Washington, D.C., is not where the important battles of the day are fought. Change the culture first.
Adapted from The Morning Call, April 14, 2021.
As analysts of political, economic, and cultural phenomena and trends, largely for investors, we’ve written countless times that we do not intend to be advocates for any specific idea or policy. We violate that principle more often than we should, though, and this will be one of those times. So let us be clear. Dear very wealthy conservatives: please stop wasting the money you designate for political advocacy by donating it all to campaigns or campaign-related organizations.
Use some of that money to buy media operations instead. Pick up a newspaper. Or a magazine. Or … whatever. And note, when we suggest picking up a media operation up, we mean that you should buy the company and become the publisher. Conservatives (ourselves included) are constantly fretting about the impact that the media has on the political, economic, and cultural direction of the country. And while conservatives are justified in their frustration, there is an easy way to address the matter: reverse engineer and emulate the efforts of the billionaire philanthropists on the Left, people like Jeff Bezos, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Marc Benioff, who now own The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Time, respectively, three of the most culturally influential outlets in nation, if not the world.
Or maybe use some of that money to participate in shareholder activism, buying a significant chunk of a corporation that has done the wrong thing by involving itself too heavily in politics. Then attend the annual meeting and vote against the directors and vote to slash the chief executive officer’s compensation. One share of stock—one single, solitary share—is enough to get an investor in the doors of an annual meeting and on the queue to question the executive team. Of course, it doesn’t have to stop with one share. Here again, conservatives concerned about the culture can reverse engineer the Left’s extremely effective tactics. Buy a few thousand shares. Or a few hundred thousand. And then use the voting rights associated with them as leverage against corporate executives and boards who have forgotten what businesses are supposed to do and have involved themselves too deeply in political matters.
Heck, a mere half-billion dollars would buy an “investor” a greater interest in BlackRock than Larry Fink currently has. Buy some stock in his firm and “punch back twice as hard” (as Glenn “the Blogfather, Instapundit” Reynolds would say).
Whatever you do, do something different.
We have always argued that Washington is not where the important battles of the day are fought. Rather, those battles are fought in the states, cities, towns, neighborhoods, schools, churches, and families of the nation. Washington is just where they keep score.
If conservatives wish to retain some semblance of a constitutional republic in this country, then they have to quit wasting their time and money trying to bribe the scoreboard operator. Expend your efforts closer to home. Build a better team. Invest in your family, friends, and neighbors who share your values and your virtues and can help effect a million small changes that will more than overwhelm a handful of larger ones. As Albert Jay Knock’s Isaiah put it, “Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”Change the culture first. The rest will follow.