Thursday, April 12, 2012

12 April 2012 That Dangerous Saul Alinsky

          Whenever politics rises up on my morning Hike with Mike, I have only to wait for some bit of NRA or tea party propaganda to pop up.  The topic varies from day to day but always stems from a few common bits of misinformation. 
          Mike is an excellent neighbor and friend.  We’re fortunate to live upstream of him.  I’d trust him with my life and/or Gloria’s.  We won’t ever see eye to eye on politics. 
          Mike will tell you that his voting decisions are determined by the 2nd Amendment and the 10th Amendment.  I own and shoot firearms but have very little use for the NRA as it has recast itself today.  When it returns to a basic mission of teaching hunting and firearms safety, I’ll think better of it. 
          As for the 10th amendment, the Civil War pretty much negated that.  We are intended to be a single nation, not a confederation of 50 different components.  Those powers not originally defined by the Constitution were defined on 9 April 1865 when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses Grant.  Don’t agree, too bad.  That decision was paid for in the blood of men and women who deemed the nation more important than any single state.
          Lately, Mike has repeatedly brought up the name Saul Alinsky, as a purported model for the actions of others such as President Obama.  He maintains that Alinsky’s writings follow Marx and Engels work exactly.  Somehow, the teavangelists have strung together the words Alinksky, Chicago, Community Organizer, and Obama to create some horrible bogeyman where no such creature exists.  Alinksy was long gone before Obama worked as a community organizer.  His writings were all but forgotten in the Reagan-Bush – Bush II years.  Alinsky was brought back to the fore by the GOP/teavangelist propaganda factory in need of someone to terrorize the base.  Since that base is poorly read, fed only upon talking points and sound bites playing endlessly and truthlessly upon Fox News, Mr. Alinsky now stands analogous to Lucifer for the teavangelists and their even less well-read spawn.   
          The truth is that Alinsky was not, ever, a communist, or any other “ist.”  He never taught or mentored Mr. Obama.  He did not base his writings upon Marx or Engels. The even worse aspect of the truth is that the GOP/teavangelist base will swallow the lies they are being fed, will believe them, and will vote for others who also believe the lies spread by the GOP/teavangelist machine.  Before the next generation takes their place in the halls of government, it is not inconceivable that the lie factory will have Grant surrendering to Lee. 
                   Mike is our best-read, best educated neighbors.  Just goes to show how dangerous it can be for us Yankees to move into red states.
Who is Saul Alinsky, and why is Newt Gingrich so obsessed with him?
Newt Gingrich keeps likening President Obama to radical community organizer Saul Alinsky. But Gingrich seems to have adopted Alinsky's tactics himself, as has the tea party. Mainstream Republicans aren't happy.

“Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."[7] Alinsky did not join political parties. When asked during an interview whether he ever considered becoming a Communist party member, he replied:
Not at any time. I've never joined any organization—not even the ones I've organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisitionon down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.[4]

          We met Alan Woodruff this morning.  He is running for Congress, opposing Phil Roe for the 1st District TN seat in D.C.  He’s highly personable, heavily committed to winning a difficult election and someone that I can vote for rather than someone I would choose to vote for only as a least evil option.   I support most of his positions and can tolerate his position on those where we differ. 
See for yourself:

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