New scare tactic, old ideas

The News and Sentinel printed an anti-socialist letter-to-the-editor on Sept. 1 about Saul Alinsky. Mr. Alinsky was an ultra-liberal who frequently gets blamed for a lot of socialist garbage he had nothing to do with.

That letter listed eight rules supposedly lifted from one of Alinsky’s books, “Rules for Radicals.” Those eight rules were considered essential steps for building socialism and Alinsky may very well have touched on some of them in his writings but some of them are pure un-Alinsky nonsense. Some of that list originated from the tired, old, socialist dogma developed in the late 19th Century.

Saul Alinsky died in 1972 but the far-right drum-beaters have resurrected him as their scary new socialist bogey-man. Hillary Clinton used Alinsky’s socialist writings as the subject for a political science thesis in her college years. That casual academic connection between Clinton and Alinsky lifted Alinsky up from nothingness about 10 years ago and made him a target for conservatives to shoot at. That’s the only reason Alinsky ever gets mentioned in today’s political dialog. Anyway, those on the far-right have decided to distort or embellish Alinsky’s liberal ideas and transform them into something sinister. Conservatives are searching for anything they can use to frighten voters. They believe socialism will serve perfectly as the new evil thing for everyone to fear. So far, it’s looking impressive as a scare tactic, which is weird, considering the fact that their scary new bogey-man died nearly 50 years ago.

Today, the right-wing is telling themselves (and anyone else foolish enough to waste time listening to them) that they should be very afraid because all of the true believers on the far right are about to be swept away in a left-wing tidal wave of socialism and government ownership.

Horse-pucky.

The only thing the government will ever own are those items which are too expensive and unprofitable for free enterprise to own.

Of course, Social Security and Medicare were the first two giant steps toward that slippery slope that ultimately leads to a socialist state. The last time I saw any approval data on Social Security and Medicare they both had greater than 80 percent approval with the public. Eighty-plus percent approval indicates solid public satisfaction with programs that the far-right likes to label as socialist evil.

The right-wingers should stop creating bogus problems to frighten poorly informed voters.

Ralph Chambers

Parkersburg

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