Listening to my friends and fellow conservative activists, I’m truly disappointed to hear the same story time after time of conservative groups in competition with one another. As a conservative, I love competition; it’s one of the most powerful market forces, driving innovation and keeping prices low. However, when you’re working to advance a cause, there is no such thing as competition.
When you start a nonprofit organization, your goal should not be to be the best conservative nonprofit organization. Your goal should be as effective as possible at achieving the purpose of your organization—to spread the ideas of conservatism.
In the nonprofit world, I’ve heard many of my colleagues complaining about other organizations that steal membership or donations from one another.
On campus, you hear about the establishment organizations not wanting other organizations to start that may attract a similar membership or use funding for similar events.
How about we worry about attracting apolitical people and converting liberals instead of fighting over the same few people working within themselves.
Too many people are in politics for the wrong reason. It’s not about being the guy on top and calling the shots. It’s about believing in why you are doing what you are doing, and trying your hardest to get it done.
Not everyone can be the head of an organization. If that was the case, then there would be no one to work for them. Sure you can have personal career goals, but don’t become so blinded by your opportunistic nature that you forget the reason you are doing what you’re doing in the first place.
There are many reasons to advance your beliefs, but I have found that the single most reason is purely selfish, and that’s okay. You should be self-interested to advance your beliefs for the purpose of safeguarding and protecting your own liberty. The United States is a democracy. There needs to be a majority of conservatives to get conservative legislation passed. If you don’t act, then you’ll be in a nation surrounded by Bernie-Bros and their socialist ilk.
The reason that liberals are so effective is because they preach a message of inclusivity. They want everyone to be heard (except usually the conservatives) and everyone to work together towards a common goal.
I have found that the flaw with conservatism in practice is that our self-motivated nature prevents us from working well with others. For some, that means your ego is too big to work in a position that is ‘beneath you’ and for others, that means you won’t do something good if it doesn’t have some immediate benefit to your career goals.
Mind you, I’m not here preaching altruism—we all know that doesn’t work. However, we would be irrational if we did not recognize a certain degree of self-interest in wanting to spread our beliefs without being the guy in charge.
Why can’t people just get along? Why can’t we all just work together to advance our cause? If we spent less time bickering over who gets to sit in the front seat, and more time worrying about actually getting there, then we would be reaching our goals a lot quicker than we are now.