Steve Deace

The following is an excerpt from the book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.”

Attacks in political warfare are like parasites. They usually cannot survive merely on their own, so they need to attach themselves to a host to sustain them. Usually the one being attacked ends up being the host, thus springing the trap. The point of an attack is to distract you, so that you violate the 9th of my 10 Commandments of Political Warfare—Stay on Message.

The Left sets the trap by baiting you to respond to their silliness in a way that gives them access to your audience. They will hound you and hound you until you do. Depending on your resolve and the intensity of the attacks, it takes some longer than others to wear down. Most of their attacks are not really a story outside of the Left’s own enclaves until you respond, and then once you do you’ve given the media the excuse it’s been looking for to really crank up the jamming techniques.

You neither want to blow up your opponent’s attack nor blow it off. You want to respond in kind (just right). If someone rips you in the comment’s section of your buddy’s blog that 10 people read, don’t blow it up in front of your 500 Facebook friends with short attention spans. Respond in kind on the platform they attacked you with or don’t respond at all.

If you’re in leadership, or aspire to be, this would be a good time to note the thin line between insulation and isolation. Isolation creates a bunker mentality when we become thin-skinned and see enemies everywhere. But good leaders are insulated to a point from criticism and scrutiny. It’s not that they don’t hear it, but it’s little more than “hey batter swing” chants like they heard when playing Little League baseball back in the day. It’s just background noise. They’re aware of it enough to know what’s going on and to make sure they don’t develop a tin ear, but they focus on the big picture because they’re confident in the courage of their conviction.

Like in Star Wars during the assault on the first Death Star, when Luke Skywalker is distracted by all the cannons and explosions going on around him, and is encouraged to “stay on target.”

If you want to stay on target, there are six things you need to remember.


Steve Deace

Steve Deace's nationally-syndicated radio show airs coast-to-coast each weeknight from 9-Midnight eastern, including many of the Salem Radio Network's top conservative talk stations in markets like New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and National Review among others. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Town Hall.com, Deace is also a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the new book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.