Politics isn’t complicated. But political operatives like to pretend it is.
If you run a political operation—a campaign, grassroots-organizing outfit, c4 lobbying organization, political action committee, etc.—the conventional wisdom goes: don’t share anything. If even a single data point slips out, your enemy, the opposition, will gain a strategic advantage that will send your whole undertaking into a tailspin, destabilize your vast, fair-weather professional network, and bring dishonor to your name and household.
This kind of politics—rampant in the progressive political ecosystem—is built on the worst kind of paranoia. What that level of anxiety and doubt does to your soul, I’ll leave for therapists and clergy. However, it is my ministry to point out, paranoia is a bad starting place in politics.
In fact, I might go as far to suggest, if paranoia underlies your relationship to political work, you’d do well with white nationalists, TERFs, men’s rights activists, and that whole multi-racial cadre of people who are more afraid of losing this not-so-good version of reality where they’ve accumulated a modicum enough of power to not feel the endless barrage of life hammering them into place instead of imagining, risking, and fighting for something better where we all can have what we need.
But back to politics: hiding what you know and believe is bad. Always. Period. That’s the tweet. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If kids can see through the duplicity, voters can too. Always say what you know and believe. Because if your whole orientation to politics is that everything can be used against you, everything does end up being used against you, even—and especially—the things you know, believe, and want to see happen in the world!
At DTC, we believe everyone makes the best decisions they can with what they know when they know it—so, it follows, we also believe in the necessity for more political analyses and information in the public sphere. Sharing information leads to better decision-making, better ideas, and better outcomes. At the end of the day, it’s about knocking down the gates that keep out so many amazing people.
It’s not enough to just believe in the values of transparency and trust, we have to live them and build structures that materialize our beliefs into the world. We do this in small and big ways. So today, we’re launching a Blog & Resources page at DTC. To the extent we can, we’re going to share our political analyses and the information we have available to us. Everyone will be able to access them. Everyone can share. Everyone can have everything.
As an industry, in our small corner of the world, we waste so much of our time rebuilding the same pieces of infrastructure and competing for the same resources. We don’t want to do that anymore. If we’ve built something in the past that can be useful to you, take it. Customize it. Scrap it for parts. Steal shamelessly. And when you learn something new, when you come up with that next great idea, which, as all ideas ever do, came from some other, previous idea, let us know! We’ll be excited to hear from you.