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James O'Keefe's Breakthrough: A How-To Guide for Conservative Activism

O’Keefe writes in Breakthrough of the power of images: video quickly changes minds; words, not so much. That’s why Congress defunded ACORN before defenders of the organization could rally to their aid. That’s why states like Minnesota, Virginia, and New Hampshire passed voter ID laws after O’Keefe’s crew rolled into those states and exposed vulnerabilities in the system through video.

O’Keefe is a brawler who makes scholars uncomfortable. Scholars speak to a few thousand people on their best days, and usually far fewer -- just a few dozen captive students. Brawlers like O’Keefe have an audience of millions tuned into their narrative-altering video content.

Veritas Rule #36: "Mau-mau the flak catchers." Breakthrough describes a new model for conservative activists, one adopted not only by O’Keefe but also by the entire conservative new media. For decades, the Left has enjoyed a monopoly on the cultural narrative, one so entrenched that many working for the monopoly think their ideas are mainstream. They don't even consider themselves ideological. These circumstances create blind spots among those who spend most of their time speaking to only the like-minded.

This allowed O’Keefe to capture ACORN workers willingly assisting a child prostitution ring. It allowed him to capture unionized New Jersey teachers boasting about how little work they did, and how even using the N-word wouldn’t result in discipline to a tenured teacher. It allowed us to see the anti-Christian, anti-Israel proclivities of officials in government-funded radio.

It gave O'Keefe a chance to expose the willingness of Obama campaign operatives to aid federal felonies and to facilitate double voting. We saw the blind spot of Patrick Moran, a Democrat operative and son of Congressman Jim Moran, when he helped devise tactics to commit felony voter fraud in Virginia.

O’Keefe takes a portion of the culture, the law, the system that has degraded to a left-leaning equilibrium, and he teases it out for all to see. The reaction of the establishment media to O’Keefe demonstrates the danger he poses to their monopoly: without O’Keefe, many would still think ACORN was a worthwhile organization; that NPR is neutral in the Israel-Palestinian dispute; that criminal tendencies didn’t exist in the Obama campaign; and on and on.

Breakthrough tells you how he did it with next to nothing, and usually with worse than nothing. Government and media headwinds were always against him. But he managed to tack and tack and tack again to get to the destination where we no longer take anti-journalists, NPR, and the establishment media narrative quite as seriously as before.