Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alinsky on Why Tea Party Scares Elitist Liberal Establishment

In my previous blog I said that in "Rules for Radicals" Saul Alinsky explains why the Tea Party movement makes the elitist liberal establishment so paranoid. That generated quite a bit of interest so here it is.

In this case I'm using the "extreme fear" definition of paranoid rather than the "irrational fear" one. The fear is quite rational.

This is how I explain it in the talks I've been giving to Tea Party meetings.

Did you ever wonder why the Tea Party movement scares the liberal establishment so?

Why they accuse you of being “Astroturf.”

Why they hysterically accuse Tea Partiers of being racist, sexist and homophobic?

The answer is in Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”

Alinsky says that “Power has always derived from two main sources, money and people. Lacking money, the have-nots must build power from their own flesh and blood.”

So when the liberal establishment looks at the Tea Party what do they see? They see real people, lots and lots of real people, a diverse group of real people building power with their own flesh and blood.

That’s got to scare them to death.

By the way, this fits neatly into Brother Saul's rules for power tactics. The first rule of power tactics is, "Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have."

It doesn't hurt a bit that a mid April AP-GfK poll found that 31% of the public identify themselves as Tea Party supporters and that 33% agree with its positions compared to 26% who disagree.

Watching the liberal establishment squirm is great fun. Maybe that's why the call it a "party."

Here's a link to a complete list of Alinsky's "Rules."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tactics & Strategy - Alinsky & Cloward-Piven

In late March I received an invitation to speak to a meeting of the Burke Society at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. My first instinct was to tell them about labor unions, since that is my area of expertise. I soon realized that I could be of much more value to them if I were to tell them about Saul Alinsky and the "Rules for Radicals." After all, labor unions are on the way out and Alinsky's influence endures through modern day disciples like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

In preparing my remarks I realized that the information would be of a great deal of interest to those involved in what it loosely referred to as the "Tea Party." I say "loosely referred to" because unlike a party in the traditional sense, the Tea Party is a wide array of groups that have little or nothing in the way of central leadership or direction. Therein lays one of its greatest strengths.

At any rate, I mentioned this to a few contacts that are Tea Party activists and the idea was very warmly received. So much so that in the last couple weeks I've made presentation to three Tea Party groups in my immediate vicinity and have invitations for several more.

At the second of those meetings I was asked about the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" and I confess had never heard of it before so I did a little research. On May 2, 1966 The Nation magazine published an article by two wacko leftist Columbia University Sociology Professors named Richard Cloward and Frances Piven. The name of the article was "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty." Cloward and Piven, who were by the way husband and wife, proposed that if every person eligible for any form of welfare could be recruited to apply for all the benefits for which they were qualified, it would break the back of the government system and that a socialist regime would result from the ensuing crisis.

In the article Cloward and Piven pay homage to organizations spawned by Saul Alinsky and his Industrial Areas Foundation as the type of organization needed to mobilize the poor for this task.

There is now speculation that the recently enacted health care insurance reform monstrosity is the keystone of a Cloward-Piven strategy to bankrupt America and forge a socialist nation from the resulting chaos. There is no doubt that several actions of the Obama Administration fit this pattern. But then so does George Bush's Medicare Prescription Drug giveaway and many of the actions of the Republican majority in Congress when they became addicted to the narcotic of earmarks and big government spending as a pain killer for the fear of losing elections.

Bankrupting the nation as a prelude to socialism is a strategy. Saul Alinsky's "Rules" are for "power tactics." They can cut both ways. When I make presentations about them to Tea Party meetings I am training a new generation of radical conservatives, or is it conservative radicals.

In his book Alinsky also explains why the elitist liberal establishment is so paranoid about the Tea Party. I'll save that for another blog.

By the way, here's a link to a complete list of Alinsky's "Rules."

Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm going to hurt myself. Does anyone want to watch?

Once when spending a leisurely afternoon on the waterfront in Savannah, Georgia - a wonderful place, by the way, to spend a leisurely afternoon - I saw a street entertainer, a guy who rode a very tall unicycle and juggled, start his efforts to draw a crowd by yelling, "I'm going to hurt myself. Does anyone want to watch?"

I feel very much the same way about the way labor unions are determined to punish Democratic Members of Congress, even their most loyal friends, if they voted against Obama's health care reform monstrosity. The case in point is the decision of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO to withhold its endorsement of Representative Tim Holden in Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District.

I have a strong feeling that Holden will win the Democratic Primary rather handily. He is, after all, up against a little known and poorly funded opponent who the unions didn't endorse either. After that he has an altogether different election race. The 17th is a majority Republican district. Holden captured the seat and has held on to it as a "conservative" Blue Dog Democrat.

Considering poll results showing increasing public discontent with incumbents and the recent Pew Research Center survey findings that a plurality of the public opposes labor unions, a union endorsement in November will remind the public of Holden's pro union voting record and might be the political equivalent of the Ancient Mariner's albatross around his neck.

So, how smart is this? You alienate a guy who votes with you 90 percent of the time by withholding an endorsement that he doesn't need but might appreciate, but then set yourself up to need to deliver the endorsement of the same guy when it might actually hurt his chances of getting reelected.

Are the unions shouting, "I'm going to hurt myself. Does anybody care?"