Framing the Dialogue

Rule 13 Reversed

A funny thing happened on the way to change in Washington, some conservatives have noticed that Saul Alinsky’s Rule 13 can be used against the liberals.  In Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals – Rule 13 is:

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

A couple of weeks ago I posted how the left seemed to be targeting Glen Beck for some comments he made about President Obama.  At the time of Rule 13 Redux, left-swinging groups were pressuring Mr. Beck’s advertisers to cancel their commercials during his show.  The tactic seemed to be working as many customers seemed to be leaving.

The main group calling for the boycott was co-founded by one of the gazillion czars working for Obama’s White House.  The Color of Change (don’t they come up with the cutest and misleading names?) did not count on Mr. Beck firing back.  Most conservatives get cowed, apologize, slink away, and appear on Larry King to apologize.  Not Beck.

Glen Beck, host of the third most listened to show in America, has some cajones and has enough of a following between his three-hour radio show and an hour long Fox News show to get his side of the story to millions of Americans.  In fact, reports show that the boycott has actually increased Glen Beck’s viewership since it began.  While some advertisers have stayed away, a serious increase in ratings will have many scampering back. 

Far from playing the martyr, Beck has been blasting away at Obama’s Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones.  In Saul Alinsky’s rules, the target has been picked, frozen, and personalized.  Beck, his staff and followers have since been able to play some many audio and video tapes of Mr. Jones espousing radical views that he is becoming extremely polarizing. 

Here are some of the gems attributed to Mr. Jones:

Van Jones - THEN

Van Jones - THEN

“I was a communist…I met all these young radical people of color – I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’ I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary.” 

 “I’ll work with anybody, I’ll fight anybody if it will push our issues forward. I’m willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.” [I must wonder if his transformation is a tactic to mask the radical to achieve the ends – sounds Alinskyish to me]

“Will we have eco-equity or will we have eco-apartheid? Right now we have eco-apartheid.” [I find the use of the word apartheid to describe anything in America offensive and inaccurate.]

“You’re regulating, but not regulating equally and the white polluters and the white environmentalist are essentially steering poison into the people of color community because they don’t have the racial justice frame.” [So white people poison black people?  I guess tree hugging, white environmentalists also poison black people?]

It is extremely funny to me that these ideals are being called “youthful indiscretions.”  How many of your youthful indiscretions included jail, communism, and radicalism?  My youthful indiscretions included drinking too much at my sister’s wedding, driving too fast, wearing a Members Only jacket, silk shirts in high school, and stupid looking long hair in high school.  No communism.  I am either dull or normal…probably both.

Most recently, other talk show hosts have jumped on the rump of Van Jones giving a lot more air time to his recorded radical views.  Mr. Jones must be feeling some pressure since he apologized if he offended anyone for calling Republicans A**holes.  Of all of the tripe that he has spewed, that is what his half-baked apology was for.  Unbelievable.

It will be interesting to see if Obama throws Mr. Jones under the bus like he did with Rev. Write.  Mr. Jones should not be upset if asked to leave…after all it wil be for the “deep satisfaction of radical ends.”

There is sure to be more to come on this story.


Update September 6, 2009:  In a not so stunning announcement, Van Jones was thrown under the bus and resigned as the Green Jobs Czar.  Jones, of course, blamed others for his troubles in his statement:

“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”

Mr. Jones, the folks who campaigned against you used YOUR WORDS to shed light on who you really are and most folks did not like what they saw (heard).  To quote President Obama, “you can put lipstick on a pig…”  One of the most humorous quotes about his resignation was from Fox News’ Andy Levy;

“Won’t it be weird when people who don’t get their news from the Internet or FNC have no idea who the guy who resigned is?”

I guess one thing that Mr. Alinsky forgot to mention in his Rule 13 was that when the target has weapons at his disposal, he may just fight back and win.  I am not sure that Glen Beck has won more than this battle, but his odds seem much better.  It does not hurt to have millions of listeners and viewers and be right.

You can bet that the politicians have taken note of the effectiveness of talk radio, Fox News, and the bloggers in fueling the daylighting of the real Mr. Jones.  You may see real bipartisan legislation to work to reel in this power.  Politicians do not like others having this much say in government. 

Remember that WE SURROUND THEM!

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