Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Alinsky Bashing

"If it's a Republican debate night, it's time for a Saul Alinsky reference."

Jason Horowitz,"Saul Alinsky lives on in GOP rhetoric." The Washington Post, January 24, 2012.

I know that having a political villain is not always about facts. But still, picking on Saul Alinsky for the wrong reasons is annoying. Maybe Alinsky is just a proxy.

Alinsky was no lover of big government or the War on Poverty. And in the early years he worked as much with socially conservative, white ethnic, working-class and moderate-income neighborhoods as with "disenfranchised" communities, that is, communities of color. Organizing issues dealt with issues like good schools, decent housing, parks, and neighborhood change.

And what could be closer to the heart of conservatives than building upon "mediating institutions" like churches, clubs, and civic associations. Indeed, the Tea Party folks should probably pay more attention to Alinsky's advice about organization building for the long term.

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