Saul Alinsky started his journey in activism with communists, learning some of their best techniques to organize and agitate. He then expanded and spread that knowledge to a new generation of American radicals with his book Rules for Radicals, which would influence people with great power in the United States.
Alinsky’s most famous and successful rule was to pick a target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it, creating a public enemy with a face and name. Alinsky was unapologetic about his controversial tactics, believing the ends justified the means.
In 1967, on William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, he was confronted about his tactics.
BUCKLEY: Can I quote you exactly? Quote: There is no evolution without revolution, and there are no revolutions without conflict. And this is the line which separates liberals from radicals.
ALINSKY: Where’d you get that?
ALINSKY: All right. No, I’ll buy it.
Similar to Alinsky, today’s radicals like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are unapologetic about their polarizing and violent tactics. Instead, they accuse those on the right of being dangerous and potentially violent.