My friend Jon Caldara of our sister think-tank in Colorado eloquently and humorously offers an important lesson from the election—the results stem not from a short-term campaign, but from long-term work by political institutions and activists:
The left wins because they control the narrative. They control the narrative because they invest their resources, their years, and a ton of our money, to build systems, organizations and institutions that tell the stories they want voters in the middle to believe. Capitalism hurts the country. Hydraulic fracturing is an environmental danger. There is a war against women. Blah, blah, blah...
The right's donors invest too often in personality, not political infrastructure. They invest for the short term. ... The money goes to candidates or their support systems. By then it is usually too late. The left has built unions, think tanks, media operations, opposition research groups, voter registration machines, legal harassment firms and so much more.
What is he talking about? LaborUnionReport over at Redstate sums up the work of Goliath—government unions and their friends—this past election:
- The SEIU put 100,000 "volunteers" on the ground in swing states.
- AFSCME put 65,000 members into action
- The National Education Association claimed to have 175,000 working the campaign
- "Ohio alone, which is increasingly likely to determine the outcome of the presidential race, has nearly 3,500 educator volunteers in 87 of the state's 88 counties."
The list goes on and on if you want to read it all.
We have to prepare ourselves for a long-term battle by building the institutions—smooth stones—needed to take on Goliath.