The 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney probably set new standards for being a nice guy – unfortunately for him (and, arguably, the country) he also set new standards for nice guys finishing last. Here’s an idea for the 2016 candidate. Excerpt:
If the last two elections taught Republicans anything, it was that they need to formulate and implement a winning playbook. Barack Obama, the minimally qualified, upstart candidate not only won by alluring charisma and a superior ground game utilizing social media — he also won by applying the “Rules for Radicals” from Saul Alinsky, a Marxist fellow traveler whose teachings have propelled the Left’s ascendancy since the 1960s.
The crowning achievement of Alinsky was recruiting both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — who are now at the pinnacle of power in the Democrat Party. Obama was trained in political and community organizing at the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago. Hillary developed a personal relationship with Alinsky after expounding on Alinsky methods in her senior thesis at Wellesley College in 1969.
Here’s my favorite tactic:
Ready To Attack
A “Rules for Republican” playbook is needed not only to expose Alinsky tactics and strategy used by Democrats, but also to formulate a successful counter-strategy and clarify the key issues facing the nation.
Alinsky has taught the Democrats to pursue a no-holds-barred campaigning style. What characterized Obama’s two successful presidential campaigns was savvy-but-ruthless “politics of personal destruction,” which kept the opponent continuously off balance and on the defensive.
So the First Rule for Republicans is “go on and stay on the offensive.” Anticipate every possible issue and move of your opponent, and get out in front of all of them so as to diffuse and defeat whatever is thrown at you.
Some years ago, I was speaking with someone who noted that their family “sprang from some of the earliest settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.” My reply: “My family never sprang from anyone. We sprang at ’em.” Aggressiveness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It should be tempered with reason and consideration, but if I hadn’t aggressively pursued new clients, my consulting business wouldn’t be as successful as it is. If I hadn’t aggressively pursued Mrs. Animal, she may still be Miss Travers. If some of my ancestors and their compatriots hadn’t aggressively pursued independence from Britain, we may still be singing “God Save the Queen” and the Fourth of July might just be another day.
Most of all: If humans weren’t an aggressive, forceful species, we’d still be foraging for roots, shoots and leaves in the African rain forests.
The next GOP candidate should aggressively seek the election, especially since it looks increasingly likely that the Democrats will nominate a fundamentally corrupt egomaniac to be their standard-bearer. That, in fact, is part of the appeal of a Donald Trump. Whatever his faults, he is aggressively pursuing the nomination and, if nominated, will aggressively pursue the Presidency.
That’s kind of refreshing, after all of the carefully calculated, non-offensive rhetoric we’ve seen the last few cycles. The rest of the GOP’s field would do well to borrow a few pages from the Trump playbook; as The Donald would surely agree, you can’t argue with success.