Saul Alinsky

In a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe, the son of radical socialist community organizer Saul Alinsky praised Barack Obama for stirring up the masses at the Democratic National Convention “Saul Alinsky style,” saying, “Obama learned his lesson well.”

The letter signed L. David Alinsky closed by saying, “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully. … It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.”

Saul Alinsky was a social revolutionist who advocated going beyond leftist approaches to the point of stirring mass organizations of “Have-nots” that would rise up and seize power from the “Haves.” Alinsky’s radical methods were often controversial, as were his words, such as the dedication of his book “Rules for Radicals”: “To 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.”

Alinsky founded and trained community organizations to follow his methods, including organizations in South Chicago, where Barack Obama credits his political beginnings. As the Washington Post reported last year, Obama was hired shortly after graduating from college by a group of Alinsky’s disciples to be community organizer.

“Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness,” wrote L. David Alinsky.

How deeply the radical leftist Alinsky actually influenced Obama remains a point of controversy in the public eye, as demonstrated by the stir caused after his wife’s alleged use of Alinsky’s words at the Democratic National Convention and by the war of words between the Obama campaign and authors like Jerome Corsi, who have pointed to Obama’s connections with radical socialists and communists in his early years.

If the Obama campaign was hoping to distance itself from connections to Saul Alinsky, however, the younger Alinsky’s letter to the editor isn’t going to help.

“All the elements were present,” wrote L. David Alinsky, referring to the Democratic National Convention at which Obama was nominated, “the individual stories told by real people of their situations and hardships, the packed-to-the rafters crowd, the crowd’s chanting of key phrases and names, the action on the spot of texting and phoning to show instant support and commitment to jump into the political battle, the rallying selections of music, the setting of the agenda by the power people. The Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event, Saul Alinsky style.

“Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness. It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen. Obama learned his lesson well.”


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