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  • Anthony Leonardi

Donald Trump: The candidate Saul Alinsky feared most

The Left has taken to violence in the streets, harassing government officials, and promoting socialist candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the future of the Democratic Party. Yet, many on the Left are questioning why the chances of a blue wave are diminishing.

Liberals see Ocasio-Cortez’s victory as a cultural embrace of intersectional politics and progressive values. Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, would say that this is just a perception — and perceptions are relative interpretations of the world we would like to see, not of the world as it is.

Cortez’s victory is particularly noteworthy for progressives hoping to see such a shift. She considers herself a “democratic socialist,” the same title that Bernie Sanders used in the 2016 election. This means that she plans to implement socialism slowly, with the consent of the people, democratically. To seriously consider implementing socialism is a radical kind of thinking in America — one that has proven to be capable of defeating an “establishment” candidate.

Because of Ocasio-Cortez’s victory, it has become a necessity to look to the Alinsky philosophy. Alinsky’s book, after all, teaches radical candidates like Ocasio-Cortez to successfully and pragmatically implement their ideas.

Due to an overwhelming presence of a political establishment, Alinsky advises student organizers in his book to “do one of three things. One, go find a wailing wall and feel sorry for yourselves. Two, go psycho and start bombing — but this will only swing people to the right. Three, learn a lesson. Go home, organize, build power and at the next convention, you be the delegates."

Alinsky does not say “political bombings are evil and therefore should not be used.” He advises students that bombing is politically ineffective and therefore shouldn’t be used. Alinsky posits that the true radical must be willing to work within his relative environment, pandering to the subjective needs of his audience.

For example, Alinsky says, “If I were organizing in an orthodox Jewish community I would not walk in there eating a ham sandwich, unless I wanted to be rejected … . As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is,