Saul Alinsky died in 1972, but as anyone that has studied 20th century political science, or more importantly Cultural Criticism is aware of his brilliant theories, and his devotion to the “poor and powerless”, and his goal of a backyard revolution in cities across America. While Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals relies heavily on Alexis de Tocqueville, the French philosopher who “gravely warned,” writes Alinsky, “that unless individual citizens were regularly involved in the action of governing themselves, self-government would pass from the scene”, much of his work has become a toolkit leveraged by the left for the acquisition and deployment of power. He developed a group of 13 rules which have been used by the Left to destroy people, organizations, industries, and recently, individual rights. This toolkit has been used to attack Christian bakers, isolate companies, as well as demonize the police.
“The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.” — Saul Alinsky
Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals have now taken aim at the NRA and repeal of the Second Amendment.
The playbook is rote. Take a mass shooting A (except the weekly mass shootings in Chicago and Baltimore), and then attack gun ownership.
Rules For Radicals Number 1—”Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” At this point, suspect polls will be rolled out showing that most Americans are in favor of “sensible” gun control; and that we should ban these “assault rifles”. This should sound familiar.
Go after corporations, protesting that doing business with NRA members would be bad for business because the anti-gun forces would crush them economically. Note: Delta Airlines lost $40-50 MILLION in tax credits over 13 people who used the NRA ticket discount. Was that a good corporate decision for the shareholders?
Rule Number 9, “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.—We bemusedly watch the media and gun control activists cower like craven dogs at the sight of an extra capacity magazine, or claims that the awful AR platform is a machine gun.
Number 13, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. Cue NRA demonization. The NRA is now to blame for all mass shooting events that have occurred since all of time and forever.
After Parkland, the talking points got handed out. The NRA is to blame for a clearly emotionally and mentally disturbed man who stalked the halls of his former high school and killed 17 people. Forget the fact that it looks like law enforcement failures allowed him to kill as many people as he did.
The NRA organization was labeled a “terrorist” organization. NRA members were called “Child Killers”, and spokesperson Dana Loesch was called a “terrorist in a cocktail dress” .
The target had been chosen. It had been frozen. It had been personalized. It had been polarized.
Most intelligent Americans saw through all of this.
Oddly, 2nd Amendment rights folks, like the NRA used some of Alinsky’s own rules to defend themselves–Number 3, 4, and 5.
Rule 3—Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of your enemy—in this case, that wasn’t difficult. It becomes apparent that anti-gun people don’t know the first thing about firearms or firearm safety. When challenged, the gun critics could not even explain what an assault weapon really is.
Example: Student David Hogg, anointed the poster boy for gun control. Sadly, his ignorance and bias were just too obvious. He is probably a good kid, but he was embarrassingly out of his depth when challenged with facts.
Note: The kid actually hung up the phone on the POTUS.
Rule 4—Make the enemy live up to its own rules.
Maybe suggest that the celebrities, such as we saw at the Oscars give up their armed security.
At this year’s Oscars, a battalion of armed guards included (Variety):
- More than 500 LAPD officers, many of them working overtime, as well as police helicopters.
- FBI agents.
- Private security guards from Security Industry Specialists.
To ensure security, nearly a mile of Hollywood Boulevard was closed, from Cahuenga Boulevard to La Brea Avenue. Highland Avenue and Orange Drive were closed for almost a half a mile, from Franklin Avenue to Sunset Boulevard.
In this segment of Keeping Up With Kardashians, the girls discuss having a gun for protection. Kim states why get a gun, when you can just hire security?
Rule 5—Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. While the left tried very hard to ridicule gun owners, the reality is that it’s hard to portray rape survivors, small business owners and elderly women who live alone as racist, sexist, homophobic, in-bred rednecks.
Maybe it’s time for the left review Rule 7 —A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Don’t become old news.
Note: Hillary Rodham’s senior thesis for Wellesley College was on the Alinsky method. From Wikipedia:
A 2007 New York Times review of Rodham’s thesis summarized her views as follows: “Ms. Rodham endorsed Mr. Alinsky’s central critique of government antipoverty programs — that they tended to be too top-down and removed from the wishes of individuals. But the student leader split with Mr. Alinsky over a central point. He vowed to ‘rub raw the sores of discontent’ and compel action through agitation. This, she believed, ran counter to the notion of change within the system.”
In 2016, reporter Michael Kruse quotes the thesis and describes a centrist theme:
“Alinsky’s conclusion that the ‘ventilation’ of hostilities is healthy in certain situations is valid, but across-the-board ‘social catharsis’ cannot be prescribed,” she wrote. “Catharsis has a way of perpetuating itself so that it becomes an end in itself.” She continued: “Interestingly, this society seems to be in a transition period, caught between conflict and consensus.” It was clear where this 21-year-old stood: “… as our ‘two societies’—the establishment, the anti-establishment—“move further apart contrived conflict serves to exacerbate the polarization.”