What kind of people should you seek out and try to work with? What kind of people should you actively try to recruit and get involved in politics as you (hopefully) help build the conservative farm team in your area? What kind of people should you support for leadership positions (or even elected office)?
The answer is what we need more of in the conservative movement as a whole. Generally speaking, there are three attributes that we need in conservative political activists – whether they are brand new to politics, or have been around forever. People who are principled, passionate and politically savvy.
Sometimes we are too lax about making sure that the people we work with, recruit or support for leadership are actually principled conservatives. We don’t do good “due diligence”. Why is that important? Because principled conservatives are the kind of people that you don’t have to wonder about when it comes to what they will do or support in a given situation.
Regardless of which particular issue may be their hot-button, principled conservatives have an all-around conservative philosophy, and they’re not the “hi-maintenance” type that you have to constantly worry about or prod to do the right thing.
Needless to say, it saves a good bit of time and energy when you don’t have to worry about people who are supposed to be on your side.
In addition to having the right principles, we need people who are passionate about those principles, because if they are passionate they will be persistent. And persistence is a critical key to long-term political success.
Passionate people are can usually be counted on to stick with it and get the job done because they care about something they see as bigger than themselves. They are more likely to sacrifice their time and do things that other people just won’t do because they’re committed. And they won’t “burn out” easily over the long-haul, or wilt at the first sign of resistance or controversy (which is always in abundance if you’re principled).
Lastly, and just as importantly, we need people who are politically savvy. People who know how to passionately advocate for their principles in a way that’s more likely to be successful. It’s one thing to believe the right things, and another to be passionate about it, but people who don’t know how to be effective in the political system (or are unwilling to learn) won’t have much success in the long run. They won’t be much help to you or your cause, and it goes without saying that they will certainly make poor leaders.
People who are politically savvy know the “system” and can think strategically, as well as tend to have a good understanding of people and how they will act (and react) in given situations. These are people who can help advance an agenda by organizing others and playing political “offense”.
Notice that each of these attributes builds upon the others. Someone with principles but no passion or savvy is useless. Someone with passion but no principles or savvy will get themselves (and maybe you) into trouble. Someone who’s all savvy can’t be trusted.
The conservative movement desperately needs more activists and leaders who are principled, passionate AND politically savvy.
Be one. Support others. Help recruit more!