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Leftist icon Saul Alinsky wrote in his influential book “Rules for Radicals” that one of the most effective ways to deal with opposition– particularly political opposition– is to “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Looking back on past elections, the theme can be easily identified time after time, whether it is intentional or not.
For instance, how many people almost exclusively know Tina Fey’s “Saturday Night Live” impersonation of Sarah Palin, frozen and polarized as a hillbilly who said she could see Alaska from her house? Never mind the facts or any of her actual positions– that is the candidate an overwhelming number of voters are familiar with.
We now appear to be witnessing a similar event, based on one remark by Republican nominee Mitt Romney during last night’s presidential debate. When asked about gender equality in the workplace, Romney said he asked his staff to identify a number of suitable female candidates, in addition to the men. To emphasize the number of people they considered, Romney said they had “binders full of women.” An innocuous remark in context, but now that the statement has been frozen, personalized, and polarized, people are starting to take notice.
Regardless of the fact that women on Obama’s staff were found to be paid 18% less than men, or that several high-ranking officials have referred to the administration as a “boy’s club” where women are “marginalized” and “ignored,” Romney’s “binders full of women” remark has quickly become a social media “meme.”
Though the Republican nominee’s statement emphasized how many women they were interested in hiring, here are a few of the 600+ “binders full of women” photos floating around the Internet today implying just the opposite:
And here’s a dramatic video just released by Barack Obama’s “Truth Team,” driving the message home: