Rule #4: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

Using this tool is especially effective, Saul Alinsky says, because no one can always live up to their own set of rules.

This is especially true for today’s supporters of big government. The same people who preach tolerance try to stifle free speech. The same people who claim to fight for the “little guy” support policies that benefit big business and hurt entrepreneurs and families.

Exposing hypocrisy is one of the most powerful weapons you can have in the fight for freedom. Here are some of the ways you can put this rule into practice:


Call Out Hypocrisy

All too often, big government supporters say one thing and doing another. Don’t let them get away with it.

  • If a lawmaker says they stand with working families but oppose legistlation that would keep taxes lower, call them out on it.
  • If a group says they care about students but support one-size-fits-all policies that keep children trapped in failing schools, make your voice heard.

Adapt Your Messaging

Think about why you hold the position you do on an issue. You can change how you talk about your stance on an issue that forces your opponent to either agree with you or contradict themselves.

Fighting for occupational licensing reform because it’s “too much government regulation” may be a convincing argument for people who are already on your side. But if you’re going up against big government supporters, that’s not the best approach.

Big government advocates like to claim their policies are best for the poor. They say they hate big business. They say they stand for justice.

Make them live up to those beliefs. Talk about how occupational licenses keep people trapped in poverty. Make the case for the inherent injustice of licensing. Highlight how occupational licensing protects big established companies and hurts local entrepreneurs.

Now your opponents have two choices: agree with you or throw in their lot with the people who keep poor people in poverty and side with big business.

Nothing destroys credibility like being exposed as a hypocrite. Don’t be afraid to call your opponents out when they don’t live up to their rules.

You can learn more about Saul Alinsky and his grassroots tactics at our Insight to Action event “A Night With Saul.” Check out upcoming events near you and sign up for our email list for more grassroots tips here.