RULE 12 of Saul Alinsky‘s Rules for Radicals states: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
The latest example of the use of this rule is the political left’s attack on the Koch Brothers.
As I reported on February 14th (rightwinggranny.com):
Open Secrets has posted a list of the top donors to Republicans and Democrats from 1989 to 2014. It is not really a surprise to me that you have to go down to number 17 to find a donor who donated more to the Republicans than Democrats. Koch Industries, the organization liberals love to cite as the buyer of elections, is number 59 on the list.
Well, the Koch Brothers are speaking out, and John Hinderaker Power Line posted the story yesterday.
John Hinderaker states:
I asked Koch Industries’ general counsel, Mark Holden, who sometimes acts as a spokesman for the company, whether he would like to comment on the Times’ account of the Democrats’ new strategy. He responded with these observations:
It is disappointing, but not surprising, to see the NY Times become the launch pad for Senator Reid’s and his allied group Patriot Majority USA’s most recent dishonest and desperate attack campaign against Charles Koch and David Koch. It was very surprising, however, to see the Times’ headline that this was a “new strategy” by the Democratic leadership. For the past several years, the Times has been reporting and opining, and sometimes joining in, the attacks against us.
This is a living example of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Rule No. 12.
John Hinderaker compares the New York Times with Koch Industries:
Indeed. It is revealing to compare Charles and David Koch with the owners and managers of the New York Times Company. The Koch brothers employ a growing, highly-paid work force of 60,000 in the United States, around one-third of whom are unionized. Koch Industries enjoys excellent relationships with its unions. The New York Times Company, on the other hand, employs a shrinking, largely ill-paid work force, and is embroiled in a long-running feud with its unions.
Koch Industries and its subsidiaries produce tangible products that enrich the lives of Americans–among other things, Koch transports and refines oil, makes products that are used in construction, and manufactures a wide array of consumer products that are staples in most American homes. The New York Times Company produces nothing but shoddy left-wing journalism that is of questionable benefit to anyone.
This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. The issue here is what Americans want from their politicians and media. We can have a media that is objective and tells voters what they need to know to make informed choices, or we can have a media that lies to us and attacks people in a partisan way. The destruction of an honest man running a successful business does not do anyone any good. It is harmful to our representative republic. If Americans want honest news sources, they need to stop buying newspapers from sources that are not helpful to the political debate. We all need to support the sources telling the truth, and let the sources not telling the truth deal with a pile of unsold newspapers.