Chapter 3, from the book Confrontational Politics: How to Practice the Politics of Principle
by H.L. Richardson
What occurs when these contradictory ideologies come into contact with one another, when those believing in traditional American concepts of limited government are assaulted by some new socialist program advanced by the Liberals? Traditionalists, attempting to preserve the status quo, invariably react negatively, predictably. Humanists act – offering programs of socialized revision, expect disruptive change, in fact, look forward to reaction.
It’s important to know how each side views the confrontation – as a positive or a negative? Who gains, who loses? Traditional Americans dislike conflict and withdraw from it as a matter of habit and training. On the other hand, the humanist looks upon confrontation as a necessity, a positive ingredient in advancing humanistic programs. They expect confrontation, plan for it and anticipate the predictable, negative reaction from their opposition, often using the reaction to further promote their cause. Conflict, therefore, is expected, welcomed, analyzed and then used to advance their goals.
Momentum is obviously on the side of the aggressors since they have the tactical advantage of initiating the attack. Before their intended opposition even knows a clash will occur, they’ve had the opportunity to plan strategy, organize support, select the field of battle, choose the appropriate time to launch the new program and frame the issue in such a manner as to put their program in the best light. (More on framing the issue in the next chapter.) They know opposition will be forthcoming, since their plans are usually expensive, assaultive to the constitution and enlarge the bureaucracy, all three an anathema to the traditionalist.
Controlling the initiative, the humanist knows that, how a program is presented, often predetermines the outcome. Propaganda-wise, they wrap the socialist “idea” in a semantic blanket of sophistry, warm cuddly humanitarianism, designed to put the opposition on the defensive. Without question, the aggressor has the immediate advantage.
Once the conflict is engaged, the Leftists anticipate the opposition’s response and judge their effectiveness accordingly. The issue is pursued until the Conservative resistance becomes formidable and an overall negative result could occur. At that time, a dialectic, backward step is in order. A strategic retreat, giving up some ground.
The Liberal then offers a compromise, a partial solution is presented. Half, instead of the whole loaf, is offered. The Left suddenly creates the aura of appearing reasonable, moderating their request. Leftist dialectics is nothing more than planned retreat, a tactic used to confuse and throw the opposition off-guard. Lenin called it an important tool in accomplishing overall goals.
He used the analogy of a man driving a nail with a hammer, the backward stroke being just as important as the forward thrust of hitting of the nail. Ask for much more than expected and then, when the opposition builds, give in a little, play the good guy willing to concede. Switch from bad guy to good guy, be conciliatory, be sweetness and light, offer “compromise.” Initiate the conflict then strategically back off.
Consider the bandit who sticks a gun in your ribs and demands your wallet then, with a kindly smile, says, “Shucks, I don’t really need these.” As he hands you your credit cards, he adds, “Aw, heck, I don’t need these either.” With that, he returns the children’s snapshots and the wallet itself – minus the cash, of course. Later, you couldn’t help telling the police he wasn’t such a bad guy after all.
Most Americans will accept compromise in order to avoid a continuation of the confrontation. When the Left backs off, a sigh of relief is usually heard from the traditionalist. In fact, the weakest and least informed on left-wing tactics often dictate the terms of how much is lost, since the timid are the ones usually intimidated and most willing to see the hostilities end. In hopes of maintaining some of the status quo, this weakest link usually decides the amount abdicated and justifies acceptance with a begrudging, “We can live with that.”
So, can the lamb live with the lion? He can – until the lion becomes hungry again and there are no more lambs left.
The humanists accept the “compromise,” having gained some ground, not all that they ultimately wanted, but more than they had before the confrontation began. Once the “compromise” takes place, the status quo side happily retires from the fight, slightly disgruntled over the loss of territory but relieved that the conflict is over.
The camel’s nose is under the tent.
The Left, with more recruits in their ranks and a foothold gained, patiently await the opportune time to start anew with more demands for more territory. This has been referred to as the “salami” technique, one slice at a time until the whole loaf is consumed. This is the way socialism has been infused within the body politic of America, one slice at a time, forward then backward motion. Lenin stated it best, “We advance through retreat.”
It’s unfortunate that there is only one definition for the word “compromise,” there should be another: One for defining the many physical compromises we all make as a matter of daily living and, compromising of principle. Let me give you an example of the differences between the two. My wife and I decide to rent a video movie. She wanted a love-‘em-up and I want a shoot-‘em-up. Instead, to make us both happy, we rent a comedy. We both “compromised” our first desire and settled on a video we both could enjoy. No principle was involved, just a physical giving-in, each watering down a personal choice in order to maintain family harmony. All of us do this daily – especially if we want to stay married.
Compare this with a compromise of principle. I support the Second Amendment, believing all law-abiding Americans have a right to own firearms. The Left believes in the confiscation of all firearms, especially handguns. What compromise can there be between us? Any infringement on this right is a loss to Americans. As you can see, there is no “physical” ground where either of us can repair. By definition, compromise is a settlement of differences with mutual concessions being made by both parties; this is how the dictionary defines the word. Both sides give up something.
This is not how the Leftists “compromise.” They will ask for 100 percent, then give in a little on their outlandish demands when opposition becomes formidable. They may call it compromise but what are they giving up? Absolutely nothing! In order to implement their humanist agenda, are they sacrificing anything? Are they relinquishing control or perhaps abandoning some other established bureaucracy in order to negotiate in good faith? Never. They relinquish nothing while insisting we compromise away a piece of our freedom.
When we object, they have the unmitigated gall to say we’re not reasonable. When we strenuously resist, they call us names – extreme, right wing, ultra-conservative and worse. Unfortunately, we react angrily instead of calmly insisting they put something on the table. When the socialists promote more socialized medicine, does anyone stand up and ask, “In exchange for more control of medicine, what are you Liberals willing to give up – the Environmental Protection Agency? OSHA? Welfare? What are they willing to concede?
Such a question is rarely, if ever, posed by the Conservative. No one seems to think of it. When we give in to them, even an inch, we’re not compromising; we’re abdicating our rights and our honor. When our legislators do likewise, they are abdicating our rights at our expense.
We must stop using the term compromise when confronting the Left. It should not be a part of our vocabulary when dealing with the Left unless we humorously ask the question, “What are you putting on the table in exchange – HUD? – BATFE? – NEA?
We must put the picture in proper perspective. We’re not out to rewrite our United States Constitution, abandon our freedoms or force our ideas on anyone…but they are. We Americans like the way our forefathers put this nation together. We are, by definition, protectors of the status quo. And why not? It’s well worth maintaining. When you think about it, all we ask is to have the same rights and privileges that our fathers and grandfathers had and to have the same constitutional protections they enjoyed.
The problem is that this position is a defensive one, while the advantage favors those advocating change. The Left takes the time to draft the issue in the best terms, estimate the level of opposition and pick an advantageous time to launch their plan of action. They certainly have nothing to lose. For should they fail, they are no worse off than when they started. When they obtain only a small portion of what was originally wanted, they are still ahead of the game.
Just think of all the socialist program they have implemented – one step at a time. They advocate, we defend, and confrontation ensues. Then, the traditionalist is asked to “compromise.” In order to see the hostilities end, we concede a little. Later, we concede a little more until all is gone.
There can be no compromises with the Left. We are ideologically at opposite ends of the spectrum with no arbitration possible. Either they win or we do. They will run the government or we will. That’s the only choice open to either of us. They know it – shouldn’t we?
The time has come for us to start asking for the abolishment of certain governmental agencies. Then, if we must, “compromise” and see only half of them disappear …this year. Before this can be accomplished, we need effective control of the legislative process.
The average American tends to see the participants in all these leftist “causes” as well-meaning folks trying to do some good. They see each cause as disjointed efforts with no central theme or network linking them together. Only when viewed as an overall movement to centralize and expand government does it make sense and the puzzle fits together. The various causes may appear to have nothing in common. Why would macho labor unions back candidates who are pro-gay? What can be the tie between the pro-abortionists and the anti-gun movement – what causes seem to be further apart?
Again, their agendas for people-control are identical. Both advocate more government and support similar candidates for office. The preponderance of their leadership are, for all intents and purposes, ideological soul mates, social reformers, hard-leftists of the first order – invariably imbued with situational ethics and humanist ideals. They are out to change America by demanding more and settling for less – one piece at a time.
Excerpted from the book Confrontational Politics: How to Practice the Politics of Principle, by Senator H.L. (Bill) Richardson (Ottawa, IL: Jameson Books, 2009).
© 2009. Used by permission.
Senator Richardson served in the California State Senate between 1966 and 1984. In 1975, he founded Gun Owners of America, and now serves as its chairman.
Author’s Biographical Brief
Bill Richardson is one of the good guys, a Christian family man, standing his entire career for the free Christian American republic. He served in the California State Senate, and is founder and present chairman of Gun Owners of America. He is the author of other books including Slightly to the Right and What Makes you Think We Read the Bills, which has been used as a California political textbook (Amazon.com Editorial Review).
“During his 22 years in the CA Senate, Richardson showed that a determined application of confrontational politics could produce victories – even when he was in the minority. Richardson organized multiple PAC’s that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for political donations. He led the charge to defeat 3 members of the CA Supreme Court, including the infamous Rose Bird. He then enacted a capital punishment law over the veto of Governor Jerry Brown. Richardson’s political machine launched State Senator George Deukmejian’s successful gubernatorial bid on the heels of the capital punishment movement. At the same time, the philosophical center of the legislature was shifted to the right. Richardson authored a state preemption of firearms law which just last year resulted in overturning the recently enacted San Francisco handgun ban. He also passed a law that declares that one’s home is one’s castle and can be defended with deadly force. Conservatives today are not in power nationally, but that does not mean that they cannot win battles. If they are going to be effective, Richardson’s lessons need to be studied and applied.”—Paul Weyrich, Free Congress Foundation (From the author’s blog; see also http://senhlr.blogspot.com/)