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Saul Alinsky: Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire

by | Oct 10, 2018 | Articles, Politics

There is a popular saying, often misattributed to Winston Churchill, making its way around the internet: “Fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascist.” It is an apt and timely quote that can easily describe Antifa, a group of white, middle-class basement dwellers who claim they are fighting fascism while, in fact, being a bunch of fascists. But, because the organization’s ostensible purpose is to oppose President Donald Trump and all conservatives and libertarians at any cost, the left has come to the Antifa’s defense on multiple occasions.

Since the group’s rise, the black-clad thugs have destroyed public property, attacked seniors in wheelchairs, and suppressed free speech.

These acts aren’t enough for the Counterfeit News Network to rebuke these misfits. Host Chris Cuomo likened Antifa members to the brave soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy and justified their violence because they’re combating hate. Other network employees have suggested it’s racist to lambast Antifa and even dismissed their acts, saying “no organization is perfect.”

The same network has done its best to appease Antifa, whether it’s through changing headlines or modifying articles to make the group appear in a better light.

Saul Alinsky would be pleased.

Justification of Violence

While violence is never justified, the left might market it as a moral crusade because it believes in Saul Alinsky’s Rule 11 from the seminal 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, which states: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”

Alinsky further explained:

Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)

Antifa is considered the underdog in this struggle against a perceived totalitarian regime. So, when Antifa blocks a Jew from delivering a speech on campus, it is okay because the speaker was advancing white supremacy. When Antifa prohibits a woman from speaking at a college, it is perfectly legitimate because she’s trying to oppress other women. When Antifa destroys a Muslim businessman’s limousine, it is alright because he’s collateral damage.

Ben Shapiro or Christina Hoff Summers might not be promoting white supremacy or sexism, but they are accused of doing so. And, as we have learned in recent weeks thanks to the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation debacle, even the vaguest allegation is enough to convict you in the court of public opinion.

Remember, where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire, causing slight consternation and skepticism among the fatigued public. When there is a nostrum of doubt, the left is victorious.

To the left, Antifa is fighting the good fight; no matter what it does, it is morally sound – even picking on disabled veterans. As this is repeated ad nauseum, Alinsky’s recommendation is successful.

Staying on the Offensive

Let’s be honest: The standards of what constitutes white supremacy have diminished each passing week. It went from white hoods and cross burning to resting your hand on your arm. That’s how far the conversation has devolved. But why is there hysteria over white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, and Nazis? The left is embracing a successful strategy of staying on the offense.

For years, the right – libertarians have been caught up in the storm, too – has had to spend its time repudiating the suggestions that they hate the impecunious, want to force homosexuals into conversion therapy, or propose passing a law that states women cannot work. Unfortunately, when most of your time is refuting and defending against these assertions, then you’re falling behind in the culture war because you’re unable to pontificate on subjects or even go on the offensive against your opponents.

Thankfully, because the left has cried wolf way too many times, conservatives and libertarians have begun to scoff at these charges, allowing them to incorporate the pearl-clutching panic and hysteria into offensive, and often hilarious, political strategies.

Because the left has controlled major institutions for decades – the media, the entertainment industry, education, and the government – they cannot possibly own the title of “the underdog.” Despite being a real estate billionaire mogul, President Donald Trump’s rise to the highest office in the land was a tale of David versus Goliath, since everyone proclaimed that he would never win the nomination, or, if he did secure the GOP nomination, then it would be impossible to gain the White House.

Hollywood, Wall Street, Washington, the news media, the ruling political class, and corporations were all adamantly opposed to a Trump presidency. He proved them wrong by staying on the offensive rather than snapping into a fetal position and begging for the elite’s forgiveness. From the Access Hollywood tape to the endless accusations of -isms, Trump refused to bow down and remained on his Make America Great Again point, even taking the time to mock reporters.

Now, contrast this tactic with previous political candidates or public figures on the right.

Take a look at former presidential candidate Herman Cain. When the former executive and Federal Reserve official, who was riding a wave of momentum with his 9-9-9 plan back in 2012, faced several sexual harassment allegations, he took his ball and went home by suspending his campaign – nothing ever happened to those claims. That’s called playing defense, not offense.

The Art of Attacks

Former President Ronald Reagan was the master of going after his opponents. He stayed on the offensive without going overboard on the negativity, disdain, and mendacity. A great example was during the 1980 Republican primary debate, when Reagan, taking a line from Spencer Tracy in State of the Union, told organizers that “I am paying for this microphone” when they threatened to shut his audio off. It elicited such a great response that even his primary opponents had to applaud.

He didn’t apologize, he didn’t concede, and he didn’t rant and rave. That’s how you go on the offensive.

Shapiro is another conservative who seems to have mastered this art form. In a debate with Cenk Uygur last year, Shapiro had a great line when discussing money in politics: “Do you think Bernie Sanders would care more if you gave him ten thousand dollars or if you dedicated your network to kissing his ass for an election cycle?”

The crowd was roaring; it was a Reagan moment.

While components of the left, like unions and Antifa, have used violence to stay on the offensive, aspects of the right have rejuvenated the lost art form that we saw in Reagan and Shapiro. They made it look easy, but it’s difficult to utilize, especially in today’s society when everyone is outraged about everything. All of the stars need to be perfectly aligned to employ appropriate and effective offensive measures that can advance a cause, win minds, and go after challengers.

That said, as long as you refrain from constantly being on the defensive, something the right has had to do for years because they oppose affirmative action or support tax cuts, you are making gains without violence. And that is why the left uses intimidation and ridicule to shut down their adversaries – they are desperately clinging to Rule 11.

What do you think of Saul Alinsky’s Rule 11? Let us know in the comments section!

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