The only people who find Alinsky’s writings radical are the Haves, because it suggests that the Have Nots have the power to equalize the system a little more. That’s a scary concept for the one percent for which the GOP is entirely dedicated. But unlike former Reagan Budget Director David Stockman in the clip above, I do think this resonates with those Republican voters notorious for voting against their own interests. Because not one of them will bother to get informed on Alinsky. Not one of them will bother to do any critical thinking but simply categorize Alinsky as one of those nefarious bad things from which to be frightened or suspicious of the liberal agenda.

I don’t actually think any of them will even HEAR Alinsky and be curious. I’d like to see polling done on Alinsky the way it’s done on political candidates for name recognition measurement, and find out, among the Republicans who just vote Republican because their hairdresser gives them the political news, how many of them even know who the hell he is.

And this:

Listening to this, I’m struck by one thing: if Newt is the candidate, he’s going to drive the discussion into all the nooks and crannies of noise and diversion that have occupied Fox News viewers since Obama’s victory. In other words, Newt is the candidate of the 2009 media cycle, where the Tea Party dominated media coverage.

Which goes back to something I’ve been talking about basically since 2008: NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THIS CRAP BUT OTHER CRAZY PEOPLE. Alinsky-an community organizaing tactics and socialist death panels and all this other Glenn Beck nonsense is just noise to your average Republican. This is too advanced for them. The War on Christmas, communist re-education camps, fascist light-bulb replacement and other Tea Party articles of faith sound just as crazy to mildly racist “independent” voters as they do to us.

Those nice white middle-class people are listening for code language, of course, but it’s “school choice” and “teachers’ unions” and “entitlement programs” and “parental responsibility” and “moral values” and “I don’t want to have to explain this to my children.” The old young bucks bying T-bone steaks thing, and why women need to have all these choices anyway. Maybe some vague intimations about how organic food is homosexual and no one should force you to eat it. A comment here or there about how Michelle Obama doesn’t know her place. Unless they’re the 27 percent parked in front of Fox all day, you ask any ten Republicans who Saul Alinsky is and they’ll probably ask if he’s an actor or an American Idol contestant.

(I didn’t know who he was until Republicans started boring on about him. Because there is a limited amount of space in my head for stuff that is not, at the moment, actively on fire.)

That’s not to say that 27 percent of Americans who are bugfuck crazy is an insignificant number, but it’s really not worth getting worked up about. The other 30 percent who are looking at the numbers and on average voting for the guy they think will punish black people, gay people and chicks for wanting their legal rights worry me far more.


6 thoughts on “Codetalkers

  1. Agreed but this is only half the story. As I’ve noted before, there are tons of low-information voters on BOTH sides, who vote against their best interest, and/or who don’t know jack shit about the issues, who couldn’t exercise critical thinking if their life depended on it.
    Which doesn’t negate what you’re saying, it actually makes it worse. Because with respect to this, Republicans know that and they know how to get those people to the polls. I don’t think the Democrats do that very well.

  2. Over at Angry Black Lady Chronicals they are going to do a reading club for “Rules for Radicals” it starts sometime this week. It’s a good book about organizing.

  3. I’m a 55 year old college graduate who pays pretty close attention to news, politics, etc, votes in every election, works at the polls for the last ten years, put in maybe 15 hours a week on the recalls…and I don’t know who the hell Saul Alinsky is.
    Seriously, where do these guys get this stuff?

  4. robertsearle: I’m 60, a political science/American Government major in college and I’d not heard of Saul Alinsky, although I do recognize his major writings (Rules for Radicals). I didn’t learn about him and his ideas until I took organizing training from his Industrial Areas Foundation. In the 1980s, IAF was doing training in NYC through small churches and Jewish congregations around housing and education issues. (Google Nehemiah Houses and/or IAF.) The group in Brooklyn was quite successful; the group in Queens, not so much. His ideas were powerful.

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