The Obama Doctrine: Community Organizing

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Tax-funded ACORN missionaries to span the globe

The centerpiece of Barack Obama’s campaign is “change.” His primary qualification for the office he seeks is his experience as a “community organizer,” a state Senator for eight years, and a U.S. Senator since 2004. To see just what changes Obama wants to bring to the country it is reasonable to look at the values he has demonstrated and the causes he has pursued during his professional career.

Obama’s community organizing experience began in 1985 in Chicago. He chose to work for ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). A review of ACORN’s Peoples Platform reveals much about Obama’s ideology. The ACORN platform is remarkably similar to the Socialist Party USA platform.

Obama’s work as a community organizer has won him endorsements from ACORN, from socialists, and from communists.

ACORN is an outgrowth of the civil rights unrest of the 1960s. While Bill Ayers was organizing the Weathermen Underground, George Wiley was organizing the National Welfare Rights Organization. The Ayers group defined its direct action with bombs; the NWRO defined direct action with sit-ins, flooding welfare offices and city council meetings with unemployed people to demand the removal of restrictions on welfare eligibility. One of these protest projects was called Arkansas Organizations for Reform Now. As the groups and projects grew, the acronym was changed from “Arkansas,” to “Association” of Organizations for Reform Now.

To understand Obama’s values and see the kind of change he brings, we need to examine the organization whose leaders he trained as a community organizer. ACORN deliberately avoids the national spotlight when possible, opting instead, to work at the local and state levels. Their strategy is to infiltrate government, rather than to overthrow it. ACORN and Democratic Socialists of America formed an alliance to create the New Party to pursue this goal.

Obama’s entrance into politics in 1996 was simply the next logical step after his years as a community organizer.

ACORN’s 400,000 member families in more than 110 cities, with 1200 neighborhood chapters, advance their socialist “Peoples Platform” through a variety of programs. More than 80 cities have adopted some form of their “Living Wage” ordinance. This scheme requires businesses that sell to the city to pay their workers at a rate higher than the national minimum wage. Cities oblige, because they win friends (and votes) among the workers, and avoid nasty sit-ins and protest demonstrations staged by ACORN.

ACORN’s “Exit Visa” program is an extension of the same principle, exercised against companies that seek to relocate out of the city. As a condition of permits, the city requires large companies to obtain an exit visa from the city council, which signifies that the company has paid adequate wages, and whatever costs the community may suffer from the company’s relocation.

What ACORN called its “Predatory Lending” program was really a campaign to remove credit restrictions from loans to low income people. Revisions of the Community Reinvestment Act in the 1990s unleashed a dramatic expansion of pressure on local banks to make loans to people who were previously unqualified borrowers. The CRA allowed community organizations to comment on proposed bank mergers or expansions. ACORN flooded regulators with claims of discrimination against local banks. Rather than fight, many banks “hired” ACORN to be advisors, or simply made generous grants to local chapters.

This is the route taken by J.P. Morgan and Chase Manhattan banks, who gave ACORN $200,000. A comprehensive analysis of ACORN’s operation was published in 2003 by Sol Stern in City Journal. It should be must reading for every voter.

ACORN’s voter registration program is reported quite thoroughly here.

Obama’s Chicago community organizing efforts took him from the housing projects to the churches. He obviously liked the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s brand of “Liberation Theology,” which casts minorities as victims that must be liberated. This ideology squared perfectly with ACORN’s vision of the poor. For more than 20 years, Obama worshiped at the feet of the preacher whose most famous sermons called on God to “damn” America.

Obama’s path to government also led him through various foundations, such as the Woods Fund, where he served along with Bill Ayers. Together, they were able to funnel significant funding to ACORN, to Jeremiah Wright’s church, and other similar groups. Between 1992 and 1995, ACORN received $1,493,000 from the Campaign for Human Development, a Catholic charities organization, according to a report for Catholic Bishops prepared by the Wanderer Forum Foundation.

A review of Obama’s voting record in Illinois and in the U.S. Senate – where he is identified as the most liberal Senator - is evidence of his continuing support of the socialist goals he trained his ACORN followers to pursue. The “change” he so desperately seeks is to change America from a nation that thrives on capitalism, free-markets, private property, and individual freedom, to a socialist nation in which government sets wages, provides housing, manages markets, and dictates to every individual what may, and may not, be done.

This is the change that Obama brings.


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