Saul Alinsky is Alive and Well at the Democrat National Convention

Saul Alinsky (1909–1972), who wrote the book Rules for Radicals, is the patron saint of the modern Democratic Party. Liberals always feign ignorance about the intellectual sources that give meaning to their radicalism. They ask, “What’s the Communist Manifesto?” every time someone points out that one of its planks is a progressive income tax, the very thing liberals champion.

The American Left is trying to destroy our nation in hopes of building a new one by undermining its core values. Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals has been the playbook for the radical suit-and-tie revolution for four decades. It was Alinsky who wrote,

“Do one of three things. One, go find a wailing wall and feel sorry for yourselves. Two, go psycho and start bombing — but this will only swing people to the right. Three, learn a lesson. Go home, organize, build power and at the next convention, you be the delegates.”1.

Those pushing for an overthrow of the establishment in the 1960s through violent means learned a lot when their radical agenda failed to accomplish their stated goals and turned the majority of the population against them. In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky proposed a different strategy:

“Power comes out of the barrel of a gun!” is an absurd rallying cry when the other side has all the guns. Lenin was a pragmatist; when he returned . . . from exile, he said that the Bolsheviks stood for getting power through the ballot but would reconsider after they got the guns. Militant mouthings? Spouting quotes from Mao, Castro, and Che Guevara, which are as germane to our highly technological, computerized, cybernetic, nuclear-powered, mass media society as a stagecoach on a jet runway at Kennedy airport?”

The radicals knew it would be necessary to capture the institutions without ever firing a shot or blowing up another building.

Roger Kimball captures the tactic well in his book The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America:

“The long march through the institutions signified in the words of [Herbert] Marcuse, ‘working against the established institutions while working in them’. By this means — by insinuation and infiltration rather than by confrontation—the counter-cultural dreams of radicals like Marcuse have triumphed.”2

The rest, as they say, is history. Barack Obama adopted the pragmatic Alinsky model for the institutional takeover and the Liberation Theology worldview of 20 years listening to the preaching of Jeremiah Wright and created a witches brew of political domination.

If you watch any of the DNC, see if you can spot these Alinsky tactics:

  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. Wherever 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 your people enjoy.
  7. A tactic that drags on too long is a drag.
  8. Keep the pressure on.
  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 counter side.
  12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize and polarize it.
  1. Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals (New York: Vintage Books, [1971] 1989), xxiii. []
  2. Roger Kimball, The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2000), 15. []