Politics is as ugly as war at times. Our country exhibits much of the same patterns that led up to the civil war. The two sides have completely different and incompatible visions for the United States of America, and civil discord is deteriorating, though we have yet to see another instance of a Senator being beaten with a cane though the Rand Paul attack is comparable. Yet somehow in the midst of all this, Justin Amash believes that “you can persuade opponents to become allies only by living out your principles.” This is plain wrong. Living by principles does not make allies out of opponents, or at least enough allies to make a real difference. Victories turn opponents into allies. Victories come from strategies.
You may defeat political opponents for a time by abandoning your principles, but you can persuade opponents to become allies only by living your principles.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 4, 2019
This has been the case since recorded history. Alexander the Great, after the legendary victory at Gaugamela, marched on to Susa. The Persian Satraps in the heart of the Empire changed sides, for they could see the folly of continuing to support King Darius. Alexander accepted their newfound loyalty. Do we not see this in politics? I would even say Conservatives go too far in elevating new allies, most notably Kanye West and Rosanne. We grow the base by defeating our opponents and elevating those willing to switch sides. How can what I am saying sound strange when we see this every two years? It’s called a primary race. If we do not lift up those who have lowered themselves to admit they may have been wrong about things in the past, then they will be less willing to overlook their pride.
Victories win allies, but as said before, victories come through grand strategy. The strategy of the Left is very apparent. Open borders and amnesty. If they can accomplish both, especially amnesty, they will change the electoral demography of our nation. If the Republicans lose Texas, they will never win another presidential election. In this regard, Trump is a master of winning.
Sun Tsu goes to great lengths describing the importance of deception and terrain. The Left has long wanted to make America socialist. Trump revealed this ambition. The cloak is off. With the cloak off, the Democrats are now openly embracing socialist policies, even as Venezuela plummets. Trump is a master of choosing terrain, terrain that is more formidable than it appears. Who would have thought that Trump’s focus on illegal immigration would have succeeded beyond the primary?
Trump is also heavily focusing on socialism. Why? Because he wants the Democrats to defend socialism. If they do, they will look incredibly stupid. The main theme of CPAC 2019 was socialism. Trump even said he wanted the Democrats to campaign on the Green New Deal and Medicare For All. Why? Because, these ideas are less popular then Democrats think. The terrain that the Democrats are choosing is backing them into a corner. Trump is backing them into a corner and drawing a line in the dirt so that those on his side vote for him, and those who hate Trump enough to want socialism are at his opposition. I could go on but I don’t need to rewrite the Art of War with Trump. He’s encouraged the Democrats to fight from a very bad hill to die on.
Principles alone accomplish very little. The southern slave owners stuck to their principles and won few allies. King James IV of Scotland stuck to his principles and invaded England for invading France. It ended horribly. World War 1 was not about freedom but pride. We also have to remember we are dealing with a lot of stupid people. Trump avoids addressing Qanon because he needs the vote of people dumb enough to believe the prophesies of a post on 8chan or that Justice Ginsburg is dead. Generally speaking, stupid people are not won over by principles, rather they follow charisma or whatever the media says, the former Trump has in abundance. So Justin Amash’s statement is incredibly wrong, and that’s only looking at the right.
Stannis Baratheon was the most principled King in Westeros. Nobody likes him. So it’s unlikely he wins the game of thrones. Tywin Lannister is also not well liked, but he’s the best ruler in Game of Thrones, admittedly, a low bar. He instructs the boy King that when an enemy stands against you, cut him down. When he bends the knee, help him up, or else they’ll have no reason to bend the knee. Stannis will never win because he doesn’t understand how to turn former foes into friends while Tywin did.
Conservatives know that there is no bending the knee and that one can never be woke enough to satisfy the insatiable PC culture of the Left. In this war for America’s future, it’s clear that we need to act more like a Tywin Lannister, not a Stannis Baratheon.