Editor – This is part one of a twelve-part series examining how the modern left is currently applying Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals. Each week, Andrew Moran will take an in-depth look at how these tactics are being used not only to gain power but also hold onto it.
When former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 presidential ambitions, it was viewed as merely a formality prior to her official coronation as U.S. president. Despite the numerous allegations of corruption, endless mendacity, and a shriek that’s disguised as a laugh, Clinton was believed to be a certainty to succeed President Barack Obama. Even up until that fateful November day, much of the country was preparing for her eight-year throne.
Saul Alinsky may have had the answer when he wrote in his seminal 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”
Power as a Political Tactic
According to Alinsky, power is derived from two primary sources: money and people. Clinton, the woman who will never be president, had both.
Assessing the anatomy of a historic presidential campaign, the public saw Clinton, and the left, as maintaining immense power. The media, Wall Street, corporations, unions, academics, Hollywood, and Washington were in the pockets of Clinton, all hoping for some favors come Inauguration Day, whether it would have been an appointment or policy favors.
For Clinton, their hefty donations, cheap publicity, and enormous influence on culture should have been enough to secure a victory. These institutions were allies Clinton needed.
By having such a faction of supporters, it presented the view that the Clinton campaign was an unstoppable force, an immovable object. Perhaps this was one of the reasons as to why several prominent Republican politicians were dejected and despondent – it appeared the GOP brass concentrated on retaining the legislative branch in 2016 and 2018 and looking ahead to 2020.
The polls certainly suggested that Clinton was on the path to victory, reassuring her that the image she presented to the electorate – a Democrat with lots of powerful friends, not a Republican with lots of friends in overalls – was a successful political tactic.
Average folk, or the “Have-Nots,” livid by the cast of Saturday Night Live shedding tears over President Obama’s pending departure, CNN demeaning Middle America, and the entertainment industry ordering the public to cast a ballot for Clinton, placed their bets on President Donald Trump. Tapping into the power of the people, not the power of the elite, the real estate billionaire mogul recorded the biggest upset since the 2004 MLB ALCS and earned the keys to the White House.
For the first time in many election cycles, the institutional dominance behind you was a hindrance, not a benefit. The public was not convinced by the wealthy, the well-connected, or those who play experts on television.
But what about the present? Have we renewed our love of our supposed betters in the age of Trump?
Is ‘The Resistance’ Truly Powerful?
For nearly two years, millions of Americans have been resisting the Trump administration; some efforts are admirable, others are just downright ridiculous – seriously, eating cake is not protesting Trump.
Everywhere you go, there is some anti-Trump festivity occurring. Alleged comedian Ian Michael Black recently tweeted that everything is politics: theater, sports, and life.
So, to the mind of Black, when you want to enjoy a Broadway show, it must be about politics! Do you want to cheer on the Boston Red Sox? That’s politics! Do you want to go for a stroll in the park? That’s politics!
Despite the right controlling the White House, House, Senate, and Governor Mansions, the left is still considered a powerful force. Like in 2016, the left controls academia, the media, entertainment, and other venues that are downstream from politics.
The Resistance is essentially comprised of the very people who endorsed Clinton, mixed in with a lot of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supporters. In other words, The Resistance is Hillary for President 2.0 (3.0?), the mainstream press, Tinseltown, affluent Silicon Valley, sports celebrities, the deep state, and champagne socialists pretending to be the have-nots.
Years ago, a resisting entity would need to “build power from flesh and blood,” not “money and people,” to aid the Forgotten Man. Ostensibly, resistance has evolved; today’s resisting party is comprised of millionaires and billionaires with immediate access to those who control the switchboard. And it’s not to help the Forgotten Man, but to degrade him further.
They are not the underdog in this fight.
In fact, with all of that George Soros money pouring in, a barrage of negative coverage on CNN and MSNBC, and protesters destroying public property as a form of political debate, they remain the heavyweight favorites. Even with the odds in their favor, the question becomes: is it working?
Far from it.
Surveys continually show how much disdain there still is for conventional institutions, the very same ones that repeatedly label Trump’s base as racist homophobes without any teeth. As a result, black voters are increasing their support for President Trump, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is rolling in the dough, and young people are embracing conservatism.
These trends are only infuriating the resisters. They are frustrated that you are not heeding their demands – remember, since they know better than you do, they are trying to save you from yourself.
The Left Can’t Even Resist
The complexion of the left has changed.
In the 1960s, the left was anti-war and anti-establishment. Fast forward to the present, the left has become so pro-war and pro-establishment that is contemptuous of those who do not conform to their opinions. The diversity of thought is the antithesis to leftism; the difference of opinion means being directed to the gulags. And this is how the left has the power: anytime you stray from groupthink, even if it is in defense of something as virtuous as free speech, the ones with the power ensure you are shouted down as a Nazi.
Because most people think they really have all the power, the masses are frightened of proffering a contradictory viewpoint in our everyday society, even on a subject as innocuous as economics, leaving them silent and pummeled into submission. This is how the left can win, don’t let them.