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David Horowitz

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Jul 21, 2013

Welfare -

To advance their radical agenda, Cloward and Piven focused more intently on transforming the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. Because Democrats professed to represent the lower classes, many poor people believed they could get what they wanted by voting Democrat. Thus their energies would be channeled into useless “voter activity,” rather than strikes, riots, “incendiarism” and the like.


Ten years earlier, when Cloward and Piven determined that the welfare state was acting as a safety valve for the establishment, they resolved to destroy the welfare state. The method of destruction they chose was drawn from the teachings of Saul Alinsky: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” And so they did, challenging the welfare state to pay out every penny to every person theoretically entitled to it. Alinsky called this sort of tactic “mass jujitsu” – using “the strength of the enemy against itself. Now Cloward and Piven concluded that the Democratic Party was also acting as a safety valve for the establishment. Thus they would try to force Democrats to "live up to their own book of rules" -- i.e., if the Democrats say they represent the poor, let them prove it.

Voting -

Cloward and Piven presented their plan in a December 1982 article titled, “A Movement Strategy to Transform the Democratic Party,” published in the left-wing journal Social Policy. They sought to do to the voting system what they had previously done to the welfare system. They would flood the polls with millions of new voters, drawn from the angry ranks of the underclass, all belligerent and the demanding their voting rights. The result would be a catastrophic disruption of America's electoral system, the authors predicted.


Cloward and Piven hoped that the flood of new voters would provoke a backlash from Democrats and Republicans alike, who would join forces to disenfranchise the unruly hordes, using such expedients as purging invalid voters from the rolls, imposing cumbersome registration procedures, stiffening residency requirements, and so forth. This voter-suppression campaign would spark “a political firestorm over democratic rights,” they wrote. Voting-rights activists would descend on America's election boards and polling stations much as George Wiley's welfare warriors had flooded social-services offices. Wrote Cloward and Piven:

“By staging rallies, demonstrations, and sit-ins … over every new restriction on registration procedures, a protest movement can dramatize the conflict.... Through conflict, the registration movement will convert registering and voting into meaningful acts of collective protest.”


The expected conflict would also expose the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party, which would be “disrupted and transformed,” the authors predicted. A new party would rise from the ashes of the old. Outwardly, it would preserve the forms and symbols of the old Democratic Party, but the new Democrats would be genuine partisans of the poor, dedicated to class struggle. This was the radical vision driving the Voting Rights Movement.

ACORN spearheaded this "voting rights" movement, which was led by veterans of George Wiley's welfare rights crusade. Also key to the movement were Project Vote and Human SERVE, both founded in 1982. Project Vote is an ACORN front group, launched by former NWRO organizer and ACORN co-founder Zach Polett. Human SERVE was founded by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, along with a former NWRO organizer named Hulbert James.


All three of these organizations -- ACORN, Project Vote and Human SERVE -- set to work lobbying energetically for the so-called Motor-Voter law, which President Bill Clinton ultimately signed in 1993. At the White House signing ceremony for this bill, both Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were in attendance. The new law eliminated many controls on voter fraud, making it easy for voters to register but difficult to determine the validity of new registrations. Under the new law, states were required to provide opportunities for voter registration to any person who showed up at a government office to renew a driver's license or to apply for welfare or unemployment benefits. “Examiners were under orders not to ask anyone for identification or proof of citizenship,” notes Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund in his book, Stealing Elections. “States had to permit mailing voter registrations, which allowed anyone to register without any personal contact with a registrar or election officials. Finally, states were limited in pruning 'deadwood' –people who had died, moved, or been convicted of crimes – from their rolls.


The Motor-Voter bill did indeed cause the voter rolls to be swamped with invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or non-existent people -- thus opening the door to the unprecedented  levels of voter fraud and "voter disenfranchisement" claims that followed in subsequent elections during the 1990s, and culminating in the Florida recount crisis in the 2000 presidential election.  On the eve of the 2000 election, in Indiana alone, state officials discovered that one in five registered voters were duplicates, deceased, or otherwise invalid.


The cloud of confusion hanging over elections serves leftist agitators well. “President Bush came to office without a clear mandate,” the leftwing billionaire George Soros declared. “He was elected president by a single vote on the Supreme Court.” Once again, the "flood-the-rolls" strategy had done its work. Cloward, Piven, and their disciples had introduced a level of fear, tension, and foreboding to U.S. elections previously encountered mainly in Third World countries.


Read Horowitz' full article.


"Capitalism always beats government because consumers have more choices than voters."  JA