by D. L. Adams (January 2010)
Saul Alinsky and his “community organizing” methods and philosophy have had a profound influence on the politics of the United States. Recent history would suggest that this influence is just short of catastrophic.
Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” published in 1971 still has enormous effects on our country today. Hillary Clinton wrote her Wellesley College thesis on Alinsky, interviewing him personally for her research. After her graduation Alinsky offered her a job with his organization, which she refused to pursue other opportunities. President Obama worked for Alinsky organizations and taught seminars in Alinsky tactics and methodology during his “community organizing” period in Chicago. Michelle Obama echoed Alinsky’s words in her speech at the Democratic Convention.
“Barack stood up that day,” talking about a visit to Chicago neighborhoods, “and spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about “The world as it is” and “The world as it should be…”
And, “All of us driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do – that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.”
Saul Alinsky, “Rules for Radicals,” Chapter 2:
“The means-and-ends moralists, constantly obsessed with the ethics of the means used by the Have-Nots against the Haves, should search themselves as to their real political position. In fact, they are passive-but real-allies of the Haves … The most unethical of all means is the non-use of any means … The standards of judgment must be rooted in the whys and wherefores of life as it is lived, the world as it is, not our wished-for fantasy of the world as it should be.“
Alinsky is making a strong case in this quote for the abandonment of morals and ethics as nothing but impediments to political success. For Alinsky, as for Michelle and Barack Hussein Obama, morality and ethics prevent the world from being what “it should be.” The Alinsky end game is likely a global utopia in which the “people” have “power.” Unfortunately, this utopianism has been the foundation of several über-violent movements of the last century which have resulted in over 100 million deaths.
Alinsky’s dedication of “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer is easily understood; as a champion of amorality and the abandonment of ethics as nothing more than props that sustain the status quo Lucifer is the perfect model of the destroyer for the activist Alinsky. The fact that our top political leadership has embraced this amoral set of tactics for political gain should cause all Americans concern.
There is no utopia; those who have strived to make the impossible real, to implement their grand visions of life have been the agents of death and destruction on a scale surpassed only perhaps by Islam. Alinsky, like the Koran, Sira, and Hadith, represents morality turned upside down or abandoned entirely in favor of cold pragmatism.
ACORN’s transgressions and fraud were so abysmal that the federal government de-funded the organization several months ago. ACORN operates on Alinsky principles of immorality and total radical pragmatism, after all, they are trying to usher in the people’s utopia; why should they allow mere ethics, legalities, and other such encumbrances to interfere with their mission to save humanity from itself?
Recently, ACORN employees attempted to assist two young people who wanted to start an illegal sex business; unfortunately for the ACORN people the two entrepreneurs were actually conservative activists who had filmed the entire encounter. Following in the path of Alinsky, what could be wrong with a bit of prostitution and other sex-related “businesses” if it “empowered the people” and could help to de-construct the institutions of society? For ACORN it was a win-win opportunity.
Alinsky’s mission was to incite constant struggle and agitation so that the oppressive “system” would eventually be brought to its knees; ACORN is on the same path, but pretends legitimacy much better than Alinsky ever attempted. In fact, the ACORN “sting” as it is now known is Alinsky methodology put to good use. ACORN and its Alinsky amorality were supported by our current President.
“In fact, Obama’s Acorn connection is far more extensive. In the few stories where Obama’s role as an Acorn “leadership trainer” is noted, or his seats on the boards of foundations that may have supported Acorn are discussed, there is little follow-up. Even these more extensive reports miss many aspects of Obama’s ties to Acorn.” (Stanley Kurtz, National Review)
Many Americans have read Alinsky’s books and understand his methods; this is excellent as so few read Mein Kampf, and fewer still have read the Koran, Sira, and Hadith. These are the foundational texts of existential opposition to the existence of the United States in its present form.
The fact that our current President and Secretary of State (wannabe President Hillary Clinton), are followers of Alinsky is beyond disturbing. That so many Americans know Alinsky is heartening but few know the motivations behind the agitation that is so central to the Alinsky method and further what it means when a professional agitator acquires the power that they claim to require. What kind of effective governance is possible from the permanent agitator when the reins of power are handed to him/her? We have seen the results.
The problem with the Alinsky method is that the end game is amorphous; the end game is the acquisition of power but little is said of what to do with that power once acquired. The core of Alinsky’s method is destruction, destruction of the “system” that allows a disparity of wealth. There is no discussion of what is to replace this system once it is brought down. However, there is little doubt that Alinsky’s idea of a better “system” is one that brings forced equivalence or Marxism. Fundamentally, the struggle to get power is the essence of Alinsky, what to do with the power once acquired is another matter altogether.
“Community Organizer” Barack Hussein Obama teaches the Alinsky method of power acquisition.
Just two weeks before his death in 1972 Alinsky gave a revealing interview to Playboy magazine. While this is not a widely known interview it provides great insight into Alinsky, his purposes and, most importantly, his deep alienation from concepts of decency, ethics and morality. In order to understand our current “leadership” we must understand Alinsky.
David Horowitz recently published a small but insightful pamphlet on Alinsky and “Rules for Radicals.” Horowitz understands what few do not: Alinsky was a nihilist. What does Alinsky’s nihilism say about those who follow in his footsteps? The answer is clear.
The current use of the term “change” is directly from Saul Alinsky. This is a term that can mean many things to many people.
“Pragmatically, the only hope for genuine minority progress is to seek out allies within the majority and to organize that majority itself as part of a national movement for change.” (Alinsky interview)
“Change” is both the tool and the goal, but it is rarely defined in any way that is not strictly local and economic; better housing for the poor, better economic opportunity, better wages, better municipal services, etc. However, at the national level “change” is left undefined. In fact it seems, the process of change itself, not the implementation of “change,” is the goal.
This is amoral political agitation that appears to be about something positive but is really about deconstruction. Once the institutions of “oppression” that require “change” are destroyed, there is no plan delineated by Alinsky (nor his current crop of followers) as to what will replace them. The goal apparently is “people power” (whatever that means). However, since the concept of destroying the institutions of society specifically to “empower” people is foundational, this is the same message of Marx.
Alinsky is a Marxist without the red flag. Any institution that allows one group of people to advance at the expense of another is to be brought down even if those who advance within it do so as a result of honest hard work and talent. The essence of Alinsky is a radical idea of universal equivalence, though this has been seen before both in Marxist theory, and in Communist states. In order to agitate for “change,” Alinsky and his adherents require the population to be on edge; “rubbed raw.” This desire for endless agitation as a goal is bizarre and disturbing.
“The despair is there; now it’s up to us to go in and rub raw the sores of discontent, galvanize them for radical social change. We’ll give them a way to participate in the democratic process, a way to exercise their rights as citizens and strike back at the establishment that oppresses them, instead of giving in to apathy. We’ll start with specific issues — taxes, jobs, consumer problems, pollution – and from there move on to the larger issues: pollution in the Pentagon and the Congress and the board rooms of the megacorporations. Once you organize people, they’ll keep advancing from issue to issue toward the ultimate objective: people power.” (Alinsky interview)
Alinsky believed that the struggle itself is empowering and important, in and of itself. “People power” is another way to say the rule of the people, and not elites or institutions or representatives. This is Marxism. Our president is the greatest acolyte of Saul Alinsky. The influence of Alinsky in our national politics cannot be overstated.
“We’ll not only give them a cause, we’ll make life goddamn exciting for them again — life instead of existence. We’ll turn them on.” (Alinsky interview)
Alinsky claims to love the United States, but not in its current form. His love of country is as hollow as that of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
“I love this goddamn country, and we’re going to take it back.” (Alinsky interview)
“An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright’s sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.
‘The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing “God Bless America.’” No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,’ he said in a 2003 sermon. ‘God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.’” (ABC News)
“Taking back” was a popular meme of the radical left during the Vietnam War era. Once the country is “taken back” what is to be done with it? We now have an Alinsky acolyte in the White House, one could say he has “taken back” the country, but it is clear that he does not know what to do with it. He doesn’t know because no Alinskyite has ever reached this level of power except for Hillary Clinton.
The ongoing agitation that comes now directly from the White House, most particularly the failed health care “reform,” shows that the “rubbing raw” method is being followed closely; the popular resistance to “change” that we now see growing across the country is evidence that perhaps this method of “community organizing” is bereft of solutions. Constant agitation is not a solution though Alinsky would have you believe otherwise. “Struggle” itself is the purpose and goal of the Alinsky way.
“All life is warfare, and it’s the continuing fight against the status quo that revitalizes society, stimulates new values and gives man renewed hope of eventual progress. The struggle itself is the victory.” (Alinsky interview)
This is essentially an anti– anti-revolutionary concept. The idea of fighting for the sake of fighting itself is morally depraved. But this term “depraved” would not have bothered Alinsky for he is the champion of the abandonment of morality. Amorality is fundamental to Alinsky and to his followers; an ideology that justifies the abandonment of morality and ethics is attractive to many – to the detriment of us all.
“Integrity! What shit.” (Alinsky interview)
In fairness to Alinsky, the above was said relating to a specific local situation, but the dismissal of integrity is illustrative. Alinsky saw the march of history as driven by revolution; without revolution there is stagnation (lack of development of humanity in his view). It is stunning to see someone dedicated to destruction and deconstruction so self-convinced that he is an agent of human necessity and development; Alinsky is deeply confused. Unfortunately, Alinsky’s followers are just as confused on this matter.
“History is like a relay race of revolutions; the torch of idealism is carried by one group of revolutionaries until it too becomes an establishment, and then the torch is snatched up and carried on the next leg of the race by a new generation of revolutionaries. The cycle goes on and on, and along the way the values of humanism and social justice the rebels champion take shape and change and are slowly implanted in the minds of all men even as their advocates falter and succumb to the materialistic decadence of the prevailing status quo.” (Alinsky, interview)
Alinsky grew up in Chicago in a very poor Jewish family in the early part of the century. He said that he had “kicked the habit” of Judaism at an early age, but would always say that he was a “Jew.” Seeing the corruption of Chicago at the time and the hero status held by Al Capone and his operatives, Alinsky made it his affair to associate himself with them. He saw no difference between the Capone criminals and the corrupt city officials of Chicago at that time. He was successful in flattering himself (his characterization) into the Capone organization and became a trusted fellow traveler for “two years” according to his estimate. In fact, the influence of the Capone gang on Alinsky is substantial and lasted for more than two years.
“He introduced me to Frank Nitti, known as the Enforcer, Capone’s number-two man, and actually in de facto control of the mob because of Al’s income-tax rap. Nitti took me under his wing. I called him the Professor and I became his student. Nitti’s boys took me everywhere, showed me all the mob’s operations, from gin mills and whorehouses and bookie joints to the legitimate businesses they were beginning to take over. Within a few months, I got to know the workings of the Capone mob inside out.” (Alinksy interview)
Alinsky’s self-identification of Frank Nitti the mobster killer as his “professor” is important. In retrospect one can speculate that Alinsky learned a great deal about pressure and intimidation from his friends in the Chicago mob.
But even more enlightening is that the mob killer Nitti is the anti-thesis of what America is about; amorality and criminality were what Alinsky apparently found so fascinating about Nitti and his gang- they beat “the system” which Alinsky saw as just as corrupt or equally so to the Capone/Nitti gangsters.
This abandonment of morality and ethics and in fact, the identification of morality and ethics as impediments, would become a theme with Alinsky. The two years of training with “Professor” Nitti would reap huge rewards for Alinsky over time. But what it has left as a legacy for this country is a disaster as Alinsky’s followers took this abandonment of morals and ethics as a serious lesson; nothing is excluded as far as tactics and strategy are concerned – this is the lesson of the “professor.”
Alinsky’s abandonment of morality and ethics is not difficult to demonstrate. “Rules for Radicals” is dedicated to Lucifer, the rebel against God’s rule and great destroyer of Christian ideology.
Dedication to Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”.
Alinsky and his method negate and reject morality and ethics. The denial of history is an important component of the denial of ethics and morality. Alinsky writes in the dedication to Lucifer that history cannot be known.
“…Who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which…”
Without a knowable historical record there can be no learning from past events, and no trust in previous knowledge. The result of the denial of history is the denial of learning, because no existing knowledge can be trusted. Denial of the capability of people to attain knowledge and understanding from existing sources of information is a component of nihilism. This leaves the future open to radicals and de-constructionists like Alinsky who have made a definitive break with the past.
The institutions of society, the old institutions upon which society and morality are built, are therefore illegitimate and are to be brought down. This distrust in the idea of knowledge itself is a totalitarian, anti-intellectual concept.
Alinsky’s worldview is built then on new knowledge only and experience as the old cannot be known or trusted. This shattering of old orders is completely revolutionary and destructive as the past is therefore inherently unworthy because it cannot be trusted (myth and history are the same). The result of the rejection of the past and of knowledge can best be seen in Pol Pot’s Cambodia where knowledge and wisdom and those who possessed such things were destroyed to make way for the revolutionary Utopia of the Khmer Rouge.
Beginning on the day in 1975 when his guerrilla army marched silently into the capital, Phnom Penh, Pol Pot emptied the cities, pulled families apart, abolished religion and closed schools. Everyone was ordered to work, even children. The Khmer Rouge outlawed money and closed all markets. Doctors were killed, as were most people with skills and education that threatened the regime. (New York Times)
The rejection of morality and ethics and the embrace of total pragmatism to achieve the goal of power is characteristic of the “radical” Lucifer so respected by Alinsky. It is not important to Alinsky that Lucifer is the embodiment of the idea of evil and opposition to good; what matters is that Alinsky sees Lucifer as effective; the trains always run on time when Satan runs the show. Effectiveness and success are divorced from issues of morality and ethics; success is its own morality for Alinsky and his followers.
Morality and ethics have no value for the “radical” who wants to overturn the institutions of society and save the world. Alinsky was a Utopian dreamer who turned his formidable intellect to de-construction and removed morality from the equation for operational purposes. There can be no place for morality and ethics when the world must be transformed to a Utopia – for Alinsky and his followers this purpose is superior even to any “supreme being” and the morality and ethics which may have originated from such a being.
In fact, this rejection of accepted morality means that anything goes; any “action” is acceptable if it destroys or undermines the “status quo” and brings “change.” This is radical anti-stability for the sake of Utopianism.
The Alinsky puddle-deep “philosophy” is incredibly dangerous because it elevates “struggle” and “change” over humanity, individuals, and institutions that, while they may be flawed (but can be improved) must be destroyed simply because they are institutions. This is anti-intellectualism and a denial of context and history which results in what can only be endless agitation, conflict, and de-construction. This is a philosophy of a great cosmic vacuum in which stability and quality are sucked up forever until there is only “struggle.”
Utopians believe themselves above morality and ethics because there can be no greater purpose than theirs – the creation of Utopia. Utopians therefore consider their opponents evil.
The cruelty of Utopians toward their enemies is easily understood.
“Over and over again, the firebrand revolutionary freedom fighter is the first to destroy the rights and even the lives of the next generation of rebels.
But recognizing this isn’t cause for despair. All life is warfare, and it’s the continuing fight against the status quo that revitalizes society, stimulates new values and gives man renewed hope of eventual progress.” (Alinsky interview)
Utopianism is at the foundation of Soviet Communism, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China, Hitler’s Germany, etc. We have seen in history that Utopian ideologies resulted in the greatest toll of death of innocents in human history. Jihad and its hundreds of millions of victims is a Utopian effort to bring the world out of jahiliya (non-belief, ignorance) into dar al-Islam (the purview of Islam’s deity, Allah). The amorality and moral degradation of Utopianism is one of our greatest threats.
David Horowitz’ excellent recently published pamphlet “Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model” offers keen insights into Alinsky and what it might mean when Alinsky followers are in positions of power. The conclusions he reaches are not pleasant but are borne out by current events, public utterances of the president, his history, and the work of Alinsky himself.
What we are seeing is the most radical President in our country’s history who is unable to govern because governing is not his purpose. The Alinskyite, ever the destroyer of institutions, cannot govern because governments and societies are built upon institutions.
The cold war is over – but now it is being fought anew under a new name in the halls of our national centers of political power under the multi-colored banner: “Hope and Change.” The promotion of socialism though socialized medicine, the constant bowing to foreign leaders, and apologizing for American actions across the world and a new detente with traditional enemies and abandonment of and hostility to traditional friends is evidence that agitation and de-construction is the goal of the present administration.
A small article appeared in the Boston Globe just after the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. It was written by Saul Alinsky’s son.
“ALL THE elements were present: the individual stories told by real people of their situations and hardships, the packed-to-the rafters crowd, 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. The Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event, Saul Alinsky style.
Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness. It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen. Obama learned his lesson well.
I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.” (Boston Globe, 8/31/08)
While Mr. Alinsky relished the fact that Mr. Obama had learned his father’s “radical lessons,” we should not be so sanguine. The anti-morality of Alinsky has brought our national political discourse to a breaking point. This is good for the true believers of Alinsky but bad for those who love liberty, democracy, and the future growth and stability of the United States and the prosperity and security of ourselves and our friends.
Utopians live in a fantasy realm outside of context and history, as if history and its cycles and challenges do not apply to them. Mr. Obama is at war, but not in the way that you might expect.
Our president does not appear to be seriously interested in war in Iraq or Afghanistan, these are but distractions to the main issue which is the homeland. With his oath of office taken on Abraham Lincoln’s personal bible the American people thought that the long circle of racism had finally been closed with Obama‘s inauguration, but it is not so. We thought that we had entered a new era of openness, bi-partisanship, and post-racialism. It is not so; not since Jefferson Davis has an American president been so divisive. The Civil War allusion to Lincoln is appropriate but it is not accurate, our leadership is purposefully divisive because they are Utopians first, Americans second, third, or fourth, or fifth. We live in a time of disunity and radicalism foisted upon us by our leadership. This is not the future for which Abraham Lincoln had labored.
“A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.”
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. (Lincoln, 1st Inaugural Address)
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” (Lincoln, 2nd Inaugural Address)
We live in a time of unprecedented domestic upheaval and not any that has been brought upon us by circumstances or international conflagrations but because our Alinsky-influenced, post-modern leadership believes that conflict and struggle is the path to human evolution.
The Obama administration is the embodiment of the failure of politics because it is not about politics – politics involves concession and compromise – it is about victory at any cost. The American people expected hope and change, as that is what they voted for but what they really wanted was stability and prosperity.
“Thus Alinsky begins his text by telling readers exactly what a radical is. He is not a reformer of the system but its would-be destroyer. In his own mind the radical is building his own kingdom, which to him is a kingdom of heaven on earth. Since a kingdom of heaven built by human beings is a fantasy – and impossible dream- the radical’s only real world efforts are those which are aimed at subverting the society he lives in. He is a nihilist.
This is something that conservatives generally have a hard time understanding. As a former radical, I am constantly asked how radicals could hate America and why they would want to destroy a society that compared to others is tolerant, inclusive and open, and treats all people with a dignity and respect that is the envy of the world. The answer to the this question is that radicals are not comparing America to other real world societies. They are comparing America to the heaven on earth – the kingdom of social justice and freedom – they think they are building. And compared to this heaven even America is hell.” (Horowitz, pp.16-17, Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model)
The United States was founded upon the concept that “the people” rule not the elites; that is why there are checks and balances built into our system of government. The Alinsky followers, now that they hold the levers of power, are seeing a popular opposition to their endless agitations. The rise of the Alinskyites has been a rude awakening for most Americans, but it has also energized a vocal opposition.
We must return to our roots, our moral, ethical and legal roots, Constitution and Bill of Rights. We must see ourselves in an historical context which the Harvard and Yale dhimmis in positions of authority will not. Our culture and our country are of great value and are worth protecting and saving. We live in a confused time, but the confusion is clearing away; it is clearing away through knowledge and understanding of the motivations of those in power.
The Alinsky ideology of nihilism and deconstruction must be repudiated. Those who are his sycophants and fellow travelers must be exposed and shamed for waging war on their own country and their own people in the name of Utopianism and endless struggle.
Our purpose is to learn through the slow, but sound, evolutionary process of trial and error, and to preserve the Constitution its sovereignty over this great land. If our leaders do not concur, if they seek to shortcut the natural process or disrupt the rule of law, they must be voted out or impeached.
Saul Alinsky’s message resonated heavily with many intellectuals and activists of the 70s and 80s including Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama. Our people naively voted for Mr. Obama and his party. Mr. Obama’s agenda is clearly built upon Mr. Alinsky’s model and method. Mr. Obama taught seminars in this method; he is a true believer. The message is that the United States is corrupt and must be de-constructed so that the power can rest with the people. But, it already does.
Our system of democracy based upon our Constitution must be slowly and continually perfected, but not de-constructed or destroyed. The United States is the hope of the world
We believe in liberty, freedom, and tolerance, we do not believe in totalitarian barbarism like that of Islam. We are expected to preserve these freedoms and our system of Constitutional government that supports them.
There is no utopia, and there is no better system of government in history than what we have here in this country. Our purpose as citizens should be to constantly improve it and aspire to perfect it knowing that absolute perfection is impossible. This is not absurd but an embrace of constant self-examination and improvement.
“Perfection” as a realistic political goal is a Utopian concept. Those who embrace Utopianism, like Saul Alinsky and his followers, believe that it is real – the Utopian idea is the same as the fascist, totalitarian, and communist, and Islamic concept of global conquest. Utopians know what is best, those who oppose them are… evil.
Ours is not a world of global fellowship, and disarmament and universal goodwill. We live in a world of challenges and threats. When we forget that the reality of humanity is the driver of the functioning of the world, we are lost in dreams. Dreamers, utopians, and fantasists do not drive the world; they break it or are broken by it. Pragmatism without morality and ethics to check it is amoral and leads to de-construction and devolution. Alinsky and his followers have confused agitation with growth; the advancement of humanity must by necessity be driven by morality and ethics.
Pragmatism without morality and ethics leads to holocaust.
Alinsky has no goal but endless strife, “the struggle is the victory itself,” as he says. This means that institutions must be brought down because stability is seen as immoral in this amoral worldview. This is a bizarre and corrupt ideology for any leader of a nation to embrace.
“If the radicals’ utopia were actually possible, it would be criminal not to deceive, lie, and murder to advance the radical cause which is, in effect, a redemption of mankind. If it were possible to provide every man, woman, and child on the planet with food, shelter and clothing as a right, if it were possible to end bigotry and human conflict, what sacrifice would not be worth it?” (Horowitz, p.45, Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model)
Those having a theological bent might ask where Saul Alinsky is now. The answer is best provided by him.
“Let’s say that if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell. …Hell would be heaven for me.” (Alinsky, interview)
We Americans are a people of morality and strong beliefs of our place on this planet and in history.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (John Adams, 2nd US President)
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them.” (Washington, Farewell Address, 1796)
We Americans believe that we have something of great value; we know it is so because we enjoy liberties that others on this earth do not; we know it is so because so many immigrate to our shores for the freedoms, openness, and opportunity that this country offers.
America is no utopia, but we shall do our best to work with the concepts of freedom and good government that Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington, Madison, Monroe, and all the rest left to us as their legacy forever.
“If there is a form of government, then, whose principle and foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to promote the general happiness than any other form?” (John Adams, 2nd US President)
We hold this legacy as a great responsibility to ourselves and to future generations.
“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.” (John Adams, Letter to wife Abigail from Paris, 1780)
There is no utopia but the one that we aspire to here with the superb tools which were left to us by our founders. We have not forgotten their gift to us, and we will make it right once again.
DL Adams is an American historian.