Obama meeting with ACORN leaders as an Illinois Senate candidate
ACORN, the radical organization charged with voter fraud in several states, owes its origin to a revolutionary strategy developed by two Columbia University sociologists in the 1960s.
After completing his legal education at Harvard, Barack Obama returned to Chicago to work in an ACORN-funded voter registration project that developed directly out of this radical revolutionary strategy.
The Cloward-Piven strategy
On the May 2, 1966, Columbia’s Professor of Social Work Richard A. Cloward, and his then research associate Frances Fox Piven, wrote a pivotal article in The Nation, articulating “a strategy to end poverty.”
In what became known as the Cloward-Piven strategy, the article argued a revolutionary approach to mobilizing the poor in the form of class warfare against capitalist forces viewed as exploiting labor and oppressing the poor.
David Horowitz, a long-time student of leftist political movements in the United States, characterized the Cloward-Piven strategy as seeking “to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.”
Cloward and Piven argued a “guaranteed annual income” should be established as an entitlement for the poor, a right the poor could assert and demand to be paid.
Arguing for massive registration of poor in existing social welfare programs, Cloward and Piven sought to create a crisis that could be exploited to obtain a fundamental redistribution of power in favor of the “have-nots.”
Advancing their socialist revolutionary aims, Cloward and Piven explained the crisis they sought “can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.”
The Cloward-Piven strategy sought to apply the tactics of the revolutionary civil rights movement, including urban riots, to the poor as a whole, transcending interest-group politics defined by race to involve interest-group politics defined by class.
Radical black activist George Wiley created the National Welfare Reform Organization, or NWRO, to implement the Cloward-Piven strategy.
Sol Stern, writing in the City Journal, noted that foot soldiers hired by the NWRO were successful in expanding welfare rolls from 4.3 million to 10.8 million by the mid-1970s. The result was that in New York City, where the strategy had been particularly successful, “one person was on the welfare rolls … for every two working in the city’s private economy.”
James Simpson, a former White House staff economist and budget analyst, asserts in American Thinker that the “vast expansion of welfare in New York City that came of the NWRO’s Cloward-Piven tactics sent the city into bankruptcy in 1975.”
ACORN, Obama, and Cloward-Piven
William Radke, the founder of ACORN, was a member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS, before he dropped out of Williams College in 1968 to join the anti-draft movement protesting the Vietnam War.
He next worked for George Wiley’s NWRO in Springfield, Mass., before leaving for Little Rock, Ark., in 1970. In Little Rock he formed the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now, an organization whose name he morphed into the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, to form a national organization.
With ACORN, Radke resolved to apply the Cloward-Piven strategy as a “community organizer” in an effort to recruit radicals to register to vote as Democrats, often fraudulently, in local, state and national elections.
Radke’s idea was to create a crisis in voter registration similar to the crisis in registration for welfare benefits that Cloward and Piven had initially sought to cause.
Funded heavily by George Soros through his Open Society Institute, ACORN has followed a three-point strategy that James Simpson described as follows:
- Register as many Democratic voters as possible, legal or otherwise, and help them vote, multiple times if possible.
- Overwhelm the system with fraudulent registrations using multiple entries of the same name, names of deceased, random names from the phone book, even contrived names.
- Make the system difficult to police by lobbying for minimal identification standards required of voters arriving at polling stations to vote.
In 1992, while he was working as a community organizer in Chicago, Obama headed the Chicago operations of Project Vote!, an ACORN effort to register voters nationally. In Chicago, Obama had his biggest impact registering African-American voters on Chicago’s South Side.