Welcoming new converts to conservatism


Five weeks ago, Tea Party Patriots launched its Patriot Town Hall series. Last night, the final speaker of the series, Leadership Institute founder Morton Blackwell, spoke to Tea Party activists across the country.

The series, which brought former Ronald Reagan staffers and a Reagan biographer to Tea Party activists across the nation, is designed to bring the principles and strategies of the nation’s greatest modern President to a new generation of activists. All of the speakers over the last six weeks brought their own unique perspectives, including Blackwell. Here are three key points he outlined:

  1. While Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan were ideologically similar, they were stylistically opposite. To paraphrase Blackwell, Goldwater enjoyed sticking his finger in people’s eyes. Reagan cared what people thought, and modified his style of speech, his approach to politics, etc. appropriately in order to reach more people.
  2. Mitt Romney and other GOP Presidential candidates since Reagan have focused a great deal of attention on advertisements. Reagan knew the grassroots was key, which is why he sent 30 people (including a young Morton Blackwell) to 10 important states to garner support among college students.
  3. Related, today’s GOP establishment focuses on advertisements instead of grassroots coalitions – partially, if not largely, due to the greater profit margins in advertisements. Blackwell noted that this needs to be reversed if the GOP wants to be back in power.

The Leadership Institute has thrived under the leadership of Blackwell, and after the call everyone know why. Blackwell went into a number of analyses of the GOP’s failure to make effective coalitions, support Tea Party candidates, and generally back the establishment over the grassroots. The call, which can be heard in its entire here – along with the other five speakers from the series – is worth listening to in its entirety.