If you ever thought about how you could politically take over a city, how would you do it?
Hmmm…well, first you would need to be elevated to a position of prominence with promises of cooperation, collaboration and creative leadership.
Becoming mayor would be ideal.
Next, it would be important to solidify your power base by surrounding yourself with dedicated and unquestioning supporters who would totally back your policies and proposals. This would mean you would need to gain majority control of the city council.
Then you would need to create the appearance of an open and receptive form of government by hand picking community members who would always speak favorably of you at public meetings. This would be an important ingredient to shape public thinking. It would also set the stage to move city policy forward as you envision.
As a powerful tactic to gain further public support, it would be important to identify a villain in the city, which the public could easily turn against. This might be a minority race of residents, or a high-profile corporation that could become the target and be easily tarnished. This is called deflection, where you keep public focus off your own actions and direct attention to the targeted group or entity now taking the heat.
A good way to turn public support towards yourself and against the villain would be to make public accusations of corruption and deception against the chosen entity. To rally supporters and solidify your credibility, demand an audit which will expose the entity and their dishonesty. It won’t matter how the audit comes out as the public will remember the allegations and soon forget the results.
While you are creating public anger and distrust towards your targeted villain, you carefully remove and replace city employees who object to your policies. You do this slowly, one at a time, so the losses are soon forgotten as the distrust of your targeted villain grows. Be sure the people you choose as replacements are bought and paid for. You don’t want any internal strife or opposition as you complete your takeover.
While these actions are taking place, you appeal to large groups and organizations for political support by delivering new and better benefits. A good place to start would be the city unions, who are organized and can deliver votes. Perhaps the best union to secure support from would be the police officers, who are considered trustworthy and respected by the citizens. You can buy the union’s support and endorsement by giving them a large raise in pay.
As a bonus, hire a blogger or two who praise your work on the internet and bash your opposition
Now, to appease the general public, don’t do anything that is too controversial. This would include projects which neighborhoods could find objectible. You need to keep the citizens under control while letting them think they are in control. Divert direct decisions by doing neighborhood surveys. It’s always good to make the populace feel they are included and important in your decision process.
Another good tactic is to get large groups of residents to gather at city hall and object to a development project or two. When your council turns the projects down it gives the residents a feeling of great power. This further solidifies your own power and political base.
An additional step is to keep changing the city charter to meet your needs. Get rid of as many elected positions as possible and replace them with appointed positions. Especially the chief of police.
These would be some of the best suggestions to use as you politically capture a city.
Could these ideas really work?
Hmmm…it just seems like they could.