We asked David Horowitz, a former member of the New Left who converted to conservatism and built a legendary career as a writer, activist, and strategist, for his take on the most common mistake made by young activists. His response is more relevant now than ever, especially as conservative students rightfully ratchet up their efforts to fight PC culture on their campuses.

“Don’t confuse pissing off liberals with winning the public policy battle.”

-David Horowitz

YAF: What is the most common mistake made by young activists, and how would you recommend they avoid this mistake?

Horowitz: Don’t confuse pissing off liberals with winning the public policy battle. Activism requires patience and is dependent on one’s ability to build a winning coalition. 

Sometimes kids do juvenile things. Sophomoric demonstrations or campus events can have a certain youthful charm. In other cases, however, they can display an insensitivity or immaturity that explodes in the faces of campus conservatives. The best way to avoid this is to confer with… mentors, senior conservatives, and folks like those at Young America’s Foundation. They usually know the difference between spry but credible activities and communications versus those that will irradiate everyone within 50 square miles.

Horowitz has decades of expertise when it comes to conservative activism. If anyone is bold enough to take it to the Left, it’s Horowitz. He’s a fearless activist who has achieved countless victories for conservatism over the course of his career. Today’s students would be wise to internalize his guidance.

If you want to bring his wisdom directly to your campus, shoot us an email and we’ll help you set up a campus lecture. To host David Horowitz or other conservative speakers, contact pcoyle@yaf.org.

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