I just read a report about the 2018 Libertarian National Convention in New Orleans.
The author wrote:
“Woods is arguably the most divisive figure alive in the modern libertarian movement. To his supporters, he is the ideological linchpin that sets the standard for libertarian pedagogy. For many in this room, his podcast The Tom Woods Show has been an inspirational guideline that provides a historical roadmap to the libertarian movement dating back to the beginning of our country. To his detractors, Woods is a firebrand with a murky past and he received a cold shoulder from the LP leadership who have attacked him in the past for what they perceive to be Woods’ more conservative philosophies.”
A few thoughts here.
For one thing, I never set out to be “the most divisive figure.” (I’m not even sure the claim is true, but let’s accept it for the sake of argument.) That’s dumb, and wouldn’t work anyway.
But this title isn’t anything I’d want to run away from, that’s for sure.
It means my ideas get talked about.
It means my name gets repeated again and again.
It means people seek out my books and podcast episodes to find out what the fuss is about.
When I was promoting The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History years ago, the TV spot that got me the most sales wasn’t the interview I did on MSNBC with Pat Buchanan. It was the argument I had with Alan Colmes on FOX News.
Conflict gets people’s attention. It makes them takes sides. And when they take sides, they cheer for their side.
You build a devoted following.
Meanwhile, there’s a milquetoast think-tank head who doesn’t like me. He gives boring speeches than offend no one. (Except Nazis. He’s really bold, so he’s summoned his courage to oppose…Nazis. So there are 544 people in the U.S. who would be repelled by the guy.)
Result: nobody would cross the street to hear this guy speak, which is why he speaks only at conferences with captive audiences.
I know which one of us I’d rather be.
Yes, you can try to be Oprah and appeal to the whole world. But then, you’re competing with the whole world.
Or, you can be you — unapologetically you — and build up raving followers in some niche. Depending on the niche you may take some abuse, too, but just get a thick skin.
In other words: pick an area, and stake your claim there.
Simple way to begin: start a blog. It will make you a better writer, it will add your voice to the conversation, it will get you off Facebook (where you’re spending lots of unproductive time) and give you something productive to point to, it gives you an opportunity to earn affiliate commissions, and it’s your piece of online ground on which you can stake your claim.
The sooner you begin, the sooner you’ll see results.
What to do next:
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