Few if any in the in the U.S. conservative movement are unaware of Dinesh d’Souza, so he packs rooms wherever he speaks. On September 26, Mr. d’Souza was the keynote speaker at the San Francisco Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, a traditional annual fund raising event held by Republican Party operatives throughout the U.S.
Now, let this sink in: a large room full of clapping and cheering fans of a radical conservative, in San Francisco. The picture was sufficiently remarkable to prompt this Just Vote No editorial report of the event (by a non-Republican with long-time friends in both the Left and the Right).
The San Francisco Republican Party, as a rule a rather staid group, was energized enough to add the following to their announcement of the event:
Warning: No Safe Spaces Provided. A Limited Supply of Pacifiers Available for Democrat Attendees.
Mr. d’Souza was introduced at the event by a fellow fighter, and former Chair of the Republican Party of California, Harmeet Dhillon. John Dennis, current Chair of the San Francisco Republican Party and perennial Nancy Pelosi opposition candidate, opened the event. Note: John Dennis has fans not only in Republican circles but in the Libertarian community as well.
Fighting Fire With Fire
Appropriately, the subject of Dinesh d’Souza’s talk at this event was how conservatives can regain ground totally lost to liberals over the last 30 or so years. His prescription is simple: fight fire with fire. Grassroots liberals are masters of political guerrilla warfare. They are brilliant at re-framing any statement or event to fit the liberal agenda. Not so conservatives, according to Mr. d’Souza, who are too engaged in being proper and demure ladies and gentlemen.
The point of the talk was that we no longer live in a politically civil world. Today, one cannot possibly imagine a relationship such as that of Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democrat Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, bitter political opponents who cooperated in leading the nation through a period of significant prosperity. At this juncture one cannot hope to go back to civility by simply acting civilly. The only effective conservative response is political guerrilla warfare.
Mr. d’Souza walks his talk, and for that he was convicted in 2014 for campaign finance fraud and sentenced to eight months in a community detention center and five years of probation. He had pleaded guilty after his pretrial motion to dismiss the indictment for selective prosecution was denied. Well, President Donald Trump did feel there was selective prosecution, so he pardoned Dinesh d’Souza in 2018, thus returning a firebrand conservative to the political arena. Mr. d’Souza gave as examples of fighting fire with fire his finagling donations to a political candidate exceeding legal limits and Mr. Trump’s pardon of his conviction.
Rules for Radicals
* The first rule appears to be to understand what is going on. For example, if conservatives keep saying, “Look at Venezuela!!” and Bernie Sanders keeps saying, “No, look at Denmark,” conservatives are missing the point.
Dinesh d’Souza feels that Bernie Sanders knows full well that there is no comparison between the culture, traditions, and tax structure of the U.S. vs. the Scandinavian countries, but he is counting on his voter base not knowing. A Sanders supporter with $76,000 in equivalent annual wages would soon be an ex-Sanders supporter if he understood that in Denmark he would be in a 56% tax bracket. Indeed, it is easy to vote for socialist candidates when one is under the impression that the other guy is going to pay for socialism!
* The next rule is to organize. Look for people who are distressed about the same things that distress you. High taxes? Lower-wage liberals as well as conservatives might feel distressed about all the taxes taken out of their paychecks.
Find out and bring them into the discussion with higher-income property owners unhappy with property taxes.
* Third rule: hit back – twice as hard. The effort of hitting back will also be twice as difficult. Conservatives stood back politely while liberals took over the press, entertainment, academia and social media. Now if conservatives wish to fight back, they will have to do it without the assistance of those entities.
Universal Rules for Winning
Dinesh d’Souza’s talk at the San Francisco 2019 Lincoln-Reagan Dinner was aimed at conservatives. However, remedies he suggested are simply universal rules for winning any political fight fought by any faction in the political spectrum in today’s political arenas. Using those rules expertly also enters into the prescription. A badly botched battle is more damaging to the success of a war than no battle at all.
The Just Vote No Blog is non-partisan. This event happened to be a Republican dinner during which a pretty good speaker gave some credible pointers on what it takes in today’s political landscape to gain ground.
Readers who are dedicated liberals might prefer to read the Just Vote No Blog article Antonio Gramsci: The New Hegemony on how to successfully bring about a socialist state.