What began as an organic, policy-driven grass-roots movement was drained of its vitality and resources by national political action committees that dunned the movement’s true believers endlessly for money to support its candidates and causes. The PACs used that money first to enrich themselves and their vendors and then deployed most of the rest to search for more “prospects.” In Tea Party world, that meant mostly older, technologically unsavvy people willing to divulge personal information through “petitions”—which only made them prey to further attempts to lighten their wallets for what they believed was a good cause. While the solicitations continue, the audience has greatly diminished because of a lack of policy results and changing political winds.
This is a lesson gun people could use as well. We’re all going to have to become a lot more politically sophisticated to survive what is coming, and that means being able to recognize charlatans after your money, who have no real organization backing them up, when you see it.
One reason the left wins and the right loses is the left is a lot more politically sophisticated.