Politico: Why do you think you can be so open about your strategy and still have it work? Why don’t you feel like you need to be covert about it?
Rufo: First, and most simply, because I’m telling the truth—and the truth has an inherent and innate power. I believe that if it’s propagated correctly, it has the power to defeat lies.
The reason that I announced my strategy in advance is both to demoralize my opponents—and it certainly does a good job at that—but also to teach my potential friends and allies how the game works. Machiavelli wrote The Prince not to teach people who already knew the principles of how power works, but to teach people who need to know—and in reality, the people who need to know about how politics works are American conservatives. So I tried to publicly narrate what I’m doing in order to teach my friends how to do it themselves. I think that this is a big service—with the added benefit that it demoralizes and deranges my enemies.
I’ve been telling people for a while now that Christopher Rufo is more effective and worth paying attention to than anyone else in politics. Politicians will come and go, but his activism will be more consequential than any of them. I read his book last year and was impressed — most of the story itself was familiar to me, but he did an excellent job of telling it. I especially love how forthright he is — he tells them what he’s going to do, he does it, and then he tells them what he did, before announcing what he plans to do next. All they can do so far is wail and gnash their teeth. Godspeed, sir.