Campaign for Liberty: The School of REAL Politics

January 19, 2010

Politics is a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners, winner-take-all, long-term war over the adjudication of power.

The Campaign for Liberty (CFL) sponsored a Regional Convention in Atlanta January 15-17. The convention was the most eye-opening political event I have attended in recent years.

Over 500 political junkies were in attendance (my guesstimate), and got far in excess of their money’s worth in political training. CFL Director of Development Steve Bierfeldt made arrangements for me to have a pass to the event. Being only recently made familiar with CFL, I had little idea what lessons were in store in this weekend event.

The Campaign for Liberty is a political organization founded about a year ago by John Tate, former National Political Director for the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign Committee. Respect for the Constitution, the rule of law, individual liberty, sound money, non-interventionist foreign policy and stellar grassroots training in political activity constitute the foundation of the Campaign for Liberty. CFL is experiencing exponential growth, with over 5,000 new members joining weekly.

Friday evening’s festivities began with a private reception featuring the conference’s guest speakers: Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, college professor and author, Dr. Thomas Woods, best-selling author and Senior Fellow at The Mises Institute; Lew Rockwell, president of the Mises Institute and Editor of, the most popular anti-tyranny website on earth; and Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, the special guest for the weekend and keynote speaker for Friday night’s kickoff session.

I was like a wide-eyed groupie. These men are my heroes, and I was honored to meet and speak with each one. They are disarmingly charming, brilliant minds, and gracious gentlemen.

Friday night’s general session began with a brilliant speech on Nullification by Dr. Tom Woods. He pointed out that the Frankenstein monster is not more powerful than its creator, and in like manner, the DC monster should not be more powerful that its creators, the several states. As many states have nullified the Federal “Real ID” program, and 39 states have passed Tenth Amendment resolutions, combined with a few gun law resolutions, Woods said that we will see increasing Nullification efforts by the states.

Between speeches, a great video was presented on the big screen. Jimmie Vaughan, legendary bluesman, sings “The No Shackles Blues.” Here’s Jimmie singing the song at the 2007 Texas Independence Day Rally in Austin, Texas. See it here:

Congressman Ron Paul delivered the stirring keynote speech. To summarize, he stated that the full effect of Washington’s dire mess has yet to be felt in America. He warned of additional economic woes and the inevitable collapse of the dollar that are on our horizons. He said that part of the disaster in Washington is due to Americans being lax in their duty to control lawmakers. But his speech was filled with the liberty-based solutions to America’s problems, and he ended his speech with the encouraging words that the message of liberty is the only message that brings people together.

The weekend’s training sessions had topics such as:

• “The Real Nature of Politics” – the theme was “unless you are politically feared, you will not be politically respected.”
• “Choosing Your Battles” – the theme was that “politicians want to divorce the legislative season of politics from the election season. It is our job to link them together so a voting record has an affect on an election.”
• “Inside Operations”- showed how to handle legislators when you want to get a bill passed.
• “Targeting Legislators” – discussed getting roll call votes to get legislators on record, then either helping your friends or punishing your enemies.
• “Outside Operations” – taught working with lobbyists and single issue groups.
• “Tactical Principles” – explained how “the political system works just like the founders feared it would, but they planned it to make it hard to make anything happen.”

The speakers and moderators were CFL experts mixed with the guest speakers, and each brought decades of bare-knuckled campaign experience to the session. Each of the training sessions was an insider’s analysis of the political process, from grassroots organizing to running for national office.

Three Dimensional Chess

Party politics should be compared to playing three dimensional chess. A standard game of chess is all about strategy, and thinking many moves in advance is required. But party politics add deeper, more cynical dimensions to the strategies.

Here’s an example of the kinds of analyses we were taught. Many of the finest political consultants use this grid to determine how to proceed in all political decisions. The grid asks four questions and requires that a numerical value be placed on each point, from minus-10 to plus-10:

1. Win or lose, will efforts on this issue raise new money or people?
2. Win or lose, will efforts on this issue help friends or allies?
3. Win or lose, will efforts on this issue hurt enemies or their allies?
4. What is the value of policy if we win or the cost if we lose?

Based on scoring, consultants can determine what issues to pursue and which to leave alone…for now.

Before attending the CFL convention, I thought that I had a modicum of knowledge about politics. But after attending this training, I realize that I knew little but political theory.

My assessment of the event is that the Campaign for Liberty has created one of the most comprehensive political training systems in America today. Any person who wishes to become successful in the political arena MUST avail themselves of the training provided by this educational organization. After attending this event it seems to me that individuals who want to go into any form of politics and do not get this training should (a) not expect success, (b) expect a long, bruising learning curve, or (c) not be taken seriously as a political activist.

Get yourself to the very next event sponsored by the Campaign for Liberty.

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.