On the final evening of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, during the 10 o’clock hour, Clint Eastwood took the stage. There with him was an empty chair.
With his hair disheveled and his voice halting, he spoke of the hope this president promised. He turned to the empty chair and theatrically had a conversation with it.
Many of my brethren in the dextrosphere felt Eastwood behaved like a “crazy old uncle” or that he appeared to be rambling and incoherent. Some even said they found his Q & A with the invisible president “painful to watch.”
One blogger wrote, “What followed was a rambling, bizaree (sic), disjointed, jarring, seemingly off-the-cuff performance. It was almost like the ghost of Bob Dole had appeared.”
One commenter added, “This was embarrassing. It killed the energy of the party and the people looked puzzled at times who witnessed it, and I felt they felt they needed to applaud but weren't sure when. I felt sorry for Clint Eastwood.”
Please do not mistake what I am saying here. I am not being critical of that blogger or anyone else who shared his thoughts on the performance; on the contrary. I merely seek to have those who share that insight view that seminal moment in a different light.
The empty chair was the Right’s Rule 5 taken directly from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Eastwood’s roughest mockery of this regime has the Left seething over it to the point of being irrational.
If you are not familiar with Rule 5, it states, "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."
The single most vital point to remember when conservatives attempt to utilize Rule 5 is to never use it in anger. For ridicule to be effective it has to be done calmly and usually with a sense of humor. His searing scorn was even-tempered and light-hearted. It drew blood.
If you want to understand the role that ridicule plays in the Alinsky method, and particularly in the way in which the Obama Administration uses Alinsky, you need look no further than Sarah Palin. From the moment that she was introduced as John McCain’s running mate, the Alinsky machine within Obama’s campaign flew into action at full speed to find ways to mock, denigrate, and ridicule her. Obama’s campaign dispatched a slew of vultures to descend on Alaska in an effort to dig dirt, stir trouble, and uncover any malcontent who might have the tiniest bit of salacious information on the Governor.
“The messages and tactics of Alinsky, long the monopoly of the Left, have been discovered by the Right,” writes J. Christian Adams.
“After Eastwood obliterated Obama and reminded everyone of the lost hope of 2008, Romney’s positive vision gave Americans something that has been lacking for three years—a constructive, positive alternative vision for America. The vision reminds people of an age before Obama, when the entire nation watched Neil Armstrong step foot on the moon. Pride and confidence are the alternative to diminishment and fear.”
"In 2012, the Romney campaign recognizes what it is up against, and last night made it clear they know how to fight."
And so I’ll ask you, can you see it now?