Daily Archives: October 23, 2008

Obama’s “Bitter Americans” – Lessons Learned From Saul Alinsky

Few know it today, but Chicago was the birthplace of a powerful grassroots social movement that changed political activism in this country.  “Community Organizing” was pioneered in Chicago’s old stockyards neighborhood by the soberly realistic, unabashedly radical Saul Alinsky.



Under the tutelage of hardcore students of Alinsky, Obama says he got the “best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School.”  He made the remark last year while campaigning in Iowa.

It is written that Saul Alinsky perceived most Americans as people who were governed by their prejudices, and who thus felt great antipathy toward a majority of their fellow countrymen — particularly those of different racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds.

I guess Mr. Obama learned his lessons well because that sounds an awful lot like the statement he made when trying to explain his difficulty with winning working-class voters in Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

To quote Mr. Obama’s now famous remark:

“And it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

But I’ll have to tell you, I don’t believe that is even close to why he is not appealing to the working-class voters.  It only shows how completely out of touch he is with the average working-class American.  But a clue can be found in his reaction to Joe the Plumber and the comments he made recently on the campaign trail about him.

And it is this disconnect that, at least in part, is likely to cost him this election.  One can only hope.

Posted:  10.22.08

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