But what did you learn? How are you
gonna start stop losing and start winning? Well, at our gatherings 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? And 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. Well what then does determine victory? In
our frequent meetings and discussions we came up with 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 side. 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 Left used effective political
technology. In contrast most conservatives had relied on proving we’re
right. Political technology can be roughly divided into communications
technology and organization technologies, with no neat line of separation between
communication and organization. Most political technology is philosophically
neutral. Techniques which work for the left will work for conservatives.
Techniques which work for Republicans can work for Democrats and vice versa.
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.