I’ll leave it to the crack reporting of others at PJ Media on the ground in Tampa to give you the full story of the Republican National Convention. But I detected a change from past GOP conventions that bears mention. The Republicans seem to at last be reading Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. The messages and tactics of Alinsky, long the monopoly of the Left, have been discovered by the Right.
A couple of examples. First, Clint Eastwood’s speech was pure Alinsky.
RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
The mockery of the empty chair was straight out of Rule 5, and predictably, the Left is seething and irrational over it.
But the message of the night was Alinsky’s Rule 4.
RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
This has become the centerpiece of the Romney campaign — forcing Obama to live up to his own standards, his own book of broken promises from 2008. The keystone of Romney’s speech was that he won’t lower the oceans or heal the Earth, but instead will help hurting American families.
RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
Romney presented the constructive alternative. After Eastwood obliterated Obama and reminded everyone of the lost hope of 2008, Romney’s positive vision gave Americans something that has been lacking for three years — a constructive, positive alternative vision for America. The vision reminds people of an age before Obama, when the entire nation watched Neil Armstrong step foot on the moon. Pride and confidence are the alternative to diminishment and fear.
And if there was any doubt, this campaign will be about the failures of President Obama, failures of the man to fulfill the requirements of the office.
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Finally, Romney’s speech also contained some multi-layered items that seemed to speak simultaneously at disparate audiences. Just consider these lines and what they mean to you, and how they might mean different things to others. Like the old hag who is also a beautiful woman illusion, Romney’s speech had a complexity that was both stinging and soaring. It contained velvet gloves concealing iron fists. The gloves introduce a warm, personable candidate, and to those who may have read Obama’s America by Dinesh D’Souza, they also pack the punch of an iron fist:
* My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all. The gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would be and much less about what we would do. Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to to pass on to our sons and now to our children. All the laws and legislation is in the world will never heal the world like the loving hearts and arms of loving mothers and fathers. You know, if every child could go to sleep feeling the love of their family and God’s love, this world would be a far more gentle place. My mom and dad were married for 64 years. And if you wondered what their secret was, you could have asked the local florist.
* Those days were the these were tough days on Ann, particularly. She was heroic through it all. Five boys with our families a long way away. I had to travel a lot for my job then, and I’d call and try to offer support. But every mom knows that that does not help did the homework done or get the kids out the door to school. I knew that her job as a mom was harder than mine. I knew without question that her job as a mom was a lot more important than mine.
* We had remarkably vibrant endeavors congregations from all walks of life, and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together, and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways. That’s how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families, for our joy and support, in good times and bad. It’s both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, and our faiths.
No G-Damning America in Romney’s background. And perhaps one of the most devastating contrasts of the night:
* The president has not disappointed you because he wanted to. The president has disappointed America because he hasn’t led America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have, and one that was essential to the task at hand. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government. I learned the real lessons from how America works from experience.
In 2012, the Romney campaign recognizes what it is up against, and last night made it clear they know how to fight.