In the United States, there are several groups with conservative views that may be considered to have a visible influence in their field (such as the Federalist Society for law, or the National Rifle Association for firearms).

Take the Federalist Society for example. The Washington Post Magazine wrote a while ago that “twenty-five of the 30 appeals court judges [US President Trump] has appointed are or were members of the society” and the organization has been described as having an “unprecedented peak of power and influence”. Out of 9 judges in the US Supreme Court, two-thirds (6) of them are current or former members of the society. It may be said that the Society has had a significant and visible political impact in light of this.

Contrast this with a similar progressive or liberal group, such as the Brennan Center for Justice. By way of comparison, its operating budget is similar to the Federalist Society and its views different, yet it does not have any visibly significant political impact. It does not draw up a list of candidates to send to a president, and it does not lobby for candidates it approves of in ways similar to the Federalist Society.

Comparisons may be also drawn between groups such as the National Rifle Association and groups with a more progressive view on firearms issues (such as Moms Demand Action or Everytown for Gun Safety).

The two groups above are just some examples of conservative groups arguably having a visible political impact. There are other fields such as policy, with analogous groups such as the Heritage Foundation also playing roles that are broadly similar.

Question: Why is it the case that groups with politically conservative views appear to have a more visible impact on the political stage, compared to liberal/progressive groups of a similar or comparable stature?

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