Monday, August 23, 2010

Congressman Rick Larsen uses Saul Alinsky tactics

In the true Alinsky-ites way; Congressman Rick Larsen has used spliced and fabricated video to create a video ad for the web and TV which portrays his challenger, John Koster of Arlington, WA, as a racists for his support of the Tea Party message.  One such message is the mission statement of the Bellingham Tea Party;
“To reverse deficit spending and the concentration of power in central government, in order to preserve states’ rights and individual liberty for future generations.”
The Bellingham Tea Party is a non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization that does not endorse any political party or candidate.  Its official website is:
Today the Bellingham Tea Party sent out a press release which briefly stated says:
               “On August 3, 2010, the Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen released a highly dishonest ad1 in an attempt to shamelessly denigrate the Tea Party movement as a whole.   By doing so, we can only conclude that this campaign chose to personally and publicly insult thousands of citizens in Washington State’s U.S. Congressional District 2 for personal and political advantage.  The purpose of the ad was clearly intended to dishonor a candidate opposing the Congressman, using “guilt by association” tactics.   As an organization, the Bellingham Tea Party will not stand by and be used in such a reprehensible way without a response.
                 We urge journalists everywhere to independently research and acknowledge the fact that this ad features the photograph of a billboard in Des Moines, Iowa, and attempts to convey extremely negative symbolism by including many photographs with Confederate flags that were displayed by a Civil War history reenactment group in a 4th of July parade in Snohomish County.  We believe that these images, among many others of unknown origin, were portrayed with the deliberate intent to mislead the voters of Congressman Larsen’s district about local Tea Party attitudes and stated principles.
To understand the true malevolence of this tactic I have pasted a brief description of Alinsky tactics which believe that the ends justify the means:  The following description was found in Wikipedia here.  The tactics used by Congressman Larsen are clearly exposed by this expose done by Fox News on dishonest political ads:  Congressman Rick Larsen of Washington State uses false images to smear opponent.
Continuing in the prologue Alinsky writes:
"What I have to say in this book is not the arrogance of unsolicited advice. It is the experience and counsel that so many young people have questioned me about through all-night sessions on hundreds of campuses in America. It is for those young radicals who are committed to the fight, committed to life."
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".[1]
Outlining his strategy in organizing Alinsky writes:
"There's another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families – more than seventy million people – whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]. They cannot be dismissed by labeling them blue collar or hard hat. They will not continue to be relatively passive and slightly challenging. If we fail to communicate with them, if we don't encourage them to form alliances with us, they will move to the right. Maybe they will anyway, but let's not let it happen by default."[2]
For Alinsky, organizing is the process of highlighting whatever he believed to be wrong and convincing people they can actually do something about it. The two are linked. If people feel they don’t have the power to change a situation, they stop thinking about it.
According to Alinsky, the organizer — especially a paid organizer from outside — must first overcome suspicion and establish credibility. Next the organizer must begin the task of agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy. This is necessary to get people to participate. An organizer has to attack apathy and disturb the prevailing patterns of complacent community life where people have simply come to accept a situation. Alinsky would say, “The first step in community organization is community disorganization.”
The Larsen campaign has chosen to demonize those who have strongly criticized his representation of them for the past 2 years (more for some such as I) for votes which were in opposition of those he purports to represent.  Congressman Larsen was asked what his constituents had communicated to him on Health Care Reform.  Congressman Larsen’s reply that the comments were “No and Hell No!”  So, now that Congressman Larsen is reaping that which he sowed with his voting record; he has nothing positive to run on, so his campaign has chosen instead to smear Mr. Koster to try to make himself look better in the eyes of the public.  Good luck with that one soon-to-be-ex-Congressman Larsen.
Yours In Truth  ;-)  Shelly

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