When I heard Federal Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi open up an attack, in Parliament, against Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, barely at the start of this week, regarding his connections to Chinese business interests, I knew something was up. Looking back, it is clear Dastyari was stuffed. He was stuffed because he was getting a taste of his own medicine. The left was getting a taste of its own medicine.
In one of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite movies, Patton, the famous general set an ambush in a gorge, somewhere in North Africa, into which one of Rommel’s armoured battalions poured, and got the cheese kicked out of it. As Patton, from above, observed his men successfully rout the Krauts, he exclaimed to himself “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book.” He successfully used his opponent’s tactics against him, and whipped him.
One of Saul Alinsky’s key tenets of political strategy, from his seminal work Rules for Radicals, is as follows:
“RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”
The left, the world over, use this tactic. It is how they control public discourse. They pick an issue. Make it personal, whether by making it about an emotive issue which affects vulnerable people, or setting up a bogeyman (preferably both) who is deemed outside the bounds of civilised discussion because of something they said, did, or represent. They then attack, attack, attack, until that person apologises/resigns, or those of us on the right give in and let them have their way; ie, pass legislation which goes against our principles and then take on those principles as our own.
When Tony Abbott came to power, the left employed this tactic to devastating effect, picking off Arthur Sinodinos, George Brandis, Fiona Nash, and Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin, until at last they brought down their ultimate target in Abbott himself.
But the left have been too clever by half. We have read their book. We know their tactics. We know how they operate. They can lie all they want about their motives but we see the same pattern over and over.
And the Right, we’re sick of it, and we don’t care any more.
In Europe, cries of “racism” can no longer stop the Brits leaving the socialist European Union, or the French, the Germans or the Dutch voting, or saying they are going to vote, for nationalist parties. In America, Donald Trump, who is clawing back to the lead in the polls, has a license to do and say what he wants, because people are sick of safe spaces, open borders and race war, and are sick of being called a sexist or a racist when they point out what is being done to them in the name of “diversity” and “tolerance.”
Here in Australia, the man leading the conservative charge (and who could soon be Australia’s next PM, if rumblings about Turnbull’s leadership being on the rocks are true) opened a withering assault on the man who has conveniently and deceptively used his minority status as a weapon to personalise and isolate an attack on Pauline Hanson. The rest of us piled in (The XYZ is proud to have played its part) with various articles, memes and ridicule, and the assault has proven irresistible.
The left should be on notice. The right knows how to play their game. We have learned how to play identity politics. We have learned how to social media. In Australia, we have just scalped our first victim (outside of the ballot box) in quite some time, and we can smell blood.