On the surface, the current US President Donald Trump and the 1960s radical activist Saul Alinsky could not have less in common. Trump is currently overseeing what has become the longest government shutdown in US history due to his budget negotiations with Congress over his desire for appropriations to fund a wall on the southwest border of the United States. Alinsky wrote a book entitled Rules for Radicals, originally published in 1971, which outlined grassroots community organizing principles for leftists to challenge the conservative establishment Alinsky and his fellow Marxists wished to destabilize. Yet although Trump is a former businessman, conservative, and supporter of virtually every cause Alinsky opposed, Trump has positioned himself as an outsider figure and used many of Alinskyâ€™s techniques, consciously or unconsciously, to thwart his opposition. Unfortunately for the country as well as for Trump, he has also ignored some of Alinskyâ€™s critical advice, which has resulted in a standoff that has neither helped Trump nor offered a solution to the polarized debate in Congress over immigration.
Trump is not the first conservative figure use Alinskyâ€™s techniques, it should be noted. Many members of the Tea Party that challenged the Obama Administrationâ€™s liberal agenda did so as well. But Trump is unusual that even from a position of power he is positioning himself to suggest that government is the problem, not the solution, as famously declared by Ronald Reagan so many years ago. Trump has managed to bring the government to a standstill and force people to consider a proposal that was widely mocked during his campaign, and which even many objective authorities have alleged will have little efficacy in ceasing illegal immigration or enhancing security, the ostensible purposes of building the wall.
Alinskyâ€™s Ethics: Rules Do Not Matter
In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky famously declared that â€œOneâ€™s concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with oneâ€™s personal interest in the issue, and oneâ€™s distance from the scene of conflictâ€ (Alinsky, 2010, p.26). Alinsky stated that one manâ€™s terrorist is another manâ€™s freedom fighterâ€”hence, those opposed to the Nazis regarded members of the Resistance as heroic figures, while the Nazis themselves regarded the Resistance as the enemy. Similarly, during the Civil War, the Confederate Army regarded themselves as noble defenders of their way of life, while the federal government regarded them as traitors. Donald Trump has positioned himself as a defender of border security, while those who oppose him regard his position as racist. Alinsky would suggest that this polarization cannot be overcome easily through compromise, and is not based in rules or genuine outrage over Trumpâ€™s manipulation of the political system, but the simple fact that more liberal members of Congress and more liberal constituents dislike Trump, while conservatives support him.
The question of distance from the issue also impacts the degree to which perceptions of the shutdown are shared by members of Congress, Republicans as well as Democrats. Although in the past Republicans have formed a united front against Democrats for Trump, including in engaging in ethically questionable actions such as confirming accused sexual predator Brett Cavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, Republican-represented states are some of the hardest hit in the nation, given that so many workers who reside in such states are employed by the federal government (Viser, 2019). As a result, some Republican members of Congress are pressuring Trump to compromise, despite their previous support for a border wall. Again, their lack of distance to the issue, combined with their close, personal interests in representing their constituents and being reelected, has an inevitable impact upon how they perceive the issue. Conversely, Trump, who staked his reputation on building a border wall, feels quite differently, since caving to Democratic resistance would be seen as a substantial concession to the opposition and an admission of political weakness.
Although Alinsky saw political actions as fundamentally selfish or partisan in nature, however, he also stressed the need to paint the image of the cause in black and white. â€œOur cause had to be all shining justice, allied with the angels; theirs had to be all evil, tied to the Devil; in no war has the enemy or the cause ever been gray,â€ he says, when discussing the original defense of the colonists of revolutionary opposition to the British crown (Alinsky, 2010, p.3). Today, many American historians will point out that while it was true many of the British restrictions placed upon the colonists were onerous, they were done in part to make up the debt the British had incurred defending the colonists in the French and Indian Wars. Yet in colonial rhetoric, there was no discussion of this fact from the past. Similarly, in his rhetoric defending the border wall, Trump has entirely blamed the opposition in their failure to honor the need for national security. Whether one agrees with him or not, he has consistently demanded during this current impasse that the wall is moral and just.
However, Alinsky might critique some of Trumpâ€™s positioning regarding funding for the wall overall, given that during the campaign Trump claimed that he would force Mexico to build the wall using its funding, versus having to appropriate funds from Congress. This has made some of Trumpâ€™s posturing seem both practically and morally inconsistent, weakening his position. Alinsky stressed the need to keep the pressure on the opposition, and given Trumpâ€™s wavering support for the wall and many of his other sworn campaign promises in the past, his current intransigence seems less believable.
Rallying Your People
Throughout Rules for Radicals, Alinsky stresses the need to keep your supporters enthusiastic and on your side. This is perhaps Trumpâ€™s greatest weakness. As noted before, many Trump voters are dependent upon employment by the government, and according to the Washington Post, even those who voted for Trump because of their concerns about immigration have stated that they will no longer do so in the future, because of the personal hardship they have experienced as a result of the border wall standoff (Viser, 2019). â€œA good tactic is one that your people enjoyâ€ (Alinsky 2010, p.128). Yet Trump voters who elected Trump for economic reasons are certainly not enjoying this particular tactic. Although Alinsky stresses the need for constant pressure being placed upon the opposition to gain traction on one hand, on the other hand he also states, â€œA tactic that drags on too long becomes a dragâ€ (Alinsky, 2010, p.128). Many might observe that the current standoff regarding the wall has indeed become a drag upon the country, not simply because of the critical government functions that are not being served as a result of the shutdown, but also because of the seemingly intractable nature of the polarized debate, without any clear means of resolving it, other than total Democratic concession to Trumpâ€™s demands, which seems unlikely, and increasingly unlikely, as the president grows less and less popular.
In short, although public, radical techniques and polarization might be useful, Alinsky is more of a fan of pressure through the use of small, winnable public relations skirmishes that are popular with supporters. Examples of this might include Trumpâ€™s frequent mockery of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, and mockery is another technique lauded by Alinsky as a useful tool for radicals. Of course, Trump was accused of being both offensive and unethical in his public relations techniques, and is still criticized for what is seen as racist anti-immigration rhetoric that was popular with his supporters, and still is, even though they deplore the fact that his actions have resulted in a government shutdown that hurts them personally (Viser, 2019). But Alinsky also states that radicals should give little concern to ethics, and ethics are once again a matter of personal taste and the interests of the individual, not rooted in any higher authority. â€œAny effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethicalâ€ (Alinsky 2010, p.35).
Collaborating or Compromising: Trumpâ€™s Way Out?
The heavy consequences of not winning this particular battle for Trump, and ignoring the advice from Alinsky (2010) to always offer constructive alternatives rather than simply to oppose, this making the radical side seem more reasonable and attractive, suggests that collaboration on a solution is preferable. Collaboration, or creating a mutually beneficial and agreeable alternative, differs from actively making concessions to the opposition, because ideally a better solution than what was originally proposed by either party is selected. The principles behind the ethos of collaboration underline the need to avoid hard, positional bargaining which results in a zero-sum game approach to negotiation (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 2011).
Unfortunately for the future of his administration and the prospects of ending the shutdown, Trump has not been able to find a mutually agreeable solution that allows him to build a wall that the Democratic opposition finds unacceptable. His latest proposal has been to offer to build the wall only in areas he deems strategically necessary (Rappaport, 2019). But he has still not made a case why a wall would be the most effective means for achieving his stated objective of security improvement; suggesting alternative security means to invest in might be the only potential way to save face in light of sustained opposition to a costly border wall.
Alinsky, S. (2010). Rules for radicals. New York, NY: Vintage.
Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (2011). Getting to yes: Negotiation agreement without giving
in. New York, NY: Penguin.
Rappaport, N. (2019). Trump offers to limit border wall to strategic locations. The Hill.
Retrieved from: https://thehill.com/opinion/immigration/426192-trump-offers-to-limit- his-border-wall-to-strategic-locations
Viser, M. (2019). Trump voters now blame him for the government shutdown. The Washington
Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-voters-now- blame-him-for-the-government-shutdown/2019/01/20/416051de-1b55-11e9-9ebf- c5fed1b7a081_story.html?utm_term=.f872f39de275
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!