Community Organizers and GOP Politicians: Enemies of the Taxpayer

By: David T. Beito

In an editorial, the Chicago Sun-Times takes offense at Paln and Giuliani’s belittlement of Obama’s record as a community organizer:

Republicans insist that people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Communities should take care of their own and not depend on big government to do the job. And the folks who do make it should give back.

We agree wholeheartedly.

But on what is the job of community organizer premised, if not those very principles?.

After endorsing small government for the first time in its history, the Sun-Times, then lavishes praise on Obama for his altruistic record of “working with the poorest and most powerless people on the South Side of Chicago, doing his damnedest to help them help themselves.”

Based on what I know, Obama’s “community organizing” had little to do with helping people help themselves by pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. It mostly consisted of a well-coordinated high-pressure campaign by paid “organizers” to force taxpayers to pay for services that should be provided voluntarily. That is not mutual aid, at least in the sense that Tocqueville understood it when he described how Americans formed voluntary associations to build hospitals, churches, and roads.

With some exceptions, community organizers of the Obama type run shakedown operations. True, they give people advice but the lesson taught is not so much to “help them help themselves” as it is to “help them help themselves to the wallets of taxpayers.”

Unfortunately, Palin and Giuliani did not make this critique and, given their records and interests, this is not surprising. Instead of holding up the alternative of mutual aid and self-help, they offered no solution other than to defend the power of politicians like themselves who also spend their lives extracting money from defenseless taxpayers.

This article originally appeared in Liberty & Power.

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