"The ACORN doesn’t fall far from the tree."
— Sen.Barack Obama, October 2008
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., delivered the above quip with hand to forehead, as if to cover his face in shame. He used the same gesture while delivering his infamous “lipstick on a pig” remark.
From which tree did the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) fall?
ACORN is a community-organizers cabal, built on a radical leftist base. It is a combination of outsider agitation, militant action, and insider intrigue emanating from the U.S. political system.
Taken together, the results are proving effective as a force for change. Weak political leadership among both Republicans and Democrats cleared the way for the rise of Barack Obama, ACORN, and the drive to change the U.S. government from a record-breaking republic to just another “spread-the-wealth-around” socialist state.
The concept of community organizers can be traced to the turn of the 20th century in Chicago and Jane Addams, the nation’s first social worker. The movement morphed from purely social improvement to militant direct action, including confrontation and thuggery.
Take, for example, ACORN’s street brawling, fraudulent voter registration, and voter fraud. ACORN’s red shirts have been convicted in Washington state and Missouri for voter fraud, and those convictions have resulted in FBI and state investigations in 15 states. This will not be the first time that “direct-action” tactics have attempted to “change” a form of government.
Roots of Militant Action in Europe
In the 1920s, the German people were struggling to recover from the effects of World War I and the onerous Treaty of Versailles. Germany was experiencing economic, political, and social consternation and upheaval. The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), better known as the Nazi Party, was formed in April 1920 from the German Workers Party (GPW).
Adolf Hitler became the leader of NSDAP, keeping “socialist” in the name, despite his opposition to socialism. Hitler’s electrifying and charismatic speeches thrust him into the forefront of Germany’s numerous political parties. He developed a cult following that considered him a messiah.
In early 1920, Hitler published the NSDAP agenda. The agenda included redistribution of the wealth through profit-sharing of industries, tax cuts for the farmers and low-end citizens, nationalization of trusts, increases in social benefits for the elderly and poor, and free education.
The agenda was anti-Semitic and made Jewish citizens the scapegoats for all of Germany’s problems. NSDAP remained a minor party until the economic crash of 1929. Then, taking advantage of the financial crisis, NSDAP became the second largest party in Germany.
Hitler continued to play the class warfare card with redistribution of wealth and tax cuts for the middle and working classes, at the same time he was wheeling and dealing with the monied class.
Supporting Hitler was the Sturmabteilung (SA), an assault section known as the storm troopers or the “brown shirts.” The SA, made up of petty criminals, unemployed sociopaths, street brawlers, and local thugs, disrupted opposition political party meetings and brutalized political opponents and average citizens.
The SA bullied legislators and often blocked their entrance to the Reichstag (Congress), thus ensuring NSDAP voting to carry the day. As SA violence increased, NSDAP Reichstag members fell out of favor.
Hitler, however, prevailed with an effective campaign of fear predicting a communist takeover of Germany. Hitler changed the form of the German government with a combination of eloquence, giveaways, fear, duplicity, and violence.
ACORN evolved from the 1960s National Welfare Rights Organization founded by George Wiley and mentored by two professors, Richard Cloward and Frances Piven, of Columbia University, where both Barack Obama and Pentagon bomber Richard Ayers both matriculated at various times.
Cloward and Piven theorized that to change the U.S. government from a republic to a socialist oligarchy, the unwashed masses must be mobilized to overthrow authority. To achieve their goal, they selected voter registration as a tool.
By deluging election offices with false and fraudulent registrations, the resulting chaos would allow unqualified persons to vote. If their candidate should lose, then they would challenge the results, claiming that people were denied the vote. Thus far, their strategies are working.
ACORN combines Saul Alinsky’s militant neighborhood organizing in Chicago with the Cloward-Piven strategies to force politicians into cowering submission.
Among ACORN’s leading activists is Madeline Talbott, a Harvard-trained radical leftist. In the Boston Review, a political and literary forum, Talbott proposes steps for organizing “campaigns of change,” including development of direct-action tactics, by “doing them, and [starting] now.” She holds that direct action works if it polarizes a community, gets supporters into the streets, and forms alliances.
Heidi Swarts, a Rutgers University political scientist and ACORN supporter, describes ACORN as “oppositional outlaws” who believe militant action is a necessary option in achieving their goals.
This is consistent with the seizure of the U. S. House of Representatives Banking Committee office by ACORN workers for two days in 1991. It is consistent with Talbott’s action of disrupting a Chicago City Council meeting in 1997.
It is consistent with ACORN’s disruption of a Baltimore City Council meeting and the dumping of garbage on the entrance to city hall in 2003 and their picketing of the home of then Baltimore mayor, and now Maryland governor, Martin O’Malley, terrifying his wife and children. ACORN workers have barged into Federal Reserve meetings and demonstrated at the home of a federal judge.
Using the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977, passed by a Democrativ-controlled Congress and signed by a Democratic president, ACORN and Talbott pressured banks to give unqualified borrowers mortgages. ACORN sent street brawlers into the banks to disrupt business and scare customers.
ACORN picketed and harassed bankers and their families at their homes, all the time lobbying for the Community Reinvestment Act, which they claimed required “enforcement by the people.”
Obama and ACORN
Obama was hand-picked by Madeline Talbott to work for ACORN and its subsidiaries prior to his Harvard Law School days. When he returned to Chicago as a lawyer, Talbott had him train ACORN personnel.
She appointed him director of Project Vote, an ACORN subsidiary, to enroll new voter registrations and hired him to represent ACORN in a “Motor Voter” court action.
Thomas Ayers (father of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers) and Talbott were instrumental in placing Obama on the boards of the Woods Foundation and the Joyce Foundation. Thereafter both foundations funneled millions of philanthropic dollars to ACORN.
Must the past be prologue? A wise man once noted, “A dictatorship requires one person and one party to be in control of a nation.” Another wise man, Wendell Willkie, put it this way, “It is from weakness that people reach for dictators and concentrated government power. Only the strong can be free, and only the productive can be strong.”
James H. Walsh is a former federal prosecutor.
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