It is almost comical to watch how the Left, Democrats, Progressives and RYNOs (not misspelled, Using Speaker Ryan’s last name for fun) are trying to figure out how Trump is ahead of them every step; he controls the dialogue and the media, and he leads in almost every candidate include saint Hillary and comrade Sanders.
He has literally taken the oxygen away from Bill Clinton by launching a preemptive attack on Good Old Boy Bill’s sexual forays and making them front and center to Hillary’s campaign.
He will take on Hillary front and center and not bat an eye nor have any fear that he will be labeled a “meany” to little girls by attacking her verbally. Remember when Rick Lazio merely took a step towards Hillary in the first NY Senate debate?
Trump also walks all over political correctness with combat boots with spikes! Immigration, Muslims, Terrorism, etc., Trump has been out in front and set the agenda for each of the major topics being discussed in both campaigns today.
How does he do it? Here is a hint. What playbook has the Left, Democrats, Progressives been using since 1971 when “Rules for Radicals” was published by Alinsky. You are right, the Rules for Radicals!
Here are examples of the “Rules for Radicals” tools Trump has been using very effectively:
- Power is not only what you have but what your enemy thinks you have. Trump has been able to cow tow both side with the power he has and projects and has convinced democrats and republicans that he is invincible. If they believe it, he is!
- Never go outside of the experience of your people: Trump picks key allies whether he is talking about moral issues, immigration issues, minority issues and solicits people from those constituencies to represent him and his opinion.
- Go outside of the experience of the enemy: Trump is not afraid to take on social issues like abortion and patriotism and others by taking them head on and using the PP videos and the lack of those running against him to promote the greatness of this country. He want to make America Great Again. Hard to argue with.
- Make the enemy live up to their own rules: Trump will call out Hillary’s lack of support of rape victims when she claims to be the spokesperson for the war on women. Trump will call out seemingly more conservative republican candidates when the lays the deficit spending on them and their congressional record.
- Ridicule the enemy’s positions: Trump sets the agenda in sound bites, “pause all Immigration of Muslims until the vetting can be fixed”, then hammers Hillary’s and Rubio and others lax approach to controlling legal, illegal, visa based, and refugee immigration. He will point to terrorism as the result of their failed policies and leaves them defenseless.
- Poke fun at yourself and existing conditions in a non conventional way. Trump is anything but conventional. He and his event crowds have fun and his lack of PC prowess adds another unnerving (to the left and RNC) but humorous side to the campaigns. The bottom line is that you have to ask yourself, “Is he Kidding”.
- Don’t let issues drag on too long: Trump is the master at throwing rhetorical grenades into crowds then three days later completely changing the topic that is front and center in the media. If he doesn’t have an alternative topic to divert with, there is always a current event he can grab onto and take a common sense but contrary position and restart the media cycle.
- Keep the pressure on: Trump knows that you never have a “deal” until you close it! Trump will stay on an attack or issues until he has won the argument or the other side gives up. The only recent issue that has not succumbed to this tactic is Jeb’s idiotic attacks on Trump after Trump has all but knocked Jeb out of the race. Jeb is so focused on Trump that he is seemingly making bad decisions on ad types and spending. Trump 5, Jeb 0.
- The threat is usually more terrifying than the consequences: Trump has frozen the Hillary campaign in its tracks regarding women’s issues. The use of hound dog Billy, and other Clinton Campaign strategies and tactics have been thwarted by Trump going on the offensive and threatening to go after both of them if Hillary dares to attack Trump on women’s issues etc..
- Maintain constant pressure on the competition: Trump is always circling back on issues he as brought up in the past and won to not only remind voters of his win but also to slap the competition with the feeling that Trump cannot be defeated.
- Push negatives hard and deep for a period of time and you will push through: This is merely staying on offense. Playing defense is a losing proposition. Jeb does not have enough energy; how do you refute this? Cruz may not be a natural-born citizen. This takes Cruz off of message to respond to this sideline issue. The dangerous part of this Alinsky rule is that he taught community organizers like Obama that if you say something long enough it will become true. Like, we have 30,000 gun deaths per year attached to gun violence. Hold the phone, half are suicides and do not qualify as gun violence. Obama keeps saying and the man on the street will start quoting it!
- If you go on the attack and are successful, you must have a constructive alternative. Examples Trump has used: Attack-Out of control Borders. Alternatives-Build a fence and have Mexico pay for it. Attack-China trade policy. Alternative-better negotiations to win for the US.
- Pick a target; freeze it; personalize it, and polarize it. In short, close the deal!: Trump is masterful at this one as he has been doing it his whole career. He knows what to go after-target; he knows what to say to freeze it-freeze; he knows how to make issues personal to the voters-personalize; and he knows how to make it stick in the minds of the people-polarize. Whites are not racists or bigots by definition. But the left tries to paint whites in that manner. Trump is beginning to make some of these stereotypes the left has been successful in selling to the voters in the past be challenged and some to go away.
I did not set out to write this article about Alinsky/Trump but after reviewing Rules for Radicals, I starting thinking how Trump has stolen the Left’s playbook and is using it against them. I am not saying at all that I believe that Trump is a radical. I am saying he was smart enough to incorporate the Left’s bible into his campaign. The Left cannot figure out how to respond, nor can his republican rivals who have always played along with the left rules and been their patsy. (nothing new for republicans.) Trump may or may not win the nomination nor the presidency but he has certainly destroyed the republican playbook for how to run a very low-cost and very effective campaign.
Last, remember boys and girls on both sides of this election, Trump has been in business for a very long time and has been extraordinarily successful. He may have had some luck but not $9B worth of luck. He is a seasoned, professional business person with years of experience in dealing with people of all stripes from country leaders to construction site workers. Don’t think for a moment you are dealing with a political novice. Politics is a very small skill set a business person needs to win and win HUGE!