Wednesday, April 06, 2005



by Brandon

I've been telling my fellow Democrats for a few months now that we can't treat the present generation of Republicans as if they were your typical run of the mill politicians. They are not. Whether you want to admit it or not these people do NOT campaign to win elections--they campaign to destroy everything in their path; including everything from social programs that made life tolerable for seniors and the middle class (think Medicare and Social Security) to the Separation of Church and State that our Founding Fathers created to protect our freedom of religion, to the very air and water that we breathe and drink. With a primary goal of turning America into a Theocratic State which practices Social Darwinism as a "Christian" virtue, the Republican Party, with backing from its Radical Right goons, has indeed engaged in a Culture War that is designed to undermine the very foundation--the religious choices, economic security, and everyday liberties--on which our modern society has been built.

And yet, while the very basis of our security-both national and international--is being eroded by reactionary theocrats and neocons, the Democratic response has been to debate itself to death. Young Liberals, fellow progressives, let me explain something to you. We are under attack. Our enemies have revealed their rapacious natures on a daily basis and yet we refuse to take the threat as seriously as we should. History tells us what happens when a citizenry behaves as if it were an acquiescent flock of sheep. In the late 1920's a pint-sized sociopath named Adolf Hitler had the audacity to put his insane writings into print. Regrettably an entire nation, indeed, the entire world. did not read nor pay attention to those writings. The end result was the rise of the Nazi Party, World War II, and the Holocaust.

Now flash forward to 2004. Today we have a pack of power hungry reactionaries who are putting their barbarous paradigms into print on a regular basis. Their insane rantings form the basis of the entire AM radio frequency, especially the lower and upper channels where the so called "Christian Right" spews delusional, often radical, propaganda that sounds as if it were written by Paul Josef Goebbels. Their imbecilic TV programs litter our nightly news broadcasts. Their moronic writings dominate the religion section at our libraries and book stores. In short, the sociopaths of our era have expressed their truly savage intentions while the Democratic Party behaves as if is the modern day equivalent of the Weimar Republic.

Let's get something straight. The time for debate and conversation is over. This country is dealing with a repressive contituency that HATES the idea of debate. The one thing, and the ONLY thing, that the radical right has ever understood is the taking of power by distortion, innuendo, outright lies, and, on occasion, physical force.

Physical force you may ask? Oh yes! Does anyone remember the violent manner in which Southern segregationists tried to hold onto power during the 1960s? Do you remember the water cannons? The attack dogs? Church-bombings, cross-burnings, lynchings and murders that were committed as Bible-thumping white bigots tried to keep Black Americans in a perpetual state of virtual slavery? Is there anyone out there who remembers the cold-blooded manner in which corporations, and local law enforcement cracked down on labor in the 1920s and 1930s? Does anyone remember the manner in which the Hoover Administration fired on unarmed Veterans in the early days of the Republican-created Great Depression? I'm sure some people do. And to make matters worse, the right wing proclivity for violence and hate-mongering continues to this very day: Do the names Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Aaron James McKinney and Russell Arthur Henderson ring a bell? Do we really believe that the Ku Klux Klan, The American Nazi Party, the Militia Movement, Aryan Nation, and the Christian Identity Movement (just to name a few) have been transported to an alternative universe? Of course not.

With this in mind, I really want to know what my fellow Democrats have been thinking for the past nine ot ten years. People, let me explain something to you. You're taking a brief case and index cards to a bar fight. Your opponents are bringing the political equivalents of baseball bats, brass knuckles, and broken beer bottles and we're showing up with debate points. The GOPigs are hell bent on busting political heads. They're coming with the clear and obvious intention of destruction. We're coming to sing a rousing chorus of "Kumbaya." Has it ever occurred to my fellow Democrats that maybe, just MAYBE it is time to adopt some new tactics?

Allow me to put this in very simple terms. The Republicans are street fighters. And if you want to beat them--if you want to roll back the wave of neofascism that is now threatening this Republic--you have to respond in kind. Ladies and Gentlemen, you need to stop being Ladies and Gentlemen. You need to wage the political equivalent of a Cultural World War, and, like your GOP counterparts, you must be prepared to destroy the reputations and careers of your oppontents in the process.

Be damned with the usual niceties and polite conversations. This is NOT a time for pleasantries. Your country is in danger and you need to acquire a few needed characteristics that you've been lacking for the past few years: backbones, fire in the belly, and attack rhetoric. Hint hint. When you're trapped in an alley by a homicidal serial killer, you don't lay down on the pavement and tell him to aim at the heart. No. You fight back. You make noise. You punch; you kick; you claw the bastard's eyes out: you do anything and everything that you can to save your life, but you do not, repeat not, roll over and allow him to eviscerate you!

This may be repugnant to Democrats and liberals in general but this is NOT a time for appeasement. This is a time for verbal and political action. I know this doesn't set well with the liberal tradition of patiently educating the public, but you're dealing with a rapaciously fanatical enemy that sees debate, ideas, and critical thinking as a threat to its very existence. And it is that paranoia, that kind of intolerance, that threatens all of us. To be blunt, high brow tactics are not going to convince the average, mainstream voter who has come to see liberals as gutless wimps. We saw a perfect example of this during the 2004 election, when John Kerry foolishly allowed a series of untrue campaign ads from the far right to go unchallenged for a period of not days, but weeks. The final result was only too preidctable. The average American voter saw a man who wouldn't even defend himself against his political enemies and assumed that he wouldn't have the fortitude to defend the country. We need to rediscover our convictions and more to the point, we need to air them--loudly and frequently and without embarassment.

Having learned the lesson of 2004, I truly hope that my fellow progressives will adopt a few tried and tested Republican tactics. Please consider the following:

1. The Republican thugs now control all three branches of the Federal government, which makes you wonder how in the name of all that's holy they can still blame liberals for anything. But now that they have that control we need to "adopt a strategy of selective retreat, much like the Russians have done to save their homeland on numerous occasions. Engaging in rearguard actions when we find opportunity and striking hard and fast when they are comfy. " *

2. To that end we need to stop being such wimps. Enough is enough already! Face the fact that Politics is a lot more than an over-glorified Debating Society. It's war without bullets and you must be prepared to wage it.

3. Reduce complicated theories and ideas to short, simple statements and do not hesitate to repeat yourself. It never hurts to drive the message home until it is well understood.

4. Try not to use more than two or three arguments at a time. Or, to put it another way, don't clutter your rhetoric, don't confuse your audience, and stay on topic.

5. Fight fire with fire. When attacked, be prepared to fight back. If your opponent treats you with respect, treat your opponent with respect. If your opponent is out to destroy your career and your reputation, respond in kind.

6. If the Neocons believe that preemptive warfare is such a good idea, then let's give it to them in its cultural and political forms. Never be afraid to go on the offensive. Never be afraid to speak your mind. Remember, speech, ideas, and information are like ammunition: they won't do any good unless you actually have the courage to use them.

7. Don't let an attack go unanswered. As I wrote above,this is what John Kerry did when faced with the Swift Boat Liars blitz. False accusations and distortions must be countered quickly and efficiently.

8. Don't be afraid to be a personality. We need candidates with both, charisma and intelligence. The intelligence will serve a candidate well after he or she is elected. The charisma will get him or her elected in the first place.

9. Don't be afraid to use humor. The self-deprecating variety is fine, but don't forget to ridicule and humiliate your opponent whenever you get the chance. And don't worry about running out of material. The right wing provides it on an a daily basis. Think Barney and Sponge Bob, the Gannon fiasco, W's frequent mangling of the English language, Tom Delay's legal difficulties. You must admit--the far right has been a blessing for humorists, satirists, and political cartoonists.

10. Keep your emotions under control. Anger can be a motivating force, indeed, anger is often a justifiable response to unjust or intolerable situations. But try to keep it under control. Mold it. Tap into it, but make sure that you are in control of the anger and not vice versa. As bad as the Republicans are, you need to fight this and future political battles: not because you hate Republicans and their warped theocratic agenda of top down repression, but because you love freedom and the right to make personal choices in your own life.

Remember--this is a Culture War. This country is in danger of being overrun by Pseudo Christian Fascists who want to control every aspect of your life; from the moment of your conception, until the second you draw your last breath. You are fighting a consituency of right wing radicals who, if given the opportunity, would control every aspect of your personal life, including with whom you sleep and when you do so, to the types of medical care and medications that you would consume. It's high time that we brought some political ammunition to the battle line. It's time to admit that we are fighting an over-zealous tribe of cultural warriors who want to legislate and abjudicate their opposition out of existence.

It's time to stand up, be heard, and take back this country before it's too late.


*From a quote by our friend Joe R. in an email dated 4 November 2004.

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