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- Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
- Never go outside the experience of your people.
- Whenever possible go outside the experience of the enemy.
- Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
- Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
- A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
- A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
- Keep the pressure on with different tactics, and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
- The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
- The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
- If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
- The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
- Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Alinsky, Saul Rules for Radicals. Toronto: Vintage Publishing 1971
Rule 8: “Keep the pressure on with different tactics, and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”~Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
All of the Alinsky tactics dovetail together, and until you fully appreciate that, you can’t unequivocally understand the Alinsky model, but if there is one central concept around which all the others orbit it is the overarching theme that the application of pressure is the only thing that will create change, and change is always the goal.
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” ~Rahm Emmanuel
To the average sensibility, this quote from Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel seems oddly detached from our normal emotional reactions in times of tragedy. The word psychopath leaps to mind, but Rahm is no psychopath. He is just so fully immersed in the teachings of Alinsky that applying Alinsky principles is a reaction that requires no thought, and so any natural consideration of humanitarian concerns simply becomes irrelevant as it dissolves into “the greater good”. Of course, whose definition of “the greater good” we’re using would seem to be a pertinent consideration, and will be the subject of future posts.
As I explained previously in The Alinsky Reaction Chain, the principle purpose of all the tactics is to keep the pressure on your opponent. This requires a litheness and fluidity of approach that means even the tactics themselves are subject to change or abrogation if the end can be accomplished more quickly, or more easily by some other means. We will investigate in later posts just how important this issue of means and ends is in the Alinsky paradigm.
So the object is to keep the pressure on; be relentless; be ruthless if necessary, but win at any cost. No tragedy or misfortune is out of bounds if it can be employed to achieve your end goal. If you are utterly and completely convinced you are correct then surely you should leave no strategy untried to attain such noble goals. In this context, it is easy to understand the corruption, sell-outs, and backroom deals concomitant with the ramming through of Obamacare, as well as the seeming inconsistencies between noble goals and amoral means used to attain them.
Obama demonstrated his fidelity to Alinsky tactics over and over throughout the Presidential campaign of 2008, and continues to use them in the White House.
During the campaign Obama applied Alinsky tactics repeatedly; here are a few examples of his use of the eighth tactic:
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” ~Barack Obama
“I want you to argue with them, and get in their faces.” ~Barack Obama
The general intent of the eighth tactic is this: if you’re convinced you’re right, and the consequences of your opponent winning are too dire for you to consider, you are obligated to do whatever is necessary to ensure that your side wins. The messy, corrupt process of passing Obamacare stands as a stark reminder of what Alinsky tactics look like when used to Govern. This isn’t just politics as usual. This is politics without even a consideration of the possibility that the morality of means might be relevant in the process of bringing about change.
Rule 6: A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
Rule 7: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
~Alinsky, Saul Rules for Radicals
How many times can you call the Republican Party the Party of no? How many times can you blame George Bush? How many times can you call your opposition racists for disagreeing with you? How many times can you claim all Conservatives are stupid? How many times can you claim the Tea Party is violent, with no evidence to back it up? How many times can you say the economy is like a car in a ditch and the Republicans are drinking slurpees instead of helping get it out?
At first blush, based upon the record of the Obama Administration and its defenders over the course of his first two years in office the answer would seem to be a very large number indeed. The number is not, however, infinite. Eventually, the people defending you will tire of the same threadworm arguments being regurgitated ad nauseum.
In other words, if you want to keep the dogs happy and ready to attack on command, you better throw them some fresh meat from time to time. People may genuinely believe to the core every single principle for which you stand, but if they are forced to defend those principles using the same tactics over and over and over again they will eventually lose their edge and the argument right along with it.
It is critical that people enjoy what they’re doing. The concept that a happy workplace is a more productive one is not new, nor is it without as much if not more merit in the political realm, so expect the Democrats to make some dramatic turns in their approach between now and November of 2012. Already, we are beginning to see more and more of a move towards painting anyone who disagrees with Obama, not merely as racists, but as birthers – a concept much more insidious in that inherent in the implication is that Obama is “not one of us”. It is a diabolical way for Democrats to claim Conservatives, and particularly Tea Partiers, look at Obama as “one of those people”.
Yes, they drove some memes into the ground to their own detriment. After all, the failure to develop a new strategy before the midterms did not end well for Democrats, but make no mistake about it the end game for Democrats was never the midterms, it was always 2012. Assuring Obama’s reelection maintains the all-important veto to protect Obamacare, provides at least the possibility of a swing in the Supreme Court, and will usher in the reckless abandon of a lame duck President who seemingly will stop at nothing, and listen to no one who stands in the way of his ideologically driven agenda.
Get ready Conservatives – the game’s about to change.
Note: I have begun here to keep the posts about the rules briefer both for readability and because a book is in the works that will contain more exhaustive material.
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the topic of American Exceptionalism these days, and much of it stems from the remarks of two Presidents.
Reagan referred to American Exceptionalism with the following profound words:
…I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still…
Contrast this with President Obama’s response to a reporter’s question about American Exceptionalism at a news conference in Strasbourg, France, in April 2009. The President’s response was, “”I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism,” Clearly the two men see a different America.
So what it so exceptional about America anyway, and are we being egotistical to laud this land as a beacon beyond any other?
I would encourage you to read the full entry at wordIQ.com because it presents many of the gray areas, and contrasting views surrounding the use of this language, but I present here only the first paragraph of that article to illustrate the way most Conservatives view American Exceptionalism:
American exceptionalism is the idea that the United States and the American people hold a special place in the world, by offering opportunity and hope for humanity, derived from its unique balance of public and private interests governed by constitutional ideals that are focused on personal and economic freedom.
To many of us, this great experiment in Liberty continues to be that shining city on a hill of which Reagan spoke, and it continues to be the last, best hope for a free and prosperous world. Those who are quick to see America’s faults, but somehow miss her greatness do not see it this way.
It would seem that Progressives see America and her faults, and ask, “How dare she call herself Exceptional?” Conservatives, on the other hand, see America and her faults and ask, “How dare we allow America to be less than Exceptional?”
Barack Obama does not like to take no for an answer. Progressives, in general, are so convinced of their own superincumbent acumen, and equally persuaded of the abject fatuity of anyone to their political Right that they seemingly find a way to justify anything they do as being for our greater good.
And so we find ourselves with the formidable task of somehow stopping this Administration’s end-run around Congress to accomplish what they believe, even if few others do, is right for America.
The threats to our liberty and to the very existence of Constitutional, Congressional oversight are legion, but the mention of a few should be ample motivation for freedom loving Americans to burn up the lines to the White House and their elected representatives – the very representatives who are presently allowing themselves to become obsolete.
Surely with the resounding disapproval by both Congress and the American people Cap and Trade would have to be considered dead, wouldn’t it? One might think so, but there are no failed Obama policies, only the constant creep of Government by unelected bureaucrats who rule by regulation. The threat of the EPA pushing Cap and Trade through regulation is real, so real that a Bill was recently introduced to stop the EPA from doing just that.
What other pet projects of the Left have been dead on arrival at Capitol Hill? You know, the place where people actually have to answer to their constituents (See last November)?
Congress isn’t buying, but the Left longs for a way to control the media. Some would argue that outside of the Fox News Channel and Conservative talk radio that this point might be moot, but they would be forgetting the single greatest weapon we’ve got to preserve our liberties – the Internet. And now they are coming for that. A recent Wall Street Journal article outlines how net neutrality, a concept that has no chance of passing Congress, is in the process of simply being pushed through by regulation.
This is merely the tip of the iceberg. With Obamacare in place, they have established the framework to control who receives what health-care, and dozens of other failed policies are now being pushed by regulation. So much for checks and balances. If we don’t stop it, so much for our freedom.
Contact Congress and the White House today, and demand that unelected bureaucrats not be allowed to legislate by regulation, and that Congress not allow itself to become an anachronism.