Morton Blackwell’s Laws
The First Reference for anyone in politics. Office or otherwise.
by Morton C. Blackwell
1. Never give a bureaucrat a chance to say no.
2. Don’t fire all your ammunition at once.
3. Don’t get mad except on purpose.
4. Effort is admirable. Achievement is valuable.
5. Make the steal more expensive than it’s worth.
6. Give ’em a title and get ’em involved.
7. Expand the leadership.
8. You can’t beat a plan with no plan.
9. Political technology determines political success.
10. Sound doctrine is sound politics.
11. In politics, you have your word and your friends; go back on either and you’re dead.
12. Keep your eye on the main chance and don’t stop to kick every barking dog.
13. Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.
14. Remember the other side has troubles too.
15. Don’t treat good guys like you treat bad guys.
16. A well-run movement takes care of its own.
17. Hire at least as many to the right o f you as to the left of you.
18. You can’t save the world if you can’t pay the rent.
19. All gains are incremental; some increments aren’t gains.
20. A stable movement requires a healthy, reciprocal I.O.U. flow among its participants. Don’t keep a careful tally.
21. An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.
22. Never miss a political meeting if you think there’s the slightest chance you’ll wish you’d been there.
23. In volunteer politics, a builder can build faster than a destroyer can destroy.
24. Actions have consequences.
25. The mind can absorb no more than the seat can endure.
26. Personnel is policy.
27. Remember it’s a long ball game.
28. The test of moral ideas is moral results.
29. You can’t beat somebody with nobody.
30. Better a snake in the grass than a viper in your bosom.
31. Don’t fully trust anyone until he has stuck with a good cause which he saw was losing.
32. A prompt, generous letter of thanks can seal a commitment which otherwise might disappear when the going gets rough.
33. Governing is campaigning by different means.
34. You cannot make friends of your enemies by making enemies of your friends.
35. Choose your enemies as carefully as you choose your friends.
36. Keep a secure home base.
37. Don’t rely on being given anything you don’t ask for.
38. In politics, nothing moves unless pushed.
39. Winners aren’t perfect. They made fewer mistakes than their rivals.
40. One big reason is better than many little reasons.
41. In moments of crisis, the initiative passes to those who are best prepared.
42. Politics is of the heart as well as of the mind. Many people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
43. Promptly report your action to the one who requested it.
44. Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics.
45. Pray as if it all depended on God; work as if it all depended on you.
Morton C. Blackwell, President
More on Morton at the jump.
Morton C. Blackwell
Professionally, Morton Blackwell is the president of the Leadership Institute, a non-partisan educational foundation he founded in 1979.
His institute prepares conservatives for success in politics, government and the news media. Over the years the Leadership Institute has trained more than 48,000 students. It currently has revenue of $12.7 million per year and a staff of 58.
In youth politics, Mr. Blackwell was a College Republican state chairman and a Young Republican state chairman in Louisiana.
He served on the Young Republican National Committee for more than a dozen years, rising to the position of Young Republican National Federation national vice chairman at large.
Off and on for five years, 1965-1970, he worked as executive director of the College Republican National Committee under four consecutive College Republican national chairmen.
He served on the Louisiana Republican state central committee for eight years.
First elected to the Arlington County (Virginia) Republican Committee in 1972, he is a member of the Virginia Republican state central committee and was first elected in 1988 as Virginia’s Republican National Committeeman (RNC), a post he still holds. In 2004 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the RNC.
Having worked actively in politics for more than forty years, he has probably trained more political activists than any other conservative. Starting in the 1960s, he has trained thousands of people who have served on staff for conservative and Republican candidates in every state.
Mr. Blackwell was Barry Goldwater’s youngest elected delegate to the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco.
He was a national convention Alternate Delegate for Ronald Reagan in 1968 and 1976, and a Ronald Reagan Delegate at the 1980 national convention.
In 1980, he organized and oversaw the national youth effort for Ronald Reagan.
He served as Special Assistant to the President on President Reagan’s White House Staff 1981-1984.
Mr. Blackwell is something of a specialist in matters relating to the rules of the Republican Party. He served on rules committees of the state Republican parties in Louisiana and in Virginia. He serves now on the RNC’s Standing Committee on Rules and has attended every meeting of the Republican National Conventions’ Rules Committees since 1972.