How to kill a movement

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Did you ever see a movement grow?

Did you see the way it starts?

Did you feel it spread around you?

Did you hear it rustling the leaves and scraping the sidewalk?

Did you want to kill it?

The weird thing about movements is that opposition tends to strengthen them. Movements feed on hostility the way rats feed on garbage.

The way you kill a movement is infiltration and fragmentation.

You can’t kill a movement from the outside. You can only kill it from inside. The way an antibiotic kills bacteria.

I’m watching it happen in Missouri. Not intentionally. In fact, the frackers (those who fracture) truly believe they’re strengthening the movement by eliminating suspicious elements.

I’m one of those suspicious elements. They’re probably better off without me. But they’ve also seized on Rep. Paul Curtman as a suspicious element.


Paul Curtman is about the truest conservative in Jefferson City. He’s brilliantly navigated the state capitol without falling prey to the establishment. He’s taken hard lines on hard issues, consistent with his remarkably strong Christian conservative ethic.

And a tiny but angry and relentless element of Missouri conservatism wants to isolate, personalize, and attack Paul. They believe Paul has strayed because he didn’t get everything they want all at once. You know, the way toddlers expect their wishes to happen.

This is fragmentation. It’s fracturing. It’s destructive.

It’s the only way to kill a movement. And it’s completely homegrown.

The greatest threat to freedom is not a totalitarian; the greatest threat to freedom is a conservative who can’t tolerate deviations from her narrow agenda.

Just cool down folks. We might win this thing.