"1. Don’t be afraid to go into enemy territory. Our most articulate voices, likable faces, and best idea-makers need to go into hostile territory and plant the seeds of doubt in our ideological enemy and the apolitical masses who simply go where the media flows. Don’t just preach to the choir. Invade their space, get their attention, make them report what you say.There's some slight discontinuity betweeen 1, 5, and 7. And I don't like 16. Mostly, though, the message is boldness, truth and persistence in the face of the enemy, and they ARE the enemy of both truth and freedom.
2. Expose the left for who they are – in their own words. It’s easy to label the left, to analyze them, to take them apart using your rationality….What’s much harder than understanding the left is exposing it. Come with real evidence …. quotations with names and dates, print-outs from Web sites. Push it across the table and say “on March 15 you compared gun owners to Nazis. Do you deny that?”
3. The key to success of the New Media is making news by breaking news. What people want to hear, what is important in an information-saturated world, is not research or commentary or opinion or reaction, but news. Get there first and report what you see, don’t comment on what other people say or think. Your ideas and opinions are not news. Never start with “I think” or “I happen to believe.”
4. Be open about the secrets and sins of yourself and your spokespersons. Once it’s out there, there isn’t much the left can do with it – you already admitted it. Say “that’s not news” and move on. See Rule #3: “That’s not news, so why are you still talking about it?” When confronted with your own past mistakes, embrace them. Don’t talk about how you regret them, don’t apologize, don’t explain. Say you lived through them and they made you who you are today. Embracing your mistakes makes you invulnerable to their slings.
5. Accuse the other side of hypocrisy. Use the words: “You are so hypocritical… you are a hypocrite.” The right is cited with it all the time because we actually have standards, they know it, and part of their Alinsky playbook is to try to embarrass us by holding us to our own standards. Everything bad they accuse us of doing, they are doing themselves. They lie, exaggerate, cherry-pick, live indulgent and wasteful lives, throw allies under the bus (e.g., native Americans, the poor, endangered species), etc. Hypocrisy appeals directly to the emotional heart of politics: one standard for you, another for me.
6. Don’t let the other side characterize you or shape the narrative. Object to labels and force them to report/register your objection. It’s not big business against the environment or the little guy, it’s the little guy against Big Environment, Big Labor, Big Government. If you refuse to buy into their lexicon, if you refuse to back down in the face of those intimidation tactics, they can’t harm you.
7. Express righteous indignation. Don’t just call them out, express your own outrage at being falsely accused. Point out that what they’re doing is pure Alinsky and that it has no basis in fact or reality. For example, say they’re showing themselves to be racists in their own right by citing race every time they meet someone with whom they disagree.
8. Dismiss phony accusations and labels out of hand as being ridiculous, then immediately go on the offense. Don’t start by defending yourself against baseless charges, dismiss them out of hand as ridiculous. Say he is a punk for leveling that kind of charge without any basis whatsoever. Demand that they back up their charges with specifics, and when they can’t, counter-charge them with hypocrisy (see Rule #5).
9. Control your story by serializing it. Think ahead to the next step of the argument, the debate, the longer-term strategy. View the current encounter as just one step, anticipate their response and plan your next step. Serialization is one way to do this: Van Jones was taken down by Glenn Beck because Beck had the goods – and because he revealed them piece by piece. He got them to come out of the closet and attack him. then he calmly laid his cards on the table, one by one.
10. Feed the media, starve your critics. Feeding the media is like training a dog – you can’t throw an entire steak at a dog to train it to sit. You have to give it little bits of steak over and over and over again until it learns its lesson. Meanwhile, give your critics nothing so they have nothing to report . Give them nothing to report (Rule #3), anticipate their response and force them to react to your story over and over again (Rule #9).
11. Ubiquity is key. When the MSM is ignoring you, develop relationships with like0-minded allies or even enemies and news junkies and allow them to share in the good fortune of a good scoop. Ubiquity is about growing the pie for everyone, spreading the stories, the channels of distribution, the resources around so that the entire movement can benefit, because our chunk of the public square gets bigger and bigger each time we break something huge.
12. Engage in the social media. Building a movement used to take time, but now it can be done in a few hours with the right connections and the right posts on the right websites. Use Facebook and Twitter and texting.
13. Don’t pretend to know more than you do. It feeds our ego and, we think, plays to our strength, but nobody can be an expert on everything, and nobody likes the guy who thinks he is but then flubs answers to seemingly simple questions. Instead of playing the know-it all, play Socrates, asking pointed questions rather than citing facts we may not be sure of.
14. Only accept media invites where you control the terms of engagement. Be generous with your time with friendly reporters, bloggers, and allies. In contrast, don’t agree to long interviews with hostile reporters which result in only a couple sentences taken out of context in a hit-piece published a week later. Insist of being interviewed live on television shows, know who the other guests are in advance so you can prepare, insist that the topic be something you want to discuss and are prepared to discuss and not “open-ended” or “to be decided.”
#15. Don’t let them pretend to know more than they do. The other guys will pretend to know more than they do, and because they seldom stray outside their friendly media zones they will not be prepared for demands that they prove their claims or the presentation of counter facts. You can always puncture their balloon with one word: why. Asking them to provide evidence for their assertions is always fun, and it’s even more fun asking them to provide the sources for that evidence. Reason is not their strong suit, emotion is. Force them to play on the football field of reason.
#16. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. This is one of Alinksy’s rules, and he’s right. Memorable put downs of our opponents and their ideas can stick to them for a long time and damage their credibility. Create an unfavorable image that people can retrieve whenever a name (Al Gore) or idea (global warming, gun control) is mentioned. Images that are funny last the longest.
#17. Don’t let them get away with ignoring their own rules. This is another Alinsky rule: point out how their position contradicts some other position they hold, make them explain how killing barred owls to protect northern spotted owls helps the environment, how windmills that kill golden eagles and bats are good for the environment, why Indians are not allowed to use fracking on their own lands.
#18. Truth isn’t mean. It’s the truth. Don’t be afraid to say we are for the truth. “We’re not here to try to sell you anything. We’re just devoted to finding the truth.” Contrast the truth with “spin” and “political agendas.” The left is too deep into subjectivism and post-modern deconstructionism to believe the “truth” exists, so they will stumble and stutter when confronted with someone who naively believes it does. In a public debate, where most people do believe there is objective truth, saying you’re on the side of truth is good.
#19. Believe in the audacity of hope. Optimists win debates and elections and sell the most books. Do not be the guy on the panel who is dour, frowning, and the source of bad news. Be the guy who is smiling, looking up and around, laughing at everyone’s jokes, and eager to comment. Say “apathy is suicide” and “every problem has a solution, and the benefits of solving really big problems are huge.” Say we are winning… the debate, public support, the future. People like
winners, they look for horses to which to hook their wagons. Be that horse. Compete to pull the audience’s wagons. "
Sunday, March 29, 2015
The Breitbart/Bast Rules For Anti-Radical Counter Warfare
From Steve Milloy: