Roger L. Simon

Alinsky Lessons for Republicans

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The big teaching moment for Republicans, conservatives and libertarians — that time you can finally whisper new ideas quietly in the ears of your liberal and progressive friends and relations — is here.

And it’s not just because Obamacare is an unbelievable fiasco that even has them stuttering on CBS and ABC. Everything is going haywire for the president. Absolutely everything.

Obama is even having to field calls from German chancellor Angela Merkel, irate that we were tapping her mobile phone. Now she and the first lady of Brazil are going to the UN over this, humiliating our country, which was just humiliated last week at the UN by, of all places, Saudi Arabia.

My guess is that Obama, as we now know one of the world’s most famously absentee executives, barely paid attention to what the NSA was doing, but no matter what the true story, the idea of our pompous chief executive trying to explain himself to Merkel borders on the hilarious, if it wasn’t repellent and tragic.

But what, in the midst of this, can we all do actually to change things?

First of all, resist the obvious temptation to get up and scream at the top of your lungs:

“Obamacare! Benghazi! Fast and Furious! IRS scandal in the White House! Morsi, Erdogan, Muslim Brotherhood and the rest of the Islamist maniacs! Iranian nukes! Bungling Assad and the Russians! Record black unemployment! Black on black murder epidemic! Six, going on seven, years of joblessness! Lowest labor participation rate since women joined the work force! Crony capitalism all over the place! Absurd environmental regulations! Keystone pipeline! Nuclear family vanishing! Single parents everywhere! Homeless in our streets! NSA spying on everyone in the universe! Bankrupt pension plans and escalating entitlements! Everything in hock to the Chinese! 17 trillion dollars in debt with no end in sight! He’s the worst president in history! The worst president imaginable!”

Did I leave anything out?

Oh, yes, the man is the biggest presidential liar of my lifetime, far bigger than Nixon and Clinton who lied out of self-protection. Obama lies, and constantly, about substance that affects the lives of the American people. He started it all by pledging during his first campaign his administration would be the most transparent in history. That was the mother of all whoppers. Since then it’s been all downhill.

Among his more recent — and most personally damaging — Pinocchios is the claim he made when selling Obamacare to the public that anyone who liked his or her health plan could keep it. What unconscionable baloney that proved to be. As of now health insurance cancellations are soaring above Obamacare enrollment rates. There will be tons more uninsured people come January.

But true as that may all be — and we certainly shouldn’t forget it — it’s all worth less than the proverbial hill of beans to our liberal/progressives friends. Scream at them and they will just stick their fingers in their ears and yell “Racist!” or something equally attractive.

Like it or not, at this magnificent teaching moment, we all have to swallow our pride and take the circuitous crafty route to success. We have to be our own Alinskyites. If liberals can do it, we can do it. And trust me, they’re reeling a little bit from all this. A few, just a few, may be open to change. But that’s all we need to win everything.

The holiday season is fast upon us and friends and family will be getting together. In this radically divided country, feelings will be raw, as they have been for the last decade at least.

This is the time to lead your horse to water. In the conversation that will inevitably come up, take the low-key approach. Say, for example, shaking your head in concern, “I really wanted Obamacare to succeed.” That’s probably not true, but say it anyway — and try to be heartfelt. (We’ve all lied in our lives over less — and some of us have gotten away with it.)

If you say it enough times, with enough deep feeling, maybe they’ll believe you. At least they’ll nod their heads in some way. Then you might add, with a thoughtful frown, “I’m trying to figure out why Apple Computer could sell 9 million iPhones in one weekend but people couldn’t even get on the government’s healthcare website for weeks.”

Now the answer to this is obvious — Apple is a private business subject to competition and seeking to make a profit (and how!) and a government website is, well, just the opposite — socialism. It doesn’t work and never has. But whatever you do, DON’T say this. Let your friend or relation figure it out — or get part of the way there, even very tentatively.

At that point, you have to be even more low key. You have to say something like, “Yeah, you may be right. I’ll have to think about that.”

Now at that point, either they’re going to punch you in the nose, or you’re going to get them thinking. If it’s the former, my only suggestion to you is to duck —or learn Krav Maga.

But if it’s the latter — score! You and we are on the way. Victory in 2014.

(Artwork created using a modified Shutterstock.com image.)