Chipping away at liberty

Thanks to Instapundit who linked to Ace of Spades who summarized a series of tweets by David Hines.  Ace can be pretty profane, though not in the link immediately above, so let the clicker beware.

We have all once again witnessed the Left’s full court press for gun control in the wake of the Parkdale shooting.  We all know that this is a standard feature after every such tragedy, and we know that the Left’s response is instant, total and overwhelming.  These ghouls leverage these kids’ deaths to advance their gun control agenda in the same way every time; every time the push to ban AR-15 style semi automatic firearms fails.  But still the push the same thing.  Why?

Because it works.  David Hines , who writes over at The Federalist, explains the method.  From Ace of Spades HQ:

So, let me explain what’s going on with this and the NRA benefits thing: none of this came together on the fly; this is a carefully researched strategy that’s being executed now because the moment is favorable.

The way spectrum of allies analysis works is: you categorize people and groups by where they stand in relation to you and your target on whatever issue you’re working on.

Active opponents are against you, and fighting you.
Passive opponents are against you, but they’re not fighting you.
Neutrals are neither against or for you.
Passive allies are with you, but they’re not fighting for you.
Active allies are with you and are fighting for you.

The point of spectrum of allies analysis is figuring out who you can move one notch. Who can you move toward you? Who can you move away from your enemy? And how do you make sure you don’t push people away from you?

Active allies: engage them.
Passive allies: make them active.
Neutrals: inform or educate them to make them passive allies.
Passive opponents: make them move to neutral by worrying their position may cost them — BUT CAREFULLY, so they don’t become active opponents.

Active opponents: make it clear that anything they do against you will cost them, so they retreat to being passive opponents. Failing that, isolate them.

You are now thinking, “Holy crap, yeah, I’ve seen this technique used everywhere.”

So under this system, companies giving the NRA discounts are passive opponents to gun control activists. Get them to drop this discount. Make them neutral. And it’s not like NRA members really *use* discounts much, so the companies will see no strong material argument against.

But if this works: look, now you’ve got precedent.

(Turns out it cost Delta a $40 million tax break. But most companies with NRA discounts are not vulnerable like that, in large part bc *the NRA does not have comparable research to know what their weaknesses to pressure are.*)

Activists have been researching firearms companies, finding ones vulnerable to pressure or whose parent companies are. That’s where the REI thing comes in. This has not been done in a few weeks. It is careful preparation and it takes months. Groundwork was done months ago.

That’s how this stuff is done: preparation, preparation, PREPARATION, then carefully staged release, usually on a calendar, but in this case probably at the most favorable moment that presented itself.

What you’re seeing is activist pressure to turn NRA’s passive allies neutral.

The Lyft thing? Free rides to the march? Lyft didn’t just decide to do that. They were asked, and asked carefully, and the people asking knew the people they asked were passive allies needing a push.

It pays to be familiar with activists’ analytical tools (this isn’t the only one, of course). Turn them against yourself or your organization; that way, if you’re subject of an activist attack, you’ll get an idea of where the attack is likely to come from. Don’t get caught blind.

oh, and a PS. If all this stuff sounds military to you? *That’s because it is.* Don’t think of activism as bullshit the other guys do. Think of it as a non-violent army. That’s what it is. And it’s hard work. Respect it.

Respect it.  That doesn’t mean honor it or applaud it, it means be wary, be careful. They can do this sort of thing because they are very well funded so they can afford to play a long game with professional analysts and strategists guiding professional activists.  It means looking behind the curtain that the media show us.  It means understanding what is being done and devising effective counters.  It means taking what works for them and making it work for us.

Hines has an excellent article detailing this at The Federalist, Why Did It Take Two Weeks To Discover Parkland Students’ Astroturfing?  From the article, which is well worth any serious patriot’s time:

In other words, the response was professionalized. That’s not surprising, because this is what organization that gets results actually looks like. It’s not a bunch of magical kids in somebody’s living room. Nor is it surprising that the professionalization happened right off the bat. Broward County’s teacher’s union is militant, and Rep. Ted Lieu stated on Twitter that his family knows Parkland student activist David Hogg’s family, so there were plenty of opportunities for grown-ups with resources and skills to connect the kids.

What’s striking about all this isn’t the organization. If you start reading books about organizing, it’s clear how it all works. But no journalist covering the story wrote about this stuff for two weeks. Instead, every story was about the Parkland kids being magically effective.

But it’s not just a mainstream media problem. None of the righty outlets writing about Parkland picked up on the clear evidence that professional organizers were backing the Parkland kids, either. Instead, they objected to the front-and-centering of minor kids as unseemly, which does no good: Lefties aren’t going to listen, and it doesn’t educate the Right to counter.

There’s just hard work, and our press and politicos do everyone a disservice when they pretend otherwise. Here’s an example of how to turn out people, cribbed from “Organizing for Social Change,” the activist manual published by the Midwest Academy, which has been around since 1973 and has trained over 30,000 activists, some of whom went on to found their own training schools.

And that’s organizing. It’s not magical kids, and it’s not George Soros sprinkling money around. It’s hard work by people who’ve trained to do it.

In his excellent book “Hegemony How-To,” leftist organizer Jonathan Smucker wrote, “Power tends to appear magical to those who have less of it, and mechanical to those who are accustomed to wielding it instrumentally.” Or, for that matter, to even seeing it instrumentally.

For two weeks, journalists treated power as if it were magical. It’s not. It’s mechanical. The people organizing the response to Parkland, and a host of other causes, know that. So should you.

This makes the Left sound unbeatable because we simply don’t have those kinds of resources on the right.  We have other resources, and we outnumber them.  They can be beat and we will beat them – if we work hard and smart.  This will NOT happen here!