51°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Muth: To understand the Trump revolt, better call Saul (Alinsky)

Last week I went to see Dinesh D’Souza’s “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party.” And after learning a few things about the infamous Saul Alinsky I hadn’t heard before, I finally went to the bookstore and bought “Rules for Radicals.”

And for those who still can’t understand how Donald Trump spanked 16 experienced and generally conservative Republican competitors in the GOP presidential primary, Alinsky’s Prologue to “Rules” will help explain.

In it Saul laments the failure of young “radicals” to grasp “the fundamental idea that one communicates within the experience of his audience.”

No such problem with Trump. The reality TV star recognized from the get-go that his audience was anti-establishment Republicans and conservatives who, for years, have been shut out and ignored by the “insiders.”

And even though he clearly wasn’t a “movement” conservative, Trump talked about conservative issues – illegal immigration, political correctness, refugee resettlements, ObamaCare, bad multi-national trade deals, Common Core – that were important to this targeted audience.

Alinsky also advised his disciples to accept the world as it is, not as they wanted it to be. And that meant “working in the system.”

Trump followed this script, too. He ran within the GOP rather than outside as an independent, where his odds would have been much longer.

“Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of people,” Alinsky wrote. “They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future.”

Hoo, boy! Does that ever describe many conservative, grassroots GOP activists this election cycle or what?

“A reformation means that masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways,” Mr. Radical continued. “They don’t know what will work but they do know that the prevailing system is self-defeating, frustrating and hopeless.”

Alinsky concluded, “The time is then right for revolution.”

That kind of frustration was especially felt in Nevada among many grassroots conservatives and party soldiers.

Indeed, after electing a 100% GOP-controlled government in 2014, establishment Republicans rewarded their grassroots activists and small-dollar donors with the largest tax hike in state history.

As such, the feelings of frustration and defeat at the hands of the current system this cycle have been visceral.

The GOP establishment itself – especially Gov. Brian Sandoval here in Nevada – is responsible for fertilizing the ground from which the Trump revolt sprang. Trump’s rebels find the current Republican power elite to be every bit the enemy of conservatism that Bernie Sanders’ socialists are.

So the rise of the Trump movement is Alinsky-like in many ways. It’ll be fascinating to see if the frustration among GOP primary voters extends to the general election population, as well.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
COVID-19 and how residents are ignoring the self-quarantine

Some residents of Nevada ignore the call for voluntarily self-quarantining and social distancing. There are still a lot of people out in the community, and traffic on the roads is still substantial. If you make a quick trip to pick up essentials at the grocery store, you will see that stores are still being overrun by shoppers madly searching for the ever-elusive rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. Head into a big box hardware store to pick up repair parts, and shoppers fill the aisles who have no idea what social distancing means. Bored at home and seeking something productive to do, homeowners have decided to occupy their free time by tackling projects around the yard and house. Signs around the stores asking shoppers to maintain social distancing are largely ignored by many as they go about their business. Yes, you will see some residents wearing surgical face masks. You will also see some wearing homemade masks of cloth or windsocks pulled up and cover their face and nose. Some shoppers, as they navigate down crowded aisles, will move to keep at least six feet between them and other shoppers. Then there are those shoppers who crowd in on top of you as stand waiting to check out without any regard to the prominently places signs asking them to stay back at least six feet. For them and for others who are not heeding the request to stay at home and for social distancing, the COVID-19 virus is not a real threat.

By the time we notice we’re hungry, it may be too late

“As the top U.S. watermelon-producing state prepares for harvest, Reuters reports, “many of the workers needed to collect the crop are stuck in Mexico …. Without the workers, crops could rot in fields throughout the country,” starting in Florida and California where major harvests begin in April and May.

It’s not the zombie apocalypse we were promised

For years we have all watched the movies and read the books about a global pandemic that would herald the end of mankind as we know it. When the virus was first reported, I was alarmed and was very glad that the president at least stopped flights from China. What happened next still puzzles me.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, March 11 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $10 million.