The Primary Directive: Ignoring Tribalism to Take Advantage of the Electoral Process – Lessons from the Nonpartisan League, Part Four

By: Tuesday July 6, 2010 1:12 pm

Nonpartisan League founder A. C. Townley had a simple strategy to elect NPL members to state office in North Dakota. It relied on getting members to ignore their old political tribalism while taking advantage of others. Townley figured out that he could make use of a very recent development, the primary election of party nominees, [...]

Finding Leverage Points, Flexing Muscles: Lessons from the Anti-Saloon League, Part Four

By: Sunday June 13, 2010 6:00 am

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world. –Archimedes Leverage is literally a force multiplier. In politics, a relatively small number of very dedicated volunteers, donors and voters can have an impact far greater than their numbers if they act with precision. The [...]

Valuing Natural Allies over Existing Animus: Lessons from the Anti-Saloon League, Part Three

By: Wednesday June 9, 2010 6:00 am

These are the necessities of politics: exposure, campaign contributions, volunteers and votes. If you want to reward or punish politicians, these are the tools at your disposal. If, like the Anti-Saloon League in the early 20th century, you hope to achieve massive national political change, you’ll need to cast your web wide to find dedicated [...]

Empower Your Allies, Enfranchise Your Voters and Change the Rules: Lessons from the Anti-Saloon League, Part Two

By: Tuesday June 8, 2010 6:00 am

The Prohibition movement and the women’s suffrage movement became inseparably linked by the early 20th century. The belief on both sides of the Prohibition issue was that women were more likely to be anti-liquor voters. So, the greater the enfranchisement of women, the greater the chance to pass anti-alcohol legislation. This is why brewers and [...]

Retribution: Lessons from the Anti-Saloon League, Part One

By: Monday June 7, 2010 6:00 am

The Anti-Saloon League pushed the 18th Amendment, Prohibition, by wielding power and scaring politicians, a lesson interest groups could use today.