Psychological Warfare for Conservatives

How do grossly unqualified individuals like Barack Obama become President of the United States? Why is the Second Amendment under continual attack? The root cause is, in both cases, conservatives’ failure to understand psychological warfare and failure to understand the concept of the Propaganda Man.

Colonel Paul M. A. Linebarger's classic, Psychological Warfare, defined the Propaganda Man as the "lowest-common-denominator of a man who can be reached by enemy propaganda and by yours." Linebarger then adds the need to understand the Propaganda Man's mentality, fears, and aspirations.

Make up the prewar life of the Propaganda Man. …What kinds of things did he like? What prejudices was he apt to have? What kind of gossip did he receive and pass along? What kind of words disgusted him? What kind of patriotic appeal made him do things? What did he think of your country before the war?

The Republican Party and the National Rifle Association both seem to omit this basic and vital first step of successful public relations. Consider for example the numerous responses to my American Thinker article, “The Felon in the White House.” Examples include:

  • "Who would prosecute the president for any crimes? The Department of Justice. Who owns the Department of Justice? President Obama."
  • "No one will ever care about this, ever" (in all caps).
  • "His worshippers wouldn't care if he was caught robbing a Brinks' truck."

What all fail to understand is that the article was not directed to:

  1. The Justice Department
  2. The big city urban Democrats who would probably vote for the head of ISIS if he ran for office with a D after his name. We will not, as the commentator said, change their minds.
  3. Rural, Southern, and Mountain State Republicans who will vote for whomever the Republicans nominate. We do not need to change their minds.

The article's Propaganda Man is the swing voter, the independent voter who holds the balance of power in almost every national election. We won't convince the Obama Democrats and we don't need to convince the solid Republicans, but if we can persuade the independent voters, we win. The independent voter is proud of thinking for himself or herself, and generally takes the time to gather the facts. If the facts show, as they do, that Barack Obama gained his position through the commission of a felony, and was apparently given the kind of pass that an ordinary citizen could never expect, these voters will turn against him and anybody associated with him.

The Propaganda Man is Our Friend

It is absolutely vital, though, that we be sure of our facts before we present them to the Propaganda Man. Trust is the foundation of effective psychological warfare and, the instant we lie to the Propaganda Man, we will rightfully lose his trust. Consider for example these potential attacks on Obama.

  1. The fact that the Obama Administration did not allow consideration of pro-ISIS social media postings makes Obama the "third San Bernardino shooter."
    • I was actually preparing side by side photos of Tashfeen Malik, Syed Farook, and Barack Obama for this purpose when I discovered that, contrary to the original story, Malik had not posted publicly visible pro-ISIS messages on Facebook. We cannot therefore blame the Obama Administration for failure to act on Malik's social media activities, although the act of Islamist violence still says a lot about the DHS vetting process as a whole.
  2. The rumor that Obama is not a U.S. citizen is at best not provable, and has in fact been discredited. "In 1961, birth notices for Barack Obama were published in both the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on August 13 and 14, 1961, respectively, listing the home address of Obama's parents as 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in Honolulu."
  3. "Obama is a Muslim."
    • There is nothing wrong with being a Muslim as long one does not belong to the subset of Muslims (aka Islamists) who believe they have an Allah-given right to hurt infidels, including the wrong kinds of Muslims. This argument does little more than reinforce the other side's denunciation of our side as Islamophobic, as in prejudiced against all Muslims rather than those who engage in easily identifiable problem behaviors.
    • A Muslim would have probably not worshiped in a Trinity United Church of Christ. We can however cite repeatedly Jeremiah Wright's racist sermons, and his blood libel of Israel and the United States for purportedly developing an "ethnic bomb" and the AIDS virus respectively. To this we can add the racist quotes (with page numbers) from Obama's Dreams From My Father, and Michelle Obama's racist thesis from Princeton. The racist content of the latter can be verified from the original, and it shows clearly that Michelle Obama cannot be First Lady for all Americans. The inarguable truth is on our side, so why tout a dubious rumor?

A Weak Argument is Worse than No Argument

The latest rumor that Michelle Obama is actually a man is totally counterproductive, and General Patton made that clear more than 70 years ago. Patton said that it is worse than useless to fire a rifle at a tank because (1) it wastes ammunition and (2) it tells the tank crew that you don't have an antitank weapon because you would have otherwise used it. A weak argument is therefore worse than no argument. There are enough things genuinely wrong with Barack and Michelle Obama that we don't need the kind of material that might come from the Jeff Rense Show.

We can also win the Propaganda Man's support by proving that the enemy has lied to him. The anti-Second Amendment Million Mom March, for example, engaged in fraudulent fundraising practices by (1) lying to its donors about firearm misuse killing 12 or 13 children a day, and (2) concealing from its donors its plans to divert 501(c)(3) tax exempt money to Democratic political campaigns.

The Second Amendment's Propaganda Man (or Woman)

Second Amendment advocates make the similar mistake of talking about "our Second Amendment rights." The nation's 100 million or so law-abiding firearm owners should already be on our side. If they are not, we need to prove to them with the enemy's own words that the enemy is indeed after their sporting firearms as well as so-called "assault weapons."

The swing voter who does not own firearms does not, however, care about "our" Second Amendment rights. A woman who has been indoctrinated by Michael Bloomberg's lies via Everytown for Gun Safety is quite likely to take the position, "Your rights end where my safety and that of my children begins." This Bloomberg video, for example, shows a domestic abuser breaking in a woman's door to take her child, and then shooting her when she tries to resist. We need to address our arguments to the Propaganda Woman whom this Yellow Press-style video may have terrified into voting Obama Democrat, and not to people who are already on our side.

If the video is not copyrighted, or if "fair use" could include modification for educational purposes, I would do the following. When the abuser kicks the door in, stop the video and point out that this is the video's sole useful learning opportunity. I learned at a defensive gun class at Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) that a home invader can kick your door in more rapidly than he can open it with a key, let alone a lock pick. I therefore installed a strike plate that screws into the wall studs, and also a Nightlock security device. This protects the prospective home invader too because, if he doesn't get into the house, the person inside is probably not justified in using deadly force on him. If he continues to try to break in, the police can read him his rights when they arrive.

Next we deal with the home invader's gun by pointing out that, unless he is attacking somebody like Cynthia Rothrock or Ronda Rousey, his superior weight and upper body strength create a disparity of force situation in which he is a deadly threat even without a weapon. This means he can beat her to death or strangle her with his empty hands, and then abduct or kill her children after she is dead or too badly hurt to protect them. Disparity of force justifies her use of a firearm against him but, if Obama Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Michael Bloomberg, and Dannel Malloy get their way, she won't have a firearm. Underscore the issue of "authority without responsibility or accountability" because crime victims cannot sue government officials the way a victim of gross medical malpractice can sue a quack -- and make no mistake, Clinton, Bloomberg, Cuomo, and Malloy are quacks when it comes to public safety.

Then we support this position with real-world examples such as this one from FrontSight. Both involve home security videos of actual home invasion crimes. In the first part at about 1:10, a mother is beaten almost to death (by an unarmed male assailant) in her own home. In the second, three home invaders, one with a handgun, kick in the door of another woman's home. They get an unpleasant surprise in the form of a rifle, and a warning shot convinces them to flee. This is the only part with which I disagree. First, if you are not justified in shooting your assailant (as this woman was clearly justified), you are not justified in shooting at all. Second, a warning shot wastes a cartridge and gives the aggressor time to kill you. The incident still ended well for the homeowner, though, as it would not have done had she lived in a gun-free paradise like Cuomoland or Bloombergland.

Here is yet another genuine news story in which a mother tried to hide her child and herself from a home invader, but he found them anyway. That was when she emptied a 5-round .38 revolver at him, but did not hurt him badly enough to prevent him from fleeing (or, had he chosen to do so, killing her anyway). This says plenty about proposals to limit magazine capacities; unless you are using a caliber that starts with .4, you may well have to hit your assailant 10 or more times to stop him. Thomas Lifson's Go ahead #BlackLivesMatter: Make my Day features a video of a man who could have been Barack Obama's brother (re: Obama's statement that Trayvon Martin could have been his son) punching a police officer in the face and then shooting him with a .357 Magnum. The officer's return fire with 14 rounds of 45-caliber ACP failed to drop the aggressor, which underscores the fact that Andrew Cuomo is simply not competent to tell anybody what kind of firearm he or she "needs" for self-protection.

In any event, though, when we give the Propaganda Woman enough real world examples of defensive gun use, as well as information on where she can learn to use firearms safely and effectively, she is likely to take the position, "Your snake oil gun control ideology ends where my safety and that of my children begins."

William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.

If you experience technical problems, please write to