Why can't the Democrats just stick to the issues? The reason is given by Saul Alinsky, author of "Rules for Radicals" (1971). Alinsky taught that to defeat your political enemy, you must personalize and polarize your attacks. He writes:
Tactics, Rule 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.In conflict tactics, there are certain rules that the organizer should always regard as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and "frozen."
Alinksky describes what he means by "frozen":
The forces for change must keep this in mind and pin that target down securely. If an organization permits responsibility to be diffused and distributed in a number of areas, attack becomes impossible...you disregard... for the moment all others to blame.Why pick a target at all? Whom do you pick? Alinsky explains:
Why "polarize" the target? Polarizing the target means demonizing it, denouncing it as evil and totally negative with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. In other words, gin up your membership's hatred of the target because hatred motivates. Alinsky writes:
Obviously there is no point to tactics unless one has a target on which to center the attacks.
One of the criteria in picking your target is the target's vulnerability--where do you have the power to start? [In Palin's case anyone has the power to file frivolous ethics complaints with no cost or penalty to themselves.]
The other important point in the choosing of a target is that it must be a personification, not something general and abstract such as segregation or a major corporation or City Hall.
With this focus comes a polarization. As we have indicated before, all issues must be polarized if action is to follow...One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.
Sarah Palin is the target du jour, and now you know how and why.
The good news is that, by resigning, Palin removed much of the Left's power to attack since she will soon no long be subject to Alaska's highly flawed ethics processes.