Rules for radicals and other tidbits

Published 11:50 am Thursday, November 7, 2019

J David Derosier

Back in the last century lived a man called Saul David Alinsky. He was a community organizer in Chicago and is often referred to as the founder of modern community organizing.

I had never heard of the job title, Community Organizer until Barrack Hussein Obama starting campaigning for president of the United States in 2007. It seems he, too, was a community organizer in Chicago. So, too, was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who, 10 years later, is a brand-new member of Congress from New York City, and a member of the so-called Squad.

It actually turns out that quite a few members of Congress, past and present, were once community organizers. These are people that are out to shift paradigms, changing the way the community thinks.


Rules for Radicals

Saul Alinsky was the author of a couple of books, one of which was entitled Rules for Radicals. The main theme throughout Rules for Radicals and throughout his work was the empowerment of the poor.

Here’s a list of the 14 Rules for Radicals by Alinsky:

  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. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
  11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.”
  12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
  13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

These are pretty good rules for winning, regardless of the cost. Being right or wrong, good or bad, has absolutely nothing to do with it. You must win against “the enemy”. There is no fairness.

Based on the current activity in Washington, there are quite a few members of Congress that are using this approach in their attacks on our current president.

Fortunately, for the rest of us, I think it’s going to backfire on them. Because they are ignoring Rule #11 which says don’t overdo it.


Some other interesting tidbits.

Speaking of changing the way the world thinks, to me, it looks like the world of fairness is not only getting tweaked, it’s getting bent out of shape by folks in Washington. Think about some of these things that you may have heard or read about recently in the public media:

  • A whistleblower that openly admits to having only hearsay knowledge about a phone conversation can give his interpretation of what was intended by the conversation he never heard, and it’s enough to bring democrats to start impeachment procedures. That’s fairness?
  • The Associated Press published yesterday (11-3-2019) that, “A year out from the 2020 election, nearly half of Americans want Trump impeached and removed.” That’s a stronger headline than “less than half of Americans….” Do you think they might have a bias?
  • The last ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, a Democratic appointee, was recalled to Washington by President Trump. The Democrats are saying, “It’s a political hit job” and that it’s more fuel for the fire of impeachment. It’s a political appointment is what it is, and the ambassador serves at the pleasure of the president. If the president is no longer pleased, how does that bring cause for impeachment?
  • Trump is acknowledged as an out-of-the-box thinker, strategist, tactician. And yet when criticized by outsiders, he is judged on his actions based on inside-the-box thinking, totally out of context.
  • How often do you read or hear that the source of the “news” requests anonymity because they are not authorized to provide the information? It has become so commonplace that it now seems acceptable for people to break the rules they are paid to keep, as long as they remain anonymous. That is not the kind of mindset we should be subsidizing, let alone the media.

If you now look at some of these tidbits of news with an understanding of the Rules for Radicals, perhaps you will see them in a different light. I hope so.


Local Shout Out

Great work on Sunday night by a local Orange Texas hometown hero – Earl Thomas who did an outstanding job contributing to the 1st defeat this season for my local hometown team – the New England Patriots. Good job Earl!


David Derosier consults with small business on planning and marketing issues, and provides web design and hosting services through, an accredited business with theBetter Business Bureau that is rated A+ by BBB. He can be reached at