The Alinsky Way Vs. the American Way

It takes neither a genius, nor a shrink, to see why Alinskyite Democrat pols are so confused by all this 1776 Redux confronting them in their home-district townhalls.  Since they are so accustomed to calling up pals in unions and various other community agitators for a little rent-a-mob action to bolster support for their agendas, they naturally project this tactic onto anyone opposing their issue positions.

They've become so immersed in the Alinsky Way that they've nearly plum darned forgotten the American Way, folks.

They seem to be moving closer to tar and feathers by the minute, so I hope they remember American-style angst pdq.

Now, there is a most telling anecdote in Horwitt's biography of Alinsky, which perfectly demonstrates the fundamental difference between the Alinsky Way and the American Way.

Back in Chicago (really, is there something weird in Chicago water?), when Saul Alinsky, young-and-rising social engineer, was just beginning his attempts at community agitation, he seized an opportunity to try out his still-developing method.  The Back of the Yards neighborhoods in Chicago, during the late 1930s, were filled with groups of ethnic immigrants.  Most were Catholics from East European countries, and each country of origin even had its own separate parish church.  This separation, naturally, made for some very stiff competition and the language barriers made for lots of fighting and feuding too.

The men formed softball leagues (truly American; they were catching on) as a way of safely expending excess energy and walloping each other without throwing real punches.  The competition was fierce.  Saul, professional meddler that he was, hung out in the ‘hood a lot and ingratiated himself with the locals, so that on this day, he had a ringside seat on the action.  Two days before a long-anticipated championship softball game between two competing groups of immigrants, one of the star players came down on the rotted step of his apartment house and broke his ankle, which rendered him unable to play in the big game.

Saul merely ventured, as the disgruntled players were discussing their misfortune, that it need never have even happened.  "How so?" the men asked.  Saul proceeded to explain that there was now federal-government money for housing and that if they wrote letters to the right people, they would get some money to get carpenters to fix things.  Of course, they then wrote the letters, got some money and thereafter knew how to shakedown the taxpayers to get their needs met.

Saul became an immensely popular guy in the immigrant ‘hoods, something he had never been in his own, and thereafter knew that his Alinsky Way had legs.  From suggesting letter-writing, he moved on to his angry-mob approach to problem solving and became the invisible hand behind nearly every public temper tantrum thrown in these United States for the past 40 years.

Now, if the first thought you parried, dear reader, while reading this account, was why on earth some guy in the ‘hood didn't see the rotted step, get himself a hammer, some nails, a new step board, and fix the darned step himself before one of his own children was injured, then you are an American through and through. 

Pat yourself on the back and sing Hallelujah at the top of your free-as-a-bird lungs.

The fundamental difference between the Alinsky Way and the American Way is so darned simple that even a first-grader, who has had decent parenting, understands it.  The Alinsky Way involves asking others to do for you that which you are plainly capable of doing for yourself, but prefer not to do.  The Alinsky Way is the purely childish method employed by tantrum-throwing tyrants of all ages, and has existed in one form or another since the beginning of time.  It is egocentric, childish human nature carried into adulthood and all the way to the end of life, as long as others are too weak to just say, "NO," or too beguiled to see through this silly, selfish ruse.

If you should ever happen to see an able-bodied grown man in a homeless shelter, supping at the table of charity, while snapping photos with a $500 techno-gadget, you have most likely spotted an Alinsky acolyte.  If you should happen to see demonstrators carrying signs, obviously made in a professional sign shop, but the men holding the signs cannot read them, then you are most likely seeing Alinsky Way useful idiots.

The American Way, as we all know, is the do-it-yourself approach to life, which has been taught from toddlerhood to adulthood by every decent, upstanding American parent for more than 200 years.  Every conscientious American citizen understands down to his gut that the most essential ingredient to serving the common good is to take care of his own self first and foremost.  When a person takes care of himself, only then will he not become an unnecessary burden to his fellow citizens.

Those in the Democratic Party, who have adopted the Alinsky Way and thrown out the American Way, have done so with less than altruistic intentions.  Keeping citizens as little children, incapable of doing for themselves, is the way to winning their votes and keeping them dependent upon the power of the state, which Democrats hope to control now and forever.

If one lacks a nation full of pitiful, can't-do-it-ourselves wee ones, there's no need for a Nanny-State, now is there? 

And the only reason why Democrat pols are now so confused with all this loosely self-organized democracy in action at their townhall meetings, is that they honestly believe the American Way has already been defeated and we are all their children now. 

These people really need to get out more.

There certainly are two Americas.  Democrats control a portion of us through their Alinsky Way infantilizing tactics.  But the vast majority of us still practice the American Way of do-it-yourself for the common good, which is the only reason this Country is still standing.  If we all become children who produce nothing, there will be no pie for the Democrats to divvy up to the screaming kids they control.

Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  She welcomes your comments at