I read with amusement this little piece over at CBS News
on Hillary Clinton's hunting history:
At a campaign stop this afternoon, Hillary Clinton’s focus was on the economy and health care but some in the crowd had other things on their minds. Clinton was asked to discuss gun control which prompted Clinton to talk about her days holding a rifle in the cold, shallow waters in backwoods Arkansas.
So instead of talking directly about her policy on gun control and her crappy second amendment record (an F rating on gun rights,
Clinton was one of 16 Senators who voted against the 2006 Vitter Amendment
), Hillary instead tells a little story about being with some men in a swamp and how she shot a duck--to show how aligned she is with gun owners. Then she takes a pot shot
at Dick Cheney to promote her "sensible" gun control
Clinton continued, “Once he (Cheney) is out of office, the Secret Service is not around to protect people from him. We better be careful about where he goes hunting. Safety protocol would be useful, don’t’ you think?”
Her responses to questions about gun control indicate that perhaps she has just fallen back on the old tired techniques of Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals,
on whom she wrote her senior thesis.
In Rules for Radicals,
Alinsky opens with a Prologue in which he describes some elementary techniques for those who want to change the world. Communication is key, and one should communicate with the experiences of the audience, and "give full respect to the others value." By telling a story about herself hunting, Clinton has aligned herself with the nearly two-thirds of Americans
who say they believe the Constitution guarantees each person the right to own a gun. Next, by making fun of Cheney, Clinton uses another level of communication described by Alinsky:
...humor is essential, for through humor much is accepted that would have been rejected if presented seriously.
By poking fun at Cheney, Clinton could laugh with the audience, but notice the twist
, "Safety protocol would be useful, don't you think?" She is now shifting to Alinsky's chapter on "Communication." Here is one of Alinksy's maxims:
Another maxim in effective communication is that peple have to make their own decisions. It isn't just that Moses couldn't tell God what God should do; no organizer can tell a community, either, what to do. Much of the time, though, the organizer will have a pretty good idea of what the communtity should be doing, and he will want to suggest, maneuver, and persuade the community toward that action. He will not ever seem to tell the community what to do; instead, he will use loaded questions. For example, in a meeting on tactics where the organizer is convinced that tactic Z is the thing to do:
Organizer: What do you think we should do now?
Okay, so this interchange goes on until everyone has decided that tactic Z, as the organizer suggested is the thing to do. This is generally reached through manipulation on the part of the organizer but the community feels that they have made the decision themselves. But they didn't. They were manipulated.
Will Americans fall for Clinton's manipulative tactics, especially in the area of gun control? It's possible, but then again, many Americans know when they are being fed a big pile of bull. Or at least, I hope they do.