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ANDREW BREITBART'S PRAGMATIC PRIMER FOR REALISTIC REVOLUTIONARIES

ANDREW BREITBART'S PRAGMATIC PRIMER FOR REALISTIC REVOLUTIONARIES

ANDREW BREITBART'S PRAGMATIC PRIMER FOR REALISTIC REVOLUTIONARIES

(from "Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World" by Andrew Breitbart: Chapter 7, "Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Revolutionaries" - pp 147-160)

INTRODUCTION: Andrew Breitbart will forever be remembered for many things in his life, from going out to get the real dirt on the Occupy movement to speaking at Tea Party events. However, one main thing he will forever be known for is engaging the Liberals on their turf (see his appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher in 2009) and doing it with class and dignity. While many people deride Conservatives and Republicans for going on Liberal talk shows, Breitbart shows that we can walk into the Lions' Den and come out unscathed. He had written down rules (with an explanation as to why they should be used) that ALL Conservative activists need to use to use when fighting the left.

1.) Don't be afraid to go into enemy territory: This is the most important rule you'll read in this book, and the one most likely to be ignored by the Republican Party and the Old Guard in the conservative movement. They would say I shouldn't have appeared on Maher, because it was an audience stacked against me. But that's the same mentality that led toe right to abandon Hollywood, academia, and the media - and the effects have been disastrous. The right figures that talk radio, Fox News, and some independent Internet sites will allow us to distribute our ideas to the masses. There's one problem: those outlets are exponentially outnumbered and outgunned by the Complex. They're Alinsky-ed by the activist left, which is insists Fox News is Faux News and talk radio is hate radio. Obama is leading the charge, targeting specific hosts and specific outlets. Remember Rush Limbaugh? Or their insistence that Fox News isn't a real news outlet like CNN or MSNBC?

The problem is that it works with the vast majority of apolitical voters in America. In my neighborhood, our strategy of disengagement isn't working too well. People who don't watch Fox News or listen to Rush have strong, defiant, negative opinions about those outlets, just like I did when I was a liberal. I'd never listened to Rush in my life, but I knew - I knew! - that Rush was the epitome of evil. I knew, just as the Complex wanted me to know, that Rush was a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot that only KKKers listened to while driving their broken down pickups and drinking moonshine.

The army of the emboldened and gleefully ill-informed is growing. Groupthink happens, and we have to take it head-on. We can't win the political war until we win the cultural war. The Frankfurt School knew that - that's why they won the cultural war and then, on it's back, the political war. We can do the same, but we have to be willing to enter the arena. By neglecting The View or, worse, by ignoring Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Maher, and David Letterman - we allow them to distort and demean us as they romanticize and elevate themselves. It's harder to attack people to their faces than behind their backs. and we have to confront them face-to-face. Young people suckle at the teat of pop culture - but by refusing to fight for their attention, we lose by default.

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 with the media flow. Our babysitter has an Obama bumper sticker on her car, but admits she knows nothing about politics. How did that happen? It's what the complex tells her to do to be cool. We have to use their media control against them by walking into the lion's den, heads held high, proud of who we are and what we stand for.

There's no time to continue backing away. If we're standing still we're moving backward. Get in the game. Get in the fight.

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 - their program fails every time it's tried, and their lexicon, once you know it, is as predictable as the sun rising in the east. What's much harder than understanding the left is exposing it.

That's where citizen journalists come in. Drudge was a citizen journalist, and he took on a president. Today, we all have the power to be citizen journalists via the internet - there's no Complex gatekeeper to stop us from posting the truth about enemies of freedom and liberty in this country. In the past few years alone, citizen journalists have deposed Dan Rather for his scurrilous and baseless attacks on George W. Bush; exposed John Kerry's true war record during the 2004 election cycle; debunked Reuters' photography fraud in the Middle East; raised the question whether Barack Obama's autobiography, Dreams from My Father, was ghostwritten by domestic terrorist Bill Ayers; gotten rid of communist Van Jones; and the list goes on. The Internet has become the shining beacon of journalistic freedom, tearing apart congressional bills piece by piece for the benefit of the public, even when our own legislators won't read them.

The key to the success of the New Media, though, is making news by breaking news. And that means that conservatives need to use their new best technological friends: the MP3 recorder, the phone camera, and the blogosphere. It's one thing to say that the left likes socialism, but it's a real story to get Barack Obama to admit it on camera, as he did to Joe the Plumber during the 2008 election cycle. Video journalism is the most potent kind of journalism. We live in an age of sound and light, not text, and we have to adapt to that age.

You are the soldiers in this war against the Institutional Left. You have been issued your weapons. Go out and use them. Make it impossible for the Complex to ignore you.

3.) Be open about your secrets: If you're going to go out in public, be absolutely open about what you've done in the past. Take a page from Barack Obama, who revealed in his probably Ayers-ghostwritten autobiography that he had done a lot of blow, and hung out with commies and assorted lowlifes. Once it was out there, there wasn't much that the right could do with it - he'd already admitted it.

By way of contrast, take a look at Mark Foley. If he'd admitted he was gay right off the bat, the left wouldn't have had much to pillory him with. The left never gets cited for hypocrisy (see Clinton, Bill), but the right is cited with it all the time because we actually have standards. That means we have to out ourselves before the left does it for us. In this book, I've already admitted to libertine sensibilities that were taken to absurd heights during my collegiate stint in New Orleans. I am not a puritan. Frankly, John Waters's movies and Johnny Knoxville's Jackass series are more up my alley than Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The days of the left forcing us into a small, monolithic, and monochromatic box are over, and we have to fight their caricature of us.

Actually, George W. Bush did the same thing during the 2000 election. "When I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid," he said. Once he had come clean, the Left was stuck - they couldn't do anything.

Hypocrisy is such a powerful argument for the left because it appeals directly to the emotional heart of politics: one standard for you, another for me. It's no wonder Alinsky relied heavily on his rule 4: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. We have more rules than they do with regard for morality, which means we have to live up to them more often. But mistakes in the past don't need to be skeletons waiting to come out of the closet. If you've made mistakes, reveal them at the first available opportunity. Embrace those mistakes. Don't talk about how you regret them - talk about how you lived through them and how they made you who you are today. Embracing your mistakes makes you invulnerable to their slings.

Just don't screw up badly now.

4.) Don't let the Complex use its PC lexicon to characterize you and shape the narrative: If you've got a big story, the Complex will do what it always dies: attack you personally using the PC lexicon. You immediately become a racist, sexist, homophobic, jingoistic nativist. Don't let them do it. The fact is this: 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. You're Neo in the hallway with Agent Smith after he figures out that the Complex is a sham - the spoon isn't bending, he's bending. Once it hits him that he's not bound by the rules of the game, he can literally stop bullets. You can stop their bullets because their bullets aren't real.

Leftist assassins like Max Blumenthal, a one-trick hit man, have tried to label me and many of my allies as racists. I don't let them get away with it. I don't just call them out. I make sure that my righteous indignation registers on the Richter scale. I don't pull out my record on civil rights or my black friends. I simply point out that what they're doing is pure Alinsky and that it has no basis in fact or reality, and that they're showing themselves to be racists in their own right by citing race every time they meet someone with whom they disagree.

While I was at the 2010 CPAC, I was confronted by Daryle Jenkins of the One People's Project based on my defense of James O'Keefe - he had been slandered online as a racist by Blumenthal because he had attended a conference at the Georgetown Law Center that included racist Jared Taylor, John Derbyshire of NATIONAL REVIEW (who ripped into Taylor for his racism during the forum), and African-American conservative Kevin Martin. At the event, O'Keefe sided with Derbyshire and Martin against Taylor.

Anyway, here's how the incident went down:

Breitbart: Max Blumenthal is a political hit man. What he does is he rapes the reputation of people mercilessly. He makes scurrilous, unsupportable accusations against people and he smears them using the political correctness he learned so well in the post-modern academy and the politics of personal destruction he learned firsthand from his father, Sid "Vicious" Blumenthal. He destroys people. He isolates threats to the reign of the far left and the reign of his father's cabal of Clinton/Podesta and the organized left. He's a vicious guy. He falsely slandered James O'Keefe as a racist, we disproved it -

Jenkins: How did you disprove it, sir?

Breitbart: I'm being interviewed right here.

Jenkins: I'm the one who put that story out there first.

Breitbart: Well, then, you suck.

Jenkins: You're lying. You're lying ... He was at that white supremacist forum.

Breitbart: It wasn't a white supremacist forum.

Jenkins: Yes it was!

Breitbart: Then why was Kevin Martin there?

At this point, Jenkins started pointing his finger inches from my face and moving his face close to mine. It then devolved into a series of accusations regarding details of the event. Finally, Jenkins got to his point:

Breitbart: Are you accusing me of being a white supremacist?

Jenkins: I'm accusing you of being a racist, yes I am.

Breitbart: Okay, have a nice day, buddy. Will somebody please take this guy out of here? You punk.

That was it. Jenkins walked away.

The key to the conversation was that I didn't start defending myself against his baseless charge of racism. I dismissed it out of hand as ridiculous because it was ridiculous. He was a punk for leveling that kind of charge without any basis whatsoever. I don't let my enemies characterize me without any evidence, and you shouldn't let them characterize you. Name-calling is their best strategy, and if you don't lend it credence, and instead force them to back up their charges with specifics, you win. Revel in the name calling - it means you've got them reduced to their lowest, basest tactic, and the one that carries the least weight if you refuse to abide by their definition of you.

5.) Control your own story - don't let the Complex do it: A one-and-done story isn't worth anything. One fact can be posted on the Internet and flushed down the memory hole faster than anyone can imagine. How many incredible pieces of journalistic revelation have been lost because they weren't properly presented to the public?

Serialization is good. Van Jones was taken down by Glenn Beck because Beck had the goods - and because he revealed them piece by piece. He got Jones and his defenders to come out of the closet and attack him. Then he calmly laid his cards on the table, one by one.

It's the same strategy I saw Arianna pursue during the Larry Lawrence scandal. People came out of the woodwork to attack her as a scurrilous human being slandering a dead war hero. And she smiled and let them come at her. Then she put her evidence into the public eye bit by bit, keeping the story alive. Feeding the media is like training a dog - you can't throw an entire steak to 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. That's what Arianna did.

It's the same thing Drudge did with Lewinsky. He broke the story in pieces rather than in a long essay laying out all the facts, and he didn't let the media's cries for him to reveal all his information control his decision-making process. Instead, he controlled the media.

The important thing to remember here is that the media are like a leech hanging on the back of the news makers, and the news makers have every right and ability to feed that leech little by little instead of letting it suck them dry all at once. Keep your story alive by planning its release down to the minutest level.

6.) Ubiquity is key: As a capitalist and as a web publisher, pageviews are a desired commodity. But when playing for political or cultural keeps, impact matters most. And, when ABCNBCCBSCNNMSNBC and the dailies are working against you and ignoring you, ubiquity is a key weapon That means developing relationships with like-minded allies or even enemies and news junkies and allowing them to share in the good fortune of a good scoop.

While the crux of a story can be weaponized and launched on one of my websites, there are often peripheral angles that can be developed elsewhere with a separate but related media life of their own. For instance, the acorn story was unbelievably complex. A key component of exposing the scandal was a detailed analysis of ACORN's structure and its past scandals. I knew legal minds were needed to weigh in on these aspects. Patrick Frey, who runs the indispensable Patterico website, created a parallel line of attack, not just against ACORN, but against its myriad defenders, who lied and misdirected to try to kill the story. The ACORN story couldn't have been the success it was without others - talk radio and alternative news outlets that were invested in the story and could deliver scoops of their own. So I planted scoops with what business school types would call my "competitors," and I watched the story explode, my pageviews would go through the roof, and my brand flourish. Sometimes the best ideas are counterintuitive.

I love living in Los Angeles and not DC, because in DC there are too many fighting over too little ground for their own fifteen minutes. The scarcity mentality is strangling the growth of the conservative movement. From outside DC, I can see that 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.

7.) Engage in the social arena: My first instinct about Facebook was my first instinct about Twitter was my first instinct about MySpace. I was right about MySpace - it sucks. I was definitely wrong about Facebook and Twitter.

Using my "ubiquity" rule, the citizen journalist isn't always reporting in the ledes, headlines, and paragraphs form. Sometimes a tweet or a re-tweet can grant an idea more legs. Sometimes a status update can lead to the mother lode. Yes, there are slick advisers falsely promising a social networking Gold Rush, but well-socially-networked person can soon carry more weight than a household-name columnist at your local news daily.

Building a movement used to take time, but now it can be done in a few hours with with the right connections and the right posts on a few websites. Take, for example, flash mobs. These are gatherings spawned over the Internet on hours' notice, and they gather thousands of people, whether it's for snowball fights or for rioting in the streets of Philadelphia.

The Tea Parties have used the power of social media to get their message out there in a new and incredible way. There are no leaders to the Tea Party, which is a great thing, and there's no formal program to the Tea Party - it's truly a party of the people, and originally, it was based on conservative people partying. If any liberal attended a Tea Party event, they'd be shocked to see that it isn't a KKK rally; it's a social gathering of thousands of like-minded people of all races and ages, people looking for others who believe in the same values.

It's also particularly true in Hollywood, where socializing is the basis of business. That's why I've tried to put people in Hollywood together, and it's already spawning actual creative projects. Seek out other people and build an army.

8.) Don't pretend to know more than you do:This one trips up conservatives all the time. We want to argue policy because when we know policy, there's no way they can beat us, because all they have is their lexicon of name-calling and societal expulsion. We have reason on our side.

But just because we have reason on our side doesn't mean that everyone is quipped to be Charles Krauthammer or Michael Barone, policy wonks who can pull facts from the Office of Management and Budget out of every orifice. Most of us aren't experts on the latest budget package or stem-cell line regulation, but that doesn't mean we're powerless - it means we get to play Socrates, asking pointed questions rather than citing facts we may not be sure of.

One of the low points of my media life was getting a call after the nomination of John Roberts for the United States Supreme Court. A producer from CNN's now-cancelled Aaron Brown Show asked me to go on TV and discuss the wisdom of President Bush's choice. I remember taking a Civil Liberties course at Tulane in summer school. As I recall there was a case called Mapp v. Ohio. That was the extent of my then-qualifications to pontificate on such legal matters. I am not sure what demoralized me more: that I was asked to do so by a leading cable news network, or that I readily accepted. Had Wikipedia not been invented, I would have had nothing to say. But I did, and I survived. My takeaway from the revealing moment about the low standards for TV punditry was that if I valued my career, I would only accept media invites where I could dictate the terms of engagement (i.e., bring my own stories, my own perspectives, etc.) or where I could change the subject to war footing.

By avoiding talking about that which I do not know, perhaps I limit my ability to appear on more shows. But I definitely limit my ability to screw up.

Put another way: don't be the guy with a knife at a gunfight. It rarely ends well.

9.) Don't let them pretend to know more than they do: This is really the converse of the last rule. Your opponents will pretend to be experts if you don't, but that's okay, because 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. Attacking the fundamental basis of their arguments if fun, too - if they tell you health care is a right, ask why. Liberals don't have a why, other than their own utopianism and their dyspeptic view of the status quo and America. Reason is not their strong suit - emotion is. Force them to play on the football field of reason.

10.) Ridicule is man's most potent weapon]: Here, Alinsky and I agree. It's the truest of Alinsky's statements, and it's the most effective. Tina Fey, not the MSM, sullied Sarah Palin's image. Chevy Chase brought down Gerald Ford. Jon Stewart brought down Bush.

And we'll bring down Obama, but not unless we're willing to get unserious. Stuffy old white guys wearing bow ties and talking about the danger of national deficits don't get much done - talented people who can translate political chaos into merry pranksterism do.

11.) Don't let them get away with ignoring their own rules: Alinsky is right again. They set up this PC Complex, and they have to be held accountable to it, if only for honesty's sake, and we're the only ones who will do it. Joe Biden is still vice president of the United States even though he called the first black president "clean" and "articulate." Harry Reid is still Senate majority leader even though he said Obama was "light-skinned" and could drop his "Negro dialect" on cue. Until his death in 2010, Robert Byrd was "a lion of the Senate" even though he was a former Kleagle of the KKK. If these had been Republicans, they would have been hounded from office. They're Democrats, so they're not.

But that doesn't mean we can't hold them responsible for breaching their own standards. Every time they say things like this, we need to force them to back down and apologize, and we can't allow their allies to let them off the hook with excuses about how they stood for the right policies. Frankfurt School tactics can't work here - standing for liberalism doesn't mean you're allowed to violate the conventions of PC. At the very least, we need to force these hypocrites to stand up against their own PC regime in order to defend themselves.

12.) Truth isn't mean. It's truth]: I know that some of you are going to feel rotten about using some of these tactics. We can ignore the tactics, but the left will continue to use them to their benefit; just as the Frankfurt School relied on the good nature and honesty of Americans who wouldn't engage in un-Christian tactics in order to achieve their massive victory, the left continues to rely on our honesty and aboveboard good nature in order to achieve theirs.

We can't let them.

We start by uncovering the truth and telling everyone about it. I'm not religious, and I'm certainly no theologian, but if there is one thing in religion that speaks to me, it is the idea of absolute truth. In fact, the word truth has meaning only if it's absolute. And absolute truth will set us free from the grip of the Complex, because the Complex lives in the clouds, in the theoretical heavens - the Frankfurt School was successful only because they were able to shift Marxism's basis from real-world predictions to descriptions of supposed historical processes, making Marxism unfalsifiable. We have to falsify their theory by presenting unvarnished truth after unvarnished truth until the light dawns on everyone just how right we are.

13.) Believe in the audacity of hope: It's too bad President Obama is such a joyless, politically correct automaton, because he's terrifically agile with his prepared words. To paraphrase his victory speech after the 2008 election, the rise of the New Media alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

It can't happen without hope for America and faith in its people - two things Obama and his leftist ilk don't have, which is why they try to shut it down in others. We have the power to unravel the Complex and destroy the Institutional Left. It won't be easy. It will take time and effort, and there will be false starts and roadblocks, but we'll do it, because we have to do it. Apathy in the face of determined Frankfurt School/Alinsky/critical-theory-trained activists is national suicide.

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