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I’ve been trying to get this article started for a while now and I’ve just struggled with it.  Usually when I write an article I have the end point in mind and work backwards from there.  In this case however, when I look at the topic, I just don’t have any novel insights, no unique perspectives, no words of wisdom.

theblueprintbookcoversmAfter reading ‘The Blueprint’ How the Democrats Won Colorado, I freely admitted there was much to admire about the capabilities of the Gang of Four and the progressive tsunami they unleased on Colorado, transforming it from deep red conservative to bright blue liberal in less then a decade. Now, I obviously disagree with their ideology but it’s hard to argue with how devastatingly effective ‘The Blueprint’ has been in achieving their objectives.

The question is, at what cost?  And unfortunately the dark answer is; any cost.  As Machiavelli said nearly five hundred years ago, "The end justifies the means."  With all of the incredible advancements in our world in those five hundred years, a better human nature isn't one of them.  

 Which brings me to the politics of personal destruction and today's political landscape.  The Blueprint was brutally honest about their machiavellian intent when it came to defeating their political opponents.  No holds barred.  Don't take my word for it.  Here's a couple of quotes from the book;

Trimpa believes that to win, you need to go negative.  "You have to create an environment of fear and respect" he told the Bay Area Reporter.  "The only way to do that is to get aggressive and go out and actually beat them up [politically]."

"The Democratic campaign had nothing to do with the issues, but was about winning at all costs.  Regardless of the values of our candidates, the Democrats would smear them."

Jon Caldara, president of the conservative/libertarian Independence Institute, agrees. "A fully integrated scandal-manufacturing machine" is how he describes the interaction of the network's organizations.  "The Democrats have outsourced the politics of personal destruction to a bunch of nonprofits."

It didn't used to be that way in Colorado until the Gang of Four arrived and changed the rules.  Here's Sean Duffy, who was the deputy chief of staff to Republican governor Bill Owens;

"When I moved our here from Pennslyvania, where I worked for Governor Tom Ridge, I was astonished at how genteel politics were out here.  Huttner {Michael Huttner, activist and founder of ProgressNow} brought a New York, Pennslyvania, New Jersey [and] even national take to the game."

 Machiavelli understood five hundred years ago what sadly is still true today, "Politics have no relation to morals."

We know it's wrong when we see these types of ads, we know they're disengenuous at best, outright lies at worst.  Yet politicans continue to use them. Why?  Because they WORK.  They influence, we the people.  We can be manipulated.  We can be persuaded.

The problem is not the politicans.  The problem is us.  We can be 'educated' with simple 30 second ads to 'know' who to vote for and more importantly, who NOT to vote for.  Don't think you can be educated?  The Gang of Four evidently did.  From the book;

The most controversial document was a memo identifying CoDA's {Colorado Democracy Alliance} plan to 'Educate the Idiots.'

So, deception, who knew? Machiavelli, evidently;

"Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception"

So what's the answer?  How should we respond?  Get in the gutter and match the opposition 'smear for smear' or take the moral high ground?  And this is where I've been stuck...for three days now.  The answer finally came to me today from something my father drilled into my head over fifty years ago. 

DadIf you read my 'Colorado Redprint' article, I mentioned that my father used to be a pro boxer in his younger years.  So I had a helluva boxing coach growing up!  Some of my best memories are the times I spent with him learning 'the sweet science' as the sport used to be known in his day. 

December 1948 Edition of Ring Magazine:

My dad, 'Red' Rooney (he hated Walter!) was orphaned at the age of eight.  He and his younger brother were raised by an aunt in Hell's Kitchen in New York City.  Hell's Kitchen in the early 40's was a very rough place to grow up.  Dad had not just himself to take care of but a younger brother to protect as well.  And he did just that for years, which is probably why he turned out to be such a good fighter.

But while he taught me how to box in the ring, he reminded me of something often enough that it's stayed with me all my life.  He said, "Son, in a ring there are rules, boxing is a sport, a contest.  But don't ever confuse boxing in a ring, with fighting outside of one.  Do everything you can to avoid a fight but if you can't, there are NO rules, no jabs, hooks, uppercuts.  In a street fight you grab whatever you can, a rock, a brick, a two by four and you hurt the man attacking you.  Because if you don't hurt him first, he will hurt you."  I know it sounds like brutal advice but it's the way my dad grew up and survived in a terrible environment.  And it turns out his advice was pure Machiavellian;

"If an injury must be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengence need not be feared."

Folks, we're not in a political, rules bound, boxing match anymore here in Colorado.  It's a street fight now.  We better learn how to fight back.  Recall is the unwanted but unavoidable street fight we find ourselves in now to temporarily stop the progressive damage being done to this state. 

But beyond this, as 2020 approaches, we need to take an honest look at ourselves and have a frank discussion about why we've been getting our asses kicked the last ten years.  The Gang of Four has done a lot with money, strategy and execution but at the end of the day, ideas and a vision for the future still matters more.  We need to do a better job of explaining ours to young Coloradoans.