How the Left Wages Push-Button Warfare

The news has become a melodrama reminiscent of the Dudley Do Right cartoons of the 1960s.  The innocent Nell vs. the evil Snidely Whiplash bears a striking resemblance to the “victimized” communities in Indiana vs. Christian bigots.  These stories and many others bear another resemblance to the 1960’s cartoon: they are all total fiction.

keyboardThe most recent of these fictions is the Christian bigot story that dominated the “news,” for a week resulting from Indiana passing a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The Act is modeled after the federal legislation which was written to prohibit the government from substantially burdening religious liberties unless it is doing so “in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest,” and that it used “the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” This law and other ones similar to it came as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1990 decision in Employment Division v. Smith. As a result of that decision, and were it not for the federal RFRA, “the United States could draft Jews or Muslims into the military and force them to eat pork. After all, they have the choice to go hungry in order to not violate their religious convictions. It could also require commercial kosher butchers to slaughter meat in accordance with federal health laws inconsistent with kosher rituals.”

How did the passage of perfectly reasonable legislation in Indiana designed to prevent those problems cause such national turmoil that it destroyed the presidential ambitions of a Republican governor and caused panic among organizations as diverse as Walmart, NASCAR, Angie’s List, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association?

Ted Cruz 2016


The answer is that the left has mastered the use of social media to instill fear in, bully, and intimidate the public.  Normal political communication attempts to inform, persuade, and inspire.  The left’s mirror image of that is more akin to the psychological operations (Psy –Ops) of a foreign intelligence agency than it is to normal political debate.

One of the first victims of this was Rush Limbaugh.  The Soros-backed Media Matters organization directed a bullying campaign to drive local and national advertisers away from his program with the ultimate goal of silencing a voice of conservatism in the public square.

On a local level, it worked like this.  Let’s imagine that you own a local car wash.  You buy a thirty-second spot advertisement on the local radio station.  The station places the ad during Mr. Limbaugh’s program.  The next day, and for days after that, you get hundreds of emails and tweets from local citizens all saying pretty much the same thing, though all worded slightly differently.  The message is, “Stop sponsoring hate radio or I will never patronize your car wash again, and I will organize a boycott of your business.”  In addition, bad reviews of your car wash are placed on the internet by the hundreds.

Woodrow Wilcox


Being in the car wash — and not the political — business you quickly cancel the ads or request they not run during the Rush Limbaugh show.  After all, you buy ads to increase business, not cause controversy.

What the car wash owner does not know is that there is no controversy.  It is all phony.  Emails do not come from local residents although they are fraudulently made to appear like they do.  They do not come from hundreds of “concerned citizens”; they come from one or two paid leftist political operatives.

Unlike most local businesses, Mr. Limbaugh had both the will and the resources to investigate this phenomenon.  What he found was the campaign against him was totally automated.  It was push-button political warfare.  A national campaign that generated tens of thousands of emails and tweets was accomplished by ten operatives.  Mr. Limbaugh issued a report on the results of his investigation that can be viewed here.

Why aren’t the highly-paid political consultants and corporate public relations executives aware of this and acting accordingly? One has to wonder.  But we had all better get up to speed on this, or we are going to lose our culture to a bunch of people who do not exist.

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Don Todd is director of research at Americans for Limited Government . He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Labor-Management Programs from 2001-2009.
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