No, Trump is not a Bully, He is Following Alinsky's Rule # 5.

Source: Soshable | 21 Feb. 2016 | JD Rucker

Pundits often compare the passion behind Donald Trump’s campaign with the passion behind Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. This is more astute of an observation than many probably realize. Their styles are different, but the underlying premise behind their campaign strategies is identical. They both waged psychological campaigns to garner support which is why in both cases their supporters have been accused of “drinking the Kool Aid.”

Obama, as a community organizer and a master campaigner, willfully employed the doctrines of one of his mentors, Saul Alinski. Trump may or may not have ever read Alinski’s works (I believe he probably did) but he’s definitely a natural when it comes utilizing the playbook described in Rules for RadicalsOf particular interest is his unprecedented mastery of Rule #5:

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

At debates, campaign rallies, and interviews, this tactic comes across as Trump bullying his opponents, journalists, and naysayers. While those who believe in political decorum (and there are fewer nowadays than ever before) will hear his words and shake their heads, others see it as strength, particularly when the recipient loses balance as a result. This is why Trump continued to “bully” Jeb Bush even when it was clear he was no longer a threat. Trump earns points in the eyes of his authoritarian followers when he attacks people and despite the misery that exuded from the Bush campaign for months, he was still a Bush. He was still a representative of the type of government that makes many voters upset. Despite being a blip in the polls, he remained a righteous target.

His use of Rule #5 against Ted Cruz is for different reasons. It didn’t work the way it worked against Bush, but it had the effect of shifting the Cruz campaign into counterattack mode. Cruz has always been best at framing a question or an issue in the light of truth. Trump has known all along that he cannot defeat Cruz based upon policy discussions or principles, so his only recourse has been to attack his character. It’s the most dangerous ploy since there’s always an opportunity for the media to call him out on his attacks, but they did not.

Case in point: “Ted Cruz lied about Ben Carson dropping out and that’s why he won Iowa.” This is ludicrous on two levels. First, it wasn’t Cruz but a member of his campaign staff. When Cruz found out about the incident, he apologized to Carson and denounced the activity, but he made the mistake of attempting to frame the conversation around reality. CNN is the one who said it. He knows that. CNN knows that. Trump knows that. However, the media was not willing to highlight this because of a sincere bias against Cruz.



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  • slhancock1948 #1464

    He's both, in my opinion, but our current POTUS has the Saul Alinsky rule down pretty well, so I guess Trump felt that since it works so well for him, might as well use it, too! It's not as if he's really a Christian and using that would bother his conscience.

    • This topic was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by Consistent. Reason: Excerpted the article

    Pray for righteousness to be restored and for the peace of Jerusalem

    Consistent #1473

    Not just Trump is using the tactic.

    Saul Alinksy explained it this way: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Rubio fancies himself the next Ronald Reagan. But such self-aggrandizement is unmerited. He’s more Alinsky.

    slhancock1948 #1475

    Not to mention Huckabee, Santorum, Carson…all gave a hand to it for their own gain. All supposedly committed Christians. I think that Trump paid them (their campaigns) to come out against Cruz so he’d benefit. What a scumbag Both Trump and Rubio are!

    Pray for righteousness to be restored and for the peace of Jerusalem

    Victoria #1482

    “Trump has known all along that he cannot defeat Cruz based upon policy discussions or principles, so his only recourse has been to attack his character.”

    I saw this from the beginning of Trump’s rants when he began to attack Cruz. During the first debates, when Cruz spoke, Trump would look at him as though he was thinking, “I wish I knew that.” Then, he had to try to take Cruz down any way he could. Trump has no truth in him; he is an empty vessel with no basic belief in anything except himself so he spews words and the next day denies what he said. HIs personal attacks on Cruz are full of lies and he does not care and no one calls him out no matter what he says.

    Trump and Rubio, at the same time, started calling Cruz a liar over and over and it was disgusting to hear as none of it was true. They are despicable and I do not want either of them in government, period.

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