GaryGagliardi's blog

Positioning in the Presidential Race

Unless Kerry makes a serious misstep, he is now likely to win Democratic Party nomination. How well is he doing in building a winning position against Bush? Though the media discusses elections in terms of issues, Sun Tzu teaches the contests are won on the basis of positioning. Most pundits have a one-dimensional view of political positions, placing candidates in a left-right spectrum, but one of the great insights of The Art of War is that the terrain is multi-dimensional.

Let Us Widen the Gap between Rich and Poor

The Art of War is a paean to progress. It extols the idea that, no matter what our current position, we can improve it continuously if we act strategically. Some object to progress because it widens the gap between rich and poor. But according to Sun Tzu's philosophy, the wider the gap between rich and poor, the better! The only way to eliminate that gap is to eliminate progress. That gap measures progress.

Roe vs. Wade and The Balance of All Things

In my last post, I discussed the concept of quan (completeness) in Sun Tzu where opposite but complementary forces balance and complete each other. How does this apply to abortion? A post by Tarantino points out that liberalized abortion laws have (probably) affected the number of liberals alive today. Those who think abortion is okay are more likely to have less children while those who have oppose abortion are more likely to have more children. Initially, the

Sun Tzu's strategy and Gay Marriage

In a recent interview, I said that Sun Tzu’s philosophy could clarify any situation and was challenged to tackle the topic of gay marriage. While this is not normally an area I concern myself with, I was surprised to discover that the philosophy had quite a lot to say about the topic.
The root of Sun Tzu’s work and all Asian philosophy is the union of opposites. The Art of War is composed almost entirely of opposing and complementary concepts (as we explore

Democratic Candidate Strategies

The only good strategist in the Democratic Party is Hillary and she is best political strategist operating right now. I would not be surprised to see her enter the race if Bush shows weakness. (She isn't stupid enough to be suckered in by Newsweek poll that shows Kerry beating Bush.) News reporting about the race is so bad on all important elements that we can't say much about what the current candidates are trying do strategically, if anything at all. All the media reports are poll numbers, which proved spectacularly unreliable in Iowa.

Campaign Finance: Position vs. Money in Politics

What is more important in a political campaign, money or strategy? With the Democrat nomination contest, we now have an important test case. Dean still leads the other candidates in money, with many times more than Kerry, the current front runner, who was so broke a few weeks ago that he had to refinance his house. That advantage didn’t matter in Iowa, will it make a difference from now on?
Sun Tzu's strategy tells us the opposite of what we have been hearing for

Dean's Strategic Error

Dean's Strategic Error

After Dean lost so badly in Iowa, most think his strategic error was the "I Have a Scream" (YEEAAH!) speech. They are wrong. It was his reaction to the press attention that the speech WON after the election. A warrior learns to think of everything as an opportunity. Losing the Iowa election was an opportunity. The media reaction to the Scream Speech was another opportunity. The real mistakes is thinking and acting otherwise.

Tax Strategies

As tax season approaches, the Democrat habit of describing Bush's tax cuts as "tax cuts for the rich" will come back to haunt them. Too many people who do not think of themselves as rich will see how much money that they will save. This is a great example of how a larger strategy (positioning the Republicans with the rich) can produce a tactic (attacking tax cuts) that degenerates into a unthinking reflex. The Democrats are so used to attacking Republicans on this issue that they no longer ask how people will feel


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