Donald Trump is the racist, sexist, misogynist outsider who rode a wave of liberal tears all the way to the White House. Saul Alinsky was the original Community Organizer, a liberal legend who wrote the book on effective protesting – Rules For Radicals. The two men could not be more different in their politics, but both could agree on one thing: the Left fucked up this election cycle.
The saddest part is that every wrong move the Left made and every Right move the Don made was called in advance by Alinsky, based on his involvement with community organization in the 60s. Rules for Radicals has taken on an eerily prophetic turn as the Left has returned to its vomit – the avoidable mistakes learned half a century ago.
As much as you may hate Trump, you can learn from him the things you should have already learned from Alinsky. Of those lessons, these are the top six.
1). The System Can Be Beat
“I can attack my government, try to organize to change it. That’s more than I can do in Moscow, Peking, or Havana.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
This year, two outsider candidates took major political parties. While they had broad appeal with voters, they were despised by the party elites. Both parties took steps bordering on felony to throw their primaries to someone other than the most popular candidate.
Democrats and associated Liberals, do not lose heart. The Democratic party was able to smother the Bern, but in doing so, tipped their hand in a way that should infuriate you for years. The only danger is the trap that the party elite wants you to fall into: the thought that the system can’t be beat.
But take heart: Trump proves that the system can be beaten. No one but no one among the Republican party elite wanted him to be the candidate, and he beat them all. It’s too late for you to do anything about the 2016 election, but that means you have four years – four whole years! – to take the party back from its corrupt masters and mistresses.
You’re gonna have to work at least as hard as Trump, but it can be done. The only question is, will YOU do it?
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2). The Best Change is From Within the System
“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.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
When Donald Trump entered the Republican primary, there were so many candidates that they had to have two separate debates – one for the dozen people with even a slight chance, one for the clown car. That seems like a terrible time to enter the field, right?
Wrong. After eight years of Obama, the Republicans had completely failed to find an effective leader. The field was packed because there was blood in the water – Obama’s second term was over, and someone would have to be chosen to lead the counterattack.
Enter Donald Trump.
We mentioned the super delegate system above. Well, there are only two ways around that. The first is to whine until the people with power voluntarily give their power up. Good luck with that. The second is to take their power for yourself. You’ve got four years to do that.
The Democratic Party is a headless snake right now. The Clinton machine is in shambles. If you have any interest in politics, the time get involved, to build power for the next election is now.
In the stock market, you’re supposed to buy low, sell high. Well, the Democratic Party’s stock hasn’t been lower since the Reagan landslide.
3). Don’t Alienate the Base
“These rules make the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one who uses the tired old words and slogans, calls the police “pig” or “white fascist racist” or “motherfucker” and has so stereotyped himself that others react by saying, “Oh, he’s one of those,” and then promptly turn off.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
Donald Trump was a Democrat for most of his life. He’s given millions to Democratic candidates and left-leaning charities. But when Trump decided to run for the Republican nomination, he went full Republican. He, in fact, went more Republican than the other Republican candidates, calling for closed borders, tariffs, and an end to involvement in foreign wars.
More than that, he worked to show potential voters that he wasn’t asking for their support, he wanted to be on their side. He put the American people first in his policies, even when it infuriated the Republican elite (tariffs, closed borders, peace with Russia). He supported the police without caveat when Black Lives Matter rioted and started shooting officers in the streets. He showed Republican voters that his interests aligned with theirs.
Because of this, he was able to get away with supporting gay marriage and saying transgender people can use whatever bathroom they want in Trump Tower. Imagine Ted Cruz trying to get away with that!
You’re not going to win moderate Trump voters by calling for race war against whites or saying everyone who disagrees with you is a racist. If you try to browbeat people into agreeing with you, they will abandon you at the first opportunity.
4). Real Violence Matters
“The masses of people recoil with horror and say, “Our way is bad and we were willing to let it change, but certainly not for this murderous madness— no matter how bad things are now, they are better than that.” So they begin to turn back. They regress into acceptance of a coming massive repression in the name of “law and order.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
Trump has been accused of everything from hate speech to inciting violence. He called Mexicans rapists and said women bleed out of their “whatevers.” How can someone who uses such hurtful language appeal to millions of Americans? Are they monsters or what?
Sure, some of them. But most Americans (and indeed, humans) care more about actual violence than rhetorical violence.
Donald Trump said some shit, but he was also quick to condemn actual violence – like the Black Lives Matter riots. While the other candidates, Republican and Democrat, hemmed and hawed about systematic racism (something invisible), Trump strongly condemned the rioting (something very, very visual).
There are scattered reports of Trump supporters intimidating minorities (some of which I assume were not hoaxes), but very clear documented evidence of his enemies posting ads to Craigslist, offering to pay people to incite violence. It was the people protesting Trump who opened fire with literal guns first, not the people supporting him.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer a country of violent words over a country of violent actions. So if you want to prevent eight years of Trump, knock that shit off immediately.
5). Cut the Crap
“I remember a first meeting with Mexican-American leaders…where they served me a special Mexican dinner. When we were halfway through I put down my knife and fork saying, “My God! Do you eat this stuff because you like it or because you have to?” …There was a moment of shocked silence and then everybody roared. Suddenly barriers began to come down as they all began talking and laughing. They were so accustomed to the Anglo who would rave about the beauty of Mexican food even though they knew it was killing him, the Anglo who had memorized a few Spanish phrases with the inevitable hasta la vista, that it was a refreshingly honest experience to them.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
Trump talks blunt, and people love it. He says things that would have got you kicked out of public life two years ago, and people eat it up. Why?
Think of how much bullshit you put up with every day – conversations where you know the other person is lying, and they know you know they’re lying, but you both know they can’t stop lying. It wears on you. You begin to yearn for just a single drop of emotional honesty, if not absolute truth.
It’s even worse with politicians. We know they’re pandering, they know we know they’re pandering, but we both know that they moment they stop pandering, we’ll get angry. Politicians can’t win. We get angry if they speak straight, and we hate them when they speak crooked.
Then in comes Donald Trump. He doesn’t tell the absolute truth. Frankly, he doesn’t care much for facts. But he speaks emotional truth, in a way that registers as true to his feelings. It’s dangerous. It’s bold. It’s infuriating. And it works.
If the Left is going to recover, it needs to start by dumping politically correct language. Political correctness is textbook bullshit and as far from emotional truth as you can get. If the Left is going to survive, it needs to learn how to take a hit like a boxer instead of flopping on the ground like a soccer player.
6). One Person Can Make A Difference
“There can be no darker or more devastating tragedy than the death of man’s faith in himself and in his power to direct his future.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
When most people tell you one person can make a difference, they’re bullshitting you. They’re saying that Mr. Smith can go to Washington, and Washington will roll right over. They’re saying that the inherent goodness of the human heart can overcome all odds.
Political power is not earned, and it is not gifted. It is forced. It is taken. People who have it would rather burn their own country to the ground before giving it up. Prying this power from them is, to say the least, not easy.
Trump started the campaign with nothing but a small million dollar loan from his father. I kid, of course. He started the campaign with billions of dollars, a massive media footprint, and years of experience in negotiation, public speaking, and running organizations.
But Trump also didn’t start his life with those things. He was born with more advantages than you or me, but he also leveraged those advantages into growth. He wasn’t content with what he was given, he demanded what he could take. He didn’t have to. Most children of wealthy parents don’t.
You may not have started life with the same advantages as Trump, but you did start with the same skills: none. You don’t have as many starting resources, but so long as you have the will to leverage what you have, you can make a difference.
Start with what you do have, no matter what that is. Use it. Find out what works, and what doesn’t. Take what works and leverage it into more. Keep playing and pushing until you’ve achieved things no one thinks is possible.
Remember, one year ago every expert thought Trump was a joke candidate. People may think the same about you now. Try things. Take risks. Get used to pressure. Get used to losing!
The world is not a nice place, and it is ruled by ruthless people. One person can change the world, but only if they’re willing to work like hell. Only if they’re willing to get hurt. Only if they’re willing to risk failure.
And if you’re not willing to do these things, you’re less of a human than Donald Trump.