The Antidote for ‘Rules for Radicals’

The Antidote for ‘Rules for Radicals’

Protesters dressed in black confront a man in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 21, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

John Moorlach

John Moorlach


Updated: 12/21/2023

In a July 11, 1996, Los Angeles Times profile of former Orange County Republican Party Chairman Tom Fuentes (1948–2012), he observed that he sees the GOP as an embattled minority, as a party under siege by a biased press and encroaching Democrats.  “The vision is key to Fuentes ... ‘We are the minority party in this state.’”
It now appears that the premonition motivating the late Tom Fuentes was accurate, as a liberal swing has certainly occurred in Orange County, California, over the past three decades.
Many ascribe much of this evolution of an Orange County Republican majority in voter registration numbers into a now combined dominance of Democrats and Independents to one individual, Saul D. Alinsky, and the influence of his book, “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.” His 1971 work focuses on how to run a movement for change.
In response to this effort now dominating liberal politics in this country for the last half century, author Christopher G. Adamo self-published a book in 2019 called “Rules for Defeating Radicals: Countering the Alinsky Strategy in Politics and Culture.”
One strong impression you get when you start reading the book is how eloquent Mr. Adamo is. The second is that it would be wise to study up on Alinsky and his mischief first. A great place to begin is in this newspaper. Searching “Alinsky” finds a treasure-trove of hits, with the lead primer being “The Overrated Saul Alinsky and the Conservative Organizers Who Do Better” by Robert G. Natelson, senior fellow in constitutional jurisprudence at the Independence Institute in Denver, Nov. 26, 2020.
Mr. Adamo spends the first six of ten chapters providing arguments and examples of the liberal strategies of shaping the masses. He then throws in a chapter on RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), which might be a tad more strident than most Republicans may want to digest, and closes with the actual proposed rules in chapters eight and nine, followed by the concluding Chapter 10.
This is a book written to conservatives, and it is motivated by the following observation provided in the book’s introduction:
Saul Alinsky in a photograph published by the Associated Students of the University of California, Southern Branch. (Public Domain)

Saul Alinsky in a photograph published by the Associated Students of the University of California, Southern Branch. (Public Domain)

“Little concerted effort was ever actually made to adequately counter the Alinsky strategy, once it became the core of Democrat Party politicking. And as a result, the concept of sincerely and legitimately debating any issue, regardless of its merits or liabilities, and despite the likelihood of negative repercussions to the nation, has been thoroughly supplanted by a preemptive barrage of fierce attacks against anyone daring to oppose the liberal position. Though conservatives should be accustomed to this sordid game plan by now, they are instead repeatedly blindsided by it. Rather than being able to weigh the pros and cons of a particular agenda item in the public arena (which would shift the debate unquestionably in their direction), conservatives find themselves the targets of vile and baseless slander, to which they invariably react defensively and are thus rendered politically impotent.”
As Mr. Adamo builds his case, he reminds the reader throughout that “the Alinsky strategy is only effective against those who allow it.”
The third chapter, titled “Hypocrisy as a Strategy,” resonated with my perception of the mainstream media’s approach to current events:
“When Timothy McVeigh bombed the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City ... leftists from then President Bill Clinton down to every nightly news anchor across the nation reacted with Pavlovian predictability, targeting their favorite conservative nemesis as a de facto accomplice, without a shred of evidence that McVeigh influenced any of them. Yet when Ted Kyzinski, the notorious ‘Unabomber’ was finally identified and apprehended, the mountain of evidence of leftist ideology as his motivation was actually excused and dismissed on the basis that Kyzinski had a valid reason for his feelings, if not entirely for his actions.”
We’re seeing this same strategy playing out as we watch the Hamas attack on Israel and the reactions by leftists in their protests on college campuses. Which makes his fourth chapter, “Branding Heroes and Villains: The Power of Labels,” even more relevant:
“Perhaps more than any other single aspect of the Alinsky strategy, the ability of the left to create this pretense of moral ‘superiority’ has enabled it to infiltrate every area of our society with seeming credibility that never should have been allowed. Thus it remains politically viable while engaging in unspeakable behavior, spewing the vilest of epithets and fraudulent accusations, and when all else fails, overwhelming its political opposition with violence, all while still parading its phony mantle of ‘virtue.’”
Men and women dressed in black attend a protest in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 20, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Men and women dressed in black attend a protest in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 20, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Let me share one more observation that may further entice you to obtain a copy of “Defeating” for a candid conversation of this nation’s moral downward spiral:
“Leftists have continued to encroach on their real target: traditional (Judeo-Christian) morality which, somewhat ironically, they attack with the most vile and unfettered exhibitions of real hate. ... they deem themselves fully justified in shutting down free speech, and suppressing religious freedom, in total contradiction to the First Amendment. With characteristic sanctimony, they assert that it is their moral obligation to oppose, by any available means, ‘haters’ on the right.”
Mr. Adamo calls it straight and provides a remedy that you should be implementing. You’ll appreciate his rules to respond to the ongoing onslaught, such as, “A single, well articulated presentation of truth can thoroughly devastate even the most elaborate construct of leftist lies.”
Mr. Adamo is fully aware that a disengaged public, that is largely unaware of the real encroaching threats facing it, needs to be educated. His book does a good job of doing so. And it may be an aid in swinging back the leftist agenda that has been infiltrating local legislators, cities, and school districts.
John Moorlach

John Moorlach


John Moorlach is the director of the California Policy Center's Center for Public Accountability. He has served as a California State Senator and Orange County Supervisor and Treasurer-Tax Collector. In 1994, he predicted the County's bankruptcy and participated in restoring and reforming the sixth most populated county in the nation.

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