In retrospect, the civil war in the Balkans was the most important event of that period. It prefigured what has come since: the return of ethnic separatism, the rise of authoritarian populism, the retreat of liberal democracy, the elevation of a warrior ethos that reduces politics to friend/enemy, zero-sum conflicts.
.. Back in the 1990s, there was an unconscious abundance mind-set.
.. Today, after the financial crisis, the shrinking of the middle class, the partisan warfare, a scarcity mind-set is dominant: Resources are limited. The world is dangerous. Group conflict is inevitable. It’s us versus them. If they win, we’re ruined, therefore, let’s stick with our tribe. The ends justify the means.
.. The scarcity mind-set is an acid that destroys every belief system it touches.
.. Now, Donald Trump leads the Republican Party, the personification of the scarcity mind-set. Fox News, with its daily gospel of resentments, is the most important organ of conservative opinion.
.. Republicans are happy to trade away their fiscal principles if they can get their way on immigration, which is what they did in last week’s budget deal.
For some people, the warriors of the populist right must be replaced by warriors of the populist left. For these people, Trump has revealed an ugly authoritarian tendency in American society that has to be fought with relentless fervor and moral clarity.
For others, it’s Trump’s warrior mentality itself that must be replaced. Warriors on one side inevitably call forth warriors on the other, and that just means more culture war, more barbarism, more dishonesty and more dysfunction.
.. The truth is plural. There is no one and correct answer to the big political questions. Instead, politics is usually a tension between two or more views, each of which possesses a piece of the truth.
.. Leadership is about determining which viewpoint is more needed at that moment
.. Politics is a limited activity. Zealots look to the political realm for salvation and self-fulfillment. They turn politics into a secular religion and ultimately an apocalyptic war of religion because they try to impose one correct answer on all of life. Moderates believe that, at most, government can create a platform upon which the beautiful things in life can flourish. But it cannot itself provide those beautiful things.
.. Government can create economic and physical security and a just order, but meaning, joy and the good life flow from loving relationships, thick communities and wise friends. The moderate is prudent and temperate about political life because he is so passionate about emotional, spiritual and intellectual life.
.. Because they are syncretistic, they are careful to spend time in opposing camps, always opening lines of communication. The wise moderate can hold two or more opposing ideas together in her mind at the same time.
.. Beware the danger of a single identity. Before they brutalize politics, warriors brutalize themselves. Instead of living out several identities — Latina/lesbian/gun-owning/Christian — that pull in different directions, they turn themselves into monads. They prioritize one identity, one narrative and one comforting distortion.
.. Moderates are problematic members of their party. They tend to be hard on their peers and sympathetic to their foes.
In 1978, Stone co-founded the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) where he is credited with developing the negative campaign into an art form and pioneering the modern use of negative campaign advertising which Mr. Stone calls “comparative, educational, not negative.”
.. Stone became known for his expertise and strategies for motivating and winning ethnic and Catholic voters.
.. In 2000 Stone is credited with the hard-ball tactics which resulted in closing down the Miami-Dade Presidential recount.
.. The New York Times and Miami Herald reported it was Mr. Stone who first tipped of the FBI to Governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes.
.. Stone has worked for pro-American political parties in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. He is consulted regularly on communications and corporate and public relations strategy by fortune 500 ECO’s and pro-democracy foreign leaders.
.. “Professional lord of mischief” – Weekly Standard
“Legendary conservative political hit man” – TheHill.com
“He [Roger] is one of its fiercest warriors, with the battle scars to prove it.” – The Weekly Standard
“A dragon slayer who helped bring down New York State’s most powerful man” – NY Daily News
“A long history of bare-knuckle politics” – The New York Times
“The GOP’s dapper Pugilist” – The Washington Post
“Seasoned practitioner of hard-edged politics” – The New York Times
“Master Political Strategist and Street fighter” – LeftVoice.com
“The most dangerous person in America today…” – The Village Voice
“Still, Stone gets results” – FirstPost.com, UK
“Skilled in the dark arts of politics” – The Atlantic
.. “Notorious” – Vanity Fair
.. “Master of right-wing political hit jobs… – Politico.com
“Controversial” – The Washington Post
“Infamous” – Gothamist.com
“The dapper don of dirty deeds” – DullardMush.com
“Directly involved in the downfall of Clinton campaign chief strategist Mark Penn” – RADAR
.. “Known for hard-ball politics and a cloak and dagger sensibility” – The New York Times
“At times, Stone’s real party seems to be the vaudevillian rather than the GOP” – New Yorker Magazine
.. “Respected, hated, and always controversial Republican political knife fighter…” – NoQuarterUSA.net
.. “An equal-opportunity trickster” – NY Daily News
“The undisputed master of the black arts of electioneering” – Scotsman.com