Liberals can and should be criticized for using cheap shots and outlandish rhetoric (“war on women” ring a bell?) to beat their conservative opponents each campaign cycle. But Republicans are just as much to blame for letting the discourse continue. Author David Horowitz, in his new book, “Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left,” explains he’s had it with Republicans and their weak responses to Democrats’ dirty tactics. But, the author doesn't just complain about their lackluster fighting spirit - he arms conservatives with the tools they need to throw their own political punches.
“20 years of frustration lies behind this book, of trying to get Republicans to fight, Horowitz told Townhall. "This is a how-to-fight book.”
Horowitz insists that Republicans can no longer expect to win elections on policy alone, evident in campaigns like the 2012 presidential election.
“Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist, said ‘everybody has a game plan, until you punch them in the mouth.’ The Democrats have a big punch, which they use every election. Which is, of course, to describe Republicans as anti-woman, anti-black, anti-poor, and defenders of the rich. Republicans have no punch, they have no answer to this. It’s monotonous. The Democrats haven’t changed their campaign theme in 20 years. But Republicans have no answer. You have a candidate like Romney who was centrist, seemingly unassailable, and they spent $200 million and demonized him. He had no answer to their attacks. Now there is an answer. And the book lays out the answer that Republicans need.”
If he was running a campaign, Horowitz would throw some of these charges at his opponents:
“Republicans have to answer this by defining Democrats as immoral and evil [...] Democrats control all the major cities in America and they have for 50 to 100 years. Everything that’s wrong with inner cities, the Democrats are responsible for. Democrats have welfare programs that seduce single mothers into having more and more children so they can get pittances that the welfare system hands out. This not only puts mothers, but children in lives of permanent poverty."
Case in point: Detroit.
“Republicans should have held the convention in Detroit – which is a symbol of what the Democrats have done. Detroit, in 1961, was America’s richest city. But, that was the year a Democrat was elected there and for the next 50 years, the Democrats have controlled Detroit and ruined it. Two-thirds of the population has fled. The Democrat Party there were racist, anti-business. They drove business out of Detroit, they drove the ripe middle class out of Detroit. In one generation, they took a crown jewel of first world and created a third world city. So, if Republicans held the convention in Detroit, it would be a symbol of every reason why you should never vote for a Democrat.”
But, Republicans' choice in Cleveland suggests they are more concerned about gaining momentum in a swing state than making a direct mockery of Democrats. Horowitz says Republicans refusing to challenge their opponents has become the norm.
“When have you heard a Republican attack a Democrat as racist for the inner cities they control and the welfare programs that they have devised? They have destroyed the black family, in particular. They talk about the food stamps, but they never use the word ‘racist’ in connection with the food stamps. Take away their incentives to make a living. It’s like extending unemployment insurance for years.”
Horowitz pinpointed a few bold conservatives today who are aren’t afraid to verbally challenge liberals, but insists no leader has employed this ‘take no prisoners’ mentality when it really mattered.
“I think there are conservatives: Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Ted Cruz is approaching this, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). But no, I don’t think there was one candidate in the last election. There were 12 – none of them had this mentality.”
The author offered suggestions as to how Republicans can engage the other side and win – especially on one particular issue.
“By using the left’s tactics against it – by making these issues moral. Obamacare is a declaration of war on individual freedom. That’s what’s wrong with it. The government comes in and tells you you have to get into a medical program and you have four choices. They are the ones that make the choices. They tell you if you’re doing the right thing, making a proper living. We’re going to stick our hands in your pockets and we’re going to subsidize people who aren’t working and who don’t play by the rules.”
You can read more about Horowitz's game plan for Republicans in "Take No Prisoners."