Demonizing the Tea Party the Chicago Way
By Frank Salvato
web posted April 12, 2010
"So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself." – Sun Tzu, 6th Century, BC.
One way to tell how effective the Tea Party movement has been is to gauge the severity of the attacks on the movement by its detractors. It is fair and logical to deduce that the more severe the attacks, the more threatened the attackers feel. Judging from the most recent attacks on the Tea Party movement – and because the Progressives and Liberal Democrats are completely invested in "feelings" instead of facts – those opposed to limited government and the constitutional rule of law are feeling quite threatened.
Anyone paying attention to the mainstream news media has noticed a recent uptick in the number of news stories about the Tea Party movement. While media outlets such as FOX News, The Washington Times, BigGovernment.com, NewsMax.com and talk radio portray the Tea Party movement in a favorable light, the "alphabet media," its cable brethren and the Progressive blogs are painting the movement as having emanated from the fringe; a group consisting of a bevy of Timothy McVeigh's on steroids. Truth be told, this isn't because they are grossly ideological in their reporting – although that lends to the zealousness of their actions – as much as it is a coordinated tactic to neuter the power of the Tea Party movement. The Progressive's attacks on the Tea Party movement are straight from Rules for Radicals; they are a textbook Saul Alinsky play...and they are only going to get more vicious as the 2010 and 2012 elections approach.
To give but a brief overview of who Saul Alinsky was, DiscoverTheNetworks.org describes him thusly:
"Born to Russian-Jewish parents in Chicago in 1909, Saul Alinsky was a Communist/Marxist fellow-traveler who helped establish the dual political tactics of confrontation and infiltration that characterized the 1960s and have remained central to all subsequent revolutionary movements in the United States. He never joined the Communist Party but instead became an avatar of the post-modern left.
"Though Alinsky is rightfully understood to have been a leftist, his legacy is more methodological than ideological. He identified a set of very specific rules that ordinary citizens could follow, and tactics that ordinary citizens could employ, as a means of gaining public power. His motto was, 'The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results.'"
The culmination of Alinsky's life work comes to us in the form of his book, Rules for Radicals. It is the quintessential handbook for all Progressives and especially for Progressives in politics, advocacy and in government. Hillary Clinton chose to write about Saul Alinsky for her senior thesis at Wellesley College. And Alinsky's own son, L.David Alinsky, said this of Barack Obama after the 2008 Democratic National Convention:
"Barack Obama's training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness...It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen. Obama learned his lesson well.
"I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday."
And so it should come as no surprise that with Progressives in control of the Executive and Legislative Branches of our federal government – and in control of the mainstream media apparatus – we are seeing Alinsky tactics employed against any force that would oppose the Progressive agenda or its totalitarian ideology.
It is for this reason that we must learn and understand the Alinsky model and methods. A great example of how the Progressives use the Alinsky model to their benefit can be seen in how they are handling the Tea Party movement.
In chapter seven of Rules for Radicals, titled Tactics, Alinsky writes:
"Tactics are those conscious deliberate acts by which human beings live with each other and deal with the world around them...Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the 'Have-Nots' can take power away from the 'Haves.'"
Alinsky enumerates 13 "rules" here:
1. Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. Never go outside the expertise of your people.
3. Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.
4. Make the enemy live up to its 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 becomes a drag.
8. Keep the pressure on.
9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. Develop operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. Push the negative...every positive has its negative.
12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.
Where the Tea Party is concerned, each of these "rules" are being employed by the Progressives and Liberal Democrats, but none as viciously as Rule 13, "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
Of this tactic, Rule 13, Alinsky writes:
"In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen'...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments...Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other."
As we watch the mainstream media's coverage of the Tea Party movement we can see Rule 13 playing out:
▪ The Progressives and Liberal Democrats, including those in the mainstream media, have "picked the target" and "frozen it": The Tea Party movement and its participants.
▪ In addressing the Tea Party movement, Progressives and Liberal Democrats – in the mainstream media, the blogosphere and in elected office – have attempted to paint the movement's participants as "extreme," "fringe" and "violent," thus personalizing the Tea Party participants.
▪ In promoting this skewed and dishonest depiction of the Tea Party movement, Progressives and Liberal Democrats are attempting to polarize the nation, dividing our country along partisan lines into a "For v. Against" confrontation about the Tea Party movement. In doing the Progressives and Liberal Democrats hope that a significant number of Independents and "undecideds" are swayed by their disingenuous propaganda.
It all seems so absurdly simple and recognizable but to date the Progressive and Liberal Democrat camps have used this tactic successfully to move the country further to the ideological Left, incrementally, year after year after year. One needs to look no further than the potency of Political Correctness to understand the effectiveness of Rule 13. What was a joke in 1981 is now de facto law and becoming legislated law incrementally, i.e. hate speech legislation, over-zealous environmental legislation, healthcare legislation, immigration reform, energy policy, etc.
But the one thing that the Progressives and Liberal Democrats – the Alinskyites – didn't foresee is that the Tea Party movement isn't about opportunistic political power or the championing of a political party. It is because these two contentions speak to the core of what the Tea Party movement is that We the People stand a fighting chance against the totalitarian and elitist power grab being made by the Progressives and Liberal Democrats.
This is why it is absolutely critical that those who consider themselves members of the Tea Party movement – as I consider myself – hold true to, at the very least, to these three convictions:
▪ The Tea Party movement is not exclusive to any one political party, but is a grassroots movement born of the American people that spans all political philosophies that recognize the sanctity and sovereignty of the US Constitution and the Charters of Freedom.
▪ The Tea Party movement is not about establishing a political faction, but is about ensuring that those elected to office are beholden to the United States Constitution and the preservation of our Constitutional Republic via constitutional law and fidelity to the constitutional legislative process.
▪ That the Tea Party movement is essentially the reawakening of the American citizenry to constitutional literacy and our constitutionally mandated duty to civic responsibility and governmental oversight, and that because of this the Tea Party movement functions on a personal level and needs and/or requires no "leader," self-proclaimed or otherwise.
Of course there are more issues that many in the Tea Party movement hold as critical – tax reformation, States Rights, ethics in government and perhaps even a renewed appreciation for term limits – but in maintaining fidelity to the above stated three core convictions, We the People – especially those of us in the Tea Party movement – will be able to defeat the divisively oppressive tactics of the Progressives and the Liberal Democrats – the Alinskyites – who are, today, drunk with power and hell-bent on the Socialization of our Republic.
The key to a peaceful victory over the Alinskyites – who tend to become violent when their backs are against the wall – in what has been described in some circles as the Second American Civil War, is an unwavering devotion to the philosophies and principles employed by the Founders and Framers in their creation of our Constitutional Republic.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show airing on AM1220 WSRQ and on the Internet catering to the US Armed Forces around the world and on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.