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PJM Book Club: Blogging Rules for Radicals

Get yourself a copy, and let's discuss the book that shaped the president's philosophy.

by
Barbara Curtis

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October 28, 2009 - 12:17 am
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Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical; from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.

Thus Saul Alinsky begins Rules for Radicals, his impassioned 1971 missive to the political counterculture which had been galvanized into protest mode during the Vietnam War. I was one of the radicals for whom the book was written, though now I am a conservative mom and grateful American. I began blogging of the Obama-Alinsky connection during the 2008 presidential campaign, and given Obama’s history and his surrounding himself with characters from that Chicago/community organizing/dirty politics nexus, it was difficult for someone with my roots to think anything but the worst about the subtext of his message and his methodology.

And yet, the morning after the election, like someone waking from a bad dream, I took a good stretch and advised my readers to join with me in giving our new president the benefit of the doubt. Look on the bright side, I said! We could be proud of our country for electing a black man to the highest office in the land — and wouldn’t it be fun to have a young family with children in the White House?

My optimism didn’t last long. The moment Obama announced Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff, every radical and former radical in the country knew where we were headed — though few could imagine how quickly we could get there.

Then again, if you know your Alinsky and are beginning to fathom the extremism of Obama’s czarist empire, it should seem no surprise at all.

Saul Alinsky was the founding father of community organizing. And Obama’s team of Alinskyite cronies are doing what they’ve been doing for years — only now they are community organizing at a national level. This involves “empowering” the poor by crushing the middle class (though as we will see, Obama-style empowerment is an illusion). It involves obliterating traditions and symbols with which patriotic Americans identify (see Obama and iconography). It involves fomenting fear, uncertainty, and racial division. It means — because in an Alinsky world, the end justifies the means — that moral constraints like truth and honesty are off the table.

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