Taking "Community Organizing" to the National Level

When Obama takes the stage for his victory speech, will he thank Saul “The Red” Alinsky? Probably not, but he should.

For the unfamiliar, Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals” is the bible of community organizing. Alinsky’s ultimate goal was the overthrow of the capitalist system – to take power from the “Haves” and give it to the “Have-Nots”. Obama has learned the principles, taught them to others, and he and the left have successfully taken Alinsky’s tactics to the national level.

Look at America today. The subprime and foreclosure crisis. Wildly fluctuating oil prices. The meltdown on Wall Street. All gasoline to long smoldering embers. People with grievances against the system have increased exponentially due to the economic crises we’re facing. And with the anger is a loss of confidence in the American economy and its institutions – not just the people running things, but the entire system. And according to Alinsky, a country is “ripe for revolution” when “the masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways and values. They don’t know what will work but they do know that the prevailing system is self-defeating, frustrating, and hopeless They won’t act for change but won’t strongly oppose those who do.”

Whether by chance or design, circumstances converged to create chaos, just when there happens to be a candidate poised to exploit it. Obama has been given the perfect opportunity to complete a stealth socialist revolution, and he and the Democrats are capitalizing on it.

Consider a few examples of the tactics described in “Rules for Radicals”, and their real life application – by no means an all-inclusive list.

“The threat is usually greater than the thing itself.” When listening to Obama speak, it’d be a good drinking game to have a shot whenever Obama references the Great Depression. On second thought – forget I said that. I’d hate to be responsible for a slew of alcohol related deaths. Reagan was “Morning in America” – Obama is “Mourning in America”.

“Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” Consider what ACORN is doing with the thousands of fraudulent voter registrations in multiple states. The rule is they must turn in every voter registration, even if potentially fraudulent. They’re just following the rules, and in the process, creating chaos in the election system.

“If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.” Right now, voter registration fraud is a negative. But these irregularities are likely to result in increased vigilance by election personnel. This scrutiny will ultimately be characterized as voter suppression, lawsuits will be filed, and ACORN will have its martyrs.

“Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” Obama parades masses of supporters whenever possible, from renting a stadium for his convention speech, gathering 100,000 in St. Louis, or now planning a victory party a million strong in Chicago. What else is this but a display of his power, an essential element to creating fear in his opponents? What if against all odds, it doesn’t turn out to be a victory party – what will those million people do then?

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”. George Bush, anyone? If there is any clearer example of this tactic, I don’t know what it is. The left has maintained a steady drumbeat of accusations against George Bush, but let’s get real. In my estimation, Bush is a decent man – not much of a limited government conservative, by any means – but one who wanted to do right by his country. Our soldiers are not dying in Iraq on the whim of a madman bent on world domination. We didn’t go into Iraq for oil. Bush didn’t lie – he based his decision on faulty intelligence, shared by many other world leaders. 9/11 was not an inside job. The present economic crisis has its roots in events prior to the Bush administration. (Ask a liberal sometime exactly what Bush is supposed to have deregulated that made this crisis inevitable – but don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.) I may disagree with him on policy, but I don’t think he’s the personification of evil incarnate. But Bush is the target, no question. An easy target – having commenced with an unpopular war and bungled its execution – and he has been effectively “frozen”. Hence, the never-ending efforts to tie McCain to Bush. There hasn’t been a comparable effort to tie McCain to anyone else. Obama has a panoply of questionable alliances, but the power of attacks is diffused by the numbers. Tying Obama to a Congress even more unpopular than Bush, is again less effective, as the target is an institution – and of course, one with which McCain has a longer tenure.

This isn’t to say there haven’t been elements of Alinsky’s tactics used by the Republicans, but in no way as effectively as Obama and his camp. Rove’s got nothing on Obama. Barack’s a pro and he’s been at it for a long time.

Will understanding how Obama won (assuming he does) give us the key to find a way to take our country back? I don’t have an answer for that, but I hope I’ve provided some food for thought.

(And if McCain ekes out an unlikely win, I’ll take my crow with Chardonnay, please.)


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