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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

Bio

October 28, 2009 - 12:17 am

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.

The American middle class has been way too trusting, way too slow to respond to the warning signs. And way too busy earning the money to keep their families secure while paying taxes to fund the very organizations bent on the destruction of traditional America.

But the tea parties, the Mommy Patriots, the growing number of Americans identifying themselves as conservatives, and the bucking of the two-party game to support conservative candidates rather than RINOs — these are hopeful signs. The sleeping giant may well be waking, shaking, and ready to roll.

Many are playing catch-up and may have only heard bits and pieces from Rules for Radicals. But the more we know of the philosophical underpinnings of O & Co., the better our position to expose the man behind the curtain. And the sooner we understand, the better. So let’s read and discuss — now!

Rules for Radicals is available quickly and easily. Please, please get yourself a copy to read and discuss with me.

We will kick off discussion Friday on the book’s prologue, then proceed with a chapter at a time for the following three weeks — covering the nine chapters successively on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This will allow us to wrap things up before the week of Thanksgiving — allowing us to turn our full attention to our families for that important holiday, which may mean more than ever to us after hearing where Alinsky, though he died in 1972, has us headed.

For an introduction to Alinsky, please read “The Democratic Process: Saul Alinsky and His Legacy.”

Barbara Curtis is a wife, mother of 12, and author of nine books, including Reaching the Left from the Right: Talking About Social Issues with People Who Don't Think Like You. Visit her at www.barbaracurtis.com or at her blog www.MommyLife.net. Her fourth son will begin Marines OCS in January.
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