Ammon Bundy’s stand against the Bureau of Land Management and the Federal Government in Oregon, whether you agree with it or not, should serve as a learning point for grassroots movements and militias across the United States. Just like in the military, operations sometimes go well and sometimes go horribly wrong. That doesn’t stop us from conducting after action reviews and learning from our mistakes. In the case of the Oregon standoff, it is clear that they failed to adequately prepare the public relations battlespace before beginning their protest. I say this because even at this moment, it is still not exactly clear what Bundy and his supporters are protesting. The failure on the PR front has caused division amongst militia groups and the local population, which for his stand, are critical bases of support that he must maintain.
Anyone that has conducted irregular warfare and imbedded with locals knows how important winning over the local population is to the cause of a guerilla. Further, anyone that has done grassroots organizing for political campaigns knows how important it is to have consistent branding of a topic that resonates with the public. Key to both is having well established local leadership that can rally the people in your specific region to your cause. Bundy failed to brand his protest under a banner that not just the militia, but the locals, all could rally behind. Further, he failed to seize upon a clear grievance that could be easily understood by a sympathetic public. In this ideological war, we must be sensitive to the optics by the media, which we know, already are going to paint many of us in a negative light. Being perceived as the oppressed underdog that has been abused by the heavy handed tactics of the government is absolutely one of the key images we want to project. We don’t want to project the image of bullies hijacking a town for a nonsense cause. The Boston Massacre resonated and motivated people to arms for good reason. However, the image of an armed gang taking over a town and intimidating the public has the opposite effect and will rally the people around the government.
I try my best not to be one to just criticize and critique without offering solutions. My solutions are being put together in a book that I will publish soon called “Rules for Rebels” and outlines community organizing in rural America. If the title sounds like a play on the infamous book, “Rules for Radicals,” you would be correct. Taking notes from the enemy’s playbook worked for Patton against Rommel and it certainly will help you. I hope when it is published you will all buy a copy, read it, act on it, and pass it to all of your friends. If you are like most people, you are sitting at home pretty angry about what you see going on around you, but think you can’t do a thing. You are wrong. The fact you are reading this already makes you a critical part of a large network of diverse people from literally all over the world. You are a part of a global network and I am the node that connects you. When you read and pass on information from this website, you are in fact helping to organize, brand, and take action not as an individual, but as one of thousands speaking in a unified voice. This unified voice with a consistent and articulate message has immense power. Perhaps it isn’t clear on your end, but I have repeatedly seen how my articles and Last Minute Survival have literally changed the debate in the news, in academia, and inside political circles. Now, I am going to tell you exactly how you can be extremely valuable and legitimately do something to change the situation.
At the most basic level, the network is key. Most all of you have some degree of social media presence, email, and phone numbers. You need to consolidate those lists and organize them into issue groups that resonate with each of those groups. Essentially, you are assigning the proper grievances to the proper groups. You then need to educate and motivate those people to action against said grievance. Coordinating this message through the network is important because it standardizes the message in a way that everyone is using the same talking points toward achieving a specific goal. This allows the message to resonate with a larger audience, makes it clear to the media, and focuses the pressure on our elected leaders to take the desired actions. As such, a great example would be Obama’s latest unconstitutional executive orders on gun control. Trying to rally people against the action because it was “unconstitutional” and Obama has no legal authority to make such laws is simply too abstract to resonate with most Americans. However, by breaking it down and addressing the veterans in your network and messaging them that Obama is going to disarm them by declaring them all mentally unfit because they have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will resonate. Further, anyone on Social Security should be messaged that Obama is going to disarm them and leave them helpless because he believes they are feeble minded and unable to take care of themselves. Both messages are true statements and achieve the same purpose of rallying the people against Obama’s illegal actions, but how those messages are packaged and nuanced are everything. This is the first major step in community organizing that you can comfortably do from home or as you go about your daily business interacting with those around you. Even if the network you develop is only a dozen good friends, by linking back to this node, your network is now empowered by thousands in unified action. Also, anyone that you meet with like sympathies, make sure you get their contact information and plug them into our network. Don’t let them continue to sit at home frustrated and angry believing nothing can be done. Collectively organized, we are the majority. As an active majority, we have power.
So, for this week, give it a trial run. Use the above talking points about Obama’s gun grab. Our goal should be organize as many people into this network as possible. You don’t have to give me names…in fact, don’t. Just message me via our email, firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: network), with the number of people in your network that you represent. Once your node is established, we can move to the next step of organization and action. As you see, it is very simple, but very effective. If you are a veteran, talk to your military buddies and get over to the VA. If you are older and retired, take the same message to your friends about how Obama is going to disarm anyone receiving social security. If you are in the medical field, talk to those around you about how you will be forced to report on your family, neighbors, and friends and how it will hurt your business and leave you liable for assessing the impossible to know. If you are shooter, the message is easy…your guns will ultimately be confiscated. You get the point. Your job is to message these key groups toward the goal of taking collective action against Obama’s gun grab. Either way, use the facts about this draconian action to literally scare and enrage people to action. Once you get your node established, then real action and change are possible. Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you all.
January 6, 2016