“Your enemy is your teacher.” – Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game
There’s vast insight in those five words…and most people miss it completely. How is your enemy your teacher? His objectives are antithetical to yours. Surely he isn’t trying to teach you how to beat him! And yet, in a combat situation, he’s the best teacher you could possibly have.
Allow me a very brief snippet from one of my own novels:
“My mentor liked to say that success breeds failure. You tend to repeat your old, successful moves because they worked, while your enemy is developing a new one to clobber you with. I guess he had a point.”
Your enemy, if he’s at all intelligent and observant, will remember what you’ve done in the past that’s succeeded in thwarting him. He’ll study those moves until he comes up with a countermeasure – and so also must you do with his previously successful tactics.
We in the Right have railed against the Mainstream Media until we’re breathless and hoarse. Yet we’ve learned relatively little from them. What does that say about our intelligence and percipience?
It’s time to change that.
When the two-way World Wide Web first appeared, it was mainly a retailing mechanism plus a way to popularize jokes. It didn’t look as if it would amount to much. But the explosion of personal sites – mostly “blogs” – made a huge difference in the transmission and preservation of information and opinion. At peak, there were over 57 million blogs, each of them purveying a particular viewpoint and a selection of items to ponder.
The wild popularity of the blogging medium caused the barons of the media to sit up and take note. Their control of information was being shaken by the new medium. In particular, they could no longer count on being able to suppress a story their editors disliked. They had to come up with counter-tactics…and they did.
Their counterattack was multi-pronged:
- A campaign against “fake news;”
- The emergence of supposed “fact-checkers;”
- Cosmetic broadening of op-ed voices: the “token conservative;”
- Alliances through which to share emphases and preferred modes of expression.
- A new approach to news obfuscation: a deluge of stories in which casual readers would be lost.
The old method of restricting coverage of events that cross-cut their preferences remained in the media’s playbook, but coupled to the “deluge” tactic. The combination has proved unusually effective, even synergistic. With hundreds, even thousands of ever-changing “news items” coming at you continuously, how could you possibly retain enough to know which ones are important?
Many news consumers simply stopped reading and watching. Others developed “focuses:” particular areas of interest to which they paid the greater part of their attention, allowing the rest to pass them by with a glance. Focus can be valuable…if the thing focused on is itself valuable. However, in many cases the focus was on some variety of entertainment. The consequences to date have been mixed, with an edge for the mainstream media.
The rise of Facebook and Twitter further assisted the media by reducing the desirability of the blogging medium. After all, blogging requires expense and work. It’s so much cheaper and easier to use Facebook, where you can follow others you find simpatico and ignore the rest. For those whose thoughts could be compressed into 140 characters, Twitter provided an even easier method of communication. The blogs dwindled almost as swiftly as they’d arisen.
The mainstream media quickly formed a covert alliance with the masters of Facebook and Twitter. It proved most salutary…for them.
We haven’t yet learned much from our enemy. Still, there’s time. One of the most important things to study is the “deluge” tactic. It’s been remarkably effective at indirectly suppressing widespread consciousness of developments that the media would prefer we not think about. With relatively few blogs remaining, and those hard pressed to gain attention from significant numbers of readers, important stories are getting less attention than they deserve.
One of the major weapons in the Right’s arsenal is the ability to keep important stories alive. Consider this item, which ought to have enraged the entire country but is being deluged out of general attention:
A parent who was arrested during a June school board meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia, is accusing the district of trying to cover up an alleged bathroom sexual assault by a gender-fluid individual against his daughter in order to further its transgender rights agenda.
Scott Smith was found guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in August after he was filmed being dragged by police from the Loudoun County School Board meeting on June 22. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, all suspended, contingent on a year of good behavior, Loudoun Now reported at the time.
Smith’s image went viral among left-wingers as an example of parents run amok, and the National School Boards Association cited his arrest in a letter last week requesting the Department of Justice to provide federal law enforcement to respond to an increase in violence against school officials across the country. Attorney General Merrick Garland later pledged to have the Department of Justice and the FBI investigate harassment of school board members.
Now, Smith says there’s much more to his story, telling The Daily Wire that his behavior at the June 22 meeting stemmed from an incident weeks earlier at his ninth-grade daughter’s school, Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, in which he said a boy wearing a skirt entered the girls’ bathroom and assaulted his daughter on May 28.
“We can confirm a May 28, 2021 case that involved a thorough 2-month-long investigation that was conducted to determine the facts of the case prior to arrest,” the sheriff’s office told Fox News. “This case is still pending court proceedings. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is not able to provide any documents that pertain to a pending case.” The sheriff’s office confirmed that the case involved sexual assault.
All juvenile records are sealed, but Smith’s attorney Elizabeth Lancaster told The Daily Wire that the boy was subsequently charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio.
An immense amount of attention has gone to “transgender rights.” Oughtn’t this development to receive a similar amount of attention? Is it part of a developing pattern or a “one-off?” Compare media coverage of the event with the bias the media show toward stories of anti-Muslim “hate crimes” and away from stories about Islam-powered atrocities. See the parallels there?
A week from today, how many Americans will remember that Scott Smith and his sexually violated daughter exist?
One of the most admirable figures in the neojournalistic environment is writer and vlogger David Rubin. This recent interview with Sara Carter is a noteworthy demonstration of his acuity and courage:
Author and pundit David Rubin warned that the leftist media is getting further and further from the truth lately. Soon, Americans will not know what’s true and what isn’t. Rubin talked about the future of media on the latest episode of the Sara Carter Show….
“That chasm between what we can now expose and what they show us, that has gotten so wide. That’s what I’m worried about,” Rubin said. “Because everybody’s sort of falling into the space between those things now where it’s like, we don’t know what’s true anymore.”
“I think there was this elitist belief, not that they weren’t truthful,” Carter said. “I think that in their own way, they become this elitist group of people that believe they know what’s appropriate for the American people.”
Rubin is entirely correct. Much of his work has covered significant figures in the Right, what they truly believe and are working toward, and how those things differ from what the media have been promulgating. However, the most important thing about Rubin is his dedication to genuine objectivity: to let events and people speak for themselves. He maintains that there is an entirely objective reality – “what’s true” – and that the mission of the true newsman is to report it.
We in the Right “should” share that attitude. It’s integral to the rest of our convictions. But to return to the central point: We must be aware of the strategies and tactics the media has used in its victories against us, and we must use the information. In particular, we must find the important stories, the true outrages that deserve to be spread far and wide, and hammer them home so relentlessly that they cannot be downplayed or “deluged” away from popular attention.
Learn from your enemy. It’s his gift to you.