October 16, 2021

Rules for Patriots - Rule #10 Be Prepared

This is a continuation of my Rules for Patriots series, designed as a patriot's guide to success in fighting the creeping progressivism infecting America. It's a conservative response to Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. This series is a lengthy read, but it is very important to understand.  This one happens to be a video, so it's more digestible. Being able to use this approach, as a team, will simplify, streamline and expedite achieving our patriotic objectives.

Links to previous rulesRule #9Rule #8Rule #7Rule #6Rule #5Rule #4Rule #3Rule #2 and Rule #1.

Be Prepared

If there is one thing that ensures failure more than all other things, it is being unprepared. Sun Tzu's Art of War stresses many things, but above all, preparedness.  Being prepared means being prepared at many different levels. You must be prepared strategically, tactically, rhetorically, and ready for unexpected events.  The Democratic mantra of "never let a crisis go to waste" is a valuable mantra.  Contrast it with the Republican mantra of "oh no, what do we do now?" and you know who is going to have a significant advantage when the time comes.  Where the Democratic advantage has a weakness is that they do not necessarily anticipate the crises to come, they are merely reacting quickly.  That can be beaten with preparedness.

Strategic Preparedness

Strategically, there are certain goals that need to be identified.  Tactics, crisis management and even debates will all flow from strategic preparedness.  What you say, how you act and react all must flow from what it is you wish to achieve.  As an example, Democrats and the mainstream media seem to always parrot each other, using the same talking points.  Dismissively, we often regard this as Groupthink. And usually it lacks any independent thought from the speaker repeating it, but it comes from a place of discipline; staying on message. While the message most often does not stand up under the scrutiny of critical thinking, the reality is that most people do not use critical thinking in response to everything they hear or read.  Thus the message can slip through that filter and the repetition, very often the lie, becomes the 'fact' that people believe. It becomes the conduit to confirmation bias.

The components to a quality strategic plan have the following:
  • A clear, definable and achievable objective AND a realistic, reasonable timeline to accompany it
  • The right tools available or attainable to use in pursuit of the objective
  • The right people in place (or attainable) to use those tools
  • A robust inventory of not just those internal inputs but also external ones (e.g. what are Democrats doing, what else can impact us) 
  • Synergy (or at a minimum, no conflicts) with other strategic objectives
Once these are established you can develop a roadmap - a "how do we get there from here?" plan.  It's often easier to reverse engineer that - start at where you want to be and work backwards to where you are now.  The plan must include milestones and metrics to measure progress and success ( a factual feedback loop).  It is important to have a mechanism for a communication plan that explains internally what is happening and what is next.    The plan must also have a plan for external communication - what we want the public to know (the talking points) as well as when to communicate to the public and how to do so effectively, in an uncooperative/unfriendly communication climate.

Once the strategy is place the tactical pieces can begin.  Regular evaluation of the real world situation relative to the plan must occur frequently.  However, do not allow over-analysis to prevent progress. 

Tactical Preparedness

Breaking down a strategic plan into component milestones and execution teams is key.  The idea is to develop ways to prioritize resources to where they can deliver the best advancement towards strategic objectives.  It requires more granular thinking than the strategic preparedness because it's focus is on sub-goals or sub-components of the strategy.  It requires more flexibility than strategic planning because of the typically shorter timelines, the situational specificity and the fluidity of conditions on the ground.  Tactical preparedness requires an understanding of what the other side is thinking and planning.

It's been rumored that in 1972 when chess master Bobby Fischer defeated reigning champion Boris Spassky in the Match of the Century, he had pre-played games as both sides prior to playing his actual opponent. In fact, he had gone so far as to avoid his usual tactics to throw off his opponent's game plan in many of the games.  The unexpected change in tactics helped him defeat Spassky. His tactics were something the Soviet chess brain trust had not prepared to face.  But being unexpected was not enough, Fischer had a game plan to follow these unexpected tactical deviations.  He was more fluid in his planning than his opponent and he won.  If the enemy is prepared for your tactics, they have a much better chance to defeat you.

This is less true when they have overwhelming superiority (in numbers or tools), but even then, you must take every advantage you can find.  If you can't defeat them, you can at least exact a heavy toll in time and resources and perhaps strengthen a tactical or strategic advantage elsewhere.  

Specific tactics will vary from situation to situation and from strategic goal to strategic goal.  However good tactics will share certain commonalities; they must drive towards strategic objectives or defend strategic positions, should be efficient in use of time and resources,  they require accountability from people for their specific tasks, they must work in conjunction with other tasks, they should not be anticipated by political rivals or if they are, they should be flexible/adaptable to the response or situation at hand.  Defensive tactics should dovetail towards a counteroffensive tactic - they should only be strictly defensive where defense is crucial or no offensive opportunities exist.   

Crisis Management

How do you prepare for a crisis? To start with, consider what defines a crisis.  It is an unexpected threat with a short period of time in which to react.  In order to prepare for a crisis, you have to expect the unexpected, or more accurately, know that the unexpected can happen.  Then you need to have a plan to deal with the potential situation. You cannot possibly be prepared for every crisis because so many of them are crises because they could not be anticipated.  But you can mitigate the number of crisis events by categorizing them as best you can, and having broad outlines of how to deal with them. That will prepare you with a roadmap but leave you flexibility when something happens that was outside of the ability to plan.  The roadmap is what matters.  It is possible that crises can be categorized:
  1. Economic (e.g. market crash, insolvency with respect to national debt)
  2. Malevolent human activity or misdeeds/malfeasance (e.g. war, government deception, decreasing liberty)
  3. Technological (e.g. Facebook shutting out conservatives, a national electrical grid failure)
  4. Environmental (e.g. an oil spill, 
  5. Moral decay (e.g. abortion, increasing violence, an opioid epidemic)  
Notice human suffering is not a crisis.  It is the result of a crisis.  That human suffering exists is a result of ignored or improperly managed crises throughout history, to this day.  Effective crisis management can help to alleviate, mitigate or eradicate a crisis.

In order to effectively manage a crisis you must first anticipate the types of crises you might face so that you can prepare for it. Then create a roadmap of how to deal with it that prescribes steps to counter the crisis but leaves flexibility to deal with unanticipated components.
  1. Identify the crisis - know that a crisis exists or is developing.  If you know the situation exists before it is fully formed, you give yourself more window to react. In a crisis situation, time matters.
  2. Identify the premeditated plan to address the particular crisis as well as any gaps that may not have been considered.  Remember that the plan should be driving towards the desired outcome.
  3. Agree on the plan as a team. Agree on roles and responsibilities.  Think of it as a division of labor and a division of deliverables.  Clearly define those deliverables so that there are no component compatibility issues as pieces are delivered. 
  4. Ensure frequent communication to both the internal team, and external message communication to the general public.  The perception of the team by the public is critical.  The perception and understanding and alignment within the team is critical to continued motivation of the team.
  5. Identify waypoints on the plan towards success of the plan.  In project planning these are called milestones but in a broader context it can also include subsets of outcomes as a result of inaction or of external events.
If you prepare in advance, fewer things require crisis management because they have been anticipated.  You can react more calmly and effectively when you are dealing with contingencies than with crises.

Rhetorical Preparedness

Rhetorical preparedness requires both offensive and defensive preparedness.  Even though you may not be involved in an actual debate you need to prepare as though that was what was going to happen.  There are many aspects to preparedness, including knowing your subject matter.  This will allow you to point out errors or omissions in your opponent's facts and/or logic.  You must be able to do this in the most simple and understandable way.  Unlike your opponent you may not be intellectually dishonest in your arguments because unlike your opponents, you will be rigorously fact checked and your motivation impugned.  You must possess the intellectual honesty that your opponent will not be held to account because the media is on their side.

You are at a disadvantage, make no mistake.  Your opponent will be allowed to get away with many, many things that you cannot; impugning your motivation, name-calling, side-stepping answering direct questions, stating why you are wrong without explaining where in your argument you are wrong, stereotyping you or your argument, creating a straw man for themselves to defeat instead of your argument, inflating or boasting about their own expertise relative to yours, sloganeering, claiming 'we have to do something' before properly identifying the root problem, invalid analogies, playing on fears or hopes, claiming right to a privacy (especially after making a claim about themselves), scapegoating, redefining words, using invalid credentials of themselves or a so-called expert, using quotes out of context, claiming group membership with the target audience (for sympathy or for a purported position of expertise),  cherry picking, invalid accusations, rejecting facts as opinions, theatrics (rolling eyes) as argument, innuendo and insinuation, peer approval of a subjective opinion, hearsay, finding minor errors in your argument and presenting them as major ones, the fallacy of sunk costs, shouting you down, using anecdotal evidence and the list goes on.
While you cannot resort to these rhetorical tactics, you can be prepared to identify them in order to call them out for what they are. "Ridicule sir, is not an argument." 

Conversely there are good rhetorical strategies to understand.  These are all about not only creating acceptance, but creating buy-in.
  • Know your message and know how to tie it to your audience in a way they understand.  This requires a simple message and really knowing the motivations and aspirations of your audience. Your points need to be relatable with your audience.  It also requires that you be able to tie the message and the audience motivations together effectively in a way that is not easily countered, if at all.  Craft your message, test it and practice delivering it repeatedly.  When you have it working, deliver it repeatedly, tie other arguments to it and it to other arguments so that you afforded more opportunities to deliver your message.
  • Keep each of your talking points short and simple.  Ideally 30 seconds or less.
  • Make a debating game plan, and stick to it while trying to knock your opponent off their game plan.
  • Ensure all communication is done with positivity in terms of message, tone and body language.  Each must be aligned together towards making things better.
  • Contrast your ideas with the holes in your opponent's ideas.  We typically know what Democrats are going to say so it is simpler for us to find glaring holes in their claims.  These must be emphasized. 
  • Beyond debates, we must understand how to get the message out while having to work around a media (both mainstream media and social media) that is unwilling to share our side of the debate except in a way where they can characterize it to suit their message (which includes the notion that we are either dumb, or evil, or both).
The diagram above is very instructional.  Any argument has 3 components, logic, empathy and credibility.  Any argument that moves too close towards one point of the triangle is by definition, moving away from the other two corners. Democrats rely too much on empathy, but they often do so successfully.  Ben Shapiro conversely often argues that "facts don't care about your feelings".  He's arguing logic, and it's typically infallible.  The problem is that he's often lost half his audience (not us, but those who need to be persuaded to rethink their positions) by lacking empathy.  Where he gathers credibility with patriots by doing so, he also loses it with those who are driven by emotional arguments.

Don't get me wrong, the man is brilliant and he's right.  But to persuade people you require that balance with empathy.  Ben Shapiro is merely an example of how conservatives argue their points; we need to include more empathy in our arguments. By doing so we gain some credibility. We desperately need to know that part of our audience.  In fact, when dealing with the mainstream media, we can dull the edge of their hostility towards us by pointing out that we agree that poverty is a problem no American should have to face, where we disagree is merely on the solution to the problem.  That gains both pathos  and ethos for our arguments.  It allows us to flow into logic where we are most typically far better prepared than our opponents.  

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