The View From 1776
Monday, August 30, 2004
Liberals Hate Christianity
Liberals disdain the concepts of right and wrong, dismissing them as unscientific value judgments. Their only acknowledged virtue is what they call “tolerance.” Tolerance, however, does not extend to Christianity.
In an August 28, 2004 article for the Associated Press, Richard N. Ostling notes, “After years of talk about the centrality of conservative Protestants and Catholics in the Republican Party coalition, an opposite factor is gaining wider notice: the Democrats’ reliance upon non-religious voters.”
And, “A religiously linked values clash is redefining U.S. politics, according to Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio of City University of New York. And if Republicans are labeled the party of religious traditionalists, they assert, “the Democrats with equal validity, can be called the secularist party.”
A University of Akron poll of 4,000 adults this spring showed that those with no religious affiliation are 17 percent of self-identified Democrats, rivaling the party’s traditional blocs of white Catholics (18 percent) and black Protestants (16 percent). The secularists favored John Kerry over George W. Bush by 57.4 percent to 27.2 percent (with the rest backing others or undecided).”
Political maneuvering in the Presidential race so far this year has made clear that an articulate and highly vocal part of our citizenry don’t just oppose Christianity. They hate it.
When a candidate gives witness to his Christian faith, liberals roar like wounded beasts, declaring that this will destroy American freedoms.
All of this is cloaked as sincere devotion to the First Amendment’s establishment clause. Underneath that cloak is the real objective: to establish secular and materialistic socialism as the nation’s official religion. Liberal organizations like the ACLU don’t just want Christianity separated from legislative and executive governance. They want to destroy Christianity and elevate socialism as the governing catechism of political life.
Maggie Gallagher, in a recent column, reports the following, fairly typical attack:
“Robert Reich, a former Cabinet secretary, implies in a recent issue of the “American Prospect” that Christian fundamentalists are even more dangerous than people who blow up skyscrapers. And he defines fundamentalism awfully broadly: ‘Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernist; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority ... between those who believe in science, reason and logic, and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face.’ “
There are three important points to be noted: first, socialism is a secular religion, second, liberalism is the American sect of the international religion of socialism; and, third, liberals cannot be shaken from their religious faith by the unremitting evidence that their religion always fails to deliver the goods.
For details to support these assertions, see
Socialism: Our Unconstitutionally Established Religion
Socialism has failed to deliver on its promises wherever it has been tried, but our liberals simply refuse to abandon it. They remain confident in their secular religious faith that, if they can just push Christians into the ash can of history, a nice, perfect new world can be created by intellectuals running the Federal bureaucracy.
In the religion of liberal-socialism, morality comes, not from God-given natural law, but from the fevered imaginations of intellectual style-setters.
We already know some of the marks of secular perfection in the liberals’ Brave New World: legalized abortion on demand, encouraging sexual promiscuity by distributing condoms in school and teaching young students how to use them; and same-sex marriage. The end point of secular, materialistic socialism is obliterating individuality and personal moral responsibility. We all are to be submerged into classes of more or less equally distributed income and wealth.
As in the Soviet Union, liberal-socialistic planners like Robert Reich are certain that most of the goods and services we buy today are bad for us and bad for the environment. They want to compel us to behave in the proper manner, that is, to buy what they decide is best for us.
The only thing they don’t propose to regulate is the raw sex and violence that pervades TV, movies, and the print media.
Thought Police & PC • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Friday, August 27, 2004
Is Morality Outmoded?
The two articles posted today deal with different aspects of the most fundamental danger facing the United States: not the Islamic radicalism of groups like Al Queda, but the unraveling of society itself.
To remain cohesive and vital, political societies must be governed by an unwritten constitution of shared values. Since the 1960s, liberalism has been adopted by roughly half of the nation’s citizens, either as some form of secular humanism, or as militantly radical movements like Students for a Democratic Society or Weatherman. They are vehemently opposed to the Judeo-Christian morality upon which the nation was founded.
This has pushed us into a civil war.
Several postings in recent months have dealt with this catastrophe.
Today’s two postings are
Other postings dealing with the deterioration of morality and our unwritten constitution include
Tradition & Morality • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Because He Could? Bill Clinton Conclusively Proves He Is the Worst President Ever
An appraisal by Kerry N. Jacoby of President Clinton’s terms in office animated by the recent publication of Mr. Clinton’s political biography. Mrs. Jacoby is the author of “Souls, Bodies, Spirits:? the Drive to Abolish Abortion Since 1973.”
She also operates her own website at http://religiousredzone.blogspot.com/
So President William Jefferson Clinton (a.k.a. “Saturday Night Bill,” “Bubba,” and “Hillary’s Dog”) has come clean, has he? Apparently he thinks that feeling bad about giving vent to his basest impulses in the Oval Office ought to be good enough for us. In fact, he seems to think we ought to consider his alleged contrition worthy of not only our forgiveness, but our admiration.
I think not.
Shortly after his twinkly-eyed confession of marital failure, worldwide deceit, and unbridled lust first crossed my television set, I heard one of those two-sided cable discussions in which one side was trying to defend the former president and the other was trying not to vomit. “Well,” the first averred demurely, “he was certainly a terrible husband—but he was a good president.”
I beg your pardon?
Anyone who accepts “I did it because I could” as an excuse for the sorry mess Clinton made of his personal life in the highest office in the land knows nothing about what a good president is.
Let me be clear here. It wasn’t my idea to return to the sad spectacle of William Jefferson Clinton. To the contrary: At this juncture, I was well resigned to just letting the whole thing go. It seems the Senate disagreed with me on the import of presidential lying and deception, and there it is. Case closed. Move (you’ll excuse the expression) on. As long as Hillary stays off the national news and only bothers the East Coast, I’ve seen enough of the two of them to last a lifetime.
But then he came back. And he went and said it. He did it because he could. Translation: He had the power. She was young. And he could get away with it because he was the president of the United States.
And that can’t be allowed to go unanswered.
Let us set aside the timeworn wail of wonder that no feminist has the nerve to even object to the idea that the presidency, occupied by a man, renders young women open season. Let us ignore the strange way he claims to be ashamed of himself and still bays loudly at the wicked Ken Starr. Instead, just for a minute, let’s examine what kind of president his own statement makes him.
“Because I could” is not an excuse fitting for an American president, or even for an American. “Because I could” evokes the privilege of a class system we claim not to have. It smacks of a patriarchal objectification of young women and a disdain for those of lesser prestige unworthy of the leader of the free (and supposedly civilized) world.
It is said that the mad and perverse Roman Emperor Caligula once told his grandmother that his true power lay in the fact that “I can do anything to anyone at any time.” Indeed, he could. And, over time, as no one stopped him, he indulged his every appetite to levels that today we would consider worthy of three weeks’ worth of pictures on the front page of the New York Times.
He ate and drank whatever he chose, even while others starved, served by fawning sycophants waiting on him hand and foot. He pursued military adventures as a lackluster hobby, even declaring war against Neptune, without his generals or his military even trying to hold him back, because it soothed his deluded mind to think himself triumphant over the river god. He made his horse a Senator. Most telling of all, he consorted with all manner of men and women in myriad imaginative combinations—sometimes consensually, other times against their will. He bedded and murdered his own sister, cutting his child out of her womb because he believed he was Zeus. Only his own murder could put a stop to the full play of his perverse passions. None could refuse the Emperor; there was nothing he could not do.
Once upon a time, long after the pantheon of the Roman gods had fallen, there developed a theory known as the Divine Right of Kings. It held that the King was appointed by God and was permitted all things under Heaven. By rights, the King could do to anyone anything he pleased. He could be stopped only by another monarch, usually by intrigue, conquest, murder, or some combination of all three. After a long and bloody political and military debate concerning the powers of Kings, King John was coerced into giving up his absolute rights to do anything to anyone at Runnymeade on June 15, 1215 (oddly enough, the same week Clinton popped back into view with his new book.) While the Magna Carta largely returned power to the church and the barons at the time, it has since come to be regarded as a definitive statement on the limitations of monarchy. Still, in matters of the heart, as well as everyday life, monarchs and nobles continued to treat the commoners abominably, simply because they could.
A common person could not hope to press a successful case against a King, for he had no rights. Even a Queen, such as Anne Boleyn, could find herself headless for merely being inconvenient to the whims of the King. King Henry VIII invented a new religion to avoid the problem of not being able to get a divorce as a Catholic. This he could do simply because he was the King. And the Church, though strong and well-corrupted, could not touch him.
Eventually, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther began a movement that advanced the radical notion that the Church had no right to interpret Scripture for the believer, that there was a personal conscience to be considered in all things. This freedom of conscience would eventually lead to an even more radical notion on the part of those who would come to the New World—that even the commonest of men had a right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in a state of ordered liberty. While there were yet relationships of inequality and systemic classism, the seeds of their destruction were planted in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
It was a new notion, you see, this American concept that the King couldn’t tell us what to do. The Declaration of Independence makes the astonishing argument that King George, by presuming to control the colonists, was in stark violation of something no one had ever heard of before—the inalienable rights of man. The Framers further argued that the reason for government was to protect those very rights, and if any government (such as the all-powerful Sovereign) failed to do so the subjects (that was us) had the equivalent right to rebel and govern themselves.
In the American antebellum South, as we all now know, men and women who were not white were treated as though they were not human. They were treated—in law—as property. They had no rights, and legions of Southern whites mistreated, raped, and killed “their” slaves. While they would have argued that much of the “discipline” meted out was to keep the slaves in line, there is little doubt in the vast literature on the period that much of the most perverse, cruel, inhumane and even inhuman behavior was a result of the headiness of having absolute power over another person. In other words, they did it just because they could. For America’s “first black president” to invoke such a justification for his own behavior—with or without contrition—is a stunning blow to his image as a “man of the people.”
It is to our credit as a nation that when this elitist excuse appears to rear its ugly head today, we recoil in disgust. The worst excesses of human behavior can be traced to the idea that some people are better than others. From the Taliban’s tyranny to the people-shredding of Saddam’s prisons—yes, even to the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib—unchecked power in the hands of unworthy men ever results in abuse, sin, and shame.
The American notion of equality rejects the idea that any man, of any station, may violate at will the laws of God and man. The “rule of law” was much maligned during the Clinton administration by those who thought the impeachment managers too “legalistic.” Talking heads and law professors alike sniffed at the idea that this mysterious notion was somehow triggered by the President’s “lying about sex.” Yet it is that very rule of equality that protects us all from the tyranny of those who wield greater power than we—the notion that neither the peasant, nor the king, nor the president is above the law. “Because I can” implies that President Clinton believed that these laws and rules did not apply to him simply because he was president.
What else can be meant by this breathtaking admission? What made him think he could get away with adultery, evasion of the Secret Service, sexual misconduct in the Oval Office? It shudders one to imagine what might have happened had he not been stopped by the outrage of Linda Tripp. What else would he have done merely because he could? What else did he do merely because he could?
And one last point must be made on this issue. The Republican party is the founding party of American equality, because it was the Republican party that was founded for the very purpose of abolishing the vile institution of slavery. Thus, I have no qualms pointing out that Clinton’s behavior is entirely un-Republican. We should expect no less.
But it pains me to admit, as well, that the Democratic Party itself has, over the past 4 decades or so, made an attempt to convince the American people that they, too, believe in equality. So much so that, at times, the party has tilted dangerously toward communism—a false system of enforced equality, which has never yet resulted in factual equality. At any rate, the constituent groups of the modern Democratic party are constantly claiming that they believe in equality, that women and men should be paid equally, that no one should be treated as a second-class citizen. And yet, here we have the standard-bearer of the new Democratic party—the practical heart of the movement itself—admitting to a stunningly lopsided view of human dignity.
You see, Clinton believed that because he was president, the law didn’t apply to him. God’s view of marriage and adultery didn’t apply to him. The dignity of office that would prohibit sexual adventure in the Oval Office didn’t apply to him. Nothing that would have applied to anyone else in the nation applied to him. Moreover, we must conclude that, since he lied about it when he got caught, the requirements of truth-telling under oath didn’t apply to him. The promise to tell the truth, “so help me God” did not apply to him.
The saddest part of all is that the Senate, through their cowardice, and the American people, through their unending loyalty to this deceptive elitist adulterer—who, nonetheless, gave them the gift of an irrationally exhuberant economy—proved him right. The law did not apply to him. He left the office of the presidency in a shambles, carried off things he thought he had a right to, and has now begun energetically revising his own history. He wants us now to believe he was more sinned against than sinning, more a powerless victim of Kenneth Starr than a powerful victimizer of young women. If we accept this version of his performance, he will succeed in his quest to escape the truth of the past. But his triumph will be only over the hearts and minds of his contemporaries. It will not last.
What Mr. Clinton and his legion of sycophants do not understand is that his explanation makes him not only an abominable husband, father, and Christian—but fundamentally un-American as a president. He told Oprah that he doesn’t excuse his behavior, but that is unimportant to history’s assessment of him as president. The fact is that his motivations as president were base, selfish, and wrong. It is fine that he now recognizes that his actions were bad, but for some reason it has escaped him that doing bad things for bad reasons as president makes him a bad president.
Yet for those who do make the connection between bad motivations, bad behavior, and bad performance, there is some consolation to be taken from the past. In every case of “because I can,” the tyrant, monarch, and slave-master finally fell, motionless and powerless, before the truth of history. Eventually, in the long march toward greater equality, truth and law triumphed over the brutal passions of selfish men. Let this be the last time such hubris is permitted in a nation of free people. He may have thought he could do what he did, but in the eyes of God and history, he will not get away with it.
Tradition & Morality • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Why Clinton Got a Pass: John Dewey and the Baby-Boomers
Why did roughly sixty percent of opinion-poll respondents in 1998 and 1999 believe that President Clinton?s sexual conduct and marital infidelity, as well as his perjury before a Federal grand jury and a Federal court, were of no relevance to his fitness for office? Many commentators saw this as something new for American society and traced it to the social revolution in the 1960s. That was certainly the immediate impetus, but the shift goes back much further and much deeper.
What we experience today are the cumulative results of changes in political ideologies that began in the 1880s, reached critical mass politically in the 1930s, and became a cultural avalanche in the late 1960s. During that span the United States moved from an ethos of morality and religion to a materialistic ethos that values public policy to the degree that it furthers hedonistic license and doles out material economic benefits for targeted interest groups.
That ethos, earlier called the philosophy of pragmatism, is now taught in our schools as situation ethics.
Pragmatism is the philosophy that there are no standards of right and wrong independent of specific situations, that there are no such things as truth or morality that are valid for all human beings. By implication, the words in the Declaration of independence, ?We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights??,? become meaningless drivel. Pragmatism asserts that the only proper measure is the effectiveness of a belief or an action. Whatever works, regardless of its collateral effects, is true and good for that specific case.
Since pragmatism is concerned only with gaining a result, it is willing to allow the end to justify whatever means may be demanded. Liberals in the 1930s stoutly defended Stalin?s Moscow showcase trials and the liquidation of millions of kulaks and other inconvenient groups, because liberals had ?seen the future, and it works!? Socialist utopia at the end of the rainbow justified whatever inhumanities were perpetrated in its name. Thus feminist groups and other liberals could overlook President Clinton?s abuses of the law and of women, because their goals coincided with his social-justice policies. Within the perspective of pragmatic philosophy, the White House was acting properly, because its spin machine quite clearly worked.
An early convert to pragmatism?s ideas of social justice, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, said that there is no higher standard, such as natural law or morality, against which to measure legislation or public policy. The truth, he said, is simply whatever wins out in the market place. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler?s minister of information, would have had no quarrel with that view.
From the standpoint of liberals, Justice Holmes?s pragmatism had a further benefit. Under its corollary, known as ?legal realism,? since there is no higher law, such as customs and traditions of morality and judicial precedent, the law is only what a particular judge declares it to be in a particular case. If the law is whatever the judge says it is, then the judge is entitled to legislate from the bench. Overstepping the Constitution?s limitation of powers is, in pragmatic terms, a means justified by its social-justice aim.
As with all such radicalism, however, judicial activism is potentially a dagger at the heart of liberalism as well as of traditional Constitutional government. Having established the practice, liberals will have no rational response if radically conservative judges in the future legislate conduct that liberals find abhorrent. If legal realism is the standard, nothing bars Federal courts from ordering, for example, imposition of a Puritan theocracy, should conservative extremists come to wield sufficient political power. ?Legal realism?s? essence is thus revealed as a reversion to pre-civilizational, barbaric, might-makes-right. It is the opposite of a constitutional government of laws, of rules that apply equally to everyone.
The philosophy of pragmatism was articulated by Professors William James and John Dewey. Professor James remained on the political sidelines at Harvard, but Professor Dewey, the most influential of all the intellectual icons from 1900 to the 1940s, devoted his career to spreading the secular gospel of pragmatism in the educational community. He saw clearly that the most effective way to institute socialist pragmatism in America was to teach this ideology to children in the public schools.
Professor Dewey believed that scientific methodology, highly successful in the physical sciences, would be equally so in the then-new fields of sociology and psychology. Following the design laid out by the comte de Saint-Simon, socialism?s founder in the 1820s, intellectuals would employ the social sciences to restructure society under government regulatory authorities. Like Pavlov?s dogs, people would be trained to salivate when social scientists rang their bells. For starters, Professor Dewey?s Reconstruction in Philosophy explicitly called for scrapping all existing ideas of morality, philosophy, and religion as dogmatic ignorance.
One of Dewey?s fellow intellectuals was the New Republic?s founding editor Herbert Croly. Pre-figuring President Franklin Delano Roosevelt?s New Deal, Croly?s 1909 book, The Promise of American Life, called for a powerfully-centralized government of efficient and disinterested planners who would simply impose social justice upon the nation. Jeffersonian emphasis on individual liberty, he felt, had produced a mediocre populace that had failed to aspire to national greatness and had ignored the need to redistribute the country?s wealth to the workers. The remedy, he said, was to diminish or eliminate the legislative role, both at state and national levels, and to build up the power of the President to implement collectivist policies. State governors and legislators at the state and national levels were, in Mr. Croly?s opinion, second-rate people who should give way to the educated elite. Only the latter were sufficiently prepared to direct the nation toward social justice.
Mr. Croly?s views created an instant sensation among the intelligentsia, enough for Federal Judge Learned Hand to send a copy of Mr. Croly’s book to Theodore Roosevelt, urging that he use his political energy, if re-elected to the Presidency, to resume implementing its ideology.
The general populace had no awareness of this specific vision, but throughout the western world there was a sense that humanity was progressing almost inevitably toward a better future, as science amplified economic productivity and ideas of political liberty became more widely accepted. World War I came as a shattering blow. Millions were killed or maimed in the brutal trench warfare. Governments and historical empires crumbled.
Looking for some new faith in the disillusionment following the Great War, large numbers of people on both sides of the Atlantic turned to socialism?s utopian promise of earthly perfection. The 1917 Russian Revolution seemed to them to have illuminated the path to paradise.
Socialist intellectuals like Professor Dewey had labored for decades, with limited success, to discredit and banish the historical religious and moral dimension of public and private life. Suddenly they had a lot of sympathetic listeners among the general public. Few of the public had any understanding of the constitutional implications of socialism, but its announced intentions seemed worth consideration, particularly after the onset of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Dewey?s articles became regular features in general-circulation magazines like Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, and The Ladies Home Journal. Church groups and ladies? book clubs actively discussed the perceived merits of socialism and its promise of social justice.
Baby-boomers like President Clinton, who came of age as student activists in the 1960s, were the first generation in American history of whom a high percentage nationwide attended college and thus the first generation to be pervasively indoctrinated with the Machiavellian calculus of pragmatism and social justice. The vast majority of Americans, despite the hardships of the Depression and World War II, still adhered to traditional moral standards. Post-war prosperity, however, gave the intellectuals an open highway. Unaware of the ideological ambush waiting in academia, Americans sent their Baby Boom kids to college in record numbers.
In what amounted to burning down the house to get rid of the bedbugs, the Boomers? youthful rebellion turned into destructive anarchism that brought college campuses to a halt across the nation. Discarding more than two and a half millennia of civilization based on traditions of morality and civic virtue for a narrowly secular and aggressively anti-religious ideology, President Clinton?s generation, as Senator Moynihan later was to observe, defined deviancy down.
Drug abuse, violent crime, sexual promiscuity, illegitimate birth rates, illiteracy and innumeracy, excessive credit card debt, and personal bankruptcies soared to alarmingly high levels, in some categories higher than ever before experienced by any society in the history of the world.
Baby Boomers made entertainers and professional athletes the highest-paid and most-admired economic group in history. Girls aged ten to thirteen, the ?tweens market,? are aggressively targeted by TV and tween magazine advertising for cosmetics, mini-skirts, and bare-midriff tops and taught that a sexy image is essential for peer status. All ages, from toddler onward, witness countless video games, movies, and TV programs that graphicly depict brutal violence. Movies and TV programs show sexual intercourse as a to-be-expected part of a casual, first encounter between a man and a woman, no more unusual than ordering a cup of coffee. Public schools teach young children the mechanics of the sex act and distribute free condoms, implicitly giving official imprimatur to sexual promiscuity. Unspeakable crimes, never before imagined, have become commonplace ? young students gun down their classmates and teachers; disgruntled employees slaughter their bosses and colleagues.
These are not unrelated phenomena. They are, in fact, the essence of and the inevitable consequences of a society governed by ?social justice,? the modern variant of Epicurean philosophy, which holds that the driving force in human social behavior and political conduct is, not aspiration to morality and civic virtue, but the pleasure-pain principle, i.e., seeking gratification of material wants and sensual desires. Morality is only a subject of comedians? ridicule.
The founders, however, had a different perspective. In the Virginia Assembly in 1788, James Madison said,
?I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks ? no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty and happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.?
We are left today with a largely secular political system crippled by its inability to call upon the spiritual side of human nature that in all past ages had been the source of civility and unity in society, the wellspring of civilization itself. Liberalism?s paradigm of egalitarian social justice promised heaven on earth, but produced the 20th century, the most savage period in world history.
Ascendance of the welfare state and secular liberalism has had the same sort of effect in the United States as the French Revolution of 1789, which destroyed their political, social, and religious order. Enshrining the Goddess Reason, France got, not a good society, but the bloody reign of terror, Napoleon?s imperial dictatorship, years of ruinous warfare across Europe, and more than one hundred fifty years of political and social instability. In this country we have a polarized political scene that resembles a religious war between those who still believe in morality and those who greet its assertion with mockery and obscene gestures. Society has fragmented into numberless special interest groups based on sex, race, ethnicity, educational level, income, disability, and sexual preferences. Inner city life approximates Thomas Hobbes?s state of nature, ?continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.?
Those hoping to repair the ship of state?s keel may have to settle for a long-range strategy of unremitting educational effort to reacquaint the public with the original philosophical and moral foundations of the Declaration and the Constitution. That, after all, is how the liberals did it. In a propaganda triumph that rivals anything devised by the Nazis or the Soviets, from the 1880s onward, academia, the arts, and literature were bombarded with John Dewey?s pragmatism, with the ACLU?s definition of the First Amendment as unfettered license for anarchists and socialists, and with novelists and historians extolling the virtues of the proletariat and denouncing existing society. Sociologists and anthropologists like Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead theorized that one culture was as good as the next. Charles A. Beard in An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States endeavored to prove that the Constitution was no more than a conspiracy by wealthy property owners to exploit the workers. The New Republic, The Masses, and other publications touted collectivizing government under a strong executive who would move us toward their national objective of egalitarianism. They were motivated by an ideological faith that, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau had theorized, original sin was the institution of private property; destroy the society that protected property rights, and the Garden of Eden would magically reappear.
The iceberg that menaces our ship of state today is immigration from non-English-speaking countries. We may welcome these new arrivals as reaffirmation of individual opportunity in American society. But multi-cultural and bilingual education have eliminated the schools as cultural melting-pots and turned them into anti-constitutional, anti-traditional agents of social corrosion. Couple this with the welfare state?s destruction of the traditional family and we have a prescription for civil strife not unlike that in Africa or the Balkans.
Political Theory • (1) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Thursday, August 26, 2004
The following article was written by my friend, Dariel A. Colella. It was published earlier in The Advocate, Stamford, Connecticut?s daily newspaper.
It echoes the points made in the August 17, 2004 article, Who Are the Liberal-Socialists?. And in the article of August 07, 2004, The Economics of Liberal Values - Part Three: Consumption vs Savings.
Last year I read with disgust that O.J. Simpson was offered a reality television show which would chronicle his daily activities; and The Los Angeles Times reported that O.J. received several television offers to act as a commentator during the Robert Blake trial (can you imagine?). Ultimately, and lucky for us, O.J. passed on the offers. Perhaps he was not willing to take time away from tracking down the real killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Unfortunately, the offers have kept coming and O.J. is now seriously considering another television reality show. The first question that comes to mind is why the television networks are willing to put O.J. Simpson on the air. Obviously it?s about the money, but the root of the problem is that we are willing to watch. What exactly does this say about the moral fabric of our nation?
Although O.J. was acquitted of the murder charge, he was found liable in a civil trial. Recent interviews with Fox News, Dateline NBC and the Today show confirm his on-going celebrity status. As Jack Dunphy wrote for National Review Online, ?That Mr. Simpson is today free to golf, sign autographs, and mug for tourists? snapshots without fear of being chased and pummeled by an angry mob is evidence of the decline in America?s moral health.? The airing of an O.J. Simpson reality show proves how low the bar has sunk when it comes to television programming. Should we continue to make heroes out of criminal celebrities and put them on the air just to make a buck? When will viewers decide that enough is enough? Don?t our children deserve better role models?
Let?s take a look at some of our contemporary Hollywood heroes: Roman Polanski receives critical acclaim and academy awards for his films while society ignores the fact that he raped a 13-year old girl and then fled the country; O.J. Simpson is accepted back into the fold because he escaped conviction by playing the race card; Robert Downey, Jr. is released from jail to film a movie; and is there any doubt that if Michael Jackson were not a celebrity he would be in an institution for the insane?
In a speech for The Heritage Foundation on culture, Midge Decter asks: ?How often have we seen our deepest beliefs being traduced as we open our morning papers or turn on our televisions or wander into a movie theater?? We have raised these celebrities to God-like status, accepting their values and paying them millions upon millions to lead us down a path of moral destruction. I can remember a time, not so long ago, when bad behavior was rejected by the general public and shame was a word that still had meaning.
Obviously, O.J. Simpson has no shame, but neither do the outlets that want to employ (exploit) him. According to MSNBC, Urban Television Network Corp., a satellite and cable channel, and Spiderboy International, a Miami production company, are planning to air 13 one-hour episodes of O.J. video from hip hop concerts attended by the former fugitive. According to the report, O.J. enjoyed the filming and said ?We were welcomed everywhere. But this was not meant to be shown anywhere except as rebuttal to those who say I?m a pariah.?
Although O.J. may be able to claim innocence by virtue of his acquittal, he must also contend with liability for the murders by a civil court. Notably, the civil trial involved a judge that ordered the parties not to discuss the case with the media and forbid television cameras. Thank goodness we still have a few judges who do not need their 15 minutes of fame.
In any event, it would be galling to see or hear O.J. Simpson commenting on the guilt or innocence of another actor/husband turned killer, like Scott Peterson. Although I?m sure Mr. Peterson would greatly appreciate O.J.?s expertise right about now. Perhaps Winona Ryder will offer to pick up a few things for O.J. to wear during his television debut.
Media & Opinion • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
What’s Next, Kristalnacht?
The Kerry campaign’s response to charges by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth calls to mind the tactics of their fellow socialists in Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
It stretches the point to say that Senator Kerry’s handling of allegations by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group is the same as Hitler’s quashing public discourse in Germany during the 1930s. But the parallels are there.
To date, rather than answer the allegations with specific evidence, the Kerry campaign has repeatedly branded them as lies and challenged the integrity and honesty of the veterans in the Swift Boat group. Aiming to silence the criticism, Kerry campaign officials have made semi-threatening gestures in the direction of TV stations running the Swift Boat ads, and towards the publisher and bookstores selling the best-seller, “Unfit For Command.”
A few examples:
Kerry seeks to scuttle vets’ ads
By Stephen Dinan and Charles Hurt
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published August 21, 2004
John Kerry filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission yesterday charging that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has violated campaign finance laws…..
Kerry Campaign, Liberal Group Attack Anti-Kerry Book
By Randy Hall
August 20, 2004
(CNSNews.com) - Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign and a liberal watchdog group launched attacks on Friday to either ban Unfit for Command or restrict sales of the book, which the group’s president called “the Hitler Diaries of this political season.”
In an article entitled “Unfit for Bookstores,” Eric Boehlert of Salon.com reported that a representative of the Kerry campaign had said Regnery Publishing, which printed Unfit for Command , is retailing a hoax and should consider withdrawing it from bookstores.
“No publisher should want to be selling books with proven falsehoods in them, especially falsehoods that are meant to smear the military service of an American veteran,” said Kerry campaign spokesman Chad Clanton. “If I were them, I’d be ducking under my desk wondering what to do. This is a serious problem.”
Manchester (NH) Union-Leader
Intimidation and speech:
Who is trying to silence whom?
PREPARING to secure the Republican National Convention in New York City this week, the FBI interviewed a small number of radicals it suspected of plotting to firebomb media vehicles during the convention. The left attacked, saying the FBI was trying to intimidate protesters into staying home.
Of course, if bombs go off during the convention, the left will fault the FBI (and President Bush) for not doing its job, which the left wants to prevent it from doing.
Meanwhile, John Kerry is trying to get bookstores to stop carrying ?Unfit for Command,? the best-selling book in which veterans challenge Kerry?s war record. So, where is the left-wing outrage over Kerry?s attack on free speech?
Slings and Arrows website
John Kerry himself has now personally spoken out against the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth :
``Over the last week or so, a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been attacking me. Of course, this group isn’t interested in the truth—and they’re not telling the truth,’’ Kerry said. ``Here’s what you really need to know about them—they’re funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They’re a front for the Bush campaign.’’
Kerry’s evidence? Bob Perry, who has given to given to multiple Republican causes and campaigns (including campaigns for Bush), is the Swiftboat Vet’s largest donor , contributing $100,000.
The Washington Times
Published August 21, 2004
??Individual donors have also thrown their weight behind Mr. Kerry. Billionaire George Soros, for example, has poured $12.6 million thus far into various 527 groups seeking the defeat of Mr. Bush, including $2.5 million to Moveon.org and $5 million to America Coming Together. Peter Lewis, another prolific donor, has thrown $2,995,000 to America Coming Together and $2.5 million to Moveon.org. Stephen Bing, a controversial figure from Shangri-La Entertainment, has donated almost $7 million to America Coming Together and to the Media Fund. So when it comes to surrogates doing the “dirty work,” Mr. Kerry’s allies outraise Mr. Bush’s hands down. But will Mr. Kerry condemn the “dirty work” of Moveon.org or America Coming Together? We won’t hold our breath.
What are we to make of this?
The point to be made does not apply to Senator Kerry alone. The point rather is that the fundamental nature of liberal-socialism necessitates such tactics of intimidation to silence free speech.
Christian and religious Jewish nominees for the Federal judiciary must be blocked, because they oppose liberalism’s ideology of social justice and personal hedonism. Political opponents must be denounced as liars.
In his rise to power between 1928 and 1933, Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist party (the Nazis) employed strong-arm tactics to intimidate his opponents and to control public opinion.
One of the most effective Nazi tactics became known as the Big Lie. To counter opponents’ charges, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels ignored the specifics of opponents’ charges and branded the protesters as liars. He proved that a big enough lie, repeated often enough, can effectively manipulate public opinion.
Nazis used public book burnings as party rallies. Any works by Jewish writers, along with works expressing views that the Nazis objected to, were banned, and from time to time, burned in big nighttime pep meetings.
These events culminated with Kristalnacht (“The Night of the Broken Glass”) in November 1938. Nazis and others marched through the streets smashing the windows of Jewish businesses and looting them. In addition to throwing a little red meat to his followers, Hitler delivered an unmistakable message: public expression of opinion was to be exclusively the Nazi view. Anyone challenging Nazi propaganda would be silenced.
Are we next to see an American version of Kristalnacht, with anti-American college students roaming the streets and smashing the windows of bookstores that dare to sell “Unfit for Command?”
That may sound far-fetched, but remember that liberal students frequently steal and destroy whole editions of conservative student newspapers, while college administrators opine that such foreclosing of conservative speech is merely an expression of liberals’ free speech.
Remember also that in 1999 liberals disrupted the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle by smashing store fronts, overturning and burning automobiles, and attacking police. President Clinton, needless to say, did not condemn these liberal terror tactics. He told the press that he could understand and sympathize with the aims of the rioters.
Liberalism’s collectivized welfare state is the opposite of the individual economic freedoms for which the colonists fought in 1776. Their ideology having no legitimacy in American history, liberal-socialists have no choice but to use strong-arm tactics, in the media, in our schools, in Congress, and in the judiciary. The 1776 Judeo-Christian principles of personal morality and individual responsibility stand in the way of their ideology and must be smashed.
Thought Police & PC • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Sunday, August 22, 2004
A New Marshall Plan?
Some liberals do, in fact, propose to pacify our foreign enemies with international welfare-state handouts.
The article entitled Sensitivity in Foreign Policy was posted on this website on Saturday, August 07, 2004. Among other things it asked: Does sensitivity in foreign policy mean raising our taxes enough to fund an international Great Society with lifetime benefits entitlements for our enemies?
Some liberals believe answering that question affirmatively is a winner. The August 19, 2004, edition of the Los Angeles Times carries an op-ed piece by Andrew Reding, a senior fellow for hemispheric affairs at the World Policy Institute. The article is entitled “U.S. Should Form a Marshall Plan for Latin America: Venezuela’s vote points to the threat of growing, far-reaching class turmoil.”
President Chavez has declared himself an enemy of the United States and has allied himself with Fidel Castro. What makes this a matter of grave concern is that Venezuela is a major source of oil for us, and Chavez’s actions already have disrupted oil production there, putting extra pressure on oil and gasoline prices in the United States.
The article concludes: “Instead of attacking Chavez, or aiding and abetting his opponents, Washington should recognize that stable democracy is the fruit of societies in which the middle class thrives. The free market alone cannot guarantee that, but a Marshall Plan for the Americas could ? were we not so blind to the threats posed by widening gaps between rich and poor at home and abroad.”
Samuel Johnson famously defined a second marriage as the triumph of hope over experience. The same definition could be applied to Mr. Reding’s proposal. Given the negative results of the Clinton administration’s multi-billion-dollar aid package to stop North Korea’s nuclear bomb development, one has to ask who is blind? Mr. Reding, or those who recognize that buying time with hand-outs is a losing tactic? Dictators, from Adolph Hitler to North Korea’s Kim Il Sung, simply use appeasement as extra time to continue arming for aggression.
Foreign Policy • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Thursday, August 19, 2004
The Dilemma of Redeploying American Military Forces
The Bush administrations’ recently announced military redeployment plans put the liberal-socialist candidacy of Senator John Kerry in a bind between socialist dogma and geo-political realities.
Senator Kerry was quick to criticize President Bush’s recent announcement of plans to redeploy American troops over the next ten years. Kerry described the announcement as a hastily conceived ploy for short-range political effect.
Yet, only a few weeks ago, on more than one occasion, Senator Kerry called for much the same sort of redeployment, including cutbacks of troops in South Korea.
What’s going on here?
On the one hand, judging from his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Senator Kerry has decided to present himself as a decisive and bold warrior who will defend America (after first exhausting all diplomatic options and displaying appropriate sensitivity toward our “allies”). On the other hand, he must make gestures in the direction of liberal-socialist orthodoxy, which posits that the whole world can be one big happy family, if intellectuals can appropriately redistribute American wealth to poorer nations. Historians call this appeasement; liberals call it social justice. North Korea will be watching with considerable interest.
The bold-warrior image comports with denouncing proposed troop reductions overseas. But the orthodoxy of international socialism comports with Kerry’s statement only last week that he would persuade our allies to take our place in Iraq and bring American troops back within six months.
One has to guess, of course, about what motive governs the Senator from moment to moment, because he repeatedly makes contradictory proclamations. But the socialist, “community of nations” orthodoxy would be consistent with resuming policies started under the Clinton administration for massive reductions in American military forces. Clinton’s reductions in our defense expenditures, not the so-called reinvention of government under Al Gore, paid for much of the temporary and illusory Federal budget balance attained at the end of the Clinton administration.
There was political pressure at the start of Clinton’s first term in 1993 to cut military spending. Liberals thought that, with the Cold War over, we could use the “peace dividend” from lower military expenses to pay for new welfare-state initiatives, like Hillary Clinton’s proposed socialistic, national health system.
Kerry, at the moment, echos this by declaring that he will keep us militarily strong, but not at the expense of more pressing matters like free prescription benefits for seniors and national health care.
As George Friedman notes (“Redeployment and the Strategic Miscalculation,” August 18, 2004), http://www.stratfor.com/coms2/page_home Clint,on’s first Defense Secretary Les Aspin was compelled early in Clinton’s first term to begin a reassessment of where to deploy the reduced numbers of American troops overseas and how to arm them for the new military situation. Without the constant threat of Soviet tank invasions across the North German plains, every aspect of our defense forces and strategy necessarily became subject to review.
Defense Secretary Aspin concluded that emphasis on heavy armored divisions should be replaced by emphasis on more mobile and more lightly armed troops that would rely on new technology, like cruise missiles and satellite-guided weapons, to strike enemies wherever they appeared. One lesson from Desert Storm, the war that ousted Sadam Hussein from Kuwait, was that fighting wars far from existing bases with Cold War era methods was difficult and slow to mount. For Desert Storm, we needed roughly six months to ship armored divisions and several hundred thousand conventional troops to bases that could strike Iraqui forces in Kuwait.
Looking at this historical background demonstrates that it is inaccurate to call the Bush long-term redeployment plans a hastily conceived political ploy. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has, for the past three years, simply continued the reassessment process started by his predecessor, Les Aspin, more than a decade ago.
We are left to wonder how large new reductions in defense spending would be under a Kerry socialist administration, not to mention how effectively the United States will be defended by renewed reliance on our socialist friends in the UN.
Foreign Policy • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Secular Education Equals State Support for Sectarian Religion
Florida’s appeals court has just ruled unconstitutional a Florida law giving educational vouchers to students in failing schools, because many students use vouchers to go to church-supported schools. The real elephant in the room is the simple fact that liberals’ beloved secularity in education is itself religious education.
The New York Times on August 17, 2004 happily ran an article that began:
“Florida Court Rules Against Religious School Vouchers
By GREG WINTER
Florida appeals court ruled yesterday that a voucher program for students in failing schools violated the state’s Constitution because it sent public money to religious institutions.”
Two points are worth making:
One, the secularity in education demanded by liberal-socialists is the religion of secular, materialistic, and atheistic socialism. Spending tax money on secular education is therefore an unconstitutional use of public funds to promote a specific religion.
Two, use of taxpayers money ought to support better education, not increased membership in socialist teachers’ unions. Spending money on public schools is, in too many cities, throwing money down a rat hole. Student performance today, compared to 1960, is abysmally worse.
In contrast, charter schools and church-supported schools educate students far more effectively. And they do not require students to take religious instruction.
To understand why this is so, we have only to note the resounding defeat every year in teachers’ union conventions of any move to grade teachers on individual knowledge and teaching competence. The unions have a sure-fire modus operandi: they enlist teachers who can’t pass exams themselves in the subjects they “teach” and who therefore know that without union support they could never hold teaching jobs on their own merits.
Years of experience in New York City and elsewhere prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that church-sponsored schools, particularly Catholic parochial schools, consistently out-perform public schools. And the parochial schools do it while spending only a fraction of the amount per pupil expended in the public schools. This remains true, even when adjusting for claims by the teachers’ unions that parochial schools cherry-pick the better students. No studies bear this out. Parochial schools, in fact, tend to take the poorer-performing inner-city pupils, whose rate of improvement in educational performance nonetheless outstrips the results in public schools.
Moreover, even the recent teachers’ unions study, again trumpeted by the New York Times (motto: We don’t question socialist propaganda; we just print it), declaring that charter schools do worse than public schools is belied by statistics presented in the very charts that the Times includes in its article. Either Times reporters don’t understand numbers, or they, like Bill Clinton, aren’t sure of the meaning of “is.” The teachers’ unions own statistics show that voucher schools get a disproportionate number of the poorest students. Yet those students’ performance improvement outdistances that of the public school students.
For details, see Mickey Kaus’s (http://slate.msn.com/id/2105245/) comments and links to analytical articles under date of August 18, 2004.
Education • (0) Comments
Print this Article • Email A Friend • Permalink
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Who Are the Liberal-Socialists?
If there is any hope of preserving the government established when the Constitution was ratified in 1789, it’s necessary to understand who its enemies are.
Liberal-socialists, if we include their fellow-travelers, are a huge and diverse group comprising people of varying degrees of education, understanding, and motivation. Their point of unity is the aim to change the fundamental nature of the government created in 1787 when our Constitution was written.
Liberal-socialists in this country are not a single block of people, all of whom think exactly alike. Nor is there a liberal conspiracy. The number of people who are pure liberals, together with their sympathizers, probably number more than a third to a half of the nation?s population, that is to say, more than one hundred million people. This means that combating liberal-socialism is a formidable task. It means that the struggle, just as with the war on terror, will likely endure for generations. But we must not relent.
In the United States, liberal-socialists fall into five general categories:
First are true-blue socialist-liberals for whom it is a matter of sincere religious faith. These are people who have mastered the catechism of social justice and can articulate legal and sociological theories to justify their stratagems to gut the Constitution. Many of them were radical student activists in the 1960s and 1970s and are now teachers and college professors themselves, aggressively radicalizing young students at all levels of education. A significant portion of elected political representatives fall into this group. A troubling number of state and Federal judges are devout socialists. More than 70 percent of writers, journalists, and TV pundits and show hosts, including those on tax-supported Public TV and Public Radio, are self-identified true-believers. Ditto many of the huge, tax-exempt trusts, such as the Ford Foundation, which fund the liberal jihad.
Prominent among the true-blues is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It was organized in 1916-17, while the U.S. prepared to enter World War I. Its express and exclusive purpose was to protect socialists and anarchists who attempted to sabotage war preparation efforts, a goal from which it has never strayed. Today, to promote the cause of socialism, the ACLU will aggressively support any legislation or activity that undermines historical traditions or banishes spiritual religion and morality from education and public life.
These believers are no more susceptible to rational argument than are terrorist suicide-bombers. They KNOW what political actions must be taken to end all of mankind?s difficulties and sufferings. They KNOW that the coming of socialism will restore the Garden of Eden, making all of the earth into a heavenly paradise. They KNOW that the only things standing in the way of this utopian dream are the selfish greed of owners of private property and people?s faith in spiritual religions and personal morality. These true-believers therefore are prepared to do whatever may be necessary to reach socialism?s Garden of Eden.
Second are the biggest group, the fellow-travelers, a category that has several sub-groups. They include the good-ol’-boys and girls types, north and south, east and west, who just bumble mindlessly along with the flow for no better reason than that?s what they see on TV programs and in movies. If the Ku Klux Klan were to take over the country, they would support them too, without thinking much about it. These are the people who can?t find their way to voting places and can?t figure out how to punch holes in paper ballots, the people whose votes are supposed to be essential for democracy. Some of them actually have thought about election issues and can even remember the names of candidates, but their thoughtfulness seldom goes beyond calculating which candidate promises the most free-loading welfare benefits. Issues of constitutionality or economic feasibility don?t register on their radar screens.
Another sub-group temperamentally related to the good-ol’-boys and girls are today?s college students and the fellow students of the 1960s student-radicals, who found the image of youthful rebellion attractive, but never really got into serious study of socialist doctrine. They can rattle off a list of atrocities supposedly committed by Americans around the world. They find it exciting to take to the streets carrying placards with slogans they can?t explain or justify, especially when the liberal media give them respectful news coverage. They are hangers-on who appear never to trouble themselves about the financial, social, and political costs of the social-justice slogans they mouth. Few of them inquire whether social justice actually works, or what in fact the real-world results of social justice have been. Self-centered greed leads some of them to support political candidates who promise new welfare programs that will benefit them personally. Whether such welfare programs are beneficial to the general well-being of the nation is a question that doesn?t enter their minds, nor would they, in most cases, have the knowledge or interest to answer such a question.
For the good ol’ boys and girls and for the student hangers-on, socialism is a very undemanding religion. They don?t have to change their lifestyles, diets, or drinking and drug habits. They merely have to go with the flow. They don?t even have to understand the ideology to which they are giving lip service. They are happily guided by Hollywood personalities who appear on talk shows and by comedians who ridicule morality and spiritual religion. Participating in a mass demonstration is a sort of spiritual communion with The Religion of Humanity, a proof of their self-worth. If a street demonstration isn?t available, they can worship their socialist god by sitting at their favorite bar, watching TV, ordering another beer, and denouncing people who question their beliefs.
Another sub-category among the fellow-travelers are the so-called liberal Republicans, the group known in the 1970s as Rockefeller Republicans. Many are from influential and wealthy families and have acquired a noblesse oblige attitude in Ivy League, upper Midwestern, and Left Coast universities. Few of them have faced the need to scratch out a living from the wrong side of the tracks, so they think in great and noble, but abstract terms about ?helping the people.? They seem unaware that their social justice programs are about as helpful as giving ever larger doses of heroin to a drug addict.
Related to the liberal Republicans are executives of large corporations who, counter-intuitively, actually prefer big government with a heavy regulatory hand. First, it?s easier for big companies to deal with a single set of national regulations than to deal with fifty sets of state regulations. Second, having to deal with millions of pages of conflicting government regulations gives them an advantage against potential competitors, the newer, smaller companies that can?t afford the armies of accountants and lawyers required to deal with Federal regulatory agencies.
Few people today know that among the supporters of socialist state-planning in the 1920s and 1930s were, astonishingly, President Herbert Hoover and major corporate executives like General Electric’s President Gerard Swope. Hoover, a professional mining engineer, was temperamentally attracted to the idea of state-planning and social-engineering. As Secretary of Commerce in the Coolidge administration, he advocated industrial self-regulation through granting trade associations legal powers to fix prices and promulgate their own rules of competition. When the 1929 stock market crash precipitated the Great Depression during his Presidency, Hoover turned to leaders of big business like Swope, from whom he got active support to fix wages at high levels and to take other measures to run the economy as if it were a private company.
Needless to say, these measures were unsuccessful. The net result was fewer workers at high wages in big business and mass unemployment among those who had worked for the nation’s small businesses. Many of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal policies were foreshadowed by state-planning actions started by President Hoover in conjunction with leaders of the nation’s largest corporations.
The fellow-traveler sub-group includes many ordinary people who look favorably upon some of the avowed aims of social justice, but fail to understand that, like Faust, they must sell their souls to the Devil to get the promised rewards. Most of them are middle-class residents in the older and larger cities, where they have been surrounded all their lives by media, teachers, and politicians for whom the only imaginable form of good government is the welfare state. Some of these folks are nice, personally decent people whose education and family upbringing have impressed upon them the desirability of making life easier for the poor, the elderly, the sick, and the crippled. Others are dogmatic believers who don?t fully understand the implications of liberal-socialism. In the impersonal atmosphere of large cities it?s easy for them to believe that the rich have gouged the poor and that re-distributing some of their ill-gotten gains is the only appropriate policy. The generalities of social justice sound good to them. They are sure that warnings about the inherent dangers of socialism are greatly exaggerated. Surely a rich country like the United States can afford to help the less fortunate. Why, they wonder, could anyone possibly object to benefits like socialized medicine?
Liberal Republicans and the basically decent, ordinary citizens share a common viewpoint. Without consciously articulating it, they feel that individualism and the forces of market-place competition will necessarily produce injustices for people in lower economic classes. In their view, business and “the rich” will inevitably oppress the average citizen, unless big government steps in to regulate everything.
Opportunity is defined by them as the government giving special privileges to selected social and economic groups, because they don’t believe that an ordinary citizen can get ahead in life by his own exertions. The little guy, they believe, can’t compete in the free-market world and must be sheltered in the embrace of Big Brother. But the “little guy” is never an individual, it’s always selected racial, economic, or social classes.
Their education and the pervasive message of the media give these liberal Republicans and large-city Democratic voters a picture of economic conditions as static, and therefore controllable by restructuring society. They have no conception of the actual fluidity, up and down, in the economic scale. The poor are implicitly viewed as permanently consigned to a category of economic inferiority, oppressed by a permanent cadre of hereditary rich who year by year grow richer at the expense of the poor. Even if the poor become richer, these sub-groups of liberalism always look to the fact that the rich also got richer. Nor do they note that few people remain in the rarified top-income brackets for long; many drop out with reversals of fortune, as others rise to take their places.
They fail to note that as many as eighty percent of ?the rich? in the IRS?s top tax brackets are either owners of small businesses whose business income is reported on their personal tax returns, or individuals who have hit the jackpot via one-time cashing-in of stock options, as in the dot.com boom of the late 1990s.
No account is taken of the fact that a huge percentage of the poor are teen-agers in their first jobs, people who will in a few years be climbing upward into the higher income brackets with more experience and greater skills acquired along the way.
Liberal Republicans and the basically decent, ordinary citizens think that it is only fair that the Federal government have the authority to impose arbitrary regulations on businesses and individuals restricting their economic freedoms and the rights of private property. They simply ignore the fact that our political ancestors went to war with Great Britain in 1776 precisely to preserve individual economic freedoms and the rights of private property.
Because they are generally college-educated and have been taught only the dogma of socialism, liberal Republicans and the basically decent, ordinary citizens are certain that any intelligent person will agree with the aims of socialistic social justice. They are confident that planners can improve social and economic conditions, but they are usually vague about specifics, except in the areas directly touching them. For them, it is sufficient to identify conditions that they regard as unjust. The presumption is that all injustices can be rectified by government regulation. Adverse secondary effects of such regulation are ignored.
If seniors complain that prescription medicines cost too much, then why not impose price controls on the drug companies? Or import price-controlled drugs from Canada, which amounts to the same thing? Even if more than half the nation’s electric power is produced by coal-burning generating plants, why not impose environmental regulations that limit the use of coal and increase production costs? Why not, at the same time, impose regulations to reduce prices of electric power made more costly to produce?
Liberal Republicans and the basically decent, ordinary citizens believe that any intelligent person will happily accept socialized cooperation as the clearly better organizing principle for society. That?s why they define teaching socialism in our schools as ?learning to think.?
Third are the politicians who understand cynically that the surest way to win elections is to buy votes with a never-ending stream of hand-outs, at the expense of the top six percent of the populace who pay more than fifty percent of the taxes. As noted, a few of them are true believers, steeped in the dogma of socialist religion. Most of them, however, are like the token, Christmas-and-Easter-only, Christians who want to identify themselves with the beliefs of their liberal constituencies, without the need for a personal religious commitment. For them, social justice is just business, and their job is to manufacture new welfare products that have a big market and can be sold for the maximum number of votes. This is known in campaign parlance as ?fairness? and ?fighting for consumers and for the little guy.? Needless to say, such politicians are not concerned with assessing whether their vote-pandering produces good results or bad. Winning elections is all that matters.
Fourth, there are the politicians? fellow cynics, the trial lawyers who organize massive class-action law suits and collect tens of millions of dollars in fees per action, while the typical member of the plaintiff group gets a tiny fraction of that as his share of the settlement. These lawyers fund organizations like Ralph Nader?s group to create new complaints and new ?rights? as the basis for Congressional vote-getting and future law suits. These tort-bar attorneys are among the largest donors to liberal politicians? campaign coffers. Minor matters such as depriving people of medical care by raising malpractice insurance premiums and driving doctors out of medical practice fade into insignificance compared to the multi-million dollar fees litigators grab for themselves. It should be no surprise that the Democratic Party, the beneficiary of huge donations from the tort bar, blocks every attempt to prevent this extortionate manipulation of the legal system.
Finally there are the labor unions. Union members are ready to fight anyone who questions what unions have gained for them. However, as with all class-based socialist state-planning, what they gain is at others’ expense. That’s what’s involved in imposing egalitarian social justice via state-planning. The government will directly take from some and give to others, or will support a favored position for unions permitting them to do the taking.
When unions raise their members’ wages, the rest of the country pays higher prices and suffers from the effects of general inflation. Huge increases in wages and benefits packages extorted from businesses by a surge of strikes immediately after World War II raised American labor costs and enabled Japanese and German companies to wipe out American steel, auto, and household appliance manufacturers in the 1970s. Michael Moore’s first so-called documentary, “Roger and Me,” pictured a heartless General Motors intent on shutting down plants in Moore’s hometown Flint, Michigan, for nothing more than the pleasure of oppressing workers. Michael Moore appears not to understand that it was not General Motors, but labor unions, who shut down those high-cost, uncompetitive plants.
Whatever good may have come from labor unions must be balanced against the fact that unions have been openly acknowledged here and in Europe as among the principal agents of socialism. Most of American labor union leaders since the 1920s have been openly socialists, a few of them members of the Communist Party.
Today the biggest growth area for unions is in government employment. The two largest public employees’ unions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), both are run by veterans of the militantly radical anarchist student groups of the 1960s and 1970s. As Lowell Ponte notes (“How Socialist Unions Rule the Democratic Party,” FrontPageMagazine.com, July 14, 2004), “The nightmare for such unions is not a weak economy, as it would be for private sector workers. Government workers get their money not from a free marketplace but from coerced taxes. And many SEIU workers not employed directly by government are hospital and nursing home staffers paid indirectly by government dollars for Medicare, Medicaid and welfare patients. For this reason the government unions are the party of American socialism.”
The National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the AFT?s New York affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), depend upon liberal political control of education at the state and Federal levels. One should therefore not be surprised that they are the largest fund sources in many major political campaigns and one of the most formidable get-out-the-vote organizations. These unions focus much of their energy upon promoting causes that require more union members. Only so many slots are available to teach traditional academic subjects like math, history, chemistry, physics, and English.
To jet-propel growth of their membership and political influence, they and their friends in the teacher-training colleges keep open a never-ending stream of new special-education requirements and so-called affective education courses (designed to influence students? attitudes), along with new teaching methodologies. Consequently, the ranks of special-education teachers and administrators grow, while educational performance of students drops. Every generation of American students since the 1960s has been less well educated than preceding generations. But the dues-paying membership of the teachers? unions continues to expand at growth-stock rates.
And, most importantly, affective education courses promote group-think, socialistic attitudes. Inexperienced young students are taught that the moral values of their parents are outmoded and that America?s history is one of repression and imperialistic crimes against humanity. Many of today?s young students thus will grow up as converts to the secular religion of socialism.