Saul Alinsky in the White House...Still?
Considering Donald Trump's expert "rope-a-dope" bouts with the media, I'd like to offer a slightly different take on President Trump's boxing matches.
Let's start with some of the President's (and his staff's) most oft-quoted lines:
"[We] gave alternative facts."
"I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
"I will build a great, great wall, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall."
"Barack Obama's birth certificate is a fraud."
"[Vladimir Putin is] running his country and at least he's a leader."
All these comments have one commonality.
Leftists, of course, claim they are utterances of an evil fool and his minions. And while I will not try to defend his most, shall we say, colorful locker room-type comment, I will offer a take on the rest that might come as a surprise.
Barack Obama and his minions perfected the art of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals – thirteen tactics devised to disrupt, disorganize, and demoralize proponents of conservative society. In previous American Thinker articles, I added two new rules to Alinsky's list, demonstrating how leftists had modernized and effectively utilize these tactics today. My Alinsky amendments state:
RULE 14: "Confound the enemy with allegations he cannot possibly disprove." Whenever possible, turn the enemy in on himself. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety, and confusion. (Watch how organizations flail helplessly when blindsided by irrelevant arguments they cannot refute.)
RULE 15: "Push the enemy so hard with outrageous situations and allegations that he is forced to push back." Whenever possible, cause the enemy to respond, and when he does, hold him up for ridicule; then push harder. (By threatening his security and way of life, you will always elicit a reaction that can be turned against him.)
We know how often and effectively these tactics were (and are) used on conservatives. For example, Rule 14 was applied whenever we disapproved of Obama. We were labeled as racist – an allegation nearly impossible to refute. Rule 15 came into its own when the left pushed conservatives so hard that the Tea Party emerged, which was then attacked by the IRS and labeled as a terrorist threat.
So now could the shoe be on the other foot?
Politico Magazine just published a fascinating article in which it rates, on a scale from one to ten, the importance of various actions taken by President Trump in his first week of office. Serious policy actions such as those taken on Obamacare (scoring 4 in importance) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement (scoring 6) paled in importance to leftists when compared to President Trump's "crowd size lies" and "illegal voter lies," both of which scored a 9 in importance.
Why would that be?
The answer is in Alinsky's rule 15 – "By threatening his security and way of life..."
Take the most recent frothing from leftists regarding presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway's "alternatives facts" defense of White House press secretary Sean Spicer's claim that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration[.]" This is the focus of Politico Magazine's discussion of Trump's "crowd size lies," seriously important to liberals because Trump is fighting – with stunning effectiveness – their heretofore unchallenged and Orwellian dissemination of "fake news."
Derisive laughter has abounded from all corners of leftist-esteemed newsrooms and ivory towers at the notion of "alternative facts." Cries of the Trump administration's "pure lunacy" are being made in article after article, in newscast after newscast. It's as if leftists cannot stop themselves, seemingly taken over by some outside power, like a flu bug that persistently convulses the stomach, forcing them to vomit all manner of liberal diatribe.
And that is, precisely, the genius of Saul Alinsky's tactics, by which conservatives have been fantastically tormented for decades.
How about Politico Magazine's concern regarding Trump's "illegal voter lies"? Calling it "rank baloney" like Trump's "whoppers about his inaugural crowds," Politico Magazine and the left are nearly unhinged on this one – for good reason, as this issue drives deeply to the heart of their power base, security, and way of life (Rule 15). Leftists are none too willing to recall or admit that Obama toiled insidiously to bring illegal immigrants into the country for the specific purpose of bolstering votes for Democrats.
Which side is in the right on these issues of Trump's "lies" may be of some importance, but something much more fascinating – groundbreaking – is taking place: President Trump is using the left's playbook to stunning effect. I am not alone in seeing the connection between Alinsky's Rules and Trump's approach. In Real Clear Politics, Richard Porter notes that "the folks that seem to have best learned from Alinsky's instructions … are Steve Bannon and others on the Trump team."
Again and again we see leftists flailing helplessly, shouting their own coarse vulgarities. (Recall the sign reading "f--- you, you f------ f---" poetically marched down Washington's streets during the women's march.). Just as Alinsky foretold, behavior such as this deeply undermines claims to sanity and legitimacy and simultaneously forces its believers to consume precious time and energy defending their way of life.
Perhaps inadvertently, Politico Magazine portrayed the left's confusion and anxiety when it published these words: "It's hard to know when Trump is just being Trump and when he's fundamentally transforming the American experiment."
Whether or not the president knows it, he is giving Alinsky a run for his money.
Mr. Reddy's legal and gun rights thriller, By Force of Patriots, available at Amazon, is a prescient story of Americans rising up against a leftist federal government.