The coordinated slurs that prominent Democrats are leveling at President Trump in the wake of the horrific mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton are pure Alinskyite.
Rule 8 of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals”: “Keep the pressure on.” Rule 10: executing “operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
Rule 11: “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.” And, of course, the infamous Rule 13: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
“This president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation,” former Vice President Joe Biden said in Iowa on Wednesday. “We have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and unapologetically embraced the political strategy of hate, racism and division.”
“He’s trying to intimidate this community, make us afraid of one another,” Beto O’Rourke said in his native El Paso on Wednesday. Earlier, O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, referred to “this terrorism that was, in part, inspired by President Trump.”
“Donald Trump has put a target on the back of millions,” charged Rep. Joaquin Castro, the Texas Democrat whose identical twin is running for president.
Rep. Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso in Congress, contended that Trump has a responsibility “to recognize his role in all of this … Mr. President, your words harmed us.”
“There is a very sophisticated network of hate in this country,” Sen. Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat, told MSNBC, and Trump “is now their primary cheerleader.”
If they all make sure they stay on message – if no Democrat breaks the circle – the idea is that the public will conclude that their accusations must be true, that we have a president of the United States who is inciting massacres.
Despite Trump having never done any such thing, even when his rhetoric is at its most incendiary.
Expounding on his 10th rule, Alinsky wrote: “It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”
And, most importantly, Alinsky added: “Action is itself the consequence of reaction and of reaction to the reaction, ad infinitum. The pressure produces the reaction, and constant pressure sustains action.” Democrats believe a never-ending back-and-forth between themselves and Trump will lead to the voters believing their contentions that Trump is to blame.
Behaving with decency – being conciliatory at a time of mourning; making comforting the victims the priority; waiting until later to conduct politicking; perhaps even reaching across the aisle to seek common policy ground – doesn’t garner votes. Or at least that’s the Democrats’ calculus.
Regarding Rule 11, Alinsky reminds his disciples, “In a fight almost anything goes. It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt.”
On the all-important 13th rule, Alinsky stressed how important it is “to single out who is to blame for any particular evil,” namely “identifying the enemy,” the “target upon which to center the attacks.” A radical must “pin that target down securely,” according to Alinsky. And the target “must be a personification.”
Alinsky also emphasized the essence of polarizing the prey: “Let nothing get you off your target.” He compared this to Christ’s admonition that “he that is not with Me is against Me” and contended, “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” Therefore, “diluting the impact of the attack with qualifying remarks … becomes political idiocy.”
In other words, applied to the aftermath of El Paso and Dayton, Democrats must use their words to make Trump the devil. And there can be no diluting that characterization with qualifying factors such as accepting the president visiting the two cities to comfort the victims as a positive gesture on his part.
“In a fight almost anything goes” – including using the blood of the victims of El Paso and Dayton as a means of attaining the presidency.
— Written by Thomas McArdle
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