Sun Tzu and the Democratic Party

“The problem is that the Democrats have something going for them that those on the other side simply don’t seem to be able to do. They know their enemy. They know how to manipulate the Republicans in office to give the left everything they want.”

The military taught me at an early age that one must know their enemy. This adage does not simply pertain to combat either. In all facets of your life, you must always endeavor to see things from the perspective of others. Not only does this allow you to empathize with them, but it also shows you the way to gain the tactical advantage.

The greatest pundit of this would have to be Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese warlord who wrote the book The Art of War. This book is one of the best books on strategy ever written. This strategy goes far beyond the confines of combat, however. He spends a great deal of time discussing how war is mostly a mental game, explaining that force is simply one facet within an expansive set of options.

One of my favorite quotes is, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” I do this very well. In fact, I do it too well. Just ask my wife. I know how I argue and I know how she argues, and I use this knowledge to my advantage every time. It is not intentional at this point, just something that has been ingrained into me. So at the end of the day, I can respect an adversary who is capable of truly manipulating a situation to gain the psychological advantage.

It is for this reason that I must tip my hat to the Democratic party as a whole. I try very hard to be honest regardless of which side of the political aisle you may be on. When someone does something wrong, I will call them out for it. Typically, this is very easy to do with the Democrats, as virtually everything about their platform goes against what I believe the Constitution stands for.

With that being said, I must also recognize when my enemy is gaining the advantage through manipulation; while I may not agree with their methods, I have to respect and be impressed with their results. Consider this—the Democrats have for the past eight years seen a huge loss in political power. According to Fox News, the total loss of Democrat-held elected positions as of December 2016 was 1,042. In fact, during the Obama reign, they went from 55 to 46 Senate seats and from 256 to 194 House seats at the federal level. Things didn’t improve at the state level, with the number of Democratic governors going from 28 to 16 and a total loss of 958 legislative seats.

There is only one way to look at these numbers—a complete and total repudiation of liberal policies and beliefs. What made this even funnier at the time was how the Democrats then doubled down on their divisiveness. A great example is when Sally Brown, DNC Chair hopeful, stated that, “My job is to listen and be a voice and shut other white people down when they want to interrupt…We have to teach [others] how to communicate, how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white.”

Or even when Howard Dean said that hate speech wasn’t protected speech. My favorite, though, was when Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee chair, said that if you wanted to be a Democrat, you had to be pro-choice. However, what was originally funny to me quickly curdled into shock.

The problem is that the Democrats have something going for them that those on the other side simply don’t seem to be able to do. They know their enemy. They know how to manipulate the Republicans in office to give the left everything they want. I would never have believed that this was possible.

The Republicans own both houses of Congress and had the overwhelming support of the American people. They were elected into office to enact the items that they ran on: defunding planned parenthood, repealing Obamacare, enacting tax reform, and building a wall. What did they accomplish out of that? Nothing! To make it even worse, they showed their incompetence by releasing Obamacare version 2.0.

How is it possible for a party to have the majority control at both the state and national levels and yet not be able to enact the very legislation that it ran on? The answer to that is the Democratic party. Not only were they able to keep the Republicans from moving on their platform, they now get to pass the buck on the failure of Obamacare to the Republicans.

Now, in a continuing show of their exceptional ability to control the government even when not in power, they have managed to have special council appointed to look into the Russian involvement in the election cycle. This ensures that even though there has been no evidence to suggest that the Trump administration did anything illegal, the question remains front and center over his presidency.

They were even able to avoid the same scrutiny within their own party, where there were a plethora of potentially illegal actions that were swept under the rug. I hate to say it, but my hat is off to you, Democratic party. You have managed to ensure the catastrophic collapse of the party who won control of the country due to your failed policies.

So how is it possible that they were able to do this? The answer is simply that they actually believe in their cause. This has both helped and hurt them. Wanting an America with less freedom and constricted liberties does not sell well. At the end of the day, there is only so much crazy talk the populace can endure without finally shutting you down.

However, when you truly believe in your cause, the elected posts are secondary to what your message is. This is not true for the Republicans, who clearly covet power over the interest of the country. They are so worried about keeping their control that they would turn on their own principals to protect themselves.

Knowing this allows the left to continue to move their position and policies forward, even when not in power, and the right is doing the same thing that they always do. They are sitting by and watching out of fear that they will be blamed. The typical Republican politician is clearly not capable of real leadership. Real leadership inspires those around them and rallies them under a single banner. The sad thing is that in this case, this was the banner that the American people elected their officials to turn into reality.

If the Republicans do not figure this out quickly, they are setting themselves up for more than just a loss. They are looking at a complete shakeup of their party. Maybe that is what is needed, though. Maybe this is actually for the best. I remember right before retiring telling my son that there comes a point in every career when you are no longer able to bend and adapt. You have grown too complacent in your ways and view new ideas and thoughts as a threat to your existence. It is at this point that you have become the dinosaur. I am pretty sure that at this point, what the party needs is an extinction-level event, and the Democrats are more than willing to lead us to that well.

Matthew Wadler

Matthew Wadler is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and U.S. Army veteran. Matt served in the Army for 20 years as both enlisted and officer before retiring. His service includes time as Military Police, Field Artillery, Adjutant General, and Recruiting. His deployments include Somalia and two tours to Afghanistan. His formal education includes a master’s degree in HR Management. He is a strong supporter of the constitution and advocate for the military and veteran communities. Follow Matthew on Twitter @MatthewWadler.

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