[Rushtalk] Barack Obama to become Donald Trump's agitator-in-chief?

John Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Tue Jan 17 21:38:48 MST 2017

*Barack Obama to become Donald Trump’s agitator-in-chief?*

·*Melanie Phillips*

·*The Times*

·*January 3, 2017*



Less than three weeks from now President Obama will leave office. One 
might assume that, as with his predecessors, he will take a back seat in 
public life, only surfacing to write his memoirs, rake in a few millions 
on the lecture circuit and work on his golf handicap.

This may be to misunderstand him as badly out of office as in it. After 
Donald Trump’s election, Mr Obama promised distraught Democrats that 
“next year Michelle and I are going to be right there with you ... and 
we’re going to be busy, involved in the amazing stuff that we’ve been 
doing all these years before”.

Just vague aspirational waffle? Unlikely. For in his previous life 
Barack Obama was a community organiser. It sounds benign enough. 
Organising the community surely means doing good works to alleviate the 
hardship of the poor and disadvantaged? No.

The term “community organiser” has a specific meaning. It was coined by 
the radical Chicago activist Saul Alinsky, a Marxist who believed in 
capturing the culture as the most effective means of overturning western 

The way to do this, he said, was through “people’s organisations” 
composed largely of discontented individuals who believed society was 
fundamentally unjust, and who would take their lead from trained 
community organisers. These organisers, taught Alinsky, should “rub raw 
the resentments of the people” and “agitate to the point of conflict” 
while pretending to be middle-class folk in suits.

Based on the premise that the revolution would come not through 
institutions but through the masses, the organisers’ role was to 
galvanise the mob to oppose every institution of the state. In his 
handbook of sedition, Rules for Radicals, Alinsky describes Lucifer as 
“the very first radical”.

Although he died in 1972, his influence over the Democratic Party 
remains enormous. In a letter to The Boston Globe in 2008, his son, L 
David Alinsky, said that every element of his father’s teaching had been 
present at that year’s Democratic convention: ” ... the crowd’s chanting 
of key phrases and names, the action on the spot of texting and phoning 
to show instant support and commitment to jump into the political 
battle, the rallying selections of music, the setting of the agenda by 
the power people”.

Two months later an Alinskyite radical, Barack Obama, was elected 
president of the United States.

Mr Obama had been trained as a community organiser by Alinskyite 
organisations. In the early 1990s he provided legal services and 
leadership training seminars for the Alinsky-style *Association of 
Community Organisations for Reform Now (Acorn).* Acorn was later accused 
of massive voter fraud during the 2008 election, particularly the 
falsification of voter registration cards.

In office Mr Obama constantly incited division between social groups. He 
claimed that low-income people were the victims of the wealthy, and 
backed racism charges against the police even though some of these were 
later shown to be false. Regularly invoking core American ideals, he 
simultaneously strove to transform American society.

As Alinsky’s son further observed, this was his father’s agenda to the 
letter. “Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community 
organisers is showing its effectiveness,” he wrote.

After he was first elected president Mr Obama launched Organising for 
America, a formal infrastructure of activism built upon his campaign’s 
extensive database of supporters.
In his second term, this turned into Organising for Action (OFA).

This vast database now has the potential to be the launch-pad for a 
direct challenge to democratic institutions.

After Mr Trump was elected president, Mr Obama told his OFA activists: 
“I’m giving you like a week and a half to get over it.” Then it would be 
time to “move forward not only to protect what we’ve accomplished, but 
also to see this as an opportunity” because “the network that you 
represent, you’re perfectly poised to do that. In other words, now is 
the time for some organising.”

In other words: agitating. On New Year’s Eve, OFA urged in one of its 
almost daily fundraising messages: “Across the country, OFA supporters 
and volunteers are already gearing up for the fights we’ll face in the 
next few months.”

Three days earlier it said: “We’ve been training the next generation of 
change-makers and community leaders and giving people the resources 
they’ll need to create change.
And we’re not going to back down just because the fight has gotten tough.”

Shortly after Mr Trump’s victory, yet another OFA message read: “Now is 
the time to get in the ring and fight harder than we ever have before.”

The effect of such a climate of agitation extends much further than the 
Democratic Party. We’ve already seen it in the violent anti-Trump 
demonstrations and harassment of Republican voters; the Black Lives 
Matter riots with their calls for “dead cops” and the lynching of white 
people; the refusal of athletes to stand for the American national anthem.

This now has the potential for a permanent grassroots insurrection 
against the Trump administration involving many different 
constituencies. Who better to spearhead this in one form or another than 
America’s very own community organiser-in-chief, soon-to-be-ex President 

The Times

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