Many of you who follow politics are already familiar with Saul Alinksy and his 1971 book, Rules for Radicals. It’s basically a manifesto on how to attack your enemy and win elections. Liberals love guys like this and have used his tactics to try to steal elections for a while now. Obama is no different. He’s been an obvious student of this “organizer.”
While looking at all of the media coverage of the Cain campaign, I saw an obvious parallel to some of the “Tactics” that Alinksy instructs his followers to use. So I thought I would share them with you, as well as my interpretation of how they’ve been used to try to bring down Herman Cain’s bid for the presidency.
1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”
The accusers, their lawyers, and the media want you to believe that they have more proof than they really have. They speak in vague terms, and use legalese to give people “doubt” in their minds that maybe these allegations are true. They know they have no leg to stand on. They know they have lies. They are counting on the American people to assume they have facts to back up their allegations. The bad part is, Americans are not asking for it. They just assume things are there, shake their heads, and move on.
2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat…. [and] the collapse of communication.
We are all too familiar with the liberals’ familiarity with sex scandals, harassment, rape, and affairs. In general, politically speaking, both sides have used illicit scandals to bring down, or attempt to bring down, their opponents. When they can no longer successfully attack your politics, you have to give them something else. They tried to attack 9-9-9, but they could not back up their case. So they retreated to harassment. When that didn’t work, they were forced to again retreat to assault. When that didn’t work, they retreated to calling him ignorant and dumb. Now they are bringing on the affair. I am sure there is a dead body somewhere they are just waiting to pull out and accuse him of killing.
3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
Herman Cain has been an upstanding business man, husband, father, leader, and Christian for many, many years. It’s outside the scope of his character to deal with allegations of immorality. Now, instead of discussing policy issues, or solving problems, he is forced to address accusations he has not had to face before. Has he messed up on some of the response to these attacks? Absolutely. Again, these are “irrelevant arguments” that are outside of the expertise of a man of integrity like Cain.
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
I think this one is self-explanatory and ties into the last rule. Mr. Cain is a Baptist minister, and a man who has prided himself on his faith and conviction. So how do you bring him down? You use his own rules against him. If Cain was a liberal, no one would care if he had an affair. Barney Frank has had gay sex parties at his home and it’s hush hush. But since Cain is vocal about his morality, it means he has those rules to abide by. So they opposition comes in and says he isn’t following his own rules. Why should you trust him? Again, creating doubt in peoples’ minds, and making Cain look dishonest and immoral.
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”
They have called him a serial harasser, a sexual offender, a cheater, a liar, an Uncle Tom, dumb, uninformed, unprepared… The list goes on. They have ridiculed his campaign as being a joke from the beginning. They are planting seeds in the minds of voters that say, “Hey Cain’s a nice guy, and passionate, but he’s not serious. So, stop looking at him and come over here.” Even when you attempt to defend yourself against this stuff, it’s hard. They called him dumb, but he has degrees in mathematics, and computer science, and worked on ballistic missiles. He ran major corporations. An idiot, he is not.
6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
America loves a good scandal. They love soap operas, celebrity gossip, and even more, they love Sex. So they pull it out of the bag because they know as soon as they do, people will pay attention.
7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time….”
They moved from harassment, to campaign finance. They moved from campaign finance to sexual assault. They moved from sexual assault to foreign policy and his intelligence. They moved from foreign policy and his intelligence to his business dealings. And finally they moved from his business dealings to an alleged affair. They will keep hitting, and running. Hitting and running. Just as negative publicity fades, and something good begins to arise, they will strike again.
8. “Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”
As you’ve seen above, there are multiple tactics being used. They have attacked his character, his leadership, his campaign, and his mental capacity. They keep hitting. They don’t let up. They can’t. If they do, they risk people catching on to the reality of who Cain is, and it makes it harder for people to believe the lies. So if they hit you with enough in a row, you get exactly what is happening now. The whole, “where there’s smoke there’s fire” nonsense.
9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
The democrats argued that Bill Clinton’s affairs and personal issues didn’t take away from his ability to lead. In history, we’ve seen this proven. Many of the greatest minds and leaders throughout the world have been personally flawed in some way. We are all human and have shortcomings. The average person knows this in their heart. But when they are faced with the possibility that someone they are looking at may be a “secret monster” it scares them. And with vague accusations there are usually little to no concrete facts to go on, and rather than use logic, people scare themselves into saying, well, WHAT IF it’s true? WHAT IF he did it? WHAT IF we nominate him and something comes out later? So what if he’s the best man for the job, we can’t take the risk!
10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”
You have to believe when a man is doing several events a day, every day, for months, that he will be exhausted. Now add the attacks. And keep them coming. Don’t let up. Now he’s not only tired from the hard work he’s doing, but from constant pressure of defending himself, being on guard for new attacks. The campaign has to shift strategy to damage control. They may miss a foreign policy question because he’s spent two weeks with a non stop barrage of sexual harassment questions.
11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside… every positive has its negative.”
With allegations of harassment, then escalating to assault, and again to full-fledged affair, they have dug deeper and deeper. Every time he denied an accusation, another one came forward. He denied again. Now every denial feels negative to people. Why is Cain always on the defensive? He must have something to hide. So even though he can stand up and say, “I did not do this,” people will still buy into the smears. There’s no way to ignore the accusations, and very little you can do to defend he said/she said.
12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
The media is constantly throwing other candidates in our face. Usually it’s Romney. Occasionally Gingrich. Here’s the attack. Here’s why you can’t trust your guy. Here are all his faults. And oh, by the way, here’s how wonderful your other option is. So quit paying attention to THAT guy, and come check out THIS guy.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
“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.’…”
It’s obvious in this campaign that the majority of negative news stories have been directed at Herman Cain. They have continually “dug up dirt” or, more accurately, made up dirt, to attempt to derail his campaign. He was the unknown candidate with one of the most passionate bases. His support was growing by leaps and bounds. They have given you a face to sexual harassment and the stereotypical black man attacking white women. They polarized his supporters, the GOP base, and the American people.
It seems up in the air right now as to whether or not these tactics have once again brought down a good man. As I am writing this, there is a headline that Cain is reassessing whether or not he will remain in the election. It’s a sad day for America if he drops out. I am hoping he chooses to fight. But I cannot help but think of the tremendous emotional and mental toll this is taking not on him, but his wife, his kids, and even grandkids.
Whether or not you agree with his politics or his ability to lead or his intelligence, the tactics used against him in the media were dirty and uncalled for. Choose not to vote someone because you have a difference of opinion on the issues. Don’t assassinate their character, call them every name in the book, and then leave them for dead.