4/05/2005

'How to Beat the Democrats': Victims and Aggression

In his new (2002) book, How to Beat the Democrats: And Other Subversive Ideas, author David Horowitz, one of the shrewdest political strategists around, has suggestions that the GOP would be well advised to adopt as it heads into the November elections.

Victims and Aggression

In his preface he makes the point that "politics is about stories – and aggression. The purpose of stories is to arouse human emotions that work for you and against your opposition," he writes.

"The stories work for you if you are the victim or if you are helping someone who is perceived to be a victim. Americans like heroes who care, and they identify with underdogs."

Aggression, he explains, is "an emotion associated with justice, with getting satisfaction for those who deserve it. In politics, stories work for you if you are a compassionate helper. They work against you if you are the cause of someone’s distress."

This is pretty much like saying that in an election campaign you need an overall theme that dramatizes your message and can be expressed in a few words. Horowitz illustrates this point by recalling the story – the theme – that put George W. Bush in the White House.

How Bush Won

It wasn’t "compassionate conservatism" or his stand on education or any of the issues that dominated the campaign. His story was expressed in one sentence: "If you make me your president, I will restore dignity and honor to the White House."

That one sentence brought home the fact that dignity and honor were virtues absent during the Clinton administration....

David Horowitz Reveals 'How to Beat the Democrats'

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