Rules for Republicans

The midterm election of November 2010 almost certainly promises substantial victories for the Republican Party as more and more Americans wise up to the lies and deceptions, the political bullying and disregard for the voting public being perpetrated by the radical left Democrats now in power. The question is not whether Republicans will make major gains, but how large they will they be. Will only the House be snatched from Democrat despotism, or will the Senate fall to a Republican majority as well?

Less certain -- maybe much less certain -- is whether Republicans will be up to the task once the reins of legislative power are returned to them. It's easy to harbor a nagging, queasy fear that they could very well blow it. One need only remember the slow but inexorable deterioration of congressional Republicans' courage and devotion to constitutional principles and limited government following the 1994 election, the squishy naïveté of "compassionate conservatism" and the "new tone in Washington," the patrician aura of niceness and collegiality über alles worn on the gold-linked cuff by elitist, ruling-class Republicans when confronted with browbeating from radical left Democrats.

It might be helpful to take a cue from the most notorious radical of all, Saul Alinsky -- in particular from his best-known book, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, published in 1971, a year before his death in 1972. This book has had a profound influence on legions of leftist organizations and individuals, including the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), Hillary Clinton...and, yes, President Barack Obama.

The core of Rules for Radicals is the now-famous list of thirteen numbered rules found in Chapter 7, entitled "Tactics." These rules contain advice ranging from "maintain[ing] a constant pressure upon the opposition" (Rule #10) to employing outright deceit by "go[ing] outside the experience of the enemy" in order to "cause confusion, fear and retreat" (Rule #3). Does this smell like present-day Democrat tactics or what? When Democrat politicians careen from "deemed" passage of health care legislation to castigating Tea Party activists as racists to defaming Sarah Palin's family to trying to ram through cap and tax tyranny right now or the Earth will be threatened with imminent destruction, what are they doing if not applying Rule #10? When Obama says he and his administration are "fierce advocates" for the free market or when he tells Americans they can "keep your present [health insurance] plan" -- but of course we know he's "being disingenuous," don't we? -- what is he doing if not applying Rule #3?

Like Alinsky's rules, these Rules for Republicans have a twofold goal: to describe in unequivocal terms a state of affairs -- in the present case, a political regime that needs to be defeated decisively -- and to provide practical action guidelines to bring about that defeat and make it stick.

Our nation and the current Republican party need a good strong dose of republican -- lowercase "r," as that word was taken to mean by the founders of our nation and the most thoughtful and truthful political commentators on our history -- if the present tide of tyranny is to be turned back. Republican voters and officeholders, and anyone else who earnestly believes that America is an exceptional nation, must think and act like small-r republicans.

Rules for Republicans

  • 1. The era of liberalism is over.
    Today there are no liberals in power; there are only radical leftists. They are the enemy, not the opposition. Their ideology is not simply wrong; it is evil.
  • 2. It is impossible to be too cynical about the intentions, motives, and truthfulness of radical leftists.
    They will always exceed our most horrifying expectations.
  • 3. Radical leftists are continually seeking to destroy America's historic foundations, particularly our Constitution.
    Their goal is to rebuild upon the rubble according to their own evil vision and to gratify their insatiable lust for tyrannical power.
  • 4. Radical leftists are continually seeking to infiltrate and undermine American institutions.
    They are especially attracted to institutions where there are unearned wealth, sinecures, and ambiguous standards of accomplishment.
  • 5. Our people must always be seeking to restore America's tested, historic, foundational principles and to guard and protect our Constitution and our cherished institutions.
  • 6. Civility must never trump truthfulness.
    Civility is a highly commendable virtue; truthfulness is vastly more commendable.
  • 7. Ideology must never trump truthfulness.
    We Republicans need to constantly examine our own ideological principles to make sure they are, first and foremost, true. Then we must proclaim them boldly and straightforwardly.
  • 8. Never try to out-compassion a bleeding-heart radical leftist.
    Conservatism is the most compassionate -- and most truthful -- political philosophy there is. Radical leftism, by contrast, is based on false promises intended not to better the lives of anyone, but to recruit gullible, ignorant people as "
    useful idiots."
  • 9. Challenge radical leftists to live up to their own publicly proclaimed ethical principles.
    They never do. They just fake it. (Cf. Alinsky Rule #4: "Make the enemy live up to their [sic] own book of rules.")
  • 10. Refuse to use the favorite language of the radical left.
    Their language is always intended to spread lies and propaganda and to create confusion, fear, and retreat, not to convey truthful information.
  • 11. The language our people use should boldly convey real information accurately, precisely, and above all, truthfully.
  • 12. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
    This is Alinsky Rule #5, word for word, but we Republicans have a special advantage in applying it to radical leftists because ridicule or satire, to be really effective, must be rooted in truth. That's why leftist ridicule flops; it's usually based on lies.
  • 13. Attempting to reason with intractable, hardcore radical leftists will always end in futility.
    Such people are incorrigibly anti-rational, so it is impossible to establish an authentic interlocutory interface with them. The only realistic way to engage them is to crush them politically, using any and all truthful and lawful tactics.

There is another sense in which these Rules for Republicans are not a counterpart at all, but are diametrically opposed to Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, specifically in a moral sense. There is no place in Rules for Republicans for perpetrating Alinsky-like deceit or bullying to implement an agenda.

However, there is also no place in these Rules for Republicans for self-deception, and certainly no place for cowardice or faintheartedness. There is only a simple call for two universally accepted virtues: truthfulness and courage. At stake, right now in this very present time, is nothing less than the fate of our historic representative republic.

Paul Jacobson is a freelance writer living in Cleveland, Missouri. He can be contacted at
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