The Precinct Committeeman Strategy, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Coach Paul Bear Bryant

Taking Back Your Government  The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy

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RedState diarist Cold Warrior has a new kindle book, Taking Back Your Government: The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy, that can be purchased at Amazon for just $3.99. Now some regulars at RedState will groan and mutter under their breath how sick and tired they are of hearing this message. How self-centered of them to think they are the only ones receiving this message. There are many new visitors to RedState every day, and this may be the first time for them to hear this message. There are many who may take the plunge to become a precinct committeeman only after hearing about it numerous times. When a message is this good it absolutely needs to be promoted. There are folks who attend rallies, and do the social networking on Facebook, Twitter, and blog about how we need get Obama out of office. Perhaps these activities provide them with some instant gratification, but they are not an answer to the question – How do we get Obama out of office? Social networking is an important facet of the unrest in Egypt, and this leads me to Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Last night I was watching a segment of Anderson Cooper on CNN as he discussed the unrest in Egypt with Ms Ali and CNN terrorism analyst, Peter Bergen. Ms Ali was trying to make the point that time and effort is needed for the pro democracy factions to develop the civic and economic infrastructure to recruit a candidate, campaign for that candidate and mobilize voters to go out and vote for that candidate. She said the Muslim Brotherhood is more organized with an infrastructure already in place. She spoke in English, but the responses she received from Cooper and Bergen are almost like they could not understand what she was saying. I think she was saying about Egypt what Cold Warrior has been saying about how we can go about taking back our US government. I provide the transcript below so you can judge for yourself.

COOPER: Ayaan, when you were younger, you were actually a member of the Muslim Brotherhood when you were living in Kenya. Why are you so concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the chances of them coming to power?

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, AUTHOR, “NOMAD”: Because as a 15-year-old, 16- year-old, what — the members, the strong members of the Muslim Brotherhood who educated me, what they taught me was for us to strive toward a society governed by Sharia law, Islamic law, and it wasn’t only for us living in Kenya. They intended it for everyone all over the world.

COOPER: So when people say, “Well, look, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has renounced violence and worked peacefully for this years now.”

ALI: Well, whether they work with violence or peacefully, they’re working toward the goal of establishing Islamic law.

COOPER: Peter, are you as concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood in general, and getting into power in Egypt?

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Not really on either front, Anderson. First of all, as you know, you visited there recently. The Muslim Brotherhood has engaged in conventional politics in Egypt for a long time now.

Secondly, there’s no chance of them getting to, you know, run Egypt, because the kind of level of support they have is just simply not enough to take the country over. And we saw that this revolution as — that they basically kind of got onto the revolution rather late in the game. So they will be a player, but they won’t be the player in Egypt going forward.

COOPER: Do you have any doubt, though, that the Muslim Brotherhood wants — they are Islamists. They would like an Islamic state, no?

BERGEN: Sure, and as you well know, Anderson, and as Ms. Ali also knows, I mean, you ask most Muslims do you want Sharia law, and they would say yes, because it means a lot of different things to different people.

ALI: It doesn’t mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. As a young child, growing up with Islam, me and all the other Muslims I know were taught two main lessons. Everything in the Koran is the true word of God. Everything that the prophet Mohammed did is right and just, and we have to follow his example.

COOPER: So what is it you’re arguing for? I mean, clearly, I understand the concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood. I understand, you know, if you are a woman, if you are a minority, there are many reasons why one would not want the Muslim Brotherhood, if you don’t want to live under Sharia, to take — to take power.

What is the alternative? If they do represent right now 20 to 30 percent, you can’t close off that voice in a democratic Egypt. You’re arguing, what, for building up other institutions, having time so that other institutions can be built up?

ALI: Yes, and you’ve seen all of these countries people will say elections, elections, elections. So before an election can take place, you have to campaign.

The Muslim Brotherhood has the resources, the infrastructure, both civic and economic, to mobilize huge masses to go and vote further.

Look at the liberal voices. They’re not organized. They don’t have a common ideology. What I have seen on Tahrir square and in Tunisia, let the bad guy go out. That’s not a program.

And what we need to do is stop worrying about the Muslim Brotherhood. A, there’s going to be — I think — I hope that the Egyptian constitution has to be rewritten in such a way that there are safeguards against a Sharia state or against the next autocracy.

COOPER: And Peter, that certainly seems like what the United States wants to have happen right now, wants to be able to do.

But it also seems, like what many opposition figures in Egypt right now are hoping to do, Mohammed ElBaradei who says, “Look, the Muslim Brotherhood gets about 20, 30 percent of the popular vote right now.” He’s talking about allowing there to be time, a year transitional government that allows other forces, democratic institutions to be bolstered and supported and gain support, correct?

BERGEN: Yes, I mean, I think we’re all in agreement that is the way forward, but we also have to recognize that democracies are going to throw out people that we don’t necessarily agree with, and that’s the point of democracy.

ALI: That’s a platitude. Of course that’s the point, but democracy is more than that. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist radical organization, once they get to power, is going to violate the rights of women, of homosexuals, of religious minorities. We have to do everything in our power to prevent them from violating those human rights.

COOPER: Peter, there are people in the audience who will kind of equate Muslim Brotherhood with a group like al Qaeda. Al Qaeda actually hates the Muslim Brotherhood, from my understanding, correct?

BERGEN: Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 in al Qaeda, has written an entire book critiquing the Muslim Brotherhood and is very critical for them for the precise reason that they have engaged in conventional democratic politics, which al Qaeda regards as, you know, kind of against Islam. So there is — there is quite a lot of mutual hostility between these two groups. ALI: But that hostility should not blind us to the shared objectives, the establishment of a society based on Sharia law. Ayman al-Zawahiri wants to achieve that through violent means. The Muslim Brotherhood’s current leadership wants to achieve that through gradual peaceful means, using and abusing the vocabulary of freedom and democracy.

COOPER: But you’re not arguing this as a reason to keep Mubarak in power?

ALI: No.

COOPER: You’re — you’re saying this is a reason to bolster democratic institutions in however long it takes in this transitional period?

ALI: Yes. I’m frustrated by what I’ve been reading in the past three weeks, which is it’s either a Mubarak-type government or it’s going to be Sharia law and Muslim Brotherhood.

COOPER: That’s the narrative that Mubarak has set up. For years, he has said…

ALI: Yes.

COOPER: … it’s either me or chaos. It’s either me, stability, or the Muslim Brotherhood.

ALI: And what I’m saying is there is a third way. Never limit your options to just two. If you look at the people in Tahrir Square, there are individuals here who believe in an alternative.

What we — what I am noting is they lack the infrastructure that the Brotherhood has. They lack the power that the Mubarak-type people have. And we need to support them in that way, but it survived that action (ph).

COOPER: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, appreciate your time. And Peter Bergen, as well. Peter, thank you.

By this time you are probably wondering just how am I going to connect the legendary football coach Paul Bear Bryant with Ms Ali and CW. In his first year as the coach of Alabama’s football team he needed to recruit some great football players instead of recruit political candidates. He needed to develop an infrastructure and program for a football season campaign that resulted in a winning outcome. He could not recruit black athletes at first, and he had to go visit prospects where they lived. They were not otherwise going to come to him. A while back I received an email from gamecock about Coach Bryant.

At a TD Club meeting many years before his death, Coach told the following story… typical of the way he operated.

I had just been named the new head coach at Alabama and was off in my old car down in South Alabama recruiting a prospect who was supposed to have been a pretty good player and I was havin’ trouble finding the place. Getting hungry I spied an old cinder block building with a small sign out front that simply said “Restaurant”.

I pull up, go in and every head in the place turns to stare at me. Seems I’m the only white fella in the place. But the food smelled good so I skip a table and go up to a cement bar and sit. A big ole man in a tee shirt and cap comes over and says, “What do you need?” I told him I needed lunch and what did they have today? He says, “You probably won’t like it here, today we’re having chiltlin’s, collard greens and black eyed peas with cornbread. I’ll bet you don’t even know what chitlin’s are, do you?”

I looked him square in the eye and said, “I’m from Arkansas, I’ve probly eaten a mile of them. Sounds like I’m in the right place.” They all smiled he left to serve me up a big plate. When he comes back he says, you ain’t from around here then? And I explain I’m the new football coach up in Tuscaloosa at the University and I’m here to find what ever that boys name was, and he says, yeah I’ve heard of him, he’s supposed to be pretty good. And he gives me directions to the school so I can meet him and his coach.

As I’m paying up to leave I remember my manners and leave a tip, not too big to be flashy, but a good one, and he told me lunch was on him, but I told him for a lunch that good, I felt I should pay. The big man asked me if I had a photograph of something he could hang up to show I’d been there. I was so new that I didn’t have any yet. It really wasn’t that big a thing back then to be asked for, but I took a napkin and wrote his name and address on it and told him I’d get him one. I met the kid I was lookin’ for later that afternoon, and I don’t remember his name, but do remember I didn’t think much of him when I met him. I had wasted a day, or so I thought.

When I got back to Tuscaloosa late that night, I put that napkin from my shirt pocket and put it under my keys so I wouldn’t forget it. Hell, back then I was excited that anybody would want a picture of me. And the next day we found a picture and I wrote on it, Thanks for the best lunch I’ve ever had, Paul Bear Bryant.

Now let’s go a whole buncha years down the road. Now we have black players at Alabama and I’m back down in that part of the country scouting an offensive lineman we sure needed. Yall remember, (and I forget the name, but it’s not important to the story), well anyway, he’s got two friends going to Auburn and he tells me he’s got his heart set on Auburn too, so I leave empty handed and go on see some others while I’m down there. Two days later, I’m in my office in Tuscaloosa and the phone rings and it’s this kid who just turned me down, and he says, “Coach, do you still want me at Alabama?” And I said hell yes I sure do. And he says, OK, he’ll come. And I say, well son, what changed your mind? And he said, “When my grandpa found out that I had a chance to play for you and said no he pitched a fit and told me I wasn’t going nowhere but Alabama, and wasn’t playing for nobody but you. He thinks a lot of you and has ever since yall met.” Well I didn’t know his grandad from Adam’s housecat so I asked him who his grand daddy was and he said, “You probly don’t remember him, but you ate in his restaurant your first year at Alabama and you sent him a picture that he’s had hung in that place ever since. That picture’s his pride and joy and he still tells everybody about the day that Bear Bryant came in and had chitlin’s with him. My grandpa said that when you left there, he never expected you to remember him or to send him that picture, but you kept your word to him, and to Grandpa, that’s everything. He said you could teach me more than football and I had to play for a man like you, so I guess I’m going to.”

“I was floored”, he said. “But I learned that the lessons my mama taught me were always right. It don’t cost nuthin’ to be nice. It don’t cost nuthin’ to do the right thing most of the time, and it costs a lot to lose your good name by breakin’ your word to someone. When I went back to sign that boy, I looked up his Grandpa and he’s still running that place, but it looks a lot better now, and he didn’t have chitlin’s that day, but he had some ribs that woulda made dreamland proud and I made sure I posed for a lot of pictures, and don’t think I didn’t leave some new ones for him too, along with a signed football. I made it clear to all my assistants to keep this story and these lessons in mind when they’re out on the road. And if you remember anything else from me, remember this, It really doesn’t cost anything to be nice, and the rewards can be unimaginable.”

Recently I have seen some rudeness and bullying that may be driving people away from RedState. Sad. Coach Bryant stood firm and unwavering in his decisions with respect to recruiting candidates for his football program. He was also nice to people who just might only be a vote for a potential candidate. The same is true for people who might only be a vote instead of a potential candidate in politics. If you have a conservative candidate you are campaigning door-to-door asking them to vote for your guy how will you act when a gay person comes to the door? It really doesn’t cost anything to be nice, and the rewards can be unimaginable.

Cross-posted at The Minority Report