The Party of Saul Alinsky & Its War on Trump

Everything the Democrats now do or say is guided by Alinsky's radical teachings.

When Senator Cory Booker delivered his fuming diatribe last week, blasting the “ignorance and bigotry” of President Trump's “vile and vulgar” reference to “s***hole countries,” it was merely the latest installment in the interminable series of assaults against Trump by Congressional Democrats and virtually every member of the mainstream news media. From the day Trump was elected, the Left's principal objective has been to ridicule him variously as a deranged buffoon, a demented menace, a traitorous collaborator with the Kremlin, a congenital racist, a fascist, an Islamophobe, a xenophobe, a homophobe, an anti-Semite, and a misogynist. Every day, every hour, brings a new charge.

Not one iota of this has occurred randomly. Every single fragment of this assault against Trump has been meticulously orchestrated and carried out by the Left with undiluted fidelity to the famous blueprint for political warfare that was first laid out several decades ago by the late Saul Alinsky, who posthumously has re-emerged as the Democratic Party's guiding intellectual light.

Known as the godfather of “community organizing” – a term that serves as a euphemism for fomenting public anger, political hatred, and in some cases, violence – Alinsky was a communist fellow-traveler whose monumental importance to the Democrats is underscored by the fact that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama became devoted disciples of his political creed. He laid out a set of basic tactics designed to help radical activists and politicians destroy their enemies while gaining power for themselves.

Such radicals, said Alinsky, “must first rub raw the resentments of the people”[1] by selecting a particular political adversary and “publicly attack[ing]” him as a “dangerous enemy” of the people.[2]  This foe, Alinsky explained, must be a clearly identifiable individual – “a personification, not something general and abstract like a corporation or City Hall.”[3] The chief “personification” in the Left's cross hairs today is Donald Trump; there isn't even a close second.

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” Alinsky taught,[4] asserting that the primary task of radical activists and political figures is to cultivate in people’s hearts a visceral emotional revulsion to the mere sight of the enemy's face, or to the mere sound of the enemy's voice. “The organizer who forgets the significance of personal identification,” said Alinsky, “will attempt to answer all objections on the basis of logic and merit. With few exceptions this is a futile procedure.”[5]

This is why Democrats and media leftists invariably avoid addressing even the most glaring contradictions in the narratives they seek to advance, and why they typically turn a deaf ear to anyone who tries to elicit from them a logical or reasoned clarification. Thus did we witness the recent pathetic spectacle of Senator Dick Durbin, who was the first to go public with the claim about Trump's supposedly offensive language, ignoring interviewer Megyn McCain's clearly articulated observation that Durbin's credibility is dubious, in light of his well-documented history of lying about what was said in closed-door political meetings. We've likewise heard the Left's deafening silence in response to revelations that former President Obama once used the term “s*** show” – almost identical to Trump's alleged comment – to describe the African country of Libya in 2016.

Alinsky taught that in order to most effectively cast themselves as defenders of moral principles and human decency, radical activists and political figures should take great pains to react dramatically – with highly exaggerated displays of “shock, horror, and moral outrage” – whenever their targeted enemy misspeaks or errs in any way – and even when he doesn't.[6]  With regard to Trump's alleged remarks regarding “s***hole countries,” anyone with an IQ above single digits can understand that such language is not at all unusual in closed-door political conferences, just as they can understand that there is nothing inherently racist about stating such obvious, if coarsely articulated, realities.

But the Alinskyites of the Left and of the Democratic Party also understand that these very obvious truths must be assiduously ignored. All that matters to them is the public show – the hollow, theatrical exhibitions of faux outrage and moral indignation whose sole purpose is to portray the president's remarks as some kind of dramatic departure from the standard political oratory of the genteel and august statesmen of Washington. Thus we have heard, quite predictably, the longtime demonstrable racist Maxine Waters denounce what she calls the “ill-informed and deplorable” comments of a president who is “an embarrassment and a national disgrace.” Likewise, we heard Cory Booker claim that he was “seething with anger” over Trump's alleged remarks, and that he had literally cried “tears of rage” when Durbin first told him about those remarks.

Alinsky advised left-wing activists and radicals to avoid the temptation to concede that their opponent is not “100 per cent devil,” or that he may possess certain admirable qualities such as being “a good churchgoing man, generous to charity, and a good husband.” Such qualifying remarks, Alinsky said, “dilut[e] the impact of the attack” and thus amount to sheer “political idiocy.”[7] Consequently, we do not hear Democrats today praising President Trump for anything. It's 100% attack, 100% of the time, against a 100% devil.

Alinsky also emphasized the need for activists and political radicals to convince their followers that the chasm between themselves and the enemy – in this case Trump – is vast and unbridgeable. “Before men can act,” he wrote, “an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels, and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil.”[8] In Alinsky’s brand of political warfare, the ends – e.g., increasing the Democratic Party's power – justify whatever means are required to achieve them. This includes lying a hundred thousand times over, if necessary, and always with a straight face.[9]  

Winning is the only thing that matters in Alinsky’s strategic calculus: “The morality of a means depends on whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.”[10] “The man of action … thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action,” Alinsky added. “He asks only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work.”[11]

Given that the enemy is to be portrayed as the very personification of evil, against whom any and all tactics are fair game, Alinsky taught that an effective activist or political radical should never give the appearance of being satisfied with any compromise proposed by the opposition. Any bargain with the “devil” is, after all, by definition morally tainted and thus inadequate. The ultimate goal, said Alinsky, is not to arrive at compromise or peaceful coexistence, but rather to “crush the opposition” by remaining vigilantly “dedicated to eternal war.”[12] Alinsky amplified this theme as follows: “A war is not an intellectual debate, and in the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play.… When you have war, it means that neither side can agree on anything…. In our war against the social menaces of mankind there can be no compromise. It is life or death.”[13]

Alinsky advised the activist and the political radical to be ever on guard against the possibility that the enemy might someday offer them “a constructive alternative” aimed at resolving some particular conflict. Said Alinsky: “You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying, ‘You’re right -- we don’t know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us.’”[14]  Such a turn of events would have the effect of diffusing the righteous indignation of the radical, whose very identity is inextricably woven into the “struggle” for long-denied justice. If the perceived oppressor either surrenders or extends a hand of friendship in an effort to end the conflict, the crusade of the radical is jeopardized. This cannot be permitted, because “eternal war,” by definition, must never end.

Alinsky also exhorted activists and political radicals to be entirely unpredictable and unmistakably willing – for the sake of their cause – to cause the government, or even the society at large, to descend into chaos and anarchy. They must be prepared, he explained, to “go into a state of complete confusion and draw [their] opponent into the vortex of the same confusion.”[15]

One way in which radicals and their disciples can broadcast their preparedness for this possibility, Alinsky taught, is by staging loud, defiant, massive protest rallies expressing deep rage against, and contempt for, their political adversary. Such demonstrations – like the so-called “Women's Marches” of this past weekend and last January – can give onlookers the impression that a mass movement is preparing to shift into an even higher gear. A “mass impression,” said Alinsky, can be lasting and intimidating: “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”[16]  “The threat,” he added, “is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”[17] Putting it yet another way, Alinsky advised: “Wherever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.”[18] 

Moreover, said Alinsky, whenever possible the activist or political radical must deride his enemy and dismiss him as someone who is unworthy of being taken seriously because he is either intellectually deficient or morally bankrupt. “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength,” Alinsky taught.[19]  Thus he advised leftists to “laugh at the enemy”[20] as much as possible, because “ridicule is man's most potent weapon.”[21]

According to Alinsky, it is vital that activists and political radicals focus on multiple crusades and multiple approaches, rather than just one or two. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag,” he wrote. “Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time … New issues and crises are always developing…”[22] “Keep the pressure on,” Alinsky continued, “with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”[23]  

Toward this end, Alinksy advised radical activists and politicians to be sure to always keep more than one “fight in the bank.” In other words, they should have a reserve stockpile of varied crusades which they are prepared to launch at a moment's notice. These “fights” can serve the purpose of preventing any particular crusade from going “stale” as a result of excessive public exposure.[24] “Multiple issues mean constant action and life,” Alinsky wrote.[25] This brings us back to the aforementioned litany of epithets which the Left has directed at Trump: deranged buffoon, demented menace, traitorous collaborator, congenital racist, fascist, Islamophobe, xenophobe, homophobe, anti-Semite, misogynist, blah, blah, blah, burp.

Every Republican president in living memory has been subjected to the withering rhetorical assaults of Alinskyite Democrats and their allies in the media. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, for instance, were routinely smeared as racists, imbeciles, xenophobes, and Hitleresque fascists. But never before have the attacks against any American president been so relentless, so all-encompassing, so carefully orchestrated, and so actively abetted by a compliant media that has truly devolved into nothing more than a gigantic, full-time PR firm for the Democratic Party. The diabolical spirit of Saul Alinsky has never been more vibrant than it is right now. So the next time you see Dick Durbin, Maxine Waters, Cory Booker, or any of the many make-believe “newscasters” on CNN raging about Trump's latest alleged crime against human decency, remember that they are quite literally at war – “endless war,” as Alinsky described it – with anyone who would dare to embrace a political agenda that is at odds with their totalitarian vision.

[1] Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, pp. 116-117.

[2] Ibid., p. 100.

[3] Ibid., p. 133.

[4] Ibid., pp. 130-131.

[5] Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, p. 125.
[6] Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 130.

[7] Ibid., p. 134.

[8] Ibid., p. 78.

[9] Ibid., p. 29.

[10] Ibid., p. 34.

[11] Ibid., p. 24.

[12] Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, p. 150.

[13] Ibid., pp. 133-134.

[14] Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 130.

[15] Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, pp. 150-151.

[16] Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 161, p. 127.

[17] Ibid., p. 129.

[18] Ibid., p. 127.

[19] Ibid., p. 136.

[20] Ibid., p. 138.

[21] Ibid., p. 128.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, pp. 151-152.

[25] Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, pp. 76-78, 120.