Progressive Bootcamp, Vol. 1

Listen up you stinking maggots, it seems you just don’t get it. Well I’ve been appointed to inform you, your days are numbered. — Clutch, “Animal Farm

Drill Sergeant Casey here. It’s my duty to whip you liver-lillied liberals into shape so you don’t COMPLETELY waste the enormous amount of political capital you have amassed through eight years of pissin’ and moanin’ about the opposition in your eleet ivory towers. Now, I understand that some of you have an aversion to battle. Don’t like the sound of clangin’ sabers. Sight of blood an’ veins makes you woozy. Well, tough titty. THIS IS THE FIGHT YOU SIGNED UP FOR. So get in line and step lively, you sniveling excuses for political footsoldiers. What I’m gonna say to you ain’t gonna be easy to swallow, but understand this: it is the ONLY chance you spineless whelps have to avoid irrelevance in the face of the greatest electoral opportunity you will likely ever have the good fortune to exploit.

Remember that book How to Talk to a Liberal? Well, our manual is called How to Crush a Conservative. Let’s crack that sucker open, shall we?

Now, I’m gonna save the intellectual calisthenics for another session, and we won’t be getting into close-quarters combat for some time. By then you should at least have grown some buddingcajones, which you’ll need to stare down the Right Wing zombie horde. But that’s all too advanced for you mealy-mouthed pussbags. So today, we’re gonna lay down some basic groundrules for aggressive progressive message control. Watchoo lookin’ at, pencil-dick? Get back in line!

  • Stop using big words. Now, I know this might seem a bit counnnerintuitive fer you arugula-chompin’ Ivy-Leaguers, but it simply has to be done. Our front line cannot be comprised of fancypants liberal arts majors, or we’ll be givin’ it up faster than a Bush twin on prom night. No, what we need are some fire-breathing, pulpit-style orators that can deliver a message loaded with ACTUAL FACTS. These facts will be delivered by messengers who will be appropriately received by everyday Americans. Never forget that the people you’ll be talkin’ to have attention spans shorter than the lifespan of a kitchen gnat, and are easily distracted by shiny objects. To cut through, you’ll need to talk loudly, clearly and with the passion of a Sunday preacher sermonizin’ on e-ternal damnation. The difference is, you’ll be tellin’ the truth, which should catch those Cheez Doodle eatin’ m-effers off guard. Exploit that. With extreme prejudice.
  • Give your opponents no quarter. Do NOT suggest that they have a point. They do not. What they have is a borrowed fairy-tale sold to them by a B-movie actor who liked to pose for pictures on horseees. You have facts. Use them. Aggressively. Do not miss any opportunity to throw a swing — even a wild one. We will be discussing defensive tactics in future sessions. But for now, I want you to git in there and tangle with your enemy like a rabid badger. A rabid fuckin’ badger with righteous anger and a big ol’ sack of ninja-star shaped FACTS.
  • Stop being a goddamn hippie. Nobody pays attention to puppet shows and street theater.Nobody. What we need to win the minds of “Real Americans” is to put that trust-fund organizing prowess to work to assemble highly-disciplined regular Joes an’ Janes to make an informed ruckus at every civic event where there’s a goddamn camera. We own the media. Let’s give ‘em something worth broadcastin.’ Now, I’m not talkin’ about cryin’ an’ hollerin’ like some mentally-challenged Sarah Palin spawn. You will speak boldly, authoritatively and factually about the scandalous nonsense that the other side spews. Through example, you will inspire your progressive brothers and sisters to stop actin’ like a buncha art-school sissies and throw down the gauntlet for the sake of their country.
  • Don’t be afraid to break a few eggs makin’ this omelet. Politics is a street brawl. Don’t waste your time tryin’ to convince the other side that your argument is superior. KNOW that it’s superior. Your job is clearly articulate your position in front of the most opportune audience and move on. You’re not gonna win every engagement. Hell, you’re not even gonna come close. But what you will learn in the process is how the other side thinks. Take this knowledge and use it in your next battle. Note their weaknesses and share them with your fellow progressive soldiers. This will come in handy later on, when we plan coordinated attacks on enemy positions.
  • Strike first and often. Don’t ever let up. If the enemy goes “scorched earth,” I want you to suck all the breathable particles out of the goddamn atmosphere. I want you to mentally commit to a level of engagement that makes Mutually Assured Destruction look like a lazy weekend in Kennebunkport. You WILL expose the hypocrisies of the other side by any means necessary. You WILL gather intelligence and share it with your fellow soldiers. You WILL develop language skills that enable you to communicate with the drooling headcase at the bus stop. You WILL demonstrate your dissatisfaction with any politician on your side who does not or will not display the appropriate vigor necessary to advance on the field. You WON’T complain that it’s too hard. That the other side is too well organized. That you lack resources. You are gonna become experts in high-yield improvised word-bombs, and you are gonna plant them where your enemy will most readily encounter them. You’re gonna boobytrap their safehouses. You’re gonna poison their children’s minds with your lefty ideals. You’re gonna go on the offensive, stay on the offensive and WIN.


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