Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Rules for Conservative Radicals

I offer these 15 Tactical Rules for Conservative Radicals , which I recommend for consideration by all Conservative Radicals, in addition to 9 of Saul Alinsky’s Tactical Rules that are as relevant for today’s Conservative Radicals as they are for today’s Left Wing Radicals.

The Conservative Radical’s Tactical Rules

1. It is better to be 85% right and quick than 100% right and slow.

2. Do what you can right now with the technologies, resources, and time immediately available to you.

3. Use free and cheap technologies at every opportunity

4. Observe Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment – do not engage in personal attacks of fellow conservatives in public forums. Anything you say will be ammunition for the left. Personal disputes among fellow conservatives are best handled privately.

5. When communicating through any public forum on the internet--Twitter, blogs, websites – remember that anything digital lives forever, so refrain from the use of profanity, personal attacks, or statements that are factually unsupportable.

6. Publicly engage with the left only when there is a clearly identified goal that has a reasonable likelihood of being accomplished through the engagement.

7. Privately engage with the left when you are confident you are dealing with a person of honor and good will whose personal integrity has not been compromised by Saul Alinsky’s moral nihilism.

8. When engaging with the left let no falsehood go unchallenged.

9. When dealing with the left, look for opportunities to persuade open-minded opponents of the merits of conservatism.

10. When evangelizing to open minded members of the left, be a friendly teacher guiding your students towards conservatism, not an argumentative and arrogant haranguer bent on demonstrating your intellectual superiority.

11. Seek out opportunities to collaborate with like-minded conservatives through self organizing projects.

12. You earn a seat at the table of a self organizing project by showing up, doing the work, and collaborating effectively with your project colleagues.

13. Successful self-organizing projects are characterized by:

(a) rapid response consensus development of goals and tactics
(b) transparent real time communication between project colleagues
(c) rapid implementation of tactics by a core group of the most engaged project colleagues
(d) whose personal conduct is guided by the principles of project servant-leadership.

14. Once you have earned a seat at the table, you have a right to participate in the development of a consensus. But if you don’t show up to participate, you lose the right to complain about decisions made by the group in your absence. The process drives forward relentlessly on a 24-7 time clock

15. When conflict arises within your self organized project, and the conflict is not resolvable, leave the project, start your own new project with those who are of like mind, and wish your former project colleagues Godspeed.

Copyright 2009 by Michael Patrick Leahy

To be included in my new book Rules for Conservative Radicals, to be published by C-Rad Press on July 31, 2009

9 Tactical Rules from Saul Alinsky that are as relevant for today’s Conservative Radicals as they are for today’s Left Wing Radicals

1. Never go outside the experience of your project colleagues

2. Wherever possible, go outside the experience of the opposition

3. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

4. A good tactic is one that your project colleagues enjoy.

5. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag

6. Keep the pressure on

7. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

8. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

9. Make the opposition live up to their own book of rules.

Note: I have changed the word “people” in rules 1 and 4 to the words “project colleagues”, and the word “enemy” in rules 2 and 9 to “opposition”.

Source: Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, 1971


Anonymous said...

Brilliant, thank you!

-Michael Gumprecht

ehvogel said...

I look forward to your book. Armed with it and Mark Levin's "Libery and Tyranny", they should be enough to arm all Conservative Radicals!

Anonymous said...

Superb, as usual, Michael.

I wish Rob Neppell had shown the wisdom to keep your dispute private. He disappoints me greatly, much as he might think he was in the right, because going public was wrong for the larger cause. They've made much of it, and not for good.

But onward. Thanks for the clarifying thoughts.

Big Dave

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget "conservatism," please. It has, operationally, de facto, been Godless and thus irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God they are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

”[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com

Recovering Republican


Unknown said...

Your a true patriot Michael. Great work. I support all your causes/ideals but would it be possible to share your insights on your public disagreement with Orly Taitz (and Steele) and how that may conflict with your tenant 4 of your conservative rules for radicals "4. Observe Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment – do not engage in personal attacks of fellow conservatives in public forums." I am not being critical but I am honestly seeking to understand and learn. Thanks! C (BTW I'm not a troll, Birther, or 9-11 Conspiratorial wackjob. Im a conservative, Christian, vet, officer, senior bus professional, patriot).

Michael Patrick Leahy said...


A very thoughtful question.

With regards to my critique of Orly Taitz, she is not, in my opinion, a conservative radical. She is, instead, an attorney who is injudicious with her use of the facts. Her only issue is this one effort, and her pattern of failing to verify facts is one worthy of exposure.

With regards to Mr. Steele, in my opinion Mr. Steele is not a mainstream conservative, but rather a moderate political class Republican, and therefore much deserving of public criticism from conservative radicals.

Huladeb said...

Very good!

I especially agree with #4.

Someone PLEASE tell Mark Levin about #4! He is one of the worst to divide the conservative movement by criticizing other talk show hosts - especially ones that are trying to unite us.

Larry Miller said...

Thanks to John Lofton, you nailed it. I also appreciate the change in the 11th commandment to the word conservative instead of Republican.

Anonymous said...

THANKS ALOT FOR THIS. I have put it to use since discovering it last week. Since the GOP and many independant conservative movements are out there & active, but lack central organization and clear mutual objectives, this is what we need. HAVE YOU SENT THIS TO STEELE OVER AT THE GOP?

Unknown said...

I particularly agree with #8 and have refused to let any falsehood go unchallenged. My politcal dismay thrust me into the Tea Party and led me to write a book, Shifting Culture, Revival, Revolution or Ruin, which I hope to get published. It's written from this grandmother's perspective of where how we arrived at this point and what we need to do.
My best to you.

Anonymous said...

Can't work, people are smarter than these silly "tactics".

Lydia said...

How do radical conservatives feel about women's education?