Here’s an ominous (Obaminous?) video I first saw over at Atlas Shrugs:
This, of course, is standard community organizing methodology. Note also the name of the group: “Organizing for America.”
In the past, however, community organizing was limited to just that: something local to a community, energizing people to push the authorities to institute some very specific policy they want, or to redress some wrong. The authorities themselves didn’t “organize,” and certainly not on a national scale.
Some of the most disturbing things about this video are its vagueness, its focus on Obama himself in what I can only call his cult of personality, and its use of the word “pledge” (at minute :56, note the words, under “The Pledge” and next to a check box, “I support President Obama’s bold plan….”)
The vagueness comes from the fact that whatever people are pledging to support is never described in any detail whatsoever. The petition, or pledge sheet, or loyalty oath, or whatever you want to call it, is very short. It appears that each policy area—energy, health care, education—has but a single sentence describing it.
Think about this for a moment: people are blindly pledging loyalty to policies about which they know virtually nothing except the fact that Obama is behind them, and he says it’s for our own good.
(Of course, come to think of it, does that really differ very much from the way Congress signed the bailout bill or the stimulus package? But I digress.)
The trainer gives only one reason that “the establishment in Washington” would oppose this: opposition to change. Never mind principled opposition; there is no such thing where Obama is concerned. Never mind the cost of these policies in a recession.
Never mind; just sign on the dotted line. And is anyone else as perturbed as I am by this statement: For anyone who questions why the President has offered this plan, these pledges will be the answer.
When Obama created his computer network of supporters during the election it was not only innovative, it gave him a remarkable ability to raise unprecedented amounts of money. Friends were encouraged to recruit friends, and the whole thing snowballed in an exponential way.
It’s understood why this worked so well and might have been appropriate for a campaign. Yes, Obama seems to have launched the eternal campaign, but he is President now. We don’t govern by petition, or even by referendum; we have a representative government. At least we used to when last I checked.
What meaning could these support lists possibly have, and what will they be used for? First of all, they make supporters feel connected to Obama and as though he cares about them, and this will help continue the adulation he stirred up in so many people during his campaign. The administration can also email these people (note the emphasis on getting their email addresses even if they “forget” to fill out that part) and tell them to flood their representatives’ office with emails and calls pressuring them to vote for Obama’s policies.
But doesn’t Obama already have plenty of names of supporters on hand from his campaign? This isn’t just people coming to Obama, it’s Obama coming to your door, welcome or not.
The trainer in the film is vague, but he indicates that this is just the beginning of something-or-other:
The pledge canvass will also be the first step to growing our movement and building a national network to support our agenda for change. This is just the beginning for us.
Thanks for the warning.