The Six Principles of Political Warfare

from “The Art of Political War” by David Horowitz

1. Politics is war conducted by other means.

In political wars you do not fight just to prevail in an argument, but to destroy the enemy’s fighting ability.

2. Politics is a war of position.

Your task is to define yourself as the friend of as large a constituency compatible with your principles as possible, while defining your opponent as the enemy whenever and wherever you can.

3. In political wars, the aggressor usually prevails.

Aggression is advantageous because politics is a war of position. In attacking your opponent, take care to do it right. Going negative … can be counterproductive. Ruling out the negative … can incur an even greater risk.

4. Position is defined by fear and hope.

The twin emotions of politics are fear and hope… hope is the better choice.

5. The weapons of politics are symbols that evoke fear and hope.

The most important symbol is the candidate him or her self. Style … is as important as any issue position or propaganda strategy. The audiences that will determine your fate are audiences that you will first have to persuade. Therefore it is absolutely essential to focus your message and repeat it over and over again. Symbols and sound-bites determine the vote.

6. Victory lies on the side of the people.

You must define yourself in ways that the people understand. You must give people hope in your victory, and make them fear the victory of your opponent. You can accomplish this by identifying yourself and your issues with the underdog and the victim, with minorities, and the disadvantaged, with the ordinary, Janes and Joes.