John Minford, #SunTzu 9: 24 "Dust low and spreading is a sign of infantry approaching."
If you're a faithful reader of Giles commentary, you find him, everyone once in a while, a bit condescending. I don't mean to his enemy translator, Calthrop, against whom he NEVER misses an opportunity of attack. I mean to the ancient Chinese tradition.
In these verses, for instance, he poo-poos the fine distinctions of types of dust rising into the heavens. I suspect, however, we're seeing a bit of British jingoism poking through. The modern Chinese were, to them, barbarians to be squeezed.
The world was simply divided by the Victorian empire, into British, and everyone else. Both a wonderful translator and historian, his work has truly stood the test of time. But, he's wrong to disrespect Master Sun's typology of various forms of dust rising.
Take yesterday's high and peaking, as opposed to today's low and spreading. Surely you see the immediate use - again! - of the yin/yang. High vs low. Peaking vs spreading. They're perfect opposites. Did you catch that? If so, give yourself a bonus point!
The commentators tell us that the infantry marches in ranks and are far lighter in weight than chariots. As we saw yesterday, chariots being much heavier, create ruts, and other chariots follow in those ruts. High dust peaking makes sense, therefore.
Perhaps we have made some progress intellectually, in our studies of the past in the century since Giles did his wonderful work. Perhaps we've learned to bring a bit more respect, a bit less of a 'we're so superior to them now' mindset.
Besides, who among us today has ever seen a chariot formation rolling off to war, and been able to compare its dust rising to that of an infantry marching off to war? I'd say we might want to trust the ancients on this one, wouldn't you?
Due to my 2016 experience fighting for the power of rallies, as compared to traditional get out the vote (GOTV) efforts, I often sound negative about them. This is not an accurate reflection of what I really feel. It's a bit more nuanced. I certainly saw the power of rallies.
And the GOTV men were often naysaying about that rally power, so I fought them, a lot. But I NEVER failed to see the other side. Traditional GOTV is an awesome thing, mighty and powerful, and it is, without question or doubt, the true infantry of campaigns.
Its dust is easy to follow. Drive through any neighborhood and count the signs on lawns. Count the bumper stickers on cars. Tally the question results from door-knocking campaigners. Political infantry does absolutely set up a low and spreading dust, easily observed.
Protests are yet another form of political infantry. Also, motorcycle brigades, roaring into town on their massive Harleys. So also, celebrations, such as 4th of July and its massive fireworks just after darkness falls. I adore marching bands and a capella choirs.
Infantry doesn't have to be military brigade in size, though. Picture yourself and 8 other parents showing up together to a town hall meeting, all walking in together at once. Believe me, you'd get some attention. They'd see your dust rising low and spreading.
What percentage of your local government's budget goes to schools? If you and eight other parents show up, fully informed about that budge, prepared with intelligent comment to offer, you will be heard. Who coordinates such things, eh? That's infantry, and it's awesome.
It's not a common thing, but have you ever been ambushed by a group of people all at once? If so, were you caught by surprise? Or, did you see their dust rising low in the sky, so you knew they were coming? Most of us are so oblivious, we miss these things.
Another point from a previous verse applies here. Master Sun always tells us to encamp high on the hill, far above the lowlands below. Part of the reason for this counsel, I ascertain, is to be able to observe the dust when it rises. How careful he is in his guidance.
My political technology hero, @parscale, tells us he's building an army of 2 million trained volunteers to get out the vote in 2020, a larger force than ever fielded before, and all coordinated with the greatest database ever built. Imagine the information at hand.
@parscale You are walking down the sidewalk. Your GPS informs Brad's computers of the coming house. It accesses the public record of votes, and a series of scripts, talking points, is offered on your iPhone before you get to the driveway, tailored for that house, specifically.
@parscale Who knows how deep the intelligence goes? I can tell you this. If Brad's numbers are right - and I bet they are! - That's virtually 4,600 volunteers per each of the 435 Congressional districts. Imagine the dust that crew will march up into the political heavens.
@parscale If I have my math right, that's 1 volunteer for every 175 citizens in America. Now that's an infantry. And if that infantry is led by better data than ever before, the Democrats have some fearing to do as the observe our low and spreading dust rising upward in 2020.
@parscale Last thought. Imagine you have the superior force in numbers, capability, discipline, etc. You might even command your force to stomp up dust, just in order to terrify your encamped enemy. How fun, no? Or even with fewer men, make more dust in order to deceive.
@parscale 253 verses completed, 203 to go.

To return to previous sections in our #WarForAmerica2020 and #SunTzuForMAGA series, don't forget to head over to @WarForAmerica21. You'll find the digital table of contents for this series, there. Please retweet each entry you enjoy.
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