A Response to: A Message From The Chairman (July 2, 2017)
I am one of those who became interested in the Constitution Party during the campaign of Darrell Castle and was involved with many of the hardest workers of the Grassroots group that were active during the campaign. I have been watching with interest the ongoing conversation regarding the trajectory of the Constitution Party and have participated in some segments of that conversation.
You said in your recent “Message from the Chairman,” “Politics is never easy.” Boy, you can say that again!
Very often what makes politics the hardest is our own desire to consolidate and exert power and control over others. The Founding Fathers recognized this desire and knew it resided deeply within their own psyche. They experienced it in their own battles and conversations. It is, in fact, one of the very reasons that George Washington in his farewell address so arduously warned against the “spirit of Party.” This fact also serves as the overriding concern that prompted the ingenious system of limited government and enumerated powers enshrined within our Republic’s Constitution.
You have now twice attempted to clear the air and then proceeded to muddy the waters. My father once told me, “Son, when you have found that you have dug yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.” I’ve found it to be sound advice.
In reviewing your messages of June 11 and July 2, I see what appear to be hastily composed efforts based on a perception that those with a good will and good intentions and who have every desire to be helpful to the Constitution Party were malcontents with an axe to grind. It leads me to wonder who has your ear and how they may have filtered the events and discussions occuring online in various social media groups to generate such an emotional response that led to the messages you wrote.
It very much reminds me of a video I recently watched by a man named Robin Koerner. Perhaps you have heard of him. He seems to be a darling among Libertarians especially in the Northwest. In fact, one testimonial listed on Robin’s website that claims that the Kitsap County, Washington Libertarian Party was organized based on Koerner’s speeches.
Koerner teaches a method of “Winning Supporters, not Arguments.” In his training, he emphasizes the repurposing of psychological manipulation and emotional coersion very popular in the sales industry for use in the political sphere. In essence, the goal is to short circuit logic and reasoning and place the target under the “spell” of the salesman or political persuader and turn them to his way of thinking. One who is trained in such techniques would, indeed, be very persuasive.
Koerner has made claims to “weaponize” his technique (see: http://robinkoerner.com) and in August will be starting online training intended for a predominantly Libertarian audience in an effort to gather many who would be sympathetic even to our own position of smaller more restrained government and a return to greater liberty.
Such deceptive techniques, devoid of the integrity needed in political discourse today, would indeed be very effective in making supporters among politically minded Americans in the generation of the so-called “Boomers” and those who are older. Most, younger members of our society, however, are often put on guard when they encounter such deceptive sales practices. They quickly spot those who are disingenuous and attempting to deceive and manipulate them.
It is highly doubtful that a Koerner acolyte would be easily distinguished from a principled supporter of the Constitution Party if they attempted to infiltrate our ranks. It would require an extremely careful vetting process and detailed observation of their work over a significant period time. He would work to gain trust over a period of months and he would seem to blend in in every way.
An operative well trained in the brainwashing techniques taught by Koerner has learned how to avoid dealing in details and facts. He has a preference for emotionally charged words and vague speech. He glosses over details and avoid specifics in order to build a facade of agreement all the while he surreptitiously plots to change the thinking of his mark.
Such a person would be especially dangerous in a higher-level position such as a trusted advisor whose job it is to deal with the details so you don’t have to. It would then be easy to mask the details and specifics of situations and use emotionally charged language to encourage a course of action that may cause leadership to act without reasonable consideration of the facts and circumstances that have led to the current state of affairs.
In any event, as I noted, I write to you because your letters of June 11 and July 2 seem to bear the marks of what I would expect if a person in your position was being manipulated by someone using the psychological and emotional weapons like those taught by Koerner.
From the public conversations in the Grassroots group on Facebook and even in the Constitution Party Official Facebook group, it is quite clear to me that there is a severe disconnect between what you are reacting to and the specifics of what has been clearly said and intended. The result has been two reactionary letters that seem to show a complete misreading of the statements, actions and intentions of the Grassroots members.
For some context, it will help you to know that I was involved with some of the heavy-lifters of the Grassroots group during the fall election. We developed a great relationship.
I had just begun reconnecting with them as the current situation began to unfold. My intention was to collaborate on some significant strategic planning to help the Grassroots be even more effective at providing assistance to the party moving forward.
I have always found them to be hard working, and very dedicated to the objectives they shared with the Constitution Party. I have quite literally been shocked and dismayed at the falling out that has happened and the rapid escalation that has occurred.
Since it is the stated intention of Koerner to “weaponize” this methodology for the benefit of the Libertarian Party, it seemed to me especially fitting to make you aware of this possible explanation for the recent events. Many, including your Communication’s Director, Gary Welch, see the danger posed by the Libertarian Party. In a recent Facebook conversation in the Constitution Party Official Group, Gary placed the Libertarian Party at the other end of the spectrum from the Constitution Party, much like the Democrats are at the other end of the spectrum of the Republicans. That being the case, the Libertarians would, no doubt, stop at nothing to tear the party apart and rend asunder the gains made in the most recent election cycle, including infiltrating the offices of trust and influence within the party.
I pray you continued success in your future endeavors, and hope with all my heart that there is a way forward so that the Grassroots workers who were so dedicated and instrumental in their support of Darrell Castle and the Constitution Party will continue to be welcomed as effective catalysts in achieving the aims of a return to the fundamental of the rule of law and adherence to the Constitution that will allow our nation to flourish.
A. N. American