During the campaign, we were ostracized for claiming that Barack Obama was a radical. Sure, he tried to tell us he was a middle-of-the-road, bipartisan player, but his actions and his past contradicted every one of his words. This pattern continues to this day. While he claims bi-partisanship, his Democrat Congress excludes Republican assistance. While he claims to be interested in hearing ideas, his White House bullies lawmakers and organizations into doing his bidding. In assuming, with no facts, that Sergeant Crowley of the Cambridge PD was racist and stupid just because he was a white cop, Obama revealed just why he stayed in Reverend Wright's church for 20 years.
And ask yourself, what would you have done if George W. Bush had asked you to turn your friends and neighbors into the government? Even when the Patriot Act went into effect, people on both sides were in an uproar over the government 'spying' on them and the intent of THAT was to prevent the mass slaughter of American citizens. Yet, the White House calls for people to turn in their neighbors and friends if they are speaking out against Obama's healthcare plan and there's barely a whimper. In fact, the silence from the left is deafening. Not even the crickets are chirping.
But the question is, is Obama really a radical? Well, he is a product of Saul Alinsky - the man the current community organizing movement is attributed to. A man who wrote a book called, "Rules for Radicals". Alinsky was a believer in the ends justifying the means. He believed you needed to do whatever was necessary to achieve your goal, because the morality of those means would only be judged by the victors. He believed that Democracy should only be an intermediate goal for radicals - because it was soft, and easy to work within. This is the philosophy Obama employs. Don't believe me? Think I'm just presenting a bogeyman to be feared?
Let's break it down.
Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.
We don't have to go far to find an example of this. A couple of days ago, the DNC released a video claiming that people against the healthcare bill were all paid by insurance companies and that the American people want this healthcare bill to pass. Despite the polls showing just the opposite, they go on to make the assertion that Republicans are trying to stop the change that the people 'overwhelmingly voted for in November.' The truth is, Obama one with 53% of the vote and McCain had 46%. That means if just 3.5% of voters changed their minds, it would have been a tie. This is HARDLY a landslide and HARDLY 'overwhelming'. Add to that the cheerleading of the mainstream media, and people begin to think that Obama has a whole hell of a lot of support that he does not have.
Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people.
The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
I'll take these two together since they say the same thing from opposite sides. Healthcare, itself, is outside the experience of many of the people involved, both in Congress and in the American public. While Rule 2 would advise against attacking it, Obama seems to have doubled-down on Rule 3, figuring the confusion, fear, and retreat would come more from his opponents and the American people who could not grasp the complexity of healthcare. He was banking on you being stupid. People have already shown that that is not the case, but the left continues to treat us that way.
Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their 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.”
Notice it doesn't say you have to live up to your own. A Republican Governor has an affair and he is torn apart in the media and by the left. Yet, they quickly forget the behavior of Presidential candidate John Edwards and President Bill Clinton. They argue, but you preach fidelity and righteousness - inferring that because they DON'T, then the same behavior is fine.
Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
I almost feel like this one isn't even worth spending my time on because it's so blatant. If you don't believe in global warming, you're an idiot. If you liked Bush or any of his policies, you must be a moron. You are too stupid to organize a grass roots movement, therefore it must be backed by insurance companies. These can't be real people, they're too well dressed (yes, this is the current argument being repeated ad nauseum on the left - that people expressing their opinions can't be real, because they're well-dressed, so keep that in mind, people; if you don't like healthcare, be sure to dress like a slob so you can have credibility). If you were a member of the TEA Party protests, you became a tea-bagger. If you raise concerns about Obama's citizenship, you are a 'birther' and characterized as a backwoods rube.
Race has been added to this mix of ridicule now. You can't oppose Obama without being a racist. If you print posters of Obama as the Joker from The Dark Knight
you are racist, yet where was the outrage when this picture was in Vanity Fair?
Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”
Anybody see the CNN anchors including Anderson Cooper and what a laugh they got out of repeating 'teabaggers' over and over (a sexual term, in case you were unaware, and one used as a derogatory reference to people involved in the TEA Party movement)? Oh, they're having fun alright.
Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.
We need to do this and we need to do this NOW. This has been Obama's mantra since his first day in office. Don't allow people time to debate the issues. Don't allow them time to even read the bill. Get it voted on NOW. You wouldn't want your support turning to other issues. Why do you think Obama was so afraid to allow the healthcare debate to extend past the summer break? He knows his cronies may lose interest and the will of the people may actually succeed.
Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”
Can we go ten minutes without the President having a news conference? And now it's staged demonstrations (yesterday, upon his arrival in Indiana, it was noted in the news reports that the crowds there were organized by the SEIU), DNC videos, snitch programs, you name it.
Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.
Healthcare is constantly referred to as a major crisis. Millions will be dead on the street if this doesn't pass. Yet, nobody in this country is denied healthcare, by law. Many people are eligible for Medicare but don't buy it because so many doctors don't accept it, they'd rather just go to the emergency room and pay for it. People from all over the world fly here for treatment because we have the best facilities, the best doctors, the best nurses, the best technology, the best pharmaceuticals, the best research. Yet, we must tear this system down? Why not focus on malpractice (tort reform) and fixing Medicare? Because that doesn't achieve their goal of acquiring 15% of the nation's GDP and remember, the ends justify the means.
Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
Well, they avoided this trap by presenting the first plan. The problem is, what are the details? The President surely hasn't discussed them. Most of the congressmen and women we expect to vote on this have not read the bill and do not plan to. They've turned this around on Republicans, yet they exclude Republicans from the lawmaking process, they continue to assert that no plans have been presented when they clearly have, and they love to repeat 'the party of No' or one of many variations.
Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.
Well, this one was easy because they had Bush and Cheney from the get-go. Alinsky says radical change cannot happen until the people are passive and so angry at and frustrated with the current system that they're accepting of radical change. Unfortunately, Obama's predecessor made that possible. When Obama wanted people to hate the financial institutions, his cronies called for the names and home addresses of those that received bonuses to be published. When he wanted you to hate the auto companies, he fired GMs CEO. Now, it's the insurance companies. Right now, they're going after the faceless, nameless corporation - but wait, they'll refine their approach. You'll have a name soon. In the meantime, they use people like Rush Limbaugh to put a face on the enemy.
In order to achieve all this, Alinsky believes that the poor have no power and that the real target is the middle class:
"Organization for action will now and in the decade ahead center upon America's white middle class. That is where the power is. ... Our rebels have contemptuously rejected the values and the way of life of the middle class. They have stigmatized it as materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized and corrupt. They are right; but we must begin from where we are if we are to build power for change, and the power and the people are in the middle class majority."
If you are in that middle-class, folks, this is what your President thinks of you. Radical? You decide. You know my take.
J.E. Braun is the author of Paranoia, a 9/11 survivor's tales. Jim survived 9/11, but his life did not. Follow one man's journey through post-traumatic stress as he attempts to rediscover what once made life worth living. 10% of profits from sales of Paranoia will be donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund (www.ttof.org). For more information, visit www.jebraun.com.