February 7, 2017

Anti-Trumpers borrow from the Tea Party (which borrowed from Saul Alinsky)

NY Times - As the resistance to [Trump] on the left tries to turn the massive protest rallies of the last two weeks into political power, it is borrowing explicitly from the Tea Party playbook. The early result has been the biggest outpouring of constituent anger on members of Congress since the Tea Party’s rise.

“We borrowed the organizing and taking to the streets from the left. They’re borrowing the showing up outside offices and doing legislative contact from us,” said Brendan Steinhauser, who helped organize and train Tea Partyers as a staff member of FreedomWorks, a libertarian group in Washington.

Many of the new groups are embracing as their bible “Indivisible,” a 27-page guide written by former congressional staff members that advises Tea Party-like tactics “to resist the Trump agenda.” Just as groups like FreedomWorks used Google maps to help expand local Tea Party groups, the website for the guide helps Trump resisters find Indivisible groups near them.

... There’s some circularity here: The Tea Party loudly borrowed from the left, using as its guide “Rules for Radicals,” by Saul Alinsky, considered the father of modern community organizing. It urged followers to adopt the Alinsky playbook to block health care reform at the town halls of 2009: “freeze it, attack it, personalize it, polarize it,” as one widely circulated email advised.

Like many of the initial Tea Partyers, many of the resisters on the left say they had never been involved in politics. They simply got frustrated yelling at their televisions.


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