“Their Fears And Their Frustrations….Can Turn Into Political Paranoia And Demonize Them…Making Them Ripe For The Plucking By Some Guy On Horseback”

Community organizer Saul Alinsky became an enemy of the American Right all over again three decades after his death, thanks to a posthumous link to President Obama. Amusingly enough, Alinsky pretty much predicted the American drift into Conservatism and the Presidency of anti-government traliblazer Ronald Reagan and the more extreme iterations that followed him. From a 1972 Playboy interview with Alinsky, which was conducted just months before he died in California from a heart attack. 

Saul Alinsky: The middle class actually feels more defeated and lost today on a wide range of issues than the poor do. And this creates a situation that’s supercharged with both opportunity and danger. There’s a second revolution seething beneath the surface of middle-class America — the revolution of a bewildered, frightened and as-yet-inarticulate group of desperate people groping for alternatives — for hope. Their fears and their frustrations over their impotence can turn into political paranoia and demonize them, driving them to the right, making them ripe for the plucking by some guy on horseback promising a return to the vanished verities of yesterday. The right would give them scapegoats for their misery — blacks, hippies, Communists — and if it wins, this country will become the first totalitarian state with a national anthem celebrating ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’”

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