Here's the most recent edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Although he doesn't say it, I wonder if there's not an implication that the current movement on the right is fueled by Mormon ideology or at least Mormon thinkers (the way the right's last 10 years or more have been shaped by evangelical Christians and their thinkers).
Here, Philadelphia's own, Terry Gross interviews reporter David Weigel, who was at the Value Voter's seminar posted about yesterday (on which I scooped the Daily Show by about two hours, but not Rachel Maddow).
Weigel writes for the Web magazine The Washington Independent. He's a former associate editor at the libertarian magazine Reason, and he's been published in liberal and conservative magazines, including The Nation, the American Conservative, the American Spectator and the American Prospect.
Listen to this interview, it's a good one and it's an important one. Here's some interesting links that I've posted within a segment of this interview's transcript, so you can read this part as you listen and learn about some of these references. In particular, be sure to read the Salon piece on Cleon Skousen.
GROSS: So why do you think there is this now strengthened concern on the right about the Constitution being undermined? Where is that coming from?
Mr. WEIGEL: Well, it was always there, but there's been a rediscovery of some primary texts of the conservative movement recently. And one that you heard about at the Values Voter Summit, one you've heard about a lot recently, it's been selling out at Amazon, selling out of bookstores and in huge demand at libraries is Cleon Skousen's "The 5,000 Year Leap," which is - he was a Mormon scholar, theologian with a few conspiratorial directions, if I want to be kind to him, who argued that the founders had 28 concepts that guided them, and they were all - they were divine concepts. Americans, in getting away from that, are getting away from God's vision for the country.
Mr. WEIGEL: And I'm usually loath to prescribe a lot of the movement's power to one book, but a lot of it comes from there. A lot of it comes from their discovery of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," which they - and when I say they, I'm saying social conservatives, economic conservatives believe Barack Obama and liberals use successfully to tear their movement down.
They view that it's sort of an antithetical text. It's here are European socialists whose vision for America is not inspired by God but inspired by atheistic Marxism. Here is how they want to tear the institutions down. So they're trying to reverse-engineer that. And so I think it's been very direct and - actually, you know, sort of scholarly interpretation of the way this stuff works. And one thing I think's important is that, as there's - a lot of people have noticed, the center of the conservative punditocracy, let's say, has shifted from the Sean Hannity types to the more Glenn Beck, Mark Levin types.