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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Politics: More Important Than Winning

In American politics, single-issue organizations can be extremely effective. For example, they can get a Constitutional Amendment enacted; see the history of Prohibition.

But most cut down their effectiveness by adopting positions on other issues. The Right to Own Mammoths Committee will repel potential supporters by speaking out on property taxes, spear control, smoking restrictions, and movie ratings. Driving away customers doesn't seem quite rational.

Minor political parties also drive away voters. Example: In the 1970s, the Los Angeles Times (which was then my local paper) ran an article on the Libertarian Party. I called the phone number given in the article, and said I wanted to learn more about the party than was in the article.

They sent me a photocopy of the LATimes article. (This was an organization supposedly in favor of property rights.) And offered to sell me Libertarian Party literature.

There's a reason for these stupidities: internal customers are considered more important than external customers.

The important customers can be the ones who provide the money. This seems to have been the case with the Communist Party USA. Time and again, it threw away support by aligning itself with the USSR.

Or they can be the current members of the organization, who want it to remain a club in which they feel comfortable.
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