Home > Alinsky, General > The Alinsky Tactics – Rule by Rule Part 5 – Rule 5

The Alinsky Tactics – Rule by Rule Part 5 – Rule 5

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“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

“…you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral arguments.”

– Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

It almost seemed unnecessary to write about the fifth rule because this President and his Administration have used it ad nauseum to the point where a discussion of this tactic almost seemed superfluous, but I will at least hit a few high points, and then move on to the rest of the tactics.

If you want to understand the role that ridicule plays in the Alinsky method, and particularly in the way in which the Obama Administration uses Alinsky, you need look no further than Sarah Palin. From the moment that she was introduced as John McCain’s running mate the Alinsky machine within Obama’s campaign flew into action at full speed to find ways to mock, denigrate, and ridicule her. Obama’s campaign dispatched a slew of vultures to descend on Alaska in an effort to dig dirt, stir trouble, and uncover any malcontent who might have the tiniest bit of salacious information on the Governor.

How Obama used, or rather allowed his campaign personnel to use, rule 5 on Palin is worthy of an entire book so I’ll just hit a few high spots. Perhaps nothing so typified the mockery of Palin as Saturday Night Lives’ treatment of the Alaska Governor. The following clip gives a flavor of how widespread the Palinization was leading up to the 2008 election.

Of course, they were not alone. The mainstream media, joined at the hip with the “historic” Obama campaign, went to great lengths in their complicity to mock and discredit Sarah Palin. The Palinization continues to this day. After her appearance at the Tea Party convention her “poor man’s teleprompter” i.e. the notes scribbled on her hand were mocked incessantly by everyone up to and including White House spokesman Robert Gibbs (see the videos below).

Obama himself continues to use this tactic. In fact, he and his advisers are particularly enamored with tactics 5 and 13 to the point where it frequently causes them trouble, but that is the subject of a future article. Until then, consider how Obama has mocked the Tea Party…

Ridicule and mockery has become such a staple of the Obama Administration that a book could be written on just what he has done since 2008, and so I will stop here with the examples and proceed to some cautions for conservatives.

Since it is very clear that Alinsky rule 5 is being used against conservatives, two questions come to mind. First, how should we respond to the use of this tactic? Second, should we ever employ this tactic ourselves?

How do we respond to the use of ridicule? The answer to this question depends upon how, when, and where it is used, but I will attempt to address this question by giving you some advice on how to handle such attacks on twitter.  If you’re not on twitter don’t stop reading, because  the lesson applies in a much broader way.

If you are on twitter you know that ridicule is a favorite weapon of the Left. They use it without even thinking about it. If you attempt to talk to someone on the Left, often the first response you will get is that you are stupid, ill-informed, racist, and in favor of all manner of ill will towards your fellow man.

How do you respond to such attacks? There are several effective ways depending upon your intent and your level of skill in certain areas. The first and most effective way is to ignore anyone who ridicules you. You need not respond, and on twitter it has the added advantage that the person attacking you will almost always just go away if they are ignored long enough.

If you wish to engage someone who mocks you the first approach you should try is to ignore the personal attacks and refute their arguments with documented sources. Google the subject you are discussing and just answer with links that prove your point.

Another way to address uncivil individuals in order to refute them is to simply start tweeting about the subject you were originally discussing without mentioning that person. You don’t give them the benefit of @’ing them and you still manage to put the information out to refute their point.

Should we ever employ ridicule? On rare occasion you may wish to get down in the mud with them. I would discourage this, but if you must, just make sure you’re good at it and you don’t do anything that would be considered racist, homophobic, or violent.

There are much subtler ways to use ridicule that are frequently much more effective, and have the added benefit of not forcing you to compromise your ethics (at least not too much). For example the LOL avatar that I use as AlinskyDefeater is an effective way to subtly mock the message of the Left without directly attacking a person one on one.

The single most important thing to remember when reacting to ridicule or attempting to use it yourself is to NEVER use it in anger. If you’re angry find another way to deal with the issue such as just tweeting facts and links about the subject. For ridicule to be effective it has to be done calmly and usually with a sense of humor, and to respond to ridicule it is an absolute imperative that you be calm, cool, and collected. Watch how Obama reacts to what he perceived as ridicule by Sarah Palin in her RNC speech…

This is a classically effective way to respond to ridicule. He is calm, he pretends to defend Palin to the audience, and then calmly ridicules her with his version of the facts interspersed. He paints himself as the victim and claims to be taking the higher ground. Just like the quotation at the beginning of this post he clothes himself in a moral argument while doing what he felt he had to do.

Let me be clear (oops where have I heard that before?) I am against the use of Alinsky tactics whenever possible. I would love it if we could completely eliminate them, but until such a day arrives we need to know when they’re being used, how to defend ourselves and how to use them ourselves until we are in power and can curtail them.

This particular tactic is just too broad for a thorough discussion here, but I will be bringing it up in smaller posts, and we will move on to the rest of the tactics before discussing Alinsky’s “means to an end” philosophy. Stay tuned.

Go to part 4 Go to part 6

  1. G
    April 26, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    A) Palin is inherently ridiculous

    B) Obama is about as radical as Ronald Reagan

    I disagree that sneaky tricks are ever justifiable – the means DETERMINE the ends; don’t kid yourself that you have good intentions as you do evil. Stalin and Mao liquidated millions believing that it was all worth it for a future Utopia that never came.

    • Morgan Michaels
      November 22, 2014 at 7:20 am

      Sarah Palin has been vindicated and Barack Obama revealed to the majority as the America hating radical he is.

      Nice try pretending to be against dirty tricks while perpetuating the longest, most sustained campaign of the politics of personal annihilation in American political history.

      • who
        September 28, 2015 at 3:42 am

        At the end of the day Obama and Palin are two sides of the same agenda that marches forward no matter who is in whatever office.

        And it escapes you.

    • Thomas Anderson
      August 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Obama is a friggin’ Communist. Not radical? Oh, yeah, I forgot.

      Communists are liars. Just ask Saul Alinsky. Or the Devil. lol

  2. Laurie
    April 26, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Oh, well done!!!
    So true!!
    Excellent tips on how to defend yourself against such attacks. As a conservative woman on Twitter, I have to deal with this all the time. I’m attacked as a conservative, as a woman, as a NON-believer in the Pres & his policies! But you are right, it always works best when handled with calm, deliberate facts with some humor thrown in!
    Thank you for ALL you do to teach others what you obviously understand!

  3. April 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    hi wat is your fb site?

  4. April 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you so much for listing these tactics. I have linked to your list of tactics in my most recent article on Examiner.com. Keep up the great work fellow patriot!!

  5. Bill Clinton
    July 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Ya’ll got no rite critzin da prezident! Ya’ll wanna come to my son in laws Bachlore party we will have miss liberty on the main stage!

  6. HTuttle
    December 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Here’s my standard reply to ANY post containing Jon Stewart, the king of Alinsky ridicule. Flip the ridicule right back onto him. Needless to say this gets his fans p’d off in response and ANGER, while I just calmly ask anyone to challenge the facts presented in the video.
    Jon Stewart is a blithering ignorant lying moron.

    And not only is he a blithering ignorant lying moron, but he’s a COCKSURE blithering ignorant lying moron lacking the ounce of intellectual effort it would take to actually look up the US national debt history, preferring instead to remain a party to the ‘common ignorance’ who gets his facts from casual hearsay amidst his equally blitheringly ignorant associates
    And see how Jon’s equally ignorant fans laugh in support at his ignorant claims. Themselves too stupid and ignorant to bother looking up the real information and instead just buying whatever some moron their friends like on TV tells them.

  7. HTuttle
    December 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm
  8. alternatemedicines
    December 25, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Reblogged this on Todoconspiracion and commented:
    The Alinsky Tactics – Rule by Rule Part 5 – Rule 5

  9. March 1, 2014 at 3:44 am


    • May 16, 2017 at 12:15 am

      That’s 2 clever by half and 2×2 clever 4 me. Thaskn!

  10. who
    September 28, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Ever building up the façade of controlled opposition.

    Great work keeping the sheep distracted with the left right sham.

    Remember kids, never look behind the curtain. The wizard may get upset with you.

  11. October 27, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I have no problem getting into the mud against leftist sociopaths. If it worked for them, it most certainly will for us, especially when they have “people” like Nancy Pelosi, Hank Johnson, Maxine Waters, and Debby Waterhead-Schultz feeding us ammunition. The democrap party is being run by some of the biggest idiots ever elected to office. The time has never been more appropriate to ridicule and insult them, they’ll babble about “racism” and Nazi’s as they usually do no matter what, until you point out the KKK was the democrap ANTIFA of the 1920’s and that the national German socialist workers party was more friendly to the idea of a Jewish state in the middle east than modern libtards appear to be.

  12. Lola Millerton
    March 17, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    This is such a crock of crap ! I made Screen Shots of this “Ridiculous Opinion” Alleging a conspiracy of Obama & Leftists using an Alinsky Plan.

    As I put the Screen shots of GOP & Trump tweets & FB next to the screen shots of Obama’s it POPS & makes a Mockery of the Stupidity & Allegations on this Blog

    Your Alinksy Blog Bull Crap can be used to Demonstrate CLEAR Examples of Trump & Conservatives Literally Following your 1-10 steps as their Own Guide.

    Nobody should waste their time (as I did) reading some Weirdo’s Blog making up conspiracies that can be applied to anyone or anything

  1. April 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm
  2. June 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm
  3. June 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm
  4. June 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm
  5. June 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm
  6. July 15, 2010 at 11:30 am
  7. March 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm
  8. March 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm
  9. April 8, 2011 at 1:36 am
  10. April 18, 2011 at 8:50 pm
  11. April 29, 2011 at 12:27 am
  12. September 18, 2011 at 1:18 am
  13. January 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm
  14. March 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm
  15. September 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm
  16. March 18, 2013 at 1:04 am
  17. April 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm
  18. April 18, 2014 at 10:01 am
  19. August 12, 2017 at 1:20 am
  20. November 12, 2017 at 6:04 am
  21. November 22, 2017 at 12:58 pm

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