Party Like It’s 1980
Excerpted from David Kahane’s new book, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


Look, I have to admit there’s nothing wrong with either the conservative or the Republican base, though, frankly, you guys terrify us, you and your damn fascist tea parties. Is there anything more frightening than seas of grandmothers waving American flags and singing “patriotic” songs? I don’t think so. But the bozos driving your clown car need a complete upgrading in order to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.

You morons need smart, ruthless, and savvy leadership, younger than your basic World War II veteran. Hell, we’ve run a self-confessed draft dodger and a guy who quit on his comrades after a few months in Vietnam — not that there’s anything wrong with that! If you’re going to bring fruit salad and scrambled eggs to a knife fight, you might as well make sure your fighters are under 50 and actually, you know, armed and ready to party.

You can’t afford colorless speakers of the House, or go-along-get-along collaborationists like most of your senators. You need officers who are going to inspire the troops, not dispirit them, commanders who’ve earned the love of their followers precisely by not crossing the aisle, instead preferring to stand on principle. These brave men and women are going to have to step out of the ranks and step up, and when they are attacked by our side — as they surely will be — you must defend them. Nobody wants to lead troops into battle and, halfway across the killing fields, find out he or she is all alone.

But how best to party like it’s 1980? Glad you asked.

Elections are not about programs, but principles. Hey, Dumbo — “programs” are our thing. Our candidates churn out books on “programs” all the time. They answer endless rounds of questions about “programs,” helpfully posed by our plants in the media. In fact, we’ve made it seem that running for president or any other higher office is all about having the most ten-point plans, or five-year plans, or whatever. But what would you expect from a party that reveres FDR but really hankers after the cultural revolutions and thousand-year plans that the big-time statists of the past century so proudly hailed? We’ve got a “program” or a “plan” for everything, and you chumps have accepted the idiotic notion that one can plan farther out than, say, five minutes (no wonder you’ve bought into the farce of “global warming”). Whereas those real military men you ought to be recruiting understand, like football coaches, the first rule of plans: that they go out the window the minute the first shot is fired. After which you rely upon the wisdom and guts of your commanders and the courage, training, and discipline of your troops to see you through to victory.

Principles are what counts. So stop trying to outdo us by rushing to the microphones with a silly plan to solve every social ill this side of halitosis whenever our pet frogs in the media croak about a new “crisis” in the daily news feed. In fact, forget about programs completely. Just say no! And if we call you out and demand to know — which we will, you can bet on that, it’s part of the playbook — the details of your “plan,” laugh and tell them to shove it and start talking about principles.

To do otherwise is to accept our premises, which means you have already lost. Instead, stick to the big picture: liberty, self- reliance, faith, freedom. Those concepts are to us like a crucifix to a vampire, but heed not our squeals. Instead, keep brandishing your integrity and have the satisfaction of watching us collapse, writhing, on the floor into a puddle of putrescent malefaction, just like Christopher Lee in all those great Hammer movies.

To do otherwise displays weakness, and the last thing you want to do when dealing with us is to seem weak. So, keeping the principle in mind that we are bullies on the outside but cowards on the inside, let us now move to a discussion of how to fight.