This past Monday, Glenn Beck introduced Americans to Deepak Bhargava, the former ACORN official who has spent the past 15 years withÂ theÂ Center for Community ChangeÂ (CCC), where he now serves as Executive Director. CCC recruits and trains activists to spearhead leftist â€œpolitical issue campaignsâ€ â€“ modeling its training techniques on those of the famed radical organizerÂ Saul Alinsky, whose method of stealth revolution and infiltration deeply influenced a young community organizer in Chicago named Barack Obama. Thus it is no surprise that Bhargavaâ€™s enthusiasm for Obamaâ€™s presidency is quite profound.
Early in 2009 Bhargava, who serves as a board member for the far-left periodical The Nation and for George Sorosâ€™sÂ Open Society Institute (which seeks to fundamentally transform American politics and culture in so many ways), was a guest speaker at an event titled â€œAdvancing Change in the Age of Obama,â€ where he told an audience of supporters a great deal about what makes him tick.
BhargavaÂ lamented, for instance,Â that â€œwidely shared prosperityâ€ historically had beenÂ difficult to achieve in America because the country â€œis still deeply structured by racism.â€ He cited the Reagan era as a low point in American history, where â€œwe had a cultural kind of revolution in this country — theÂ idea that greed is good,Â that suspicion of our neighbors at home and abroad is just and justified.â€
BhargavaÂ explainedÂ that his mindset during the pre-Obama years had beenÂ reflexively contrarian, a hallmark of the political left:
â€œI spent my entire career basically not having a lot of trouble figuring out what I was gonna say the next day in response to a reporter. I was opposed to it. You could pretty much name it;Â I was opposed to it.â€
But thisÂ attitudeÂ had undergone â€œa pretty radical shift in orientation,â€ heÂ said, with the ascension of an ally likeÂ Obama to theÂ White House. ExplainingÂ that it â€œtakes a dynamic relationship between political leadership and outside movements in order to produce these kinds of crucible changes, these big changes,â€ Bhargava described President Obama as a figure capable of bringing about theÂ â€œstructural changesâ€ of â€œenormousâ€ magnitude that would be â€œrequiredâ€ to set America on a proper path. Referring to Obama as â€œthe countryâ€™s first Community-Organizer-in-Chief,â€ Bhargava said:
â€œI feel really lucky to be alive at a time when I think transformational progressive change is possible, because those moments in AmericanÂ history are very rare.â€
â€œWe know from history that there are at least three ingredients [required] for that transformational change to happen. We do need visionary leadership that is capable of building durable coalitions. We need big crises, economic, foreign policy and otherwise that force the breakdown of old paradigms and old ways of seeing the world. And most importantly, we need independent social movements that create public will, that generate ideas that deliver votes.â€
He later said that â€œthe economic crisisâ€ of 2008 had provided a â€œgreatÂ ideological openingâ€ for the left â€“ a statement reminiscent of Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuelâ€™s infamous assertion that â€œa crisis is a terrible thing to waste.â€
Bhargava also called forÂ the creation ofÂ an economic system that â€œvalues our collective quality of life more than the private accumulation of wealth.â€ In a similar spirit, he advocatedÂ â€œa more robust role for governmentâ€ in the lives of the American people. And, anticipating theÂ types of massive government programs (the stimulus package, cap-and-trade, health care reform, etc.) which President Obama would seek to implement with a great sense of urgency, Bhargava said: â€œweâ€™re going to have to probably get better at moving fastâ€ because â€œchange happens in big leaps.â€
Bhargava and Obama are ideological soul mates. Through his work with CCC, Bhargava is in a position to do a great deal to advance the Presidentâ€™s agendas with blazing speed.