James O’Keefe explains the thinking behind his ACORN sting

Reader John L. sent this two days ago and the story has of course been all over the media for several days, but he provides an overall perspective including a statement by James O’Keefe that is useful:

You would be interested in seeing the undercover videos of ACORN employees offering advice on how to evade taxes, get a fraudulent mortgage, set up a business trafficking underage El Salvadorian girls for a brothel, and the launder the money for a political campaign.

The conservative activists have already done all the filming. Their strategy thus far has been brilliant.

First, they released just a video from Baltimore. They did not reveal that they had more footage. ACORN claimed it was an isolated incident and fired the employees.

Then they released videos from Washington and New York. ACORN, trapped, starting screaming racism.

This morning they released a video from San Bernadino, CA where the employee and associate are white and even more immoral and disgusting than the black and Hispanic employees in the previous videos. The employee admitted murdering her husband on tape and shrugged giddily when they revealed their plan to set up a prostitution business.

The young conservatives who filmed it are intentionally applying Alinsky’s rules to destroy ACORN. James O’Keefe explains his strategy in his first post on the website which hosts the videos:

A famous community organizer once said, “The only way to upset the power structure in your communities is to goad them, confuse them, irritate them and, most of all, make them live by their own rules. If you make them live by their own rules, you destroy them.” Impossible demands can irritate modern leftists in ways nothing else can, whether it’s by banning Lucky Charms cereal because it’s racist against Irish people, calling Planned Parenthood saying you want to donate money for black abortions in the name of Margaret Sanger, or making Sen. Snowe sign an oversized bailout check for a billion dollars to Amtrak, in her own office….

Instead of railing against their radicalism, it is best to bring out this type of radicalism. Hannah Giles and I took advantage of ACORN’s regard for thug criminality by posing the most ridiculous criminal scenario we could think of and seeing if they would comply–which they did without hesitation.

Additionally, instead of focusing on foreclosure itself, which has become seemingly as politicized as abortion, we focused on crimes more difficult for the left to defend: trafficking of young helpless girls and tax evasion. The first group represents the severely disadvantaged, the second a threat to the distribution of wealth.

While manipulation or entrapment occurs when people are encouraged to do things they otherwise wouldn’t, the pre-set trap is their own. These tactics allow the viewer to see ACORN’s soul; their playing field and their morality, out in the open. Their system is based on conflict and change for its own sake. This system is based on totalitarian principles and class war techniques. These people understand pressure, power and self-interest. When the Baltimore employees saw we were shady dealers, their instincts clicked in, as we were prime recruits.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 18, 2009 11:17 AM | Send

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