Rules For Radicals… And Others.

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“Saul Alinsky was a brilliant man. Evil, but brilliant. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, everyone on the Left from the President on down is playing by his rules in the political arena.” (Townhall)

 

Republicans are fond of vilifying both President Obama and Hillary Clinton because of their supposed brainwashed allegiance and fealty to this evil guy by the name of Saul Alinsky. Saul Alinsky was a community organizer (guilty) in Chicago in the 1940’s. Before Barrack Obama started his path toward the Presidency, you never ever heard about this guy Alinsky. But MAN, if you want to bring some Conservatives to high alert, just mention the guy, as Ben Carson did last night. Conservapedia says this explicitly:

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was a liberal community organizer in Chicago who developed a method of local organizing that was widely copied by Democrats, and influenced Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Alinsky wrote a book, Rules For Radicals, which Politifact describes as offering “advice to activists seeking to influence public policy, covering topics such as class differences and tactics such as disrupting meetings and winning media attention”. The book was written in 1971 and draws on his long experiences of seeing what works best to influence people and organization, and make the most impact to achieve the stated goal.

Here is the list as is typically presented:

  • RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
  • RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)
  • RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
  • RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
  • RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)
  • RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
  • RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)
  • RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
  • RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
  • RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
  • RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
  • RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

If you’ve read “The Art Of War”, or “The Prince”, some of these strategies will look familiar, so it’s not as if the rules Alinsky came up with are really original or dangerous. They are time honored and used by all sorts of people and organizations… And political parties…

HEY! WE’RE HAVING A PARTY RIGHT NOW!!!!

Why yes, we are!!!

Lets see if the Republicans might be using some of the “evil ideas” presented by Alinsky.

RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people.

Money?

SUPERPACS. Check

People?

Plenty of white fearful voters. Check.

RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

Judging from the past two nights, and the GOP platform, they are definitely not treading new ground. From hate Hillary to the continuation of the stated desire to keep the LGBT community as second class citizens… And don’t forget GOD!!! According to the benediction delivered, He has chosen Trump to win the Presidency.  Check on 2.

RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating.

Donald Trump’s entire campaign strategy has very effectively relied on this.

RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

See Rule number 5. And for some reason, Conservatives really really enjoy ruminating over the exploits and picadillos of Hillary’s husband, even though he’s not running.

RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

From Whitewater to Benghazi and e-mails. And when the FBI and Department of Justice decided not to prosecute Hillary for the e-mail debacle??? This. It really does never end.

RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

“Hillary is a monster that will destroy the country!!!!”. Or something like that.

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

Two words – Hillary Clinton.

I’m sure there are more that can be listed. But do understand that the Alinsky rules are used quite often, by all sides. He didn’t invent them, he just wrote them down.

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