides, and, The number and the effectiveness of the activists and leaders on a given side is determined by the political technology that side employs. We knew that many of our conservative allies thought otherwise and that we would have to persuade them differently. Here is how we convinced many of them. We shared with them our analysis of the real nature of politics, and then said, “If that is true, you owe it to your philosophy to study how to win. You owe it to your philosophy to study how to win. You have a moral obligation to learn how to win.” If you allow your opposition to learn better how to organize and communicate than you do and they implement that technology, they will beat you no matter how right you are — and you don't deserve to win. That is a persuasive argument. When you talk in terms of a moral obligation, you're talking in terms people can understand if they have a strong philosophical commitment. We began to have success teaching committed conservatives this, the real nature of politics, and it had a remarkable and sudden impact. New groups begin to spring up in a wide range of issue areas. A wide variety of specialized organizations: educational foundations, legal defense foundations, lobbying organizations, and political action committees. Conservatives began to study how to win. Existing conservative organizations also began to grow very rapidly. For example, in 1972, one of the biggest, most effective, most famous, most respected and even most feared organizations on the conservative side was the National Right to Work Committee. In 1972 they had 25,000 members, and they were thought of as really big stuff. Then they began to study and use communication and organization technology. They began to grow throughout the 1970s, from 25,000 members in 1972 to 1.7 million National Right to Work Committee members in 1979. Then they really were big and could affect policy in a major way. At first a handful of new conservative groups started. Then dozens. Then conservatives started hundreds of new national and local groups. Each new or newly large group contributed an increase in the number and the effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders. By 1980 conservatives had the political muscle across the country not only to nominate Ronald Reagan for President but to elect him. That wasn't the first time Reagan had run for President. I was a Reagan alternate Delegate in the presidential campaign of 1968, when he made his first, brief run for President. Again I was a Reagan alternate Delegate in 1976, when he ran against President Ford for the nomination and almost won. By 1980 the conservative movement had grown remarkably. Reagan won nomination convincingly and then won election. And I got to serve three years on the Reagan White House Staff. All of this is of central importance for you because the potential for growth of conservative political strength still exists. The rapid, spontaneous growth of grassroots conservative activity in 2009 and 2010 proves that. It turns out that the more groups you have and the greater the number of people you activate and teach how to be effective, the more power that you have to impact on the public policy process. I don't have to tell you how often Supreme Court decisions on liberal versus conservative issues are now decided on a five to four basis. The next Congress is likely to be closely divided between conservatives and the left, with many congressional elections decided by only a handful of votes. The next presidential election is likely to be very close. Conservatives may once again be able to unite behind a conservative to win a presidential nomination and the 2012 presidential election. The margins of victory in the American public policy process may be smaller now than at any other time in American history. You can make a difference, now and in the future. The number of American conservative activists and leaders is certainly growing. To grow in effectiveness, they must study how to win. My Leadership Institute now offers 40 types of training schools in the public policy process. You can review those 40 types of schools at leadershipinstitute.org. For the first time, political training for conservatives is available online, on demand, and free 24 hours a day. Other conservative organizations also offer worthwhile training you should consider. Nothing would be more disappointing politically than for conservatives to lose because of avoidable mistakes. So I urge you, remember the real nature of politics and the clinching argument which has revived the power of conservative principles in America: You owe it to your philosophy to study how to win. You have a moral obligation to learn how to win.
The Roots of the Ultra Left
Morton C. Blackwell
October 6, 2015
The Roots of the Ultra Left
The Roots of the Ultra Left is an in-depth looks at 35 things the ultra left really thinks. From Socialism to Communism, from economic and religious oppression to the elimination individual freedoms -- they say it's all for the common good, but the ultra left's sordid history tells a different tale. It's the documentary the left doesn't want you to see. It's the documenatry you can't afford to miss.