“This is true democracy and good old-fashioned organizing at work,” declared Leah Daughty, black liberation theologist and organizer of the One Nation Working Together march held Saturday, October 1st. The Washington D.C. rally was steeped in similar messaging: a progressive upswell is on the rise. Yet, with even a cursory look at the factors that made One Nation possible, Daughtry’s characterization is not just inaccurate — it’s laughable. Billed as a progressive counterpart to the populist Tea Party movement, the event in fact clears up any doubt over the well-funded, well-orchestrated, well-connected nature of the consortium of far-left organizations and activists in the country today. Grassroots on the fly isn’t that difficult of a feat.
Determining what exactly One Nation Working Together (ONWT) is, is a revealing process in its own right. Is it a rally? An organization? ONWT is noticeably evasive on this issue. The provenance of ONWT derives from the likeliest of left-wing wellsprings; the multimillion-dollar Tides Center. Not exactly an organization, ONWT is a “project” of the Tides Center, an organization closely affiliated with the equally well-provisioned Tides Foundation. Both are the brainchildren of radical activist and ACORN bailout-man Drummond Pike, and both have received millions of dollars over the years from George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
An enabler of left-wing astroturf, the Tides Center’s “core” service is providing “fiscal sponsorship” to progressive nonprofit startups. Although the center does not fund projects directly, Tides takes care of their management and administrative burdens. Projects are not independent entities in themselves, but rather “are” the Tides Center — as they put it — through which the projects/quasi-organizations receive the benefits of tax-exempt non-profit status.
As stated by the Tides Center itself, the ONWT project is clearly aimed at energizing and organizing far-left voters and the Left’s political infrastructure. The signature event, the ONWT march in Washington D.C., was designed to “lead into an intensive voter mobilization program for Election Day 2010.” Secondarily, ONWT is concerned with “push[ing] back” against the forces of “divisiveness and hatred” — i.e. the Tea Party — and offering a “healing alternative” to “summon people to a higher moral plane” — in other words, to present the facade of a grassroots counter-insurgence to rival right-wing populism. Not coincidentally, the project description makes special mention of the need to encourage voter participation from racial minorities, or as ONWT calls them “historically underrepresented groups and communities.” This demographic threw huge support to Barack Obama in 2008, but is not expected to make remotely as strong a turn out in the mid-term elections.
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