Explaining the history of the anti-American Left
As we approach the 2004 Presidential election, the pundits are talking incessantly about the "polarization" and division of the American electorate. There is no question that we are a divided nation, but is this a new development? This dynamic deserves some historical reflection, which in my view sheds light not so much on the fact that a divided America is our natural state, but that the recent tactics of deception and lies have fomented much of that divide. At the heart of our great divide is the fact of continuing, astonishing, unprecedented American success, and those who insist on apologizing for it, or worse, calling it something other than success.
Overcoming slavery in order to become a superpower
Americans have always been contrarians, starting with the Puritans who, rather than adhere to English religious laws, chose to plant stakes in a forbidding New World where they could practice the kind of Christianity they desired. Right from the beginning, these new Americans were faced with forces that disagreed with them, the Indians.
When the English followed the settlers to America and claimed it as their own, they were eventually faced with violent Revolution. When the Revolutionaries prevailed, they found themselves deeply divided over the issue of slavery. Out of economic and agricultural necessity, the country agreed to be formed as a single Union, with slavery remaining as a bone of contention.
Slavery came to a head with the Civil War some four score and seven years later. Never before or since has the United States been more divided than the period prior to, during and after the war. Reconstruction was even worse than the war. The result of this divide was a century of Jim Crow laws.
Still, the U.S. grudgingly decided to put most of its differences aside as we grew, prospered and expanded into the Modern Power embodied by Teddy Roosevelt's "Big Stick" policies. The Industrial Revolution followed on the heels of Westward expansion. The mindset of the American citizenry was one of Manifest Destiny, a God-given exceptionalism that "justified" our wars with Mexico and the Indians; our increasing military empire in the Pacific; and the Spanish-American War which put Latin America into our sphere of influence. Some intellectuals opposed our use of power. Mark Twain became a loud voice of protest, but most Americans were of the Rudyard Kipling school, which was a semi-racist attitude that the "white man's burden" was to replace chaos and ignorance with enlightenment, sometimes at the point of a gun.
Nobody could have predicted the upheaval of the 20th Century, a 100-year period that saw more change, more chaos, more evil and more goodness than perhaps had occurred throughout all of Christian history. World Wars I and II brought America together in a way we never had before, and very likely, hopefully in fact, never will again.
The reason I say "hopefully" is that, if America is ever "forced" to come together again as we did during World War II, that will mean that we are facing a deadly challenge to rival that with which we faced when the Nazis and Tojo's Japan were on the march. The U.S. ended those threats and created conditions that promise a thousand-year period of relative peace, the anti-dote to Adolf Hitler's vision of a "thousand-year Reich."
Anarchism and Communism shadow the American Left
This is not to say that there was not dissent in the ranks. During World War I, a Russian émigré named Emma Goldman fueled the anarchist movement. The Michael Moore of her time, she argued that America had no business fighting a war in Europe, which she said was not to "make the world safe for Democracy," but rather was an (successful, as it turned out) effort to make America into a global power. Goldman excoriated President Woodrow Wilson for lying in his 1916 re-election campaign, when he promised to keep the country out of the Great War in Europe. Six months later the first doughboys were signing up to fight.
Goldman represents something that has never gone away in America, and in fact is here to stay. The question is whether her ghost will prevail or continue to be shunted as part of the "lunatic Left." She was everything that the Left has come to embody. A woman raised by a totalitarian Russian father, she despised men as patriarchal despots. A non-practicing Jew, she saw religion as the worst kind of oppression. She advocated "free love" decades before Dr. Timothy Leary came along. Few realize that this was a tool of Communism, who saw sex and immorality as key ingredients in the engine of anti-capitalist values. In America she saw only oppression and indecency.
The question one might ask of Goldman might have been, "What is your complaint?" After all, here is a woman from Tsarist Russia who found a country that gave her a platform and a place in history. In any other nation on Earth, Emma Goldman would have been imprisoned for her views. In America, she became a folk hero of the anarchist movement, which had been met with armed resistance by the Europeans who dealt harshly with their own 19th Century revolutions.
What Goldman hated was American power. She saw the future. It was a future in which America would become the dominant military, social and cultural influence of this Earth. She saw a country forged by victory in the pivotal wars of history, inculcated with Christianity and family values, fueled by a capitalist system she saw only as exploitative and racist. At the heart of the Goldman question, certain Truths emerge as self-evident. American values are, at least in the view of most patriots, values of goodness and decency. They are the values behind the laws and social movements that have confronted our worst traits - slavery, segregation, inequality - and defeated them. This leaves us in a sticky corner, confronting the emerging reality that if America is truly good, then Goldman and her ilk, by opposing core American values, are the anti-good. For those of us who believe not only in a loving God, but believe that forces of good and evil battle each other on Earth - in the media, the fields of military strife, the courtrooms, the salons of politics and intellectual argument - then Goldman is more than just an anti-American kook. Rather, she becomes an apostle of evil, which is much more dangerous if you are pre-disposed to believing that evil is manifest in its existence.
Furthermore, like a good lawyer who uses history to weave a case together, this leaves us looking at what is called proximate causation, the "but-for" theory that fuels tort and criminal law. If Goldman is "evil," then those who follow her, practice her form of "religion," and pay homage (even without knowing who she was) to her memory through decades of imitation, are "evil." Whether the practitioners of this form of evil are witting or unwitting is something only those who practice Emma's religion know in their hearts.
Emma's ghost has hovered over several movements over the years. Her own anarchism became dangerous in the eyes of the law after Sacco and Vanzetti were caught trying to blow things up. In light of this, Emma was no longer tolerated. In a move that pre-cursors the Patriot Act, she was re-patriated to her native Russia. At first Emma said she was thrilled to find herself in the Leninist-Stalinist "Utopian paradise" of the new Soviet Union, but after a short time she discovered, to her horror, that everything she had stood for, advocated and trumpeted was a lie. The U.S.S.R. was hell on Earth. Emma died a broken woman. If she saw Communism up front and was appalled by it, that at least gives credence to the possibility that she herself was not evil, but a tool of evil, a "useful idiot" as V.I. Lenin identified her kind.
Emma's legacy, however, lived on. It lived on in the voices of Ezra Pound, "Tokyo Rose" and "Hanoi Jane" Fonda, American citizens who broadcast treasonous messages from our enemies' capitals during World War II and Vietnam. Communism replaced anarchism - before, during and after World War II. Anarchism was amorphous. Communism had a manifesto, a growing number of countries utilizing it as a governmental system, and it had faces to symbolize it. What really jangled the spurs of anti-American Americans, however, was the fact that it was the exact opposite of America.
The Left paints their image of the new America
Goldman's ghost was right there, urging the Communist spies and provocateurs that infiltrated Democrat administrations, the State Department, the United Nations, American colleges, and eventually the protest movement of the anti-Vietnam War 1960s. It was a way of allowing Communism to morph into the American mindset. Whereby real and actual Communism looked far too harsh, too militaristic, too rigid and unsexy to average "useful idiots," the anarchist ideology did not. McCarthyism and the clumsy political machinations of the Republican party in the 1950s created a backlash of unprecedented proportions. In the new anarchism, the Left found the kind of chaos and upheaval they were looking for all along. When one views footage of Woodstock and violence on campuses from Berkeley to Columbia, one sees just that.
"Tear it down, man," was an analogy for their anti-American sentiment, a desire to destroy all that America had built. It was the anti-Establishmentarian theme, and to those who found solidarity in its message, a new set of heroes emerged. These were the "little brown brothers" of the Third World, embodied by the Argentinean terrorist, Che Guevara.
The Left watched in increasing frustration as events unfolded, exasperated by the fact that their greatest victories were snatched away from them just when they thought they had prevailed. Democrats controlled the White House from 1961 to 1969. They controlled, for the most part and for much of that period, the Congress, and symbolized the political sentiments of the New Frontier. They watched gleefully while American power was rendered impotent in Vietnam, and embraced détente with Communism, which supposedly made the term "Cold War" obsolete. They deposed that most hated of anti-Communists, the prosecutor of Alger Hiss, Richard Nixon. They exposed the CIA in the Church hearings. They legislated the Great Society, which after 20 years of rollbacks brought back the New Deal. They cheered when the Civil Rights movement resulted in a nation of guilty white liberals, full of self-hate.
They cheered the new "uniforms" and morals of the Left; hippies, long hair, tie-dyed t-shirts, dirty rags, unwashed bodies immersed in the smells and excesses of mindless sexual deviancy. Here was the most spoiled generation in American history reacting to the sacrifices of their forefathers, the Greatest Generation that had won World War II. En masse, a psychological backlash had occurred. Baby Boomers realized they were totally incapable of being nearly as good as their predecessors, and instead of nobly struggling to live up to their fathers, they rejected them completely.
Drugs became the New Sacrament of these losers. Christianity and traditional values were the enemy. Rock concerts became the new church choirs of Leftist rant, deviancy and immorality. Hollywood and the entertainment industry rejected the old patriotism of Daryl Zanuck and John Wayne, replacing it with pent-up liberalism and post-Watergate conspiracy movies. The media, its members now graduated from the elite Leftist colleges where professors had spouted their anti-American nostrums since before William F. Buckley's "God and Man At Yale", were now dominating the newsrooms of the New York Times, the Washington Post and CBS. A malaise overtook our economy, our military and our youth. We watched in impotence while Communism spread to the Third World, terrorism emerged, and our children became myopic, longhaired ne'r'dowells. America was in decline, and this was highly, precisely and to quintessential effect that with which the anti-American Left had fought for, hoped for and desired since Emma Goldman's time.
The 1960s and '70s, on its face, might have appeared as the "end of history" for triumphant liberalism, the endgame in which they could congratulate themselves on a job well done and a victory won. They were wrong. What they saw as a final conflict was really the impetus for the greatest backlash in American history, a period in which all that the Left hated most came to fruition. Like Osama bin Laden, who set off the opposite of his political goals through 9/11, the Left came to see that their actions had resulted in a near-polar opposite of the America they had envisioned and falsely thought they had achieved.
Start with the 1968 Presidential election. The nation was in turmoil, shocked by the anti-military media's images of the Tet Offensive. They were propelled by the martyrdom of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. Bobby Kennedy became their anti-war standard bearer, and when he too was murdered the Left had a Eucharist of saintly heroes giving spirit to their calls for "peace," love and dope. In retrospect, it seems almost impossible to believe that in the midst of all of this, the buttoned-down, totally uncool Dick Nixon could become, after so much angst and high anxiety, the President of the United States. Not only did this happen, but after four years of unprecedented hatred expended against him, it happened again. Nixon never gave in to the Left. He bombed the hell out of the Communists and called the protestors "bums."
In 1972, Nixon was escalating a brutal war in its eighth year. The Pentagon Papers had exploded, and all the major media - the Times, the Post, the networks, Hollywood, the colleges both in the classrooms and on the plazas - opposed him with every ounce of vitriol available in their over-intellectualized arsenals.
Nixon did not have talk radio or Fox News.
The result? Nixon won the biggest victory in U.S. Presidential history. He garnered 49 states and 62 percent of the vote. The shock and awe of the liberal Left was embodied by New York Times film critic Pauline Kael, who exclaimed, "How could he have won? I don't know a single person who voted for him."
What happened after that election is instructive in order to apply historical lessons to our modern polarization. Watergate hit. Here was a "third rate burglary" and wiretapping, no different than the ones authorized by Democrats Franklin Roosevelt and Robert Kennedy. The Democrats played it strictly for political gain, and in so doing sacrificed our allies in Southeast Asia. Unseating and de-clawing Nixon became more important to Ted Kennedy than protecting our interests in the Cold (and hot) War.
The Nixon-Kissinger peace, one of the most beautifully crafted acts of triangulated global diplomacy since the post-Napoleonic era, was sacrificed, and along with it millions of South Vietnamese and Cambodians. The very essence of why we were right to be in Vietnam in the first place was embodied by the acts of Pol Pot's murderers in the "killing fields," but without Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly, this nation's liberal media almost pretended it did not happen. To the extent that they eventually did acknowledge it, they attempted to proffer the lie that it was "blowback," a violent reaction only to our own imperialistic endeavors. The Left alternated between loving the chaos in the world and becoming insulated with defeatist isolationism.
The Reagan Revolution
Then along came Ronald Reagan. Everything the Left had stood for over decades of American history was refuted, totally, thoroughly, and completely, by the Reagan '80s. Reagan was the "right man at the right time," and a product not only of the American spirit he embodied, but he was right wing "blowback" against the Left. He had emerged as an anti-dote to Communism in Hollywood. The stern Reagan who opposed the Black Panthers and college anarchism in the 1960s was not the same kindly older gentleman we remember from his White House years. He was a symbol of conservative anger mixed with a healthy dose of optimism. We wanted back this beautiful nation that we had built and turned into the greatest country on Earth. Reagan was the anti-liberal. His success in the '80s, the love felt for him, his enduring legacy and ascension to Rushmore status, is the single greatest weapon that puts the lie to the Emma Goldman wing of the anti-American Left. Every lie was spouted against Reagan. Every means was used to discredit him. The Truth about Reagan, and about America, was never tarnished. To paraphrase his words, "the turkeys never got him down."
The ultimate refutation of the Left, the high quintessence of their perfidy and the exposition of their historical lies, came with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Communism was defeated. Reagan, allied first and foremost with unrelenting conservative Republicans, had won the Cold War. This fact sheds light on some very distinct realities. The 1990s and early 21st Century has become the age of what George H.W. Bush called the New World Order, and others have termed the "end of history." Above and beyond all other developments, it has seen America emerge from superpower status to a lofty position above all previous countries and empires. We are now the most powerful political entity in the history of the world. To those of us who believe in American exceptionalism, we view this status as the direct result of God shedding "his grace on thee." The Left despises such religiosity.
America's new Manifest Destiny
To understand the Left in the post-Cold War era, one must have some understanding of psychology. Some have even gone so far as to deem liberalism a disease. To the extent that some diseases come about by virtue of experience, the experience of liberalism in the 20th Century helps explain why this theory may have some credence. Defeat, frustration and humiliation fuel the emotions of revenge and hatred. Whether it be a child-turned-grown-up who thirsts for retribution against long-ago tormentors, an athlete on the losing end of a bitter high school rivalry, or an entire race of people, such as the Islamo-Fascists dealing with the fact that they are on the losing end of modernism and religious tolerance, the psychology of defeat leads in one of two directions. The "loser" can accept his situation graciously, see the light, and join the tide of progress. Or, the "loser" can withdraw into bitterness and delusional hatred.
Take two of history's biggest losers, the Germans and the Japanese of World War II. Both of these countries were wiped out, their defeats so thorough and undeniable that they were left with no alternative than to accept their fate and refute their past. But America is not a vengeful place. The "defeat" of liberalism never saw a shot fired. There were no concentration camps uncovered. Their foot soldiers were left to live and to stew.
Which brings us back to the ghost of Emma Goldman. Her legacy, transferred from the relics of anarchism to Westernized Communism, now, with the fall of the Soviet Union, needed a place to hang its hat. In the film "Fallen" starring Denzel Washington, evil never dies. It transforms itself. So too does anti-American Leftism.
In the 1990s, the Left found itself in an uneasy state. On the one hand, their people, the Clintons, were in the White House, but Bill Clinton represented something they could not come to grips with, the New Democrat. Worse, a Southern Democrat. The South was a place the Left despised as bigoted, Christian and jingoistic. The fact that this region, husbanded for the most part by the G.O.P., had made the greatest positive social change of any geographic region in the world in the 20th Century, did not play right with their perceptions. Not unlike the right, who needed Communism as an enemy, the Left was discomfited by a genuinely moral American South, transformed as much as anything by their collective Christian conscience. In addition, liberals had to reconcile the Clintonian success with the fact the Reagan/Bush triumphs had paved the way for the peaceful world they ruled. A Republican Congress had kept their feet to the fire. Displaced Military Industrialists fueled the Information Superhighway. Officially identified lies and Impeachment robbed them of their bragging rights.
Oddly, the Cold War and the War on Terror have produced as much division as alliance. While this is a frustrating state of condition, it is again a by-product of American success. We won the Cold War, and we are winning the War on Terror, leaving us with battles of words, which are annoying but are far preferable to battles with guns. What brought the Left out of hibernation was not the razor-thin George W. Bush victory in 2000, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but rather, the belated realization that Bush 41's promise of a New World Order had come to fruition, and its corporate offices were in Washington, D.C.
While America's increased power came about from 1989 to 1991, when the Wall fell, Apartheid died in South Africa, the Sandinistas lost in Nicaragua, and "peace broke out" in every corner of the globe, there were chinks in the jingoistic armor. America's victory march was slowed down by recession and the resultant loss of the Cold Warrior George Bush. Clinton, with his "feel your pain" attitude and distinctly isolationist approach to terrorism and international diplomacy, assuaged Leftist fears of American global power. British Prime Minister Tony Blair seemed to symbolize a kinder, gentler approach with his widely hailed Third Way. The Left took a few shots here and there. Their mobs rioted global capitalist conferences, such as in Seattle. The Unabomber sent a few mail bombs to technology gurus, but the right had their kooks, too, namely militias in Idaho and Michigan, plus Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Oklahoma Federal Building.
The 2000 election was all about domestic American politics, and W expressly asserted that he had no ambitions for increasing our power in an increasingly interdependent world. As it has been said many times, 9/11 changed all that. At first, the bombing of the World Trade Center made us look sympathetic in the eyes of the world. Everybody "was an American now." In retrospect, this attitude is telling in its psychological repercussions. People enjoyed seeing the superpower humbled and brought down. However, and let us face the facts, this is not the real America, it never will be, and for the sake of the world, it cannot be. We cannot be the Yankees going through a prolonged bad stretch, which is bad for baseball. A weak America is bad for the world.
George Bush was forced to transform himself from a "humble" internationalist into a Big Stick President reminiscent of Teddy Roosevelt. Afghanistan went over well enough. It was necessary and anybody, Republican or Democrat, would have followed that course. But Iraq was a different story.
When George Bush invaded Iraq, our forces accomplished their mission in a month, killed the Hussein spawn and captured the old man, all the coalesced fears of the Left, not just in America but throughout the world, were realized. The U.S., for over a decade, had been the elephant in the corner, the reluctant empire. Now there was no question that we were asserting a power that this globe has never seen before. Whereby the 20th was the American Century, hopes that the 21st would be something else were now replaced by the reality that we were experiencing the relatively early period of a new, albeit very different style of Roman Empire. An empire not of colonization but of liberation, yes, but in so doing it provides America a sense of legitimacy that the rest of the world feels overshadows them.
Internationally, this fact was jarring. England, once the most powerful empire on Earth, was now a junior partner and a welfare state. Germany had to contend with their guilty past. France's revolution had faltered after ours succeeded, their Napoleonic wars had failed, and they were a country with a scarred history of bail-outs at home and in Vietnam, not to mention the little-said reality that their bungling of Arab colonization after the Sykes-Picot Treaty probably explains the Middle East predicament as well as any other factor. Russia? How would you feel if your sworn enemy now dictated the terms of the world they allow you to live in? Spain? If their Inquisition was not enough, they were silently aligned with Hitler. Canada has to live with the fact that they were handed many of the same advantages as we were, but have to ask why we do so much better. The answer to that question is one that does nothing for Canadian self-esteem.
An interesting further development seems to feed the strange notion of European liberalism. American success (and the fact that our world war victories have been on the road, leaving no damage at home) has created the impression that God favors us, and for this reason, Americans are decidedly religious (and mostly Christian) people. Christianity and conservatism have fit each other like a glove.
It is different in Europe. Two world wars have stripped them of idealism. They have seen the worst of humanity, on their home soil, committed by their own against each other. The 20th Century has left them favoring socialism over entrepreneurialism, devoid of Plato's "warrior sprit." They drink too much. They like their drugs. Sex is not sacred any more. After seeing the Holocaust and the Blitzkrieg, Europeans just do not believe in God much any more. They live with a collective guilt and shame, their histories rife with racism, religious intolerance, Papal political intrigue, Catholic corruption, revolutions, monarchical abuses and the rest of their past. They are a people who were blessed by God with intelligence and natural resources, yet seemed to have squandered it all. They look at America with envy, and many feel we will make the same mistakes they did. This attitude misses the essential point of America, which is that we were given the biggest advantage possible: Europe's history lessons as a primer on how to form "a more perfect Union!"
Emma Goldman's ghost
But the American Left is even more frustrated. The Europeans can at least excuse their anti-Americanism on national identity. American Leftists are left with no straws to grasp. They have only the ghost of Emma Goldman telling them to stir up trouble, to feel resentment, to complain and wine and accuse, to fill their void with lies and conspiracy theories. They are like those odd New Yorkers who hate the Yankees. Anarchism as a political philosophy is no longer viable. Communism is in the ash heap of history. For now, they find themselves loosely affiliated with terrorism, but of course they cannot hold onto this too tightly. They do rail about Israel asserting their power in order to exist, and ignore France's role in the Middle East in favor of worn-out theories that conclude that a few CIA operations have created the "blowback" of 9/11. Horse manure.
The Left just plain hates American success and power. They do not trust America to use its power wisely. They consist of natural born losers who cannot identify with the success ethos that is at the heart of the American Dream. Does this mean they are un-patriotic and hate America? This is a general concept and cannot be answered using all people lumped into "the Left" as a single bloc. It certainly applies to many of them, but not all. They want an America that acts a certain way, but if they got what they wanted, hook, line and sinker, would they be happy? Happiness does not seem to be their natural state, so the answer to that question is, Probably not. Their frustration is not helped by the fact that when one of their "own" occasionally holds power, they tend to actually govern to the right because that is the only realpolitik approach to actual problems.
The fact that Bill Clinton was found not just to be an accused liar but an official one has not helped. After Florida 2000 and the suddenly muscular Dubya, Bush's critics are now desperate to assert that he, too, is a "liar." This is the buzzword of the New Millennium, and it has created a terrible conundrum. It has created a conspiracist philosophy on the Left. This thinking has long permeated the lunatic fringe of the right, who were given no credence by the rest of the right because they always had Truth to turn to. The Left does not have that option, and therefore they can, at least for now, not be talked to. They will not believe the Truth. They will not accept the facts. Their blind, unsparing efforts to "get" Bush have fueled a cottage industry, a vitriolic campaign of hatred, lies, exaggerations and misrepresentations that are unprecedented in this nation's history. This time, however, there is a thriving conservative media that refutes them.
In showing their hand, the Left is doing themselves no favors. During Vietnam, their atrocious hatred of returning soldiers left them so unpopular that they were crying in their tofu during 12 years of the Reagan/Bush Administration. Any façade of moderation and patriotism is again being scraped away by their own unruly hands during this political season. The American public is left with the realization, and this is by no means the first time they have reached this conclusion, that the Democrat Left does not root for America; that they, in fact, will root against American interests if it increases their chance at attaining power; and that American failure is the only way they can achieve that power!
The Democrats: Savior Hillary or way of the Whigs?
The ghost of Emma Goldman might be prevalent, in that her anti-American philosophies may have been the nascent forces behind anarchism, Communist espionage, and now a reaction to American hegemony. But a new development is rearing its ugly head. The traditional American Left, as embodied by liberalism and the Democrat party, may be approaching its final death throes. First, let me just say that the Democrat party is a great political organization with a proud and storied past. Thomas Jefferson once symbolized it. The party hit a roadblock when it became the de facto replacement of the Confederacy after the Civil War, and they were the official faces of the Jim Crow South because of it. But the Democrats came of age during the Depression. In contrast to country club Republicans, the Democrats oversaw America's journey through Depression, World War II, Communist threat of war and finally hot war in Korea.
By the early 1950s, the Republicans faced near-extinction. They were then where the Democrats are soon going to be. Two generals saved the G.O.P. When Harry Truman fired the Republican Douglas MacArthur, forcing him to retreat after the brilliant Inchon campaign, this assured that Truman would not be re-elected. When Dwight Eisenhower agreed to run as a Republican, he assured that no Democrat would replace Truman. What followed after that were a series of tactical blunders. It is my opinion that the Republicans, finally, have learned from these blunders.
The Republicans took control of Congress and officially rolled back the New Deal. It was a conservative time of peace and prosperity, and the G.O.P. had the opportunity to create a Republican power bloc that would last until the end of the century. They blew it first and foremost when Senator Joseph McCarthy took a legitimate threat, Communist infiltration, and twisted it around for the sake of political grandstanding. The current Democrat party would be very wise to learn from this lesson.
The second blunder came when Presidential candidate Richard Nixon did not come to the aid of Martin Luther King, Jr. when he languished in the Birmingham, Alabama jail in 1960. John F. Kennedy did. Republican baseball icon Jackie Robinson withdrew his support for Nixon, JFK won, and the black vote has gone overwhelmingly to the Democrats ever since, reinforcing the New Deal sentiment that the G.O.P. was full of racist country club elites.
The third blunder occurred when, after a victory in 1972 that could not have been a greater national mandate, Nixon covered up Watergate, which created the conditions that led to one of the worst seven-year periods this nation has ever endured.
The fourth blunder came in 1991-92, when George H.W. Bush, riding 91 percent approval ratings after winning the Persian Gulf War, somehow, by means I still cannot fathom, managed to let a minor recession be defined as "the worst economy since the Great Depression," then failed to negotiate a settlement that would have prevented egomaniacal Ross Perot from entering the campaign. At a time in which the Republican party should have been anointed mythical status for its all-consuming successes, they instead found itself conceding to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Despite the personal popularity that nobody can deny the Clintons, as a political force they have done the Democrats more harm than good. The reality of eight years of the Clintons, contrasted with the Bush performance post-9/11, places the Republicans in the position of picking up where they left off in 1992 and going well beyond that. Mostly as a result of "Clinton backlash," the Republicans have controlled both the House and Senate since the 1994 midterms. They hold the majority of gubernatorial offices and state legislatures. For the first time since - when? - there are more registered Republicans than Democrats in America.
John Kerry is the current Democrat nominee. He is putting up a good fight, is a strong candidate, and many hopes are invested in him. He will not win. The fact that he will not win is something that seethes as a gut truth within the Democrat Left. They hate Bush, are pouring everything they have into beating him, and have found some hopeful polling data. But they have, from the very beginning, understood that this is an uphill battle that is really only a pre-cursor to Hillary's run in 2008.
Had the Iraq War "ended" with Bush's aircraft carrier "mission accomplished" speech, we would very likely be looking at Bush capturing 45-50 states and 60, maybe even close to 70 percent of the vote. This is now almost impossible to hope for, but with Iraq stabilizing, the economy rolling, and momentum his way, Bush very likely will turn this close race into a late surge, a la Nixon in '72, which could give him re-election with a mandate. California, for instance, considered a Kerry shoe-in, is experiencing a lowering of gas prices and an economic surge greater than the rest of the country, and could just possibly go to Bush in a narrow, Arnold Schwarzenegger- and Ralph Nader-influenced surprise. New York, flush with 9/11 memories, a late G.O.P. convention, and Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani campaigning for Bush, could switch from the Democrat column, too. Whether New York and California vote for him is likely immaterial to whether he is re-elected, however. Bush has the South and the Christian vote, and this is the Silent Majority, the greatest "secret weapon" in the history of electoral politics. This is a fact of such weight and substance, and is so misunderstood by the Left, that I cannot urge too strongly its impact on our country. The Left fills the airwaves and the newsprint with loud noise, protest, rage and disrespect. This creates the shocking misrepresentation that they have political power. The Silent Majority despises them and outnumbers them by the multiple millions. Time after time on election day, the noisy Left is shocked to discover that despite their screaming and yelling, the attention devoted to them by the liberally biased news media, their candidates and their causes are in a retreat that resembles the Union running from Confederate guns at Bull Run I.
Furthermore, there are domestic issues - gay marriage, the need to get filibuster-proof majorities that will assure Bush's judges can replace the activists who are Clinton's legacy, trial lawyers and their role in high medical, insurance and consumer costs - which may very well increase the Republican majorities in lesser offices. The census of 2000 favored Republicans, and in Texas alone, where a great re-districting debate has been won by the G.O.P., they could add nine Congressmen to the House.
Finally, don't look now, but Canada's Liberal Party took hits in recent elections. Conservatives in France are moving up in reaction to Arab immigration issues. English local elections went against Labor, and while Tony Blair is a friend of Bush, so too are the Conservatives who could replace his government next year. Spain's new liberal government was an aberration caused by the terrorist bombing of their trains, but European-wide elections indicated that the electorate is not in favor of a powerful E.U. designed to counter American hegemony. Then, of course, there is the U.N., which has zero moral authority and, through its cowardice and corruption, simply makes Bush and America look good by virtue of their contrasting existence. On top of that, the U.N., Russia, France and Germany all did business with Hussein. They opposed the U.S. invasion not out of the slightest sense of altruism or desire for "peace," but to avoid exposition of their lies, greed, corruption and cozy relations with dictators and enemies of the world. They do not deserve any "profits" from America's hard-won peace. Halliburton (and its subsidiaries) is the one company that is brave enough to go where the cowards will not, has the capacity to do the necessary work the others are unable or too scared to do, and is the one who deserves most of the profits they earn through this bravery and skill
Perhaps this is a hopeful conservative analysis, but I think it is more realistic than optimistic. While the November elections are going to be a very big deal, it is my prediction that it will pale in comparison to 2008. Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democrat nominee, and that in and of itself will be cause for terrible polarization. If the Republicans continue with their current dominant trend, then Clinton will represent a last, best hope for a party that will face some form of dismantling, just as the Republicans feared their party was headed until Ike saved them in 1952. The fact that Eisenhower saved the Republicans while the Democrats face hanging similar hopes on Hillary Clinton is a contrast that requires no commentary. Res ipsa loquiter.
The Republicans will have their work cut out for them. Bush may be closing out a very, very successful Presidency, but his Vice-President, Dick Cheney, will not be his successor. Who will? Giuliani comes to mind, as does John McCain, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Bill Frist and Jeb Bush, all of whom may be attractive, but are far from perfect candidates. However, if Hillary loses in '08, the Democrats could go where it looked like they might go after '72 and '91.
If they do not regain some of the power they held for so long, then the Left senses, if not openly acknowledges, that they are fighting for their very survival. If they do not succeed, if Hillary is their last line of defense and does not hold back the onslaught, they may go the way of the Whigs. The Democrats could splinter into two or more semi-independent parties. The Left is like a cornered animal, scratching and clawing, lying, cheating, spinning and obfuscating.
There may be some glee on the part of the Republican party at the prospect of such a nail-in-the-coffin defeat of the Democrats, but this is not a good prospect. America benefits from honest debate, spurred by patriotism based on love of country that results in a certain amount of self-sacrifice. An all-powerful Republican party, unfettered by a loyal opposition, would not be healthy. They would not go the way of the old PRI in Mexico, who veered into total corruption, but they need to be checked and balanced by the Democrats just as the Founding Fathers wanted us to be.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss: The Left in the 21st Century
All of these historical forces are coming to a head in the middle of a relatively brave new world of Internet, talk radio, and cable news competing with the traditional media. Into this world, enter the lies, the conspiracy theories and the shrill accusations of the anti-American Left. What we are seeing now is the Democrat party bereft of official spokespeople, and replaced by surrogates of wild-eyed liberalism. Within their ranks, Ted Kennedy has lost any semblance of patriotism out of frustration at his, and his families', loss of their supposedly royal power. Howard Dean is a bona fide member of the Far Left, but in actuality, being Governor of Vermont is not a position of real influence. Dennis Kucinich was never taken seriously.
So who is carrying water for John Kerry and the Democrats? In 1998, Hustler pornographer Larry Flynt assumed the role of de facto public relations firm for the party. Michael Moore said he is an independent, not a Democrat, but this was exposed as just one of his lies when it was shown that he in fact is a Democrat. In 2004, he has veered from plain ol' anti-Americanism to Kerry's best hope (as well as a millstone around his neck). Then there is Howard Stern, who out of retaliation for FCC rulings that pressed fines on him for indecency, has decided to campaign against George Bush.
These people are all part of the "new religion" of modern media technology. They are also very much examples that work against their own themes, which is that they are censored artists, silenced by a Big Brother of corporate Republicans. In fact, since 1998 Flynt has expanded his empire further into the Internet and gone from disgusting porn to a more artistic, European style of hardcore fare. He is hardly silenced.
Moore said Disney censured him by not distributing "Fahrenheit 9/11", but this is another lie. Their agreement was to help him produce it, never to distribute it. He used that line only to further the myth that he is being restrained by corporate interests, found a huge distributor, Miramax, and is hardly silenced. It was all part of his plan. Disney released another documentary, "The Heart and Soul of America", which came out the same time as Moore's. "Heart" made no attempt to discredit or mention "Fahrenheit". It simply is an affirmation of true, good facts about this great nation. Moore called it the work of "right wing extremists," which is like calling the reporter who wrote the article describing the Yankees fourth World Championship in three years in 2000 a "Yankee propagandist." Speaking of things in New York, Moore expressed anger at the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center. That makes sense, but wait. He was frustrated that they chose to kill New Yorkers, since the Democrats are strong in the Big Apple. He would have preferred Osama to have killed people in a Republican stronghold. Is commentary really necessary?
Stern was in fact burdened by FCC fines levied against Clear Channel, who carried his radio program. They dropped him, and he claims that Bush will eventually get him off the air. This lie is contrasted by the fact that he continues to be on the air, where he lambastes Bush, and he shall continue with his show for time immemorial. He, too is hardly silenced.
Flynt, Moore and Stern are, in reality, examples of how, as America has become the dominant power in world history, our themes - freedom of press, of expression, of dissent - are not censured but allowed to magnify.
What the Left does not understand is that the likes of Flynt, Moore and Stern do damage to the Democrats, and are of great value to the Republicans. They forget that their anti-war protests in the 1960s did not win them any elections but gave them instead Nixon and Reagan landslides. Actually, they may understand it, but they are obsessive-compulsives who cannot control their impulses.
While Flynt, Moore and Stern are not part of mainstream Hollywood, they are certainly part of the dominant media culture that the film industry embodies. Flynt's biography was told in a 1996 film produced by Oliver Stone. Moore's documentaries get bravura responses from Hollywood and Cannes. Stern's self-reflected story was a hit on the big screen.
What Hollywood just does not understand is what kind of economic windfall they would reap if they made conservative-theme films. If they depicted the bad politicians as actual Democrats, the word of mouth among conservatives would fuel boffo box office. On the few occasions when they stray to the right, as in the "Dirty Harry" franchise, they reap a whirlwind of success.
What Democrats do not grasp is that Flynt, Moore and Stern are terrible role models, and that true knowledge of who they are, combined with the fact that they are spokesmen for their party (whether they own up to it or not) is simply a negative reflection of that party. This fact is obvious on its face and needs no commentary from the right. I will offer more anyway.
Flynt has specialized in the most disgusting form of racist pornography. Discrediting him has nothing to do with discrediting porn in general. One could argue that there is such a thing as "classy" or "artistic" porn, and in fact Flynt now features this kind of work on his videos. However, for decades his work was the filthiest possible kind of degradation. A member of the Democrat party? You people can have him.
Stern is a little different. He is intelligent, educated, and independent. He has endorsed Republicans, and there is little doubt that his 8 million listeners/viewers are a powerful force. However, it is not entirely realistic to believe they will vote as a bloc if he tells them to be his minions. Stern attracts many different people who watch and listen to him for a variety of reasons, but getting their politics from him is not one of them. Stern's show is disgusting, featuring porn, nudity, racism, homophobia, making fun of the disabled, fart jokes, gross humor, flatulence and a myriad of other like items. It is not the end of civilization as we know it, and truth be told it is in good fun and plenty of conservatives occasionally enjoy it. They will not be swayed to vote against Bush just because Stern is miffed about an FCC ruling. But considering the nature of what he does, if Stern offered to be a Republican spokesman, the party would politely decline. Stern opposing the Republicans offers some real possible value to Republicans.
Then there is Moore. For years, his work has been discredited, whether it be his documentaries or his books. Those who have seriously studied his work have consistently found him to be a liar in the main. He is a propagandist who takes 15 percent of truth, 70 percent lies and 15 percent exaggeration, and attempts to foist it off as journalism. The fact that he is a darling of the Left is as telling a true statement of their wacko views as any. Moore, more than the other two, is the torch-carrier of Emma Goldman. He wishes he was Hunter Thompson, a gonzo journalist and a real talent, but he is a pale imitation.
To believe Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" (the title stolen without permission from Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451"), one must accept the fact that George Bush knew about 9/11 ahead of time; allowed it in cahoots with Osama bin Laden and the Saudi royal family in order to justify the long-desired American invasion of the Middle East; spirited bin Laden's legitimate family out of the country because they were part of the plot (which would be done to bring oil profits to the Bush family while satisfying their personal vengeance against Saddam for attempting to kill Bush 41). The fact that Bush 41 invaded Kuwait to oust Saddam in 1991, then left without the so-called oil grab, combined with the fact that Bush 43 is in the process of leaving Iraq without the so-called oil grab (again), are just the first two of 6,778 pieces of factual evidence that have been determined by the world to discredit Moore's work as lies.
After "Fahrenheit 9/11's" first weekend, the liberal press hit us with big headlines telling us that it "broke records" and is reaching the largest audience in history, selling out theatres and influencing the election. It may have sold out theatres, but only because it played in a limited number of art houses. The fact is, it made $21 million. "The Passion of the Christ" made $117 million in its first weekend. The truth is that "Fahrenheit" finished with the 228th best opening weekend ever, just behind "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider". They were right about one thing, though. It will influence the election. In favor of Bush.
Still, Moore is a hero of the Left. Because of all the historical reasons cited herein, because they are desperate and see their only source of joy, political power, being pulled away from them more and more each day, they are beyond the Truth. They lie, and we have little choice but to be merciful for those who lie. This charade, however, is getting tiresome.
The bottom line becomes a self-evident set of Truths that emerge when one simply observes the facts of the American landscape. On the one hand we have conservative Republicans. This is a party that, of its own accord, sheds itself of undesirables not deserving of membership within its ranks. When the racist David Duke attempted to portray himself as a Republican, the G.O.P. told him to take a hike. When separatists and militia groups, tainted by the whiff of racism, try to leach themselves to the party, they are distanced. When Trent Lott made intemperate remarks, it was the Republicans who took him down a peg. When Republicans are caught in adulterous affairs, they are removed not by their opponents, but by their own party, intent on upholding their high standards.
This is a party that has learned lessons from its past mistakes, and in so doing they have put these lessons into practical effect. The result, above and beyond all their great accomplishments, has been husbanding the American South, as sportswriter Jim Murray eloquently wrote in 1970, "back into the Union." I accept the premise that religious people who go to church are more likely to be good and decent than those who do not. These people are more likely to be conservatives. Conservatives are more likely to be family people, hard-working taxpayers, law abiders, and all other empirical criteria that average people use to determine "good" vs. something else.
Now, take a look at the Democrat Left. We have examined three of their most prominent current mouthpieces, Flynt, Moore and Stern. An honest appraisal of their character - their activities, morals, honesty - reveal portraits of people who, using standards of decency that average people would apply, show that they are men who either approach, or are actually of, low moral character. Still, they are held up as the face of modern Democrats.
These Truths remain self-evident. Res ipsa loquiter.
This is not a new development. Ted Kennedy has a long history of womanizing and alcoholism. These are not descriptions of his Harvard youth (when he paid a classmate to take his Spanish exam for him), or his cowardice in the face of Mary Jo Kopechne's demise. As recently as 1991, his nephew brought a girl into his Palm Beach mansion and sexually assaulted her, while Kennedy, wearing a shirt and nothing else, approached in the hopes of turning it into a tag-team match (as opposed to helping the poor girl in distress). He is a hero in the Democrat party. Res ipsa loquiter.
Between 83 and 200 human beings who had close associations with the Clintons, in Arkansas and Washington over many years, have died of mysterious causes in their relative youth. Many were said to know damaging facts about them. Compelling evidence exists that Bill sexually assaulted and may even have raped women. These women were subjected to the Hillary/James Carville destruction machine. One Leftist media woman's response was that she would happily blow Bill just to thank him for maintaining the legality of abortion, which of course is to suck a living baby out of the womb of some girl who, more than likely, let her morals slip during a drunken one-night stand. Res ipsa loquiter.
In the 1980s, Al Sharpton orchestrated the lie that Tawana Brawley had been assaulted by white racists gone wild in New York City. It was all a hoax. If he were a Republican, he would be sharing the same Siberian dog house as David Duke. He is not only a Democrat star, a standard-bearer and "black leader," but a Presidential candidate. Res ipsa loquiter.
Jesse Jackson once said Christian things about black responsibility. Now, he is a charlatan who blackmails, greenmails and shakes down corporations into silencing his false accusations of racism. His brother was convicted of murder, which the press says nothing about even though he is on the RAINBOW PUSH payroll. A couple years ago, Jesse used his influence in corrupt Chicago to help a nightclub avoid the bureaucracy of a fire permit. When fire broke out, many were burned alive. The press remained largely silent. Res ipsa loquiter.
One former member of the Roosevelt/Truman Administration, determined by the Soviet archival opening of the Venona papers in 1995 to have been a Soviet spy, returned from exile in 1996 - to vote for Bill Clinton. Res ipsa loquiter.
When Hillary Clinton defeated Rick Lazio for the New York Senate in 2000, a post-election study determined that her voters came from a preponderance of high-crime precincts. Those who lived in decent neighborhoods were more likely to vote for Lazio. This evidence seems to reveal something that cannot be plausibly argued, which is that law abiding Americans prefer Republicans, while drug dealers and criminals are all for the Democrats. Res ipsa loquiter.
Congressman Barney Frank once ran a gay prostitution ring out of his apartment. Had he been a Republican, he would have been removed from any official association with the party, by Republicans who, upon deciphering the true reports of his activities and for this reason, would have concluded that he was a man of low morality. He is a national spokesman of the Democrat party. Res ipsa loquiter.
U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D.-West Virginia) was once a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Had he been a Republican, he would never have been allowed to continue to be one. Is commentary really necessary? Res ipsa loquiter.
Comedian Al Franken wrote a book called "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them". It was about the Fox News Channel, which is a fair, balanced news organization that roots for America. The Left says they are conservative. They are not. They just look that way compared to the liberal CNN, CBS, and most of the other network and cable stations (except for MSNBC). Fair and truthful analysts have concluded that Fox is the most believable and trusted news organization. Fair and truthful analysts concluded that Franken's book was, like Moore's books and documentaries, filled with lies and half-truths. Franken was fed information by the Democrat-leaning Kennedy School of Government, and funded by George Soros, a socialist billionaire, who started Air America. Air America failed immediately. Conservative talk radio succeeds where liberal talk radio fails because conservatives, like Christians, are starving for Truth and decency in a world of anti-Americanism, religious intolerance and negativism. Conservatives are more likely to be educated people who prefer to improve themselves by learning about the world by listening to talk radio. Liberals are more likely to be old '60s rockers who prefer to listen to Santana and The Grateful Dead on FM. Res ipsa loquiter.
Throughout the Cold War, does anybody really doubt that, all else being equal, the Communists "voted" for Democrats over Republicans? Is their any doubt that terrorists prefer Democrats to Republicans? Is commentary really necessary? Res ipsa loquiter.
Take the two great political dynasties of the post-World War II era, the Kennedys on the Left and the Bush's on the right. Consider the royal snobbery of the Kennedys, then compare it to the down home values of the Bush family. Res ipsa loquiter.
Hollywood and the rock'n'roll world is solidly Democrat. This is a world of drug abuse, alcoholism, adultery, divorce, homosexuality, atheism and immorality. The country 'n' western community is overwhelmingly Republican. This is a world of religion, family values, patriotism, respect for the military and overall morality. Res ipsa loquiter.
Finally, allow me to remind a forgetful world about the struggle between the forces of freedom, represented by the right, and the forces of Communism, represented by the Left. At the end of World War II, when Allied forces liberated German concentration camps, General Eisenhower ordered camera crews, reporters and townspeople into the camps to witness the atrocities. 12 million men, women and children were murdered in those camps. Because of those reporters, photographers and witnesses, the world has never forgotten the Holocaust. However, 100 million human beings were murdered by international Communism in the 20th Century. 100 million people! Just think about that for a second. The Holocaust, times eight and a half. They were killed in the Soviet Union, East Germany, China, North Korea, Eastern Europe, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Africa and wherever Communism reared its ugly head. Some 20 million died under Josef Stalin. 40-50 million died under Mao Tse-tung. A million perished under Fidel Castro. A million died in Vietnam when, after Watergate and for purely political reasons, the majority party in Congress chose to withdraw American protection. Pol Pot's regime killed an additional 1.5 million in the "killing fields" of Cambodia. Unlike the Holocaust, most of these atrocities were never subject to the full light of disclosure. The Soviet gulags have been paved over, replaced by roads, warehouses, even shopping centers. Those 100 million souls are highly, precisely and to quintessential effect the very reason why we sometimes aligned ourselves with morally questionable regimes, in order to destroy world Communism once and for all.
Time has forced many of the facts to recede in our collective memory, replaced by a fuzzy kind of Leftist thinking that has even romanticized Communism among our youth, who do not always know the complete facts. How else to explain the popularity of Che Guevara t-shirts and posters? Some celebrities - Chevy Chase, Oliver Stone, Steven Spelberg, to name just a few - have gone so far as to travel to Cuba and meet with Castro, returning with glowing reports about the Cuban dictator's "charisma" or some such malarkey.
Based on the undeniable Truths of empirical evidence, one is left to determine the simple fact that those aligned with the right are more likely to be good and decent people, while people aligned with the Left are not. To deny this is to be a sophist and rely on various and sundry lies, identifiable by those who can read, write, see and have access to facts.
As for President Bush, I have only this to say: History is on your side. With this in mind, I would like to see the man's speechwriter's use more of this history, giving the President the opportunity to educate the electorate on why his policies are part of America's Manifest Destiny for the 21st Century.
Finally, a last word about non-partisanship. This essay is decidedly partisan. It is written from a conservative, Christian worldview, and it details negative descriptions of Left wing politics. However, the history of America, and more recently, the Cold War, is a history of people of all persuasions coming together to achieve a common goal. Winning the Cold War was an achievement of both the Republicans and the Democrats, because administrations of both parties battled Communism for 45 years.
Right now, the War on Terror has "officially" been conducted only by a Republican White House. The Democrats, whether they understand this dynamic or not, must feel left out. I am by no means advocating voting for Democrats, and in fact will continue to campaign against them. That being said, it probably will take the election of a Democrat administration, which must fight this war in their time, to invest the Left in this noble struggle. Unless the Republicans successfully end the struggle before that occurs.
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism