Newt Gingrich mentioned Saul Alinsky the other day in an effort to brand President Obama as an extremist. I'd heard of Alinsky, but I honestly have/had no idea who he was. Richard Adams at the Guardian takes a look at Alinksy and his "radical" ideas. Some of them don't seem so radical today.
In Rules for Radicals, for example, he responds to the demands by youth frustrated at the continuation of the Vietnam war by the Democratic party after the political battles and riots of 1968:He includes an interview with Alinsky that Studs Terkel did. First observation - what an accent! He sounds like he's out of some copper movie from the 1940s. Second observation, the guy who posted this video to YouTube thinks the video shows how "bad" progressives and liberals are: "This pretty much explains Obama's rise to POTUS. Problem is he is no longer respecting the dignity of the people. This interview explains so much about the Progressives and Liberals." Yeah right. Listen to the snippet of the interview. The man is politically smart, but by today's standard he doesn't sound terribly radical at all.
It hurt me to see the American army with bayonets advancing on American boys and girls. But the answer I gave to the young radicals seemed to me the only realistic one: "Do one of three things. One, go and find a wailing wall and feel sorry for yourselves. Two, go psycho and start bombing – but this will only swing people to the right. Three, learn a lesson. Go home, organise, build power and at the next convention, you be the delegates.