Are the Socialist Democrats using Covert Action and Covert Influence operations as a political and media influence tool leading up to the 2020 election? It’s certainly something to consider as a tactic being deployed by President Trump’s enemies against the Trump campaign as we move forward into the election season.
As a former Spook who has had a little experience I think I’m fairly knowledgeable about Covert Action and Covert Influence Operations. They can be a very effective tool to change a political narrative from one of policy discussions into one of personal attacks and disparagement, and completely eclipse the message being delivered.
Nothing that I’m sharing is of a classified nature, it’s all well known in intelligence circles as something that can be used as an effective tactic to change or influence what goes on in targeted countries, particularly in the realm of a target country’s internal politics.
One of the tactics of Covert Influence is to create and direct actions that can influence the public perceptions of a targeted political movement. If one can impugn reputations by creating a perception, then they can perhaps successfully create stronger opposition to a particular political party, alliance, or movement.
If you can paint Republicans and President Trump as “racists” then maybe you can more easily defeat them at the polls. Regardless of whether there’s any evidence or not, “perception is often reality”.
As an example – Planting people into political events or rallies to create disturbances and disruptions, or to create a particular narrative and perception is a common tactic. Especially using the news media to provide coverage and to add emphasis to the message (usually negative) that you are trying to project.
Political events are well covered by the news media who are often times looking for potentially controversial incidents that they can highlight on their evening news broadcast. How much coverage could be generated by someone putting on a red hat or wearing a large campaign button on their chest and then positioning themselves in front of a TV camera while spouting off racially, sexist, or other very offensive comments?
You can bet your bottom dollar that on the evening news that individual will be portrayed as typical of those attending the event, even though the overwhelming vast majority of attendees would roundly reject that kind of thinking. My bet is that it has happened on more than one occasion in the past, and is ongoing.
My suggestion for anyone attending a Trump rally is to be mindful of this. Don’t allow yourself to be lured into chants and demonstrations that might initially seem innocent but in fact do have negative undertones. People could easily have been planted into the crowd to initiate that very thing in order to get media exposure and discredit the entire event, the attendees, and the candidate and their political party.
(An exception in my humble opinion would be the chants of “lock her up”. Those continue to be perfectly acceptable as far as I’m concerned, considering that Hillary Clinton is the most dishonest, corrupt, and despicable politician in American history to ever run for the highest office in the land.)
If you’re in attendance and you observe anyone being filmed while making racist or other negative comments you need to call them out on it immediately! Discredit THEM and get yourself on the TV cameras doing so. Don’t allow them to be used by the media as an example for the entire group. Make sure the news media and everyone else understands that individuals who act that way are not indicative of your group or your movement.
It’s also important for the candidates or speakers at the events to insure that they take steps to stop any outbursts that could be used to reflect negatively on them and their message. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the moment of enthusiasm, but President Trump’s opponents are looking for anything they can use against him. Don’t give them the ammunition. President Trump was right not to acknowledge the recent “send her back” chanting during his speech in North Carolina, but he should have quickly denounced it at the time it happened.
Even when one is using social media it’s important to be careful in responding to other comments that might be intended to elicit a response from you that could be twisted and distorted. Be clear and firm in what you’re saying. Offering your opinion is perfectly fine, just be mindful that there are people out there being paid to search for anything they can find which can be distorted or taken out of context and used to discredit you or your movement.
It’s a sad state of affairs that our political discourse has devolved into our being concerned about these kinds of tactics being used. But our Socialist Democrat opponents are certainly knowledgeable about these tactics, and very capable of using them. They are desperate to stop the Trump movement, and will resort to anything to discredit it and stop his re-election.
Let’s not make their job any easier.