This has got to be the best, most entertaining political book I've read in a long time.
The policy books make sense, the books by politicians push an agenda and the books by pundits tell you what they think. This book makes sense, tells the reader what the left really thinks, and gives you the agenda to really beat the left at their own game.
"David Kahane" is a pseudonym for a formerly well-connected Hollywood liberal and now columnist for the National Review Online. He knows who and what he's talking about. He writes as if he were still one of them, mocking conservatives and telling us that we lack the will to really fight back. Using a literary conceit similar to C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters, Kahane poses as a born and bred leftist, taught by his father, "Che" Kahane. The first part of the book lays out the problem: as he subtitles it, "The Beginning of Wisdom is Understanding How You Got Here." Did I mention the literary allusions? This guy is well-read and he puts entertaining and appropriate twists on quite a few phrases, stories and especially movies. You see, the devilish character narrating the story doubles as a liberal Hollywood script writer who is writing a script with a more level-headed conservative partner.
The final chapter of part one is titled "Summary Notes on How to Take Down a Nation." Many of the ideas will come as no surprise but he describes as careful policy things that we conservatives may sense but not quite understand or believe to be part of an organized effort. Glenn Beck isn't afraid of being called a conspiracy theorist, but many of us are. I've long thought that the liberal definitions of "fairness" and "tolerance" were used as cudgels to beat us with and sure enough, they are.
Part Two is the solution or the Ten Rules for Radical Conservatives. Count yourself enlightened if you already follow some of these. They are not simply mirrors of Alinsky's rules. While the left engages in a lot of mirror-image thinking when it comes to conservatives, I don't think it's appropriate and neither does Kahane. Rule 1 is Know Your Enemy; Rule 4 I particularly like: Get on the Offense and Stay on Offense‚ and take No Prisoners. Maybe it"s just the military background in me but when somebody tells me the're going to fundamentally transform my country, it means war and war to the bitter end.
This is, in case you haven't noticed, a fight to the death.
Rule 9 is Never stop fighting Until the Fight is Over; Rule 10 is The Fight is Never Over. Wisconsin is the perfect example. When Republican governor and both houses of the legislature passed a bill designed to limit collective bargaining, the Democrats ran away and refused to cooperate. When the GOP passed the bill anyway, conservatives declared victory and moved on. Not so the left: they're still fighting it in the courts, with recall petitions and with any Democrat official who can be mustered. It isn't over by a long shot.
"there is nothing we will not do to tear you down. There is no lie we will not tell, no falsehood we will not spread, no fact that we will not twist or manufacture."
To keep on fighting the good fight--and to win it--arm yourself with this book.
Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at Its Own Game to Take Back America
Ballantine Books, 2010