Long ago, I was community organized.
The sour-grape Dems who have taken to mass-disrupting GOP town halls brought some memories out of long-term storage …
Way back in the 70s, we moved to Chicago (for a 2nd time).
We bought a cute little ranch that backed up to a large vacant parcel of land.
The real estate agent said that it was wetlands that couldn’t ever be developed.
If you can’t believe your real estate agent, who can you trust, right?
Well, as soon as the moving trucks pulled out, a couple of our next door neighbors came walking up the drive.
Friendly neighborhood, I thought.
But, their first words: “What do you think of the apartments that are going to be built on the vacant parcel – starting 10 fee from our lot lines?”
Uh-oh. Panic city.
Got an invite to meet more neighbors at a “stop the apartments” get together.
We went, and got to meet Father Greg – a young Catholic priest who said he was a community organizer and could help us stand up to the town chieftains and the developer.
Sounded good to me.
His prescription: start barging into town meetings, making a big ruckus.
“Bring babies if you have any … bring ‘em hungry and, if necessary, pinch them – not to hurt them, but to make them cry.”
He told us that those were some of the “Rules” of community organizing.
At the time, I didn’t think to ask: “What Rules?”
But, now I know …
Father Greg wasn’t preaching from the Good Book, but right out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”.
As a public service, just in case you’re unfamiliar with Alinsky’s rules, here’s a short-form version that’ll help you understand the Dems strategy….
Excerpted from Grassroots Advocacy 101 …. with our emphasis added.
RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”
Power is derived from two main sources – money and people.
RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
It results in confusion, fear and retreat.
Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.
RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters.
You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
There is no defense.
It works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more.
They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.
RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
Don’t become old news.
RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance.
As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.
RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy.
Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
The Dems might want to pay more attention to Rule # 11 … instead of just causing unproductive mayhem.
P.S. The apartments morphed into townhomes that were set back 15 feet from the lot lines. A small victory.