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I'm damn far left. I feel that Obama has been letting us lefties down. But I'll be voting for him. Why is that? Is it because the alternatives are worse? While that's true, it isn't really the reason. Is it because he's a Democrat and Seth always sticks by his party? Ahahaha, don't make me laugh. I've voted third party before and I'll do it again. Is it because Obama's is a "Historic presidency" meaning he's our first African American president? While that is cool, and even more cool that he is our first "son of an immigrant" president, I care about results, not appearances.

No, the reason I'm going to vote for Obama is simple, selfish curiosity. I want to know the truth about him, one way or the other, and we just aren't going to get to find out unless we elect him again. Is he playing eleven dimensional chess? Is he playing it well? Has he really sold out to Wall Street? Who is Barack Obama, really? We won't know for sure unless we reelect him.

You know what the right says about him? He's a Secret Marxist, a radical, a wolf in sheep's clothing. Okay, well how come he doesn't appear to act like a radical then? The right has an answer for that, too, and I found it by accident when I did a Google search for Saul Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals. The top link is to a page of quotes on some crazy religious right website. The quotes are cherry picked to highlight Saul's policy of moral relativism, and "expose" Barack Obama (and also Hillary) as a secret disciple of that radical "neo Marxist," Saul Alinsky.

Saul wasn't a neo-Marxist. When asked during an interview whether he ever considered becoming a Communist party member, he replied:

   "Not at any time. I've never joined any organization—not even the ones I've organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide."

But Saul was a community organizer in Chicago. He taught poor and oppressed people all across America how to take and hold political power. His book, Rules for Radicals, written in 1972 near the end of long life of successful organizing, can best be summed up in his own words. In the first chapter's opening paragraph, Alinsky writes, "What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."

When the right cherry picks quotes illustrating Saul's supposed moral relativism, they are taking those quotes from one chapter of one book. He asks whether the end justifies the means and says, that is a meaningless question. The real question is, "do these means justify this particular end?" He also notes that the haves are the uttermost of moral relativists. What they do is always justified and what we do never is.

This is just one chapter in Rules for Radicals, distinct from the rest of the book. But do you understand why the right likes to quote it in relation to Obama? Why, it proves he is a secret Marxist who is just pretending to be friendly to the status quo. He's lying to everyone! Saul Alinsky told him it was okay, the end justifies the means!

Well what if they are right? What if Barack Obama, a Chicago community organizer, is following the playbook of Saul Alinsky, America's greatest community organizer? A man who was born in and did much of his organizing in Chicago?

Read the book.

I'm not going to draw you a map, other people on the left and right already have. I'm telling you to read Rules for Radicals and draw your own conclusions. As for me, the only thing I will say is that unless you have a solid moral compass, empathy, and compassion for all mankind, Saul's is a dangerous path to walk. Once you start down that path, it's very easy to start fooling yourself and completely lose your way. Especially in the moral swamp of Washington.

So it could go either way, and I want to know the answer! Has Obama lost his way and been turned to the dark side by the allure of power and money? Is he still a Chicago community organizer at heart, playing power games and eleven dimensional chess at the highest levels with the end, real change for America, always firmly in mind? Unless we reelect him, we'll never know.

But we need to do more than that. In fact, I think the Republicans are going to reelect Obama for us with their ridiculous antics. The current clown parade doesn't stand a chance, no matter what happens to the economy. No, what we need to do is hand Obama the most progressive House we possibly can. I think that is the key.

Even if you don't read the book, think about this: the only way that people will accept real change is if they are absolutely fed up with the way things are now. If you could let things get more and more messed up just by letting the other side have its way, and look like the bigger man in the end when they screw things up worse, would you do that? Knowing that, in the end, by letting things get screwed up, and being the bigger man, you can lead the people in a better direction, would you say, "The end justifies the means, some temporary suffering and hurt feelings are necessary so that in the end, when the right drives the nation off the cliff, AGAIN, the people will listen when I say, 'this time, lets try something completely different'?"

It's a possibility. If we reelect Barack Obama and give him a progressive house, we can find out. Maybe, just maybe he is expecting that we on the far left will recognize what he is doing and play along. And that possibility, no matter how slim it might be, is enough for me. What if the right is right about Obama? I need to find out. So I'll be voting for him and more importantly, I'll be working to get him some progressive support in the House.

P.S. I'm terrified to hit publish, more so than when I published my damn life story or my essay on why I'm a socialist. I'm scared to even set foot in these waters. Because I'm going to have to police this diary and hide rate insults and I don't want to have to do that and piss people off any more than this diary is sure to piss some off on its own. Oh well, in for a dime, in for a dollar.


Obama, what's his secret?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm voting for him because he's the best (16+ / 0-)

    candidate, and it's my responsibility as a citizen to try to AVOID turning the entire country into Wisconsin.

    I'll never, ever understand all of the other emo that "true progressives" put into this. (shrug)

    Kevin dropped his ice cream and blames Obama? He's gone hamsher!

    by punditician on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:17:49 PM PDT

    •  ditto. (8+ / 0-)

      "I'm Black and I'm proud, I'm ready, I'm hype, plus I'm amped/ most of my heroes don't appear on no stamp!" ~Carlton Ridenhour

      by mallyroyal on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:35:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, man, us hippies are all about feeelings, dig? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm a far lefty of hippie origins. We're all about processing our feelings. It's how we get over things. So we whine about our ideals and how the world has let us down again and it's not all "Free to Be, You and Me" and why aren't you all doing something about that?

      But you moderates need us to make you look sane, or the Overton Window will keep shifting to the right. We're your Anne Coulters, your Rush Limbaughs of far left idealism. Scoff in public if you must but at least give us a pat on the head in private, you dig? Sheesh, it's like you don't even know how the game is played. Look at them. They do.

    •  He will be the best candidate, period, stop. (4+ / 0-)

      It is that simple, yet some cannot see it.

      "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

      by sebastianguy99 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:25:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what it will come down to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sebastianguy99, sberel

        You'll be in that voting booth and it will read "Obama" and "End of the God Damn World" and you will choose Obama. It really is that simple. That's why I say we don't need to worry so much, the republicans are doing a fine job of reelecting Obama. We should focus on giving him a progressive house.

        •  May I quote (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Forget the phony, "choice between two evils"! In all seriousness, they are only one SCOTUS vote away from setting this country back a century.

          Yes, the Republicans are their own worse enemies, and I aim to let them self-destruct.

          "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

          by sebastianguy99 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:18:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with chess is that the pawns (0+ / 0-)

    are expendable.  It's the elites in the back row who have a better chance of surviving.

    I wondered whether president Obama was so intellectually skilled that no one was able, as yet, to see his plan to save America.

    Then I got over it.

    My plan is to work hard for democratic congressman and support the President, if he gets off his ass.  Otherwise, he doesn't have much chance at re-election.

  •  I can't imagine not voting for Obama, but (0+ / 0-)

    I'll be more enthusiastic about getting out the vote if he sticks to Democratic ideals.

    •  Well, my point is this: (0+ / 0-)

      If he is following Saul Alinsky's playbook, then one trick he might be using is to just give in and let them make things worse so that people get so pissed off they will demand real change.

      I don't know if he is or not. I first read Rules for Radicals back in '93 or '94 and it was kind of a how-to manual for me. Saul really understood how to go into any community, as a white, Jewish outsider, get them to trust him, and then teach them how to gain and hold political power for themselves. He was one of the best independent community organizers on the planet, in the same realm as Ghandi in my humble opinion.

      Anyone doing community organizing in Chicago would have to have studied Alinsky. The question is how much emphasis did Obama place on Alinsky's tactics and philosophy? How much does he now? I'd love to be able to peer into the man's mind, but I can't. None of us can.

  •  When you are having a house built, and you find (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    khereva, blueoasis

    the contractor has built the first floor and out of plumb and badly it leaning to the right, you make him fix it before you pay him to build the second floor.

    •  Edited: When you are having a house built and you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      find that the contractor has built the first floor out of plumb and it is badly leaning to the right, you make him fix it before you pay him to build the second floor.

    •  You got a better contractor in mind? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Give him a chance. Maybe the lean to the right is on purpose, you know, to provide a foundation for an even further lean to the left and you will end up with some kind of Frank Loyd Wright masterpiece in the end. That's kind of the point of my diary. We won't know unless we reelect him. I was hoping to promote discussion about that possibility. We all know he built a first floor that leans to the right. I'm interested in finding out why.

  •  Barack has a (4+ / 0-)

    Pie Problem. the White House has to watch how much pie he gets for dessert all the time.

    Yes I'm voting for Barack Obama in 2012. there would have to be something serious happen to change my mind.

  •  I'm voting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SethRightmer, sberel, ajr111240

    for him as I still feel the same way about him as I felt when I voted for him in Nov. 08.

    It's like any relationship. You don't turn your back on someone just because they don't always do what you want.

    I believe Obama, and despite how the MSM  and others, try to paint him, I believe, with all that is in me, he wants what is best for this country.

    My view on this topic can be found here:

    I would write a diary about it, but my true and complete feelings about this entire topic would most likely get me booted from D-Kos, which would most likely hamper my ability to get my point across.

    Dum Spiro Spero - While I Breathe, I Hope

    by Dancing Angel on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:53:44 PM PDT

  •  Interesting diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sberel, Catte Nappe, synth

    One of the more creative reasons I've seen for reelecting the president, no snark.

    Supreme Court replacements for inevitable retirements are my primary motivation for supporting the reelection of the president.

    Though I may adopt yours as well. ;-)

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:04:05 PM PDT

  •  I like this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's a risky time, a risky situation for the earth and our species.  Much less the country.  I don't like many things about this president, but I'd like to see what the next term brings too.

    I go for local politics.  So I don't grok the sturm and drang over President Obama.  I don't really believe in sending $$ and volunteering for the presidential campaign for several reasons.

    1) you can get close to the local candidates' staff and in many cases the candidates themselves.  There are fewer volunteers and the margins can be very tight. So there is a big push not to leave anything on the table, and you can really feel a part of every vote counting. (the candidate in my second campaign won with 16 votes).  All of this makes the campaigns a lot more fun to be involved in.  

    2) these local candidates have a significant impact on your life and they are more accessible in trying to get your issues heard.  This is simply a matter of the numbers involved in the constituency.  I am not suggesting that working on the campaigns will give you access.

    3) people vote down the ballot, so the people higher can and frequently do get the benefit of the lower down race.  Even if they are not voting straight ticket.  If I get someone in to vote for state rep, they've got to go through four - five races to get to their candidate of choice.

    4) The cycles are two years, not four.  So if you're getting people to vote for a local candidate, you're also encouraging frequent voting and voting in midterm elections.  Hell, we're voting this year in my area (municipal elections).

    By the way, you cannot hide rate in your own diary.  And don't worry about insults, imo.   If people come with it, I'm all for letting them discuss among themselves.

    What is the most loving thing I can do, right now? Rev Dr Mary Harrington

    by sberel on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:25:37 PM PDT

    •  I like the cut of your jib, sailor! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Local politics are where it is at. I got a bit burnt out on local politics in San Francisco under Willie Brown, the whole public power thing corrupted by PG&E money. Plus I was working with Food not Bombs at the time, volunteering almost every day, and he was still carrying on Frank Jordan's policies of having the police crack down on us. Meh. I'm in New Mexico now, still trying to get a feel for the local politics.

  •  Obama is an Abomination! (0+ / 0-)

    Obama's Wall Street "Savvy Businessmen" buddies are THIEVES who should be doing the lifelong world prison tour, NOT enjoying freedom and their ill-gotten gains.

    Obama and Holder need to go.

    I like Nader and Spitzer as replacements.

    •  Did you read the diary? (0+ / 0-)

      There may be a reason he appears that way. I mean, it sounds like you didn't read the diary and just came here to give your opinion, regardless of what I had to say. Have you read Rules for Radicals? You should.

  •  About the poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't really think the ficus is a republican plant. It's more that republicans happen to like ficus. But really, who doesn't? Figs are awesome.

    I'm glad our right wing friends are visiting, but really? No one is going for the Bildeberger group? Why, did your corporate masters tell you that was too close to the truth? ;)

    To the one person who picked my thesis: thank you. I picked pie because I didn't want to be the only guy voting for his own thesis, but I guess I wouldn't have been alone after all.

    My honest pick, though? "He's just trying to get through this without getting killed or embarrassing anyone."

    The Michelle thing? I hope she's helping run things, I bet they are an awesome team. But she's not "the boss," I get the feeling things are pretty equal between them.

    What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?

    I like that people play along with my joke options. Sometimes I'm not sure which are which. :)

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