Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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7

Mar

2018

Creating a common enemy

Author: Jim Taylor

Another icon bit the dust recently.

            Back in the 1970s and 1980s, I worked among people who revered Saul Alinski. They took the side of the underdog – any underdog, it seemed. For 40 years, Alinski made a name for himself organizing those underdogs, particularly among the working-class areas of Chicago.

            Alinski summed up his ideology in a book called Rules for Radicals.

He started out as the darling of the leftists who wanted to raise the underdogs. In the strange ways that social change evolves, he ended up as the darling of conservatives who wanted to keep the underdogs under. The Tea Party distributed Rules for Radicals to its members. Donald Trump built his entire presidential campaign on personalizing an enemy. Or enemies.

            What the left initiates, the right will eventually co-opt.




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