Several times in his acceptance speech last night, Newt Gingrich compared President Obama to Saul Alinsky. I had heard Alinsky’s name before but needed to look him up this morning to remember what he was about.
I quote from Wikipedia: “Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972)… championed new ways to organize the poor and powerless that created a backyard revolution in cities across America…. His organizing skills were focused on improving the living conditions of poor communities across North America.
“In the 1950s, he began turning his attention to improving conditions of the African American Ghettos beginning with Chicago’s and later traveling to other ghettos in California, Michigan, New York City, and a dozen other “trouble spots. His ideas were later adapted by some U.S. college students and other young organizers in the late 1960s and formed part of their strategies for organizing on campus and beyond.”
Alinsky was unaffiliated. ” … philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism.” He worked as a labor organizer for the C.I.O. before changing his focus to community organizing. Alinsky was born Jewish, although he considered himself a secular, unaffiliated Jew,
So what does Gingrich’s comparison of Obama with Alinsky say? Gingrich is afraid. He fears African Americans, Jews, other minorities, the poor, the elderly and the disadvantaged. He fears organized labor. He fears the Occupy movement. He remembers and fears the organization and protests of the 1960s on college campuses and among American youth. He fears WE, THE PEOPLE.
When members of the Tea party and the Republican party cry “we want to take back our country,” it is out of their fear of Democracy, of rights for all. It is out of selfishness and unwillingness to share.
I learned about kindness and sharing in kindergarten. Why have Gingrich, the One Percent, the Tea party and the Republican party forgotten?