Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

One of my left-leaning Facebook connections asked me to elucidate on why I am so critical of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. First let me remind readers of the Rules. There are twelve of them, but I find half of them particularly offensive. As I have mentioned before, I believe the trick to living a contented life is in the balance, and Alinsky’s Rules are overly ideologically unbalanced. Here are six of them; judge for yourself.

1. people are encouraged to build power and influence by focusing on an external antagonist and turning him, her or them into a common enemy. The people would then become unified in their opposition to this common enemy. 2. Focus on increasing anxiety, insecurity and uncertainty. Stir up the pot of division in our culture; create an “us against them” mindset. 3. Use ridicule and keep the pressure on. 4. Remember that the threat of a group like the white supremacists is probably more terrifying than the thing itself.  5. Emphasize the negative and it will sooner or later become a positive. 6. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it; cut off its support network by ridiculing its proponents.

Does any of this recommended game plan to divide and conquer seem familiar? In an effort to personalize the conflict, malcontent cultural warriors have primarily focused on Donald Trump and his various character flaws more than they have attacked his presidency. They have tried to build their power by turning him into America’s common enemy. Ironically, Trump himself has seemed to play along with them and has actually created anxiety, insecurity and uncertainly in the majority of Americans who mention this when surveyed. It’s the primary reason his opinion polls are so low, and it’s the main reason those of us who voted for him are concerned about the future of our beloved country.

In addition, the lefties have focused on Trump’s misstatements in response to the Charlottesville tragedy in an effort to make the threat of white supremacy and nazism more terrifying than the thing is itself. I’m no historian but I know America is not post-WWI Germany. This is not the fertile ground for a revival of nazism Alinsky’s followers would have us believe. Nonetheless, when demonstrations like this erupt in violence, it serves the Alinsky objective well in encouraging over-the-top public demonstrations which strengthen their cause to divide America.

So then, I hope my readers can see how current attempts of Trump’s opponents to destroy his presidency are following the Alinsky model to a “T.” But it’s not just the lefties that follow the model; the Tea Party followed it too. Saul Alinsky died in 1972, but his rules for dividing and conquering live on. This is not the time for Saul; it is the time for St. Paul who called us to unify, unify, unify. We Americans have a common enemy and Donald Trump and his supporters aren’t it. Our real enemies, Russia, China, countries dominated by radical Islam, those are our real enemies, and the more we squabble among ourselves, the more they are encouraged to wait us out until we destroy ourselves from within. It’s the old Pogo saying come home to roost: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”


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