So Sarah Palin is attempting to mobilize the "pro-American" parts of the US against the rest, presumably the anti-American parts of America (think about that for a moment...). In seeking to clarify precisely what she meant by this distinction, she said:
This, for me, resonates with Mao Zedong's guerrilla strategy of surrounding or encircling the cities from the countryside. The concept is perhaps most fully developed by Lin Biao:
To rely on the peasants, build rural base areas and use the countryside to encircle and finally capture the cities — such was the way to victory in the Chinese revolution.
One of these days, the 80 percent of Americans who live in more populated areas may tire of being obliquely insulted. Most urbanites and suburbanites don't think they're any better than their country cousins. But Palin might want to think twice before telling them they're worse.
That 80 percent number is interesting. When Mao developed his strategy of "people's war," drawing on Sun Tzu, he was working pragmatically from the circumstances that surrounded him. He was, as Sun might have advised him, creating a battle plan based on the "ground" or "terrain" or, we might say, realities that confronted him. It just so happened that something like 80 percent of the Chinese population then lived in the countryside. Pretty smart that Mao: mobilize the 80 percent against the 20 percent!
The contemporary Republican Party Maoism seems doomed to failure, however. Somebody in the McCain campaign should read Sun Tzu. They then might realize that they must create a political strategy that conforms to the "ground" or realities of present day America. And one of the most brute of those realities is that the vast majority of American voters - Chapman's 80 percent - do not live in small towns.
Then again, as an Obama guy, I should just keep quiet. Don't let McCain and Palin in on Sun Tzu (maybe it was one of the books McCain did not read during his rambunctious days at the Naval Academy!). Don't point out the obvious demographic flaw in their small town strategy. Rather put out a slogan that urges them on: