Archive for the ‘Alinsky’ Category

Using Alinsky to Keep the Pressure on the Obama Administration

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This President and his Administration can’t seem to let go of  Alinsky tactics. They live by them, and if they continue to cling to them they will die politically by them.

Let me quote Alinsky from Rules for Radicals to illustrate why this is so…

The basic tactic in warfare against the Haves is a mass political jujitsu: the Have-Nots do not rigidly oppose the Haves, but yield in such planned and skilled ways that the superior strength of the Haves becomes their own undoing. For example, since the Haves publicly pose as the custodians of responsibility, morality, law, and justice (which are frequently strangers to each other), they can be constantly pushed to live up to their own book of morality and regulations… You can club them to death with their “book” of rules and regulations [emphasis added].

And always keep in mind the central theme of the Alinsky methodology…

The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

Now your job as a conservative is to stop reacting to the senseless and baseless accusations and begin to put pressure on this Administration to live up to their own “book of rules”. Find the contradictions, the lies, and the myriad of ways in which Obama and his advisers and appointees have failed to live up to what they said they would do, and what a reasonable Government should do.

Tweet them. Blog them. Include them in letters to your elected representatives. Drive them home relentlessly and “club them to death with their “book” of rules and regulations”.

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Infiltration of the Tea Party is an Alinsky Tactic

April 12, 2010 11 comments

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In his biography of Saul Alinsky, Sanford D. Horwitt recounts this incident in Alinsky’s life,

“…in the spring of 1972, at Tulane University…students asked Alinsky to help plan a protest of a scheduled speech by George H. W. Bush, then U.S. representative to the United Nations – a speech likely to include a defense of the Nixon administration’s Vietnam War policies.  The students told Alinsky they were thinking about picketing or disrupting Bush’s address.  That’s the wrong approach, he rejoined, not very creative – and besides causing a disruption might get them thrown out of school.  He told them, instead, to go to hear the speech dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan, and whenever Bush said something in defense of the Vietnam War, they should cheer and wave placards reading, ‘The KKK supports Bush.’  And that is what they did, with very successful, attention-getting results.”

The Tea Party MUST be aware of such wolf in sheep’s clothing attempts to bring discredit to the movement. It is the way the Left has been most successful at marginalizing its opposition, and the media eats it up.

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Saul Alinsky Quotes

February 22, 2010 4 comments

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“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”[ From the dedication page of Rules for Radicals]

“Radicals must be resilient, adaptable to shifting political circumstances, and sensitive enough to the process of action and reaction to avoid being trapped by their own tactics and forced to travel a road not of their choosing.”

“Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.”

“Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.”

“Last guys don’t finish nice.”

“A racially integrated community is a chronological term timed from the entrance of the first black family to the exit of the last white family.”

“The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.”

“A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage — the political paradise of communism.”

“The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are  to be displace by new patterns…. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.”

“An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent… He must create a mechanism that can drain off the underlying guilt for having accepted the previous situation for so long a time. Out of this mechanism, a new community organization arises….”

“The end is what you want, the means is how you get it. Whenever we think about social change, the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work. … The real arena is corrupt and bloody.”

“The third rule of ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means….”

“…the organizer must be able to split himself into two parts — one part in the arena of action where he polarizes the issue to 100 to nothing, and helps to lead his forces into conflict, while the other part knows that when the time comes for negotiations that it really is only a 10 percent difference.”

The Alinsky Tactics – Rule by Rule – Part 4 – Rule 4

October 28, 2009 30 comments

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I have made every effort to make these articles on the rules easier to read and understand. I hope you enjoy it, and use it wisely.
“The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.” [1]

What does it mean?alinskybio

This tactic is genius in its simplicity. The idea is to keep the attention on your opponent by simply peppering them with the ways in which they fail to be perfect. No one is perfect and so the rule is powerful.

In fact, it is one of the most powerful tactics in the Alinsky arsenal. We will see as we go along that this rule, along with the fifth rule and the thirteenth rule are the heart and soul of how the Obama Administration uses Alinsky rules to their benefit.

Alinsky points out the Christian church because it was through the churches in Chicago that he first began to implement his strategies. When he approached Pastors, he found that it was nearly impossible to speak to them about Christianity (or so he says) because they were focused on the church, the people, the money and all that made up the infrastructure of the institution and not on the philosophy or theology that guided that institution. [1]

Why is this important to understand? It points out a basic flaw. People often profess one thing and then live in complete contradiction to what they profess, or at the very least neglect the things they claim to be most important in favor of the most expedient.

Let us be clear that people being people are generally going to fall short of any expectations they put upon themselves. The key Alinsky found was that this could be used to discredit those making claims they did not live up to. It is a deceptively simple and powerful tactic.

For example, suppose someone you know is encouraging you to stop smoking (oh, I don’t know let’s just say it’s the President of the United States) because they assure you that they are concerned about your health. They know the dangers of tobacco and they care about you. You really need to stop smoking so you can be around to be their friend.

alinskyNow let’s suppose you find out that this person (oh, I don’t know let’s just say it’s the President of the United States again) is actually smoking themselves. The next time they tell you that you need to quit smoking, what is the first thing you’re going to say? You are going to say, “Hey, wait a minute. Don’t lecture me about smoking when I happen to know you do it yourself”.  You would be telling them to live up to their own book or rules-this is Alinsky’s fourth rule, and it is a strategy against which it is difficult to defend.

How has Obama used it?

Sarah Palin:  In an article entitled, “I still hate you, Sarah Palin” the author lays out how Obama eviscerated Palin with Rules for Radicals and finishes by saying this,

“What you clowns need, in other words, is a Rules for Radical Conservatives to explain what you’re up against and teach you how to compete before it’s too late.” [2]

In essence what I am presenting through these series of articles is the framework of just such a manual for Conservatives (yes, a book on this does exist). While Conservatives are beginning to come around to what Rules for Radicals is all about, I have been screaming about it for way too long now.

Read more…

The 13 Main Alinsky Tactics (Please Scroll Down for Newer Posts)

October 11, 2009 5 comments

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  1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
  2. Never go outside the experience of your people.
  3. Whenever possible go outside the experience of the enemy.
  4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
  5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
  6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
  7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
  8. Keep the pressure on with different tactics, and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
  9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
  11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
  12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Works Cited

Alinsky, Saul Rules for Radicals. Toronto: Vintage Publishing 1971

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The Alinsky Tactics – Rule by Rule Part 3 – Rules 2 and 3

October 11, 2009 9 comments

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Rules two and three. We will examine the second and third rule together since they are so closely connected. Alinsky states these two rules on page 127 of Rules for Radicals as:

The second rule is: Never go outside the experience of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear, and retreat. It also means a collapse of communication, as we have noted.

The third rule is: Whenever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat. [1]

alinskyWhat the rules mean. Alinsky states that venturing outside of areas where people feel comfortable creates the following problems for the movement: confusion, fear, retreat, and a collapse of communication.

The first three seem to be rather obvious consequences of going outside of one’s comfort zone. For example let’s suppose you were at a teaparty. Everyone around you has generally the same philosophy and concerns that you do. Now suppose instead that you are at a meeting of the Black Panthers and you are the only Conservative there.

How would you behave differently in these two very different situations? It seems obvious that you would feel not only comfortable, but quite bold with those with whom you agree. On the other hand, you would likely feel confused, be a bit fearful and would be anxious to get out of the Black Panther meeting. So the first three responses seem self evident.

But what about the idea of a collapse of communication? Notice Alinsky mentions that it refers to something he has already discussed in the book. Indeed, in the chapter entitled Communication he goes into detail about how going outside of the experience of the group creates a breakdown of communication. Simply put, the idea is that when we behave in ways that are outside of the normal understanding of those with whom we deal it becomes difficult to communicate our ideas and thus to move the organization  forward. Don’t worry if this is not clear at this point, it will become obvious.

How Obama has used rules two and three.

Obama as economic expert. Obama’s supposed expertise in financial matters was largely a matter of illusion. He could point to no record of experience in economics, but he was able to cast his opponent as knowing nothing about the subject. In this regard, Senator McCain provided ample ammunition to his opponent.

First, there was the dismissal of his economic adviser, Phil Gramm. Well, technically he said he stepped down, but we all know what that means. In any case, Gramm was forced to step down after saying that the United States had become “a nation of whiners” and for dismissing the economic crisis as a “mental recession”. [2][3]

As an important aside, I would highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with Gramm’s role in the deregulation, which many believe lead to the financial crisis, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that was signed into law by President Clinton.[4]

The following four Wikipedia articles are a good starting point for those who wish to understand some of the Congressional Acts that lead directly to our current financial crisis, as well as how both Phil Gramm and Larry Summers played parts in the deregulation that lead to it.

This will all be the subject of an article in the near future.

Next, there was the matter of whether McCain had in fact admitted a lack of economic knowledge. Again, he provided nothing but fuel to this fire, as the following video demonstrates. This video not only discredits McCain on the economy, which would be the deciding issue of the election, it also discredits him on foreign affairs, which is supposed to be in his “area of experience”.


Therefore, Obama, with a lot of help from McCain, was able to position himself as an economic expert despite the complete lack of any economic credentials. He did this by simply making his opponent look ignorant. He had used this same negative strategy against Hillary Clinton in the primaries. In that case, it was the war in Iraq instead of the economy. Obama did nothing to prevent the Iraq war, but he benefited from having not yet ascended to the United States Senate by 2002 when Congress voted on the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. [5]

We should also note here that Barack Obama ran mostly against George Bush and Sarah Palin. His campaign staff spent most of their time tying McCain to the unpopular Bush and personally ridiculing Palin and her family. Again, McCain failed to counter the “McCain as Bush” argument effectively until the last debate. By then it was way too late.presDebMorons


The economy was the central issue of the 2008 election (ironically this was the case because the surge that John McCain had championed had been largely successful in Iraq), and therefor I havecovered these economic aspects of the campaign in a little more depth.

The following are a few very brief synopses of some of the other ways that Barack Obama used the second and third rule during the general campaign in 2008.

Obama as young and brilliant. Obama seized on the comparison of himself as young and hip against that of McCain as old and out of touch. It was commonplace (and still is) for people to refer to Obama as “brilliant” and “a genius”, but there is little evidence given to support this thesis. We don’t have his college transcripts, and he has made many public errors on simple matters. The latter will be a post all unto itself.

What he has been successful in doing, however, is comparing himself to Geroge W. Bush who was widely panned for his public speaking and frequently referred to as stupid (a charge which I submit does not hold up to scrutiny, but that too is for another day), and to John McCain who is not the most thrilling public speaker.

This Obama campaign video is famous for showing McCain as old and out of touch.



Obama as post-racial. During the 2008 Presidential campaign both parties were careful to walk a fine line when it came to race, but Obama held the most advantageous position simply by virtue of the scarred history of America when it comes to race.

He used that advantaged position to launch side-swiping attacks like the following comments he made about McCain:

“He’s spending an awful lot of time talking about me. You notice that?” Obama asked a crowd of just over one thousand seated in a university gym. “I haven’t seen an ad yet where he talks about what he’s going to do. And the reason is because those folks know they don’t have any good answers, they know they’ve had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things.”

“They know that you’re not real happy with them and so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me,” Obama continued, repeating an attack from earlier in the day. “What they’re saying is ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, he’s a got a funny name.’”[6]

And again:

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said on Friday he expects Republicans to highlight the fact that he is black as part of an effort to make voters afraid of him.

“It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy,” Obama told a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida. “We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid.

“They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”[7]



Such attacks allowed Obama to use race against his opponent by staying within an area where he held the advantage and experience. He essentially challenged McCain to enter the arena of race knowing that perceptions would never allow for a white man to be seen as a victim of racial politics when he was engaged with an African American. He stayed within his own area of experience and advantage while trying to lure McCain into an area where he would have to fight with a clear disadvantage. This is textbook use of the second and third rules.



There are many other examples to demonstrate how Obama used these rules, but let me mention just two others and move on. John McCain challenged Obama to a series of Townhall events, but Obama never even officially responded. He didn’t say he wouldn’t, he just never did them. The reason? Obama knew that such events are McCain’s forte, and he wasn’t willing to take the chance of being shown up in these events. Obama is now legendary for his use of the teleprompter, so it makes sense that this would haobamaElectedve been wondering outside of his “area of experience”.

And finally, Obama constantly spoke in soaring rhetoric with little policy substance. He sought to appear ascendant. By way of contrast, the Obama campaign pointed out McCain’s less effective public speaking skills. Since Sarah Palin was able to stir crowds as effectively as Obama, if not more effectively, they chose to use a different rule on her, and we will discuss that in depth in a future article.


Recognizing and dealing with rules two and three.

The change of subject approach. You will often see people use rules two and three by trying to lure you away from an area where you hold the advantage and into an area where they feel they hold the advantage.

This is quite common on twitter. You may be making a point, and winning an argument, and your opponent will then try to change the subject gradually  moving you away from areas where you are strongest. If you recognize this you can use it to your advantage.

Obviously, it is more desirable to use this method as a defensive measure. In other words, you are not intentionally trying to steer people away from their points to yours, but instead you simply demand that they stay on subject.

The failure to communicate. Perhaps the least obvious of the points in the second and third rules is Alinsky’s point that when you venture oFollow AlinskyDefeater on twitterutside of the expertise of your people it will result in a collapse of communication.

This is covered in a separate chapter by Alinsky in Rules for Radicals and so we will only touch upon its most basic meaning here. The point Alinsky is making is that by going outside of the expertise of your people a breakdown in communication is inevitable. For example, if I start discussing Ohms law with you in the middle of this article, it is likely that you are going to lose interest and become confused unless you have a background in electrical engineering.

The point is that leaders of organizations have to consider the abilities and interests of the people working for them in order to maximize their potential.

The Rules on twitter. Twitter offers an opportunity for different people to use it in different ways. Some are good at engaging with those whose opinions differ from theirs, others are better at presenting information or news. Still others might be good at helping to reinforce and encourage those with whom they agree and others are good at using humor or wit. It is possible to venture out of your safe zone in this regard, but generally speaking you should find your strength(s) and stay within that framework. The converse of this would be to attempt to draw the other side out of their area of expertise and into yours.

What comes next? We will continue with the rules, and after we have covered them all we will double back and cover the book chapter by chapter.

The next rule we will cover is:

· Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

Go to part two.

Go to part four.

Works Cited
[1] Alinsky, Saul Rules for Radicals. Toronto: Vintage Publishing 1971
[2] McCain Co-Chairman, Under Fire, Steps Aside – Available at: [Accessed October 11, 2009].
[3] Gramm quits McCain campaign – The Boston Globe. Available at: [Accessed October 11, 2009].
[4] Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. Available at: [Accessed October 11, 2009].
[5] Search Results – THOMAS (Library of Congress). Available at: [Accessed October 11, 2009].
[6] Hot Air » Blog Archive » Obama: McCain’s message is that I don’t “look like the other presidents on the currency”. Available at: [Accessed October 11, 2009].
[7] Hot Air » Blog Archive » Who’s playing the race card? Update: Audio added. Available at: [Accessed October 11, 2009].
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The Alinsky Tactics – Rule by Rule Part 2 – Rule #1

September 21, 2009 18 comments

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The First Rule

In the chapter of Rules for Radicals entitled Tactics Alinsky states his first rule as,

“Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have”.[1]

Alinsky places a quotation from Hannibal at the head of this chapter. Hannibal is thought of as one of the greatest military minds in history, and his leadership of the Carthaginian military is the stuff of legends. His exploits included his march towards Rome, taking a Carthaginian army across the Pyrenees and the Alps (Lancel, Hannibal). No small feat in the third Century B.C. The quote reads, “We will either find a way or make one”.[1] Again we see the resolute nature of Alinsky, and his admiration for one who refuses to take no for an answer, but would instead find a way to attain the desired ends.

In describing what he means by tactics Alinsky says, “In the world of give and take, tactics is the art of how to take and how to give. Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power away from the Haves”.[1]

He then goes on to compare tactics to the human face. The eyes represent visible power such as is possessed by the ruling class. The ears represent a smaller group who cloaks their lack of size by raising a din that belies their numbers. Finally, he mentions the nose, “[I]f your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place.”[1]

So then the first rule is the art of managing perceptions. He assumes that he is speaking not to the ruling class, but to the smaller, disenfranchised groups that are seeking power. After all, why would the ruling class want things to change at all? And so, since the numbers of the oppressed are small, it is critical to find ways to seem larger than you are; much like a cat which raises its back and its fur when threatened to appear larger and more formidable to its foe.

What can we glean from the first rule that will help us to understand how Alinsky tactics are being used, how to counter them, and how to use them for our own cause?

How Obama has used the first rule.

His entrance into the Presidential race.

Then Senator, Barack Obama used the first rule when first declaring as a candidate for President. As a little known Senator with a fairly undistinguished record to that point Obama was certainly not the eyes, but he was more than the nose. So taking Alinsky’s analogy of the ears we can see that Obama sought to make enough noise that his fledgling campaign would appear larger and more powerful than it was.

The first thing he did was to use symbolism.

He stood before the Old State Capitol building in February of 2007 and declared himself a candidate for President of the United States. An online newspaper described it then in these words,

“The first-term senator announced his candidacy from the state capital where he began his elective career just 10 years ago, and in front of the building where in another century, Lincoln served eight years in the Illinois Legislature.”[2]

With a few thousand followers listening, the young Senator seized upon everything he could to make his movement seem bigger than it was. He mentioned Lincoln several times in his speech, thus melding his vision and the vision of one of our most famous and beloved Presidents. In order to further magnify his voice he spoke about the war in Iraq and how he would bring the troops home. This speech took place in the first few weeks of the surge and in the midst of rising discontent over the war and in the way the war was being managed. He seized upon the issue that was garnering the highest percentage of mainstream media coverage, and married himself to it. Since Mr. Obama was not in the U.S. Senate when the resolution to give war powers to President Bush took place he found himself in the unique position of speaking out against the war in Iraq without seeming hypocritical for having voted for the resolution.[3]

Caucus Methods. Another example of Obama’s use of the first rule is his method for attaining caucus victories. The Obama supporters were routinely louder and more aggressive than the delegates for the opposition. It didn’t matter if he had more delegates at the beginning of the process as long as he had the loudest delegates they would eventually drown out the others and claim the victory, and this is exactly what they did.[4]

According to they obtained a memo that illustrated the main tactics the Obama people used to overwhelm the opposition at caucuses. Here are the main points they brought out:

  1. Individuals arriving all at once in large groups can disrupt the caucus by making it difficult to keep track of sign-in sheets, among other things.
  2. Individuals may arrive who are not registered to vote in a particular precinct with the story that ‘they just moved there.
  3. Supporters for a particular candidate, such as Senator Clinton, have arrived at caucus sites early to decorate and organize and been told that ‘the building was locked. [5]

These are clear examples of power being not only what you have but what others perceive that you have. Obama used groups of loud, rowdy delegates (and possibly non-delegates) to make it seem as though his support was larger than it really was, and by locking the building it not only kept the opposition out it also made Obama’s people appear more powerful than Clinton’s.

Since Clinton won in the bigger states such as Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida (although Florida did not count at the time) it was critical for Obama to take the caucuses, take them he did. Most believe that the caucuses swung the primary in favor of Obama, and without these tactics Hillary Clinton would have been the Democratic nominee.[6]


The fake Presidential Seal. How many remember the fake Presidential seal from Obama’s meeting in Chicago in June of 2008? It caused quite a stir as people felt that Obama was using a seal that looked far too much like the official Presidential seal. This is another example of perceived power. Candidates have always sought to “look Presidential” but many believe this crossed a line. If they did cross a line, they did so because they were following Alinsky rules, which do not consider anything tricks to be dirty. Instead, moves like this are demonstrations of how committed someone is to their cause. The ends justifies the means methodology of Alinsky can often lead to questionable acts like this. [7]

The Office of the President Elect. In an unprecedented move, Obama chose to set up what he called “The Office of the President Elect”. Of course, there is in fact no such thing as an office of the President Elect, and it was merely an affectation to have him appear more powerful even before he actually had any real power. Few would argue that it was effective for his group, and that no President Elect has ever had more effect on policy while not actually holding the office.

Beyond that, some have opined that the seal used in both instances was in fact a violation of the law. The Weekly Standard explains that it is illegal to use the Presidential Seal when you are not in fact the President of the United States.[8]

How the left uses the first rule.

In general, progressives have a rather unified approach to political dialogue that they feel was finally vindicated with the election of Barack Obama. Obviously we cannot discuss all the ways in which the left uses any of the rules, but we can hit the highlights.

Intellectual superiority. The bourgeoisie find it difficult to believe that anyone could possibly challenge them on an intellectual level. They hold the common man in contempt. There is perhaps no clearer example of this than the way in which the media and political establishment reacted to Sarah Palin. She did not go to an Ivy League school nor does she spend most of her time inside the Beltway schmoozing with the elite intelligentsia. She became the poster child for what the elites see as the proletariat breeders.

One of the key tenets of the intellectual groupthink of the pseudo-intellectual elite is a religious adherence to all things pertaining to the environment in general, and global climate change in particular. This is a discussion too large to address here, but it is important to understand that a vital part of the perceived power of the left is derived from their co-opting of exclusive knowledge of science and that they alone know with certainty that our planet is on the precipice of doom from climate change.

Moral superiority in matters of race. The left is also convinced that they, and only they, are truly egalitarian and transcend traditional racism in America. They paint anyone on the right with the broad brush of intolerance. While they claim to be the ones who are tolerant, and who are the protectors of free speech, it is clear that free speech to many progressives means you are free to speak as long as you agree with them – otherwise you are either mentally deficient and /or a racist.

In fact, the election of an African-American (technically a half African-American) President affords them the unique opportunity to couch everything in terms of racial identity. By paying lip service to the idea of racial equality while using identity politics to build their power structure, the left actually uses and manipulates minorities for what they consider the more important goals of progressivism.

Such claims of mental and moral superiority are ways to exercise Alinsky’s first rule. By appearing smarter or morally superior they are perceived as having more power than they actually do. It is a way to validate their political views as though they are somehow scientifically proven to be true.

Combating the first rule.

There were only two ways to defeat the Obama caucus strategy. One, the opposition could shed enough light upon the tactics being used to create a backlash that would redound to their benefit, or two, they could have fought the opposition with its own tactics. The first approach is dependent upon the ability to raise sufficient interest in the issue and to bring wide scale media coverage to bear on the issue. Senator Clinton actually attempted to combat Obama in this way, but was unable to bring enough light to bear. One of the reasons she failed involves another of Alinsky’s rules. She failed to keep sufficient pressure on her opponent, allowing him to behave badly without being called to account for his actions.

The second approach would be to simply make sure your group was louder and more aggressive than your opponents group. Senator Clinton made no effort to meet her opponents’ ferocity with equal fervor. By acquiescing she simply turned over caucus states to Barack Obama without any significant effort to stop him. Frankly, ‘telling on’ the aggressor is unlikely to yield the desired results even though it is the more noble approach. Often, when Alinsky tactics are used there is simply no other way to win than to beat them at their own game.

So how can we battle them on their pet issues of mental and moral superiority? First, regarding intellectualism it is often quite easy to poke holes in the arguments of the so-called intelligentsia. One way to do this is to use common sense. Frequently, the left over-thinks (or is it really under-thinking?) things to the point of absurdity, and claims pseudo-science to be scientific fact. You must call them on it when you see it.

Some examples of the absurdity of pseudo-scientific claims by the Left

Four months to avert irreversible changes in our climate:


We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet. If we fail to act, climate change will intensify droughts, floods and other natural disasters. Water shortages will affect hundreds of millions of people. Malnutrition will engulf large parts of the developing world. Tensions will worsen. Social unrest even violence could follow. — –UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, 11 August 2009

I guess we’re down to three months now. This is obviously ludicrous. In a world where it is impossible to predict the weather with any certainty even a day ahead of time it is ridiculous to think we can predict the long term fate of our climate is predicated on a four month window for action.

For those of you who enjoy math and mathematical proofs as I do, I would encourage you to consider Heisenberg’s principles of chaos and their application to complex systems such as the earth’s weather. Additionally, a review of Godel’s proofs would be in order. Mathematical models of weather systems that are capable of producing provably correct results simply do not resist, and there is ample evidence that the mathematical proof that they cannot exist is correct.

Four years for the President to Save the earth.

The declared without a hint of irony, “President ‘has four years to save Earth’ US must take the lead to avert eco-disaster.” The article states,

“Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama’s first administration, he added.”[9]

Placing questionable environmental concerns above human life.

Those of you who watched recent coverage by Sean Hannity of the Government caused drought in the San Juaqin Valley in California will be familiar with what the refers to when it says,

“The state’s water emergency is unfolding thanks to the latest mishandling of the Endangered Species Act. Last December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued what is known as a “biological opinion” imposing water reductions on the San Joaquin Valley and environs to safeguard the federally protected hypomesus transpacificus, a.k.a., the delta smelt. As a result, tens of billions of gallons of water from mountains east and north of Sacramento have been channelled away from farmers and into the ocean, leaving hundreds of thousands of acres of arable land fallow or scorched.”[10]

Species go extinct every day. It is a part of the evolutionary process, which progressives hold so dear. There is no way to save species destined to go extinct, and doing so is often our arrogant intrusion into the evolutionary process. Yes, there are times when we must use all the science at our disposal to save the environment, and certain animals, but we cannot and should not seek to save them all.

Perhaps this quote from can offer some context:

While it is not necessary to question the good intentions and sincerity of the overwhelming majority of the members of the environmental or ecology movement, it is vital that the public realize that in this seemingly lofty and noble movement itself can be found more than a little evidence of the most profound toxicity. Consider, for example, the following quotation from David M. Graber, a research biologist with the National Park Service, in his prominently featured Los Angeles Times book review of Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature:

“Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line–at about a billion years ago, maybe half that–we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth.[11]

Absurd, over the top claims for animal rights.

Recently, President Obama chose Cass Sunstein as his new Regulatory Czar. There have been numerous quotes from Sunstein that have given rise to serious questions about his beliefs and understanding of science and the Constitution. Perhaps the wildest is this quote:

“We could even grant animals a right to bring suit without insisting that animals are persons, or that they are not property. A state could certainly confer rights on a pristine area, or a painting, and allow people to bring suit on its behalf, without therefore saying that that area and that painting may not be owned. It might, in these circumstances, seem puzzling that so many people are focusing on the question of whether animals are property. We could retain the idea of property but also give animals far more protection against injury or neglect of their interests.”–Cass R. Sunstein, Martha C. Nussbaum. Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions. (Oxford University Press, USA, 2004). P. 11 [12]

Past radical claims:

Newsweek claims in 1975 we face a certain ice age.

“There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.”

“To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.”[13].

The Washington Post also made such claims.

“The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts. Dr. S. I. Rasool of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Columbia University says…”[14]

The New York Times printed several such articles.

In May of 1975 the New York Times predicted an imminent return to an ice age.n [15]



These are just a few examples of how wrong the elite intelligentsia can be while smugly cloaking themselves in their supposedly rational belief in pseudo-science. It should be noted that the left has been promoting some version of climate change that will lead to a lack of food and/or water for decades. It is worth asking who would gain, and what they would gain from this push of pseudo-science, but that discussion is for another time.

Dealing with the Left on issues of Race.

It is quite easy to goad the left into making errors in the area of race. I firmly believe that racism is the purview of the left more than the right. If nothing else, their constant obsession with it would seem to indicate that they are overcompensating. The recent remarks of former President Jimmy Carter are a perfect example of this. While claiming that Americans who oppose the policies of President Obama are in a large part racist he speaks the code of old southern racism, and his history demonstrates a less than stellar record on civil rights. He has used the image of African-Americans to paint his opponents in a bad light, and has a long history of what many would consider anti-Semitic beliefs and comments.[16]

dambisaLessons learned from Dambisa Moyo. I would encourage all of you to learn the work of Dambisa Moyo and her work for Africa. In a nutshell, she demonstrates that state aid to countries in Africa may be well intended, but it creates nations that are corrupt, financially disparate, and dependent upon outside aid. She is not talking about donations to people, she is referring to state aid. This is an important distinction for the importance of her work.

The analogy this provides us is quite remarkable. What clearer demonstration could there be that those who seek to treat people as though they cannot do for themselves are in fact condescendingly practicing a thinly veiled racism that traps and enslaves people rather than liberating them?  Clearly, this is the same way in which Liberals use identity politics and promises of hand outs to keep minorities and the poor dependent upon them.[17]


We have seen that the first Alinsky tactic is a matter of perception, and that it has been used by the Obama Administration and by the Left in general to make them appear more powerful than they really are. This perception then allows them to co-opt actual power if their methods are not revealed, and their claimed “facts” go unchallenged. With each of the tactics we must learn to recognize it when we see it, and with many of the tactics we must learn how to use them as well or better than our opponents if we wish to succeed.

Next time we will cover rules two and three, which go hand in hand. Rule two says, “Never go outside the experience of your people.” Rule three says, “Whenever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.” That’s next time.

Got to Part One.
Go to Part Three

Works Cited

[1] Alinsky, Saul Rules for Radicals. Toronto: Vintage Publishing 1971

[2] Obama Declares White House Candidacy. Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[3] ny-times-1975-05-21.pdf (application/pdf Object). Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].ny-times-1975-05-21.pdf (application/pdf Object). Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[4] Vichy Democrats: Breaking News: Clinton Claiming Widespread Fraud By Obama, Ramping Up Legal War To String Out Primary. Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[5] Another Report of Improper Obama Caucus Tactics – TalkLeft: The Politics Of Crime. Available at: [Accessed September 21, 2009].

[6] Caucus Strategy Bolsters Obama’s Bid for White House – Watching Washington Blog : NPR. Available at: [Accessed September 21, 2009].

[7] The Great Seal of Obamaland? – The Caucus Blog – Available at: [Accessed September 21, 2009].

[8] The Weekly Standard. Available at: [Accessed September 21, 2009].

[9] President Obama ‘has four years to save Earth’ | Environment | The Observer. Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[10] CA Political News | show. Available at: [Accessed  September 18, 2009].

[11] The Toxicity of Environmentalism. Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[12] Sunstein quote file.pdf (application/pdf Object). Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[13] Newsweek on the cooling world. Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[14] U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming. Available at:
U.S.+Scientist+Sees+New+Ice+Age+Coming[Accessed September 18, 2009].

[15] ny-times-1975-05-21.pdf (application/pdf Object). Available at:

times-1975-05-21.pdf [Accessed September 18, 2009].

ny-times-1975-05-21.pdf (application/pdf Object). Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[16] Jimmy Carter’s racist campaign of 1970 | Washington Examiner. Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2009].

[17] Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa. Available at: [Accessed September 21, 2009].

Categories: Alinsky, General

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