In this case I'm using the "extreme fear" definition of paranoid rather than the "irrational fear" one. The fear is quite rational.
This is how I explain it in the talks I've been giving to Tea Party meetings.
Did you ever wonder why the Tea Party movement scares the liberal establishment so?
Why they accuse you of being “Astroturf.”
Why they hysterically accuse Tea Partiers of being racist, sexist and homophobic?
The answer is in Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”
Alinsky says that “Power has always derived from two main sources, money and people. Lacking money, the have-nots must build power from their own flesh and blood.”
So when the liberal establishment looks at the Tea Party what do they see? They see real people, lots and lots of real people, a diverse group of real people building power with their own flesh and blood.
That’s got to scare them to death.
By the way, this fits neatly into Brother Saul's rules for power tactics. The first rule of power tactics is, "Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have."
It doesn't hurt a bit that a mid April AP-GfK poll found that 31% of the public identify themselves as Tea Party supporters and that 33% agree with its positions compared to 26% who disagree.
Watching the liberal establishment squirm is great fun. Maybe that's why the call it a "party."
Here's a link to a complete list of Alinsky's "Rules."