The "Rules for Radicals" is a book written by Saul D. Alinsky that was copyrighted in 1971. He was quite notorious in the Chicago area because of his successful tactics in causing government to provide all types of support to the disenfranchised.
It is very descriptive in how to organize for social change by using all types of tactics. In his view, the ends justify the means to those ends. Does that sound familiar? Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both proponents of the Alinsky approach to organizing.
I read his book years ago and added countless notes on the pages, mostly disagreeing with what was written; however, there are some very good points about presenting your position. I suspect that those who regularly read my articles have noticed that I mentioned the book and suggested that it should be read in order to understand what we face from the left.
Our government has taken unbelievable actions during this latest shutdown and that caused me to look at Alinsky's book again. Have you noticed that the left, especially President Obama and other key leaders on the Democratic side usually go after individuals, not ideas.
That is one of the key elements in Alinsky's proposals. Identify a target and go after it. Another tactic is language. Notice how spending has become investment, taxes are contributions, pro-abortion is choice, etc. etc. As Alinsky states, "An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations." Again, does that sound familiar?
The administration has gone to extremes to make the current shutdown as painful as possible to the citizens. Barriers have been erected to prevent access to various monuments in the Washington area such as the World War II Memorial and the Marine Iwo Jima Monument.
There is no requirement for any government personnel to be present at these locations. When stationed at Marine Barracks in Washington twice, I went to the Iwo Memorial every Tuesday during the summers for seven years to conduct parades viewed by thousands of American tourists.
National parks have been closed and individuals in private homes located on federal land have been told to leave. On some bases where Catholic priests perform mass for the military, they have been told to stop. When the priests offered to perform the masses as a service, they were told that they would be arrested if they did so. Is that going too far? I suspect that Alinsky would be cheering.
On Tuesday, President Obama held another press conference and proceeded to use scare tactics concerning the debt limit that will be reached some time around October 18. According to the president we will default on our debt interest if the ceiling is not raised. That is not true!
The monthly payment on the debt is about $20 billion and the tax revenues coming in to the federal government is about $200 billion. There is no way that we can not pay that monthly cost. The scare tactics are working because the stock market fell almost 200 points because of what the president said. Once again, Alinsky would be cheering.
Positive leaders look at serious challenges and uplift their people with their words and actions. Look at what Prime Minister Winston Churchill did during the Bombing of London. He challenged the citizens and told them that they would never surrender.
When France fell and England was next on Hitler's list, Churchill said, "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour." Compare that to what our current leadership is saying as it faces a crisis not nearly as dire.
Saul Alinsky dedicated his book thusly: " ... the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - LUCIFER."
Donald J. Myers a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.