On May 31st I and many others who stuck it out at the Republican Party of Minnesota’s State Convention’s bitter end were afforded a unique opportunity. Although the delegation dwindled steadily after the election of National Delegates on Friday many stayed till Saturday to salute or scorn our keynote speaker. He was, of course, Karl Rove, former strategist and adviser to George W. Bush. Although I find his actions irresponsible and at times verging on criminal I am inclined to suspend judgment when afforded a closer look at someone.
In a technically flawless display of sustained oration Karl Rove moved efficiently through the outline of his speech taking the audience slowly to his preconceived conclusion. He shirked the friction and blowback of explicit diction by first acquiring the audience’s confidence and then compelling them to fulfill his interests on their own accord. It is a faintly Socratic approach that has been spectacularly successful both at the convention and on the campaign trail. The lessons of recent history tell us though that it is a tactic which certainly cannot be trusted.