If there’s one thing upon which we should generally agree with regard to the two-party political system in America, it’s this:
- The Demorats know how to communicate;
- The Republicans do not.
GOP command of verbal and written communication ended with Ronald Wilson Reagan. And was found resolutely wanting under our 43rd president.
William Jefferson Clinton was a Master at communications, not just in terms of press releases, agenda, schedule, the media in all its forms, but his personal aura as well. He was crafted, shaped, formed, presently charismatic, purposeful in every event. Yes, WJC has come unwound in his dotage but, during his prime years, he was a Sun Tzu Master. It was once said of WJC: “he could stop for a moment, clasp your hand, look directly into your eyes, and make you feel like you were the only person in the room.” Master, indeed.
Likewise, Barack Hussein Obama is a Master at communications but is even more crafted and custom-created than his predecessor (for whom he owes a great debt of gratitude). Barack Hussein Obama will forever be remembered and associated with his TelePrompTer speeches — as opposed to any forced, instant or extemporaneous sessions which were, ahem, uh, eh, um, not so impressive.
Perhaps it’s time to tear a page from the Obama Playbook, wherein he embraces radical Leftist Saul Alinsky — mentor of both the Clintons and Obamas. Michelle Obama, for example, has already quoted Alinsky in her vaunted August 25th DNC Convention speech of last year.
RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”
Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)
RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)
RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)
RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
This should actually be RULE NUMBER ONE for the GOP. Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
This is the Primary Rule taken from the book of the Third Reich’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, who said: ” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.) This worked, in concert with other devices, against Bush.
Joseph Goebbels said at Nuremberg in 1934: “Propaganda is a means to an end. Its purpose is to lead the people to an understanding that will allow it to willingly and without internal resistance devote itself to the tasks and goals of a superior leadership.”
Goebbels’ other major quote is: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” See Rule 10. Great article about the concepts of propaganda here.
See any past, current and/or stated future Demorat tactics in play from that last statement, perchance?
The Republicans are and have been, essentially, too faint of heart. Politics is a Blood Sport and it is all about taking charge of your communications and defining yourself, removing that power from your opponent.
All in all, recently, the Demorats have simply communicated more effectively.
Take note, GOP and Conservatives.
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