The Communist Party USA sees no difference between its own principles, policies and immediate aims and those of Bernie Sanders.
John Bachtell, national chair of the Communist Party USA, writes (February 25, 2016) in People’s World, which “enjoys a special relationship” with the CPUSA:
The 2016 elections have been dynamic and unpredictable. On the Democratic side, the primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will likely remain competitive into the spring. On the GOP side, we face a threat to democracy most clearly posed by the candidacy of Donald Trump. The stakes in the election outcome have been dramatically raised.
The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders is making a unique contribution to defeating the Republican right and has the potential to galvanize long-term transformative change. The campaign is also a movement. Millions are fed up with the same old establishment politics tied to Wall Street and the 1 per cent. It’s reminiscent of the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns. Large numbers, particularly youth, are being activated and excited.
Political boundaries are being eclipsed and thinking reshaped. Seeds of change are being sown and foundations are being laid for deeper-going changes in the future. The Sanders campaign is giving hope to millions coping with long-term economic stagnation and vast wealth inequality, poverty and joblessness, student debt, climate crisis and institutionalized racism.
The campaign is expanding the collective political imagination and injecting radical ideas into the body politic. It has legitimized democratic socialism in the national conversation. Sanders is also influencing Hillary Clinton to adopt more progressive positions on a wide range of issues.
But Sanders understands if he is elected his radical economic and social agenda including breaking up the big banks, universal health care, tuition-free university, massive jobs creation, expanding Social Security, and repealing Citizen’s United will go nowhere given the vice grip the GOP and extreme right has on Congress.
The only way to realize a radical agenda is through a “political revolution”. This means drawing millions of people into the political process to overcome the power of Wall Street, obstruction of the GOP, and the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party.
Sanders is helping the CPUSA to advance towards its objectives. His campaign is helpful but not sufficient. He understands this, and he himself wants more – a bigger movement towards realizing those objectives.
Sanders sees his campaign as part of a much bigger movement that must be built.
It starts with defeating the GOP at every level: presidency, congress and statehouses. As Sanders said after his victory in New Hampshire, “Whether or not I win the nomination, we all must work together to unite the Democratic Party. We must come together to assure that the right wing does not capture the White House.”
If Sanders were to win, he would then be very useful to the CPUSA:
A decisive victory can open the door to passing progressive legislation, changing the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court and more radical changes down the road.
A political revolution rests on building a broad coalition comprising anyone opposing the extreme right; one that is multi-class, multi-racial, male and female, and multi-generational, which unites left and center currents and encompasses all the democratic movements.
It’s a coalition that fits this moment with the current balance of class and social forces. If the balance shifts in a more favorable direction resulting from victory, more radical reforms will be possible.
A political revolution can transform politics if labor, its allies and the broad left put their stamp on the multi-class alliance, shape its politics and frame the issues debated for the elections. The Sanders campaign is helping do this including strengthening the left and grassroots composition of the broad anti-ultra right coalition.
It will be transformative if the anti-right coalition is united and mobilized. Polls show that 86% of Clinton supporters will support Sanders in the general election if he is the nominee, and 79% of Sanders supporters will support Clinton if she wins. Sanders will need Clinton’s supporters in order to win.
Such a coalition must have an organized expression in every community, particularly working class communities. It must fight uncompromisingly against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant attacks and all efforts to divide.
The CPUSA is old fashioned in Communist theory terms. It still clings to the Marxist idea that the proletariat is the revolutionary class that will “inevitably” (with lots of hard work by Communists) bring about the Revolution that will usher in a Communist utopia. The New Left, rising in the late 1960s, revised that notion. It looked to the Third World and “oppressed minorities”, such as women [!], the sexually abnormal, ethnic minorities, and whomever else could be worked up into a good lather of grievance.
It’s the darnedest thing that the proletariat in America is showing enormous enthusiasm for the Big Enemy of the Left, Donald Trump.
White working class communities are considered a key demographic for the GOP and are targets of the worst kinds of racist and reactionary ideas. A political revolution cannot abandon them to the embrace of the extreme right and its ideology of hate. Sanders’ vision of a political revolution calls for a 50-state strategy including turning red states and districts blue and defeating the GOP in its stronghold – the Deep South.
Well, sure, it’s a vision. However nightmarish it is to us, it’s beautiful to Sanders and the CPUSA. And the improbability of its becoming a reality doesn’t trouble those who envision it.
Though they know mighty forces are ranged against them.
If either Sanders or Clinton are [sic] elected, their administrations will face unrelenting obstruction from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, fossil fuel industry, right-wing think tanks and mass media and, of course, right-wing elements in the oligarchy (Koch brothers et al).
Voters must remain engaged at a high level after the election. When President Obama was elected in 2008 voters thought they had done their duty and went home. The void was filled by GOP obstruction and the Tea Party. Low voter turnout in 2010 and 2014 led to GOP control of Congress and state houses across the country.
A political revolution will be fueled by ongoing shifts in public attitudes. Majorities of Americans now favor taxing the rich, raising the minimum wage, immigration reform, abortion rights, marriage equality, criminal justice reform, and action to curb the climate crisis.
Majorities? It’s horribly possible. But the election itself will test that assertion.
New social movements are influencing millions at the grassroots including the Fight for 15, Black Lives Matter, The Dreamers, reproductive rights, marriage equality, and climate justice activists.
A political revolution is based on the idea that majorities make change. It is not enough for majorities to believe in an idea, they must actively fight for it.
Some representatives of the Communist-approved “new social movements” are already actively fighting in the streets outside every Trump rally, spilling blood. But it’s unlikely that they represent “majorities”. That they will in time, however, is the persistent dream of the CPUSA.
Sanders’ political revolution envisions democratizing our political system.
Remember, Communists have their own definition of “democracy”: dictatorship by the Communist Party.
This includes removing money from politics, expanding the right to vote, and stimulating independent politics. Movements are acting both within and outside the Democratic Party and comprise many of the key forces in the anti-right alliance.
A political revolution will help establish the foundations for a real people’s party, whether it results in a breakaway from or a takeover of the Democratic Party.
Regardless of whether Sanders wins or not, the politics of the nation will never be the same and the fight for a political revolution will continue.
Oh yes, it will. We can be sure of it. Like taxes and death, the Communists’ continuing fight for a political revolution is a certainty.
The Bernie Sanders types who helped to bring about the revolution in Russia in 1917, were liquidated by the Bolsheviks when they acquired power. Sanders is lucky that the CPUSA is not likely to come to power in his lifetime.
Though of that one cannot be sure, of course.
Bernie Sanders, whether he likes it or not, is a Jew. And as he is a man of the Left, he doesn’t like it.
The Jews – UNIQUELY – are both a nation and a religion. Yet it is not only possible but common for Jews to be one OR the other. Converts to Judaism are obviously of the religion but not of the nation. Many Jews – probably a majority of Western Jews – who are of the nation by birth, are not religious.
Perhaps it would be better to speak of the Jews being “a people” rather than a nation, as a Jew’s legal nationality might be American, or British, or French etcetera.
Bernie Sanders is of the Jewish people. And for two millennia his people were despised, humiliated, robbed, tortured, murdered individually and en masse by the Christian powers – longest and most atrociously by the Catholic Church. (Except in America.)
For a while, between the early 19th century and the mid-to-late twentieth century, many of the educated Jews of Europe and Russia put their hopes for relief from persecution in the new religion of Communism, in which (its theorists claimed) there would be neither Jew nor Gentile, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female, neither rich nor poor: for all would be one in the utopia of the Communist state.
But where Communist utopias were established in the twentieth century, Jews found they were not welcome. That should have told them that Communism would not save them. But many Jews who realized that the Lenins and Stalins of the Communist faith could not be relied on to treat them much better than had the Christians, were yet unwilling to give up the utopian Communist dream. Some Jews had realized this early on, so tried forming their own Communist party – the Bund. But as a separate group what could it achieve? A society in which there would be neither regrettably-still-sort-of -Jewish Jew nor absolutely-no-longer-Jewish Jew, neither bond Jew nor free Jew, neither male Jew nor female Jew, neither rich Jew nor poor Jew: for all would be one in the utopia of a Jewish Communist … What? Where?
Other Jews, who could think better, decided to work to regain the ancient Jewish homeland in the Eastern Mediterranean region of the Ottoman Empire, and establish an actual state on real territory. They were the Zionists. In 1948 they achieved their state, their safe haven at last, on real territory that had been part of their ancient homeland.
Those Jews who, despite being unwanted, remained faithful to the Communism imposed on Russia and Eastern Europe, stuck to their abjuration of their Jewishness, the peoplehood as well as the religion. So did – and do – most of the Communists of Jewish descent everywhere in the free world.
As Communists often object to being called Communists since the Leninist-Stalinist utopias of Russia and Eastern Europe collapsed in poverty and criminality, we will call them Leftists for the rest of this article. Bernie Sanders is a Leftist.
Meanwhile, the Jews’ ancient persecutor, the Catholic Church, has selected a leader, Pope Francis, who is also a Leftist. He has found it possible to join the new religion without leaving his old one. He owes this achievement to his fellow Latin American priests, who spun the antithetical dogmas of secular Communism and Triune-God-worshiping Catholicism together in such a whirl of words that they came out of the Synthesizer as one substance, inseparable. And the stuff, the thing, was named “Liberation Theology”.
It is Leftism. The Pope is a Leftist, like Bernie Sanders.
For Leftists, their Leftism trumps all. No appeal to loyalty, history, precedent, reason, logic, decency, or common sense can move them. They want there to be neither black man nor white man, neither civilized nor savage, neither citizen nor illegal alien, neither CEO nor minimum-wage-earner, neither one sex nor any of the others, but all to be one in the global Communist mystic egalitarian low-carbon-emission utopia ruled by themselves.
To acknowledge and strengthen their brotherhood in the Kingdom of Means-Justifying-Ends, Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis shook hands on April 16, 2016.
We are about to make sweeping generalizations, with no attempt to accommodate all shades of opinion. ( Shades of opinion are welcome in comment.)
Left and Right inhabit different universes of discourse. Completely different issues concern them.
The biggest issues on the American Left (in random order) are:
- Climate and the Environment
- Social Justice
To elaborate a little more:
The Left – internationally – holds man-made global warming to be an urgent threat to all life on earth, and tries in the name of saving the planet to force redistribution of wealth over the whole world, the redistributing agent being ideally a world government run according to Leftist values.
The one freedom the Left passionately advocates for is that of Each to seek sexual satisfaction of any kind, and for Each to choose a personal sexual identity, all personal choices connected with sex to be protected by law and subsidized financially, where required, by government.
The Left catalogues all Americans and all foreign nations according to a race analysis, according to which the white race is privileged and oppressive, and all institutions, led by government, have a moral duty to compensate non-whites and handicap whites.
All inequalities between sexes, races, and classes are considered by the Left to be unjust, the injustice being perpetrated by institutions and needing to be corrected by government using any means, including quotas for opportunity and advancement; adjustment of standards for inclusion and compensation; enforced limitations on the expression of dissenting opinion; the redistribution of wealth and power.
The Right does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:
Man-made global warming is not true and would not be a bad thing if it were.
Sex is a private matter, only of public concern if it harms children.
Race is irrelevant to all political issues.
All justice is personal, having no meaning apart from the individual; standards must be upheld; power belongs to the powerful and cannot be bestowed; wealth is inescapably unequal in a free society, equality and liberty being mutually exclusive.
The biggest issues on the American Right (also in random order) are:
- Individual freedom
- The economy
- The Constitution
A little more:
The Right holds that individual freedom is the highest value. All innovation, all progress, depends on it. It requires absolute freedom of speech. The prime duty of government is to protect it.
Capitalism is the only system that lifts people out of poverty and secures prosperity. The Right wants the free market to be left to operate without government interference.
The government’s duty of protection requires a strong military to defend the nation from foreign attack; to maintain America’s superpower status of which the Right is proud; and specifically at this time to stop the advance of Islam and its terrorism.
The Constitution established the best possible system of government for a free society and the Right holds that it must be upheld and defended in its entirety.
The Left does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:
The individual is less important than the collective, and individual interests are always subordinate to those of the collective.
Capitalism is evil, it values profits above people, it allows some to be rich while it keeps the many poor. The economy needs to be planned centrally by government for the equal good of all.
Wars should never be fought. Spending money on the military is a huge waste. America should not be the world’s policeman. It should not be a superower.
The Constitution is an outdated document. It says nothing about slavery. It stands in the way of an enlightened executive, such as President Obama’s, hampering his laudable efforts to change America into a more equal society.
Plainly, there is no common ground between Left and Right.
Dennis Prager writes at Townhall:
Just about all candidates for president regularly announce their intent to unite Americans, to “bring us together”.
It’s a gimmick.
If they are sincere, they are profoundly naive; if they are just muttering sweet nothings in order to seduce Americans to vote for them, they are manipulative.
In his acceptance speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry, one of the most polarizing figures in modern American political history, said, “Maybe some just see us divided into those red states and blue states, but I see us as one America: red, white and blue.”
And President Barack Obama, who has disunited Americans by race, class and gender perhaps more than any president since the beginning of the 20th century, regularly campaigned on the theme of uniting Americans.
In his 2008 victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama said: “We have never been just a collection of … red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
In their current campaigns for president, Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democrat Hillary Clinton regularly proclaim their intention to bring Americans together. He, one suspects, because he is naive, and she, because she will say pretzels come from Neptune if it will garner votes.
Bringing people together is actually the theme of John Kasich’s entire campaign.
One headline on the “Meet John” page of his website says, “BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER, LIFTING PEOPLE UP.”
Senator Rob Portman said of Kasich on Feb. 1, 2016, “I am endorsing John Kasich because I believe he is the person our country needs to bring Americans together.”
And Clinton, who, according to CNN, is tied with Trump for the most negatives in presidential polling for either Republicans or Democrats since 1984, also speaks repeatedly about her ability and desire to bring Americans together.
The “Hillary Clinton for President Supporters” Facebook page has even said, “We’re in the business of bringing people together.”
What’s more, on April 6, 2016, CNN posted a YouTube video titled: “Hillary Clinton — We need a president who can bring people together.”
Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton, wrote on The Hill website that “Clinton wants to bring us together”.
Beyond Kasich and Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders made this a major theme in one of his ads called “Together”, which begins with Sanders saying, “Our job is to bring people together.”
Even Trump, who divides Republicans – not to mention other Americans – like no Republican ever has, uses this mantra.
A January article on The Hill site quoted Trump saying, “I can really bring people together.”
Gov. Chris Christie introduced Trump on Super Tuesday, and a NJ.com column released that night was titled, “Christie on Super Tuesday: Trump is ‘bringing the country together’.”
For the record, Sen. Ted Cruz speaks about uniting Republicans, but not often about uniting all Americans.
All calls for unity by Democrats are particularly fraudulent. Dividing Americans by race, gender and class is how the left views America and how Democratic candidates seek to win elections.
But calls for unity are meaningless no matter who makes them, because no one who calls for unity tells you what they really mean. What they really mean is that they want to unite Americans around their values — and around their values only.
Would Clinton be willing to unite all Americans around recognizing the human rights of the unborn? Would she be willing to unite all Americans around support for widespread gun ownership?
Of course not.
She is willing to unite Americans provided they adopt her views.
Would Sanders like to “bring people together” in support of reducing corporate and individual income taxes in order to spur the economy?
Would Kasich be in favor of “bringing Americans together” by having them all support increasing the size of government and the national debt? One hopes not.
I first realized the dishonesty of just about all calls for unity during a 10-year period in which I engaged in weekly dialogues with clergy of all faiths. Protestant and Catholic clergymen and women would routinely call for Christian unity. When I asked Protestants if they would support such unity if it entailed them adopting the sacraments of the Catholic Church and recognizing the pope as the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the discussion ended. Similarly, when I asked Catholic priests if they would give up the sacraments and the papacy in order to achieve unity with Protestant Christians, all talk of unity stopped. And, of course, the same would hold true for both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews who routinely call for Jewish unity.
Even more absurd are the calls of naive Christians and Jews to have all the “children of Abraham” – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – unite.
The calls themselves can even be dangerous. One would be hard-pressed to name a single free society that was ever united outside of wartime. The only truly united countries are totalitarian states.
So, why do presidential candidates repeat this nonsense every four years? Because Americans fall for it every four years.
But it’s time to grow up.
The gap between the left and right is unbridgeable. Their worldviews are mutually exclusive.
The Left is dangerously wrong.
Here is a Christian conservative‘s statement about atheists:
It’s often remarked that atheism is simply religion by another name (as the officially atheist, now deceased Soviet Union demonstrated). Else why would atheists be so adamant and aggressive about their beliefs? Not only do they choose not to believe in God, or even a god, but they demand that their fellow citizens submit to their ideology and purge all evidence of the (Christian) religion from the public square.
The passage comes from The Devil’s Pleasure Palace by Michael Walsh.*
It may be “often remarked that atheism is simply religion by another name”, but the frequency with which the remark is passed doesn’t make it either true or intelligent. NOT believing is not believing-in-another-way, any more than NOT smoking is smoking-in-another-way.
We would agree that Communism is a kind of religion. We would also agree that the dogma of Communism often excludes belief in a divine being.(Not always.”Liberation theology” is Communism taught by Christian priests who have married St. Paul to Karl Marx.) But it does NOT follow that the non-belief is identical with the Communist faith, or is the essence of it, the vital active ingredient that generated all that was wrong with the Soviet Union.
Though all atheists might be “adamant” about their non-belief (just as all believers are adamant about their belief), very few are aggressive about it. Of the millions of non-believers in the free world, how many “demand that their fellow citizens submit to their ideology”? I’ve never met or heard of one who does. And “submit” to what “ideology”? There are some in America who demand that public displays of Christianity be removed from the public square. And a very silly demand it is too. A small number of silly atheists in America insist that if crosses or Christmas “nativity” scenes are placed on public sites, they should have the right to put some atheist symbol or tableau beside them. A symbol or tableau is then hastily invented, having meaning only for the inventors, none whatever to other atheists.
Because: Atheism is NOT a religion, or an ideology, or a system, or a tradition. It has no symbols or rituals. It has no orthodoxy or heterodoxy.
Atheism is a decision, made by individuals. A private conclusion they draw from thought. It’s a denial of dogmatic claims that they find have never been proved, seem to them unprovable, absurd on their face, and ever more absurd the more they test them against observation, experience, learning, coherence, intuition, taste, and common sense.
*Encounter Books, New York, 2015. Our quotation comes from page 136.
Of course both Trump and Cruz followers want passionately for the Left to be defeated in November 2016. But the defeat of Hillary and the Democratic Party, though it would be enormously satisfying to both factions, would not be enough for Trump voters. They want more. And that “more” is revenge.
So we deduce from watching them and listening to them through the media.
We understand feelingly why that might be. The harm Obama and his gang have done to America and the world will take decades to repair, maybe even centuries. Europe will probably never recover from the Islamic invasion unleashed upon it by the devastating policies of the Obama regime towards Islam and the Middle East.
Whereas Cruz voters may be content with an election victory, Trump voters will also want Hillary in prison for a long stretch; Islam crushed; and, in as short a time as possible, Obama condemned by “history”.
Those who share that ache for revenge, will understand why all the reasons that anti-Trump conservatives pour out for not supporting Trump, fall on deaf ears.
Michael Dansen writes at Truth Revolt:
Donald Trump is … a healthy antibody reaction to Obamaism … In a country that does not historically gravitate towards extremism at the highest levels of political office, he may be the medicine we need in order to even things out. Yes, the treatment may be harsh, but the patient is very sick.
In the words of the late, great Andrew Breitbart, if someone calls you a racist or a bigot, “Walk towards that fire.” A Trump presidency will prove that you can say things that are unflattering – but sometimes true – about preferred victim groups and the world will not come to an end. We will not re-introduce slavery. We will not become The Third Reich. We will not legalize rape. We will not make birth control illegal. There will be no reconstitution of Jim Crow. Those days are gone and good riddance.
The Right needs to learn to bring a knife, at the very least, to a knife fight. George W. Bush, who had this CRAZY notion that a country should use its military to kill its enemies, was destroyed over Iraq because he didn’t want to “lower himself” by responding to his critics. When called a “misleader” [read: “liar”] by the DNC in a July 2003 television ad over prewar intel, Karl Rove decided not to bring up the fact that WMD stockpiles actually were uncovered in Iraq.
Trump is always on offense and he’s a tougher target. Over-the-top Democrat attacks on Trump only help his cause. They’re having the same effect as protestors crashing Trump rallies – they make more people sympathetic to his campaign.
The Right also needs to push back against the Left’s specious income inequality arguments and their demonization of the wealthy. Democrats have been offering free stuff from rich people for 50 years. Not surprisingly, this is seductive and appealing. Rich people pay the OVERWHELMING majority of taxes in this country, but Dems still demand that they need to pay their “fair share”. Trump can be counted on to question and reject their premises – which is a major reason that progressives loathe the man with the white hot heat of a thousand suns.
As for Trump’s promised, controversial wall:
First, it is not a 2,000 mile wall. It will be built in certain sections which are the sites most common for illegal ingress.
Second, the U.S. has levers to elevate the Mexican government’s thinking on the subject of who pays for what – namely, foreign aid and impounding remittances.
Third, it’s a sordid situation indeed that Mexico City provides instructions to their citizens on how to subvert U.S. law, offers their consulates in the U.S. to help carry this out, and then calls us racists for noticing this. That Trump is controversial for being against de facto indentured servitude that’s incompatible with the melting pot ideal is the real controversy.
To opponents who hold to the “we are a nation of immigrants” school of thought: there is no limiting principle to that line of thinking and it is essentially an open borders argument. The idea that anybody who can physically get here deserves to remain here is absurd – even more so as we continue to build up the welfare state. We need more citizens who are contributing to the tax rolls, not who are net takers from them. America has traditionally gone through periods of opening the borders up through controlled, legal immigration from overseas and going through periods of assimilation and “insularity”.
We also had a common culture that was at first at least suspecting of the Dutch, Anglicans [sic] [he may mean Anglophones – ed], Germans, Catholics, the Irish, Italians, Jews, Greeks, etc. This was healthy as it winnowed the field of those who had what it took to be full-fledged American citizens and those who couldn’t quite hack it.
We’re not in unqualified agreement with that last paragraph. But we firmly agree with what he says next:
Do we have the right to prevent Muslims from entering our country after spasms of Islam-inspired terrorism? Yes.
He is implying that there is a sound reason to exclude Muslims. But his next point is that immigrants can be excluded for no sound reasons – even on whim only.
We also can prevent Congregationalists, left-handed people, towheads, Andorrans, etc. if that is the national course upon which we decide.
Immigration here is a privilege, not a right.
And so it is. It is the prerogative of the nation state to choose whom it will accept into its protection.
He returns to the Muslim question:
It will be a relief when we have a leader who does not say, after yet another Islamist atrocity, “First thing: get me to a mosque. I need to hug a Muslim and pronounce upon Koranic interpretations. The most important thing right now is not attending to our security concerns; it is stopping the bigoted, xenophobic, murderous impulse that lies just under the surface of our society!” …
And then he goes on to the Communist question (incidentally reminding us that from the start of the Cold War, Communists were denied immigration, or even a visitor’s visa to tour or study in the US).
For those who complain that there are some unsavory characters in Trump’s base, keep in mind that they may be scary but the left’s unsavory characters – in the media, academia, and the entertainment industry – are the inheritors of an ideology that has killed, according to The Black Book of Communism, 100 million people.
The outgoing president is also one of those unsavory inheritors. The electorate could not have made a worse choice other than an outright supporter of Islamic jihad … Oh, wait! …
… is under debate today, because President Obama, speaking in Argentina, said that there is no significant difference between capitalism and communism.
If you can bear to listen to him, here’s the video.
It is an exercise in taqiyya – Islamic tactical deception – at which he is adept. His history shows plainly that Obama knows full well there is a difference, and he strongly favors communism. (See our post, A very disgraceful speech, immediately below.)
And here’s Milton Friedman explaining that capitalism is the only system that lifts millions of people out of poverty:
Barack Hussein Obama is sympathetic to Communist regimes because he was raised from infancy to be a Communist and has continued throughout his life to like Communism.
As a young adult he was trained in the “community organizing” school of Communist radical Saul Alinsky.
In 1986, at the age of twenty-three … Obama was hired by the Alinsky team “to organize residents on the South Side [of Chicago] while learning and applying Alinsky’s philosopy of street-level democracy”.
So David Horowitz writes in his book Radicals*. The chapter titled A Radical Machiavelli outlines the whole story of Obama’s rise to power, diligently following the Alinsky way in order to use power for the radical transformation of America.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that Obama chooses to make friends with Communist dictators – notably, this month, with the blood-drenched Castro Brothers who are still ruling Cuba.
They weren’t very eager to entertain him. No Castro or his deputy met the president of the United States at the airport when he landed. Raul Castro took him to a ball game, where Obama cheered delightedly (soon after he’d been informed that jihadis had bombed America’s NATO ally Belgium, causing massive loss of life and injury). Later he danced the tango. And he made a speech.
What did he say?
We quote from an article by Carlos Eire at PowerLine:
A classic example of Obamaspeak, this boilerplate speech consisted of four essential elements: some truths (few in number), several myths (plentiful), many platitudes (even more plentiful), and a string of lies (all braided with the myths and platitudes). …
Nowhere in this speech do the Castro brothers show up. Nowhere are their many crimes against humanity mentioned. Nowhere is any blame laid on them for enslaving and ruining “the Cuban people” or for poisoning relations with the United States. In their place, another abstraction shows up to play the part of the villain: “ideology”.
As he has done countless times before, Obama inserts himself in history as the ultimate slayer of the “Cold War” dragon, which is always drawn by him as a caricature, a fairy monster of sorts with no teeth and no fire in his breath, whose scales are fluffy and whose wings are as diaphanous as all abstract thoughts. “Ideology” in Obamaspeak, is no real threat to life and limb, no powerful enslaving force, but an illusory phantom from some distant past …
To ensure that his Cuban audience recognized his power to dispel this toothless abstraction, Obama [told] them: “From the beginning of my time in office, I’ve urged the people of the Americas to leave behind the ideological battles of the past.”
Never mind the Castro brothers, or the tens of thousands of Cubans murdered by them, the hundreds of thousands imprisoned and tortured, or the two million driven into exile, or the nuclear missiles they pointed at the United States, or the soldiers and spies they’ve sent all over the world, or the terrorists they have sponsored. …
Anywhere you look, it is easy to spot platitudinous metaphors and abstractions in this Obamaesque tapestry. There are so many of them, in fact, that they are hard to tally. So let’s just mention the more disturbing ones.
“In many ways, the United States and Cuba are like two brothers who’ve been estranged for many years,” he said, “even as we share the same blood.”
What blood? As it turns out, the closest Obama came to identifying that blood was to babble on about superficial similarities between Cuban and American culture, especially in the realms of music and sports.
Obama also spoke of “hope” repeatedly. He even had the nerve to tell Cubans of “hope that is rooted in the future that you can choose and that you can shape, and that you can build for your country.”
What hope, as long as the Castro dynasty is in control? What is this amorphous “hope” or this amorphous “future”? What of this “choosing” and “shaping”? How is that to happen when there is no civil society in Cuba, no rule of law, no chance to express oneself freely, no private property, no free market economy? …
The biggest lies in the speech have to do with history, and all of these falsehoods come straight from the Castro regime’s Ministry of Truth …
In Obama’s thinly disguised Marxist narrative there is a constant dialectic between an imperialist power (the United States) and an unjustly exploited subaltern (Cuba), and in this poisoned relationship, the United States is responsible for most of Cuba’s ills.
The exploitation, said Obama, began with the Spanish-American War: “The blue waters beneath Air Force One once carried American battleships to this island — to liberate, but also to exert control over Cuba.”
After that, with “control” over Cuba, the United States could not help but behave very badly. “Before 1959,” said Obama, “ some Americans saw Cuba as something to exploit, ignored poverty, enabled corruption.”
This is pure Castroite propaganda, which all Cubans born after 1959 have had force-fed to them as “history”. And in this false “history”, of course, it is always assumed that the Castro are the heroes who rescued Cubans from all of the exploitation.
That an American president should parrot such lies tells us a lot about the character of such a president, and the real-world value of his speech to the enslaved Cuban people. …
One of the biggest [lies] is the claim that the so-called embargo “was not working” and that it was “hurting the Cuban people”. This could be seen as the linchpin of Obama’s argument for “normalizing” relations. It sounds reasonable. But the truth is that the embargo was not put into place to force the collapse of the Castro regime, but to contain the damage it could do to the United States and its allies. And as far as that goal was concerned, the so-called embargo was indeed working.
As to the claim that the embargo hurt the Cuban people, nothing could be further from the truth. What really impoverished the Cuban people and made them destitute was the insane economic policies of the Castro regime. Cuba has been trading with every other country in the world while the embargo has been in place, and for the past decade and a half the island has been visited by tens of millions of non-American tourists. Yet, despite the opportunities made possible by such exchanges, poverty, deprivation, and repression continued to be the lot of all Cubans.
This lie about the “embargo” forms the basis for another equally heinous one, the claim that “the United States of America is normalizing relations with the Cuban people”. …
There is no real “normalization” going on insofar as the lives of Cubans are concerned. In fact, repression has increased and the economy has worsened since Obama began warming up to the Castro regime in December 2014. Secondly, the so-called “normalization” process does not involve “the Cuban people” at all, but only the Castro regime, that is, Raul Castro, his geriatric military junta, and his slightly younger oligarchs.
Obama also lied about the changes supposedly taking place in Cuba, such as the economic improvements brought about by self-employment, which are highlighted with a series of bogus feel-good stories about cuentapropistas or entrepreneurs. Every Cuban knows that the self-employment ruse is one of the biggest lies of all, and no ticket to prosperity or freedom, because the Castro regime owns absolutely everything on the island. …
The speech reaches a crescendo with the invocation of the term “reconciliation” …
What makes the use of this term incorrect in the case of Cuba – and what makes all talk of “reconciliation” a lie – is that genuine reconciliation involves penance and an admission of guilt on the part of wrongdoers. Those guilty of the worst sins in recent Cuban history – the Castro brothers and their supporters – have not only refused to admit their guilt, but actually remain in power and refuse to stop abusing the human rights of the Cuban people.
Until those who rule Cuba step aside and admit their guilt – and until those at the top ranks are tried in a court of justice for their many crimes against humanity – there can be no genuine “reconciliation” in Cuba.
To speak of “reconciliation” as the payoff of Obama’s many concessions to the Castro regime is akin to speaking of “reconciliation” between a rapist and his victim while the rapist continues to rape his victim repeatedly, with no remorse and no end in sight.
Finally, to sum up his own vapid, narcissistic, and self-aggrandizing rhetoric, Obama closed the speech with a Spanish rendition of his 2008 campaign slogan, si se puede (yes, it’s possible, or yes we can).
Yes, sure. Tell that to the Ladies in White, Obama, please, as they are beaten and arrested every Sunday. Tell that to the political prisoners who rot in tiny cells. Tell that to the Cuban schoolchildren who are fed lies and propaganda disguised as “education” and who have no hope of ever earning more than twenty dollars a month as adults. Tell that to the mother whose son or daughter just drowned while trying to flee on a flimsy raft from the hell that is Castro’s Cuba.
Tell them, please, how anything is possible other than what the Castro regime deigns to dole out to them.
Until there are no more masters and no more slaves, there can be no end to slavery.
For Obama to fling his campaign slogan “yes we can” to Cubans is no different from some Northern abolitionist visiting a Southern plantation to tell the slaves to ignore their chains and think happy thoughts.
To employ that recycled slogan in Cuba was downright shameful, and a very fitting end to a very disgraceful speech.
*Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion by David Horowitz, Regnery, 2012. (Our quotation comes from p. 181.)
After the First World War, most intellectuals were Socialists of one shade or another, the spectrum ranging from pale pink Fabianism (the equal-sharing classless society must gently evolve) to blood-red Marxism-Leninism (the inevitable victory of the proletariat must be achieved by violent revolution).
As a great many Jews were intellectuals, there were a great many Jewish Socialists. Quite a lot of them lived in the lower-rent parts of New York. They were the children and grandchildren of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe. Because America was an open society where it was possible for free enterprise to be rewarded with prosperity, many did well enough to afford a college education for their sons. Yet they (not all of them, but the ones we’re concerned with here, who were probably the majority) did not approve of the open free-enterprise society which gave them the opportunities they had seized successfully. Not at all. They and their sons had an ideal, and they clung to it: an equal-sharing classless Socialist society – like, if not necessarily exactly like, the Russians had under Stalin.
Strange “cognitive dissonance”? Yes. But that’s how it was.
Bernie Sanders is one of those sons. To read about his family, his early life, his education, his political opinions is to read about thousands like him.
Now that he is a candidate for the presidency of the United States, he expresses opinions that belong to the pink end of the spectrum; but those he has expressed in the past would place him at the blood-red end – and he has never repudiated them.
Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page that when Bernie Sanders was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, between 1981 and 1989, …
[He] enumerated detailed — and radical — foreign-policy positions and explained his brand of socialism.
[He believed that] “the basic truth of politics is primarily class struggle”; that “democracy means public ownership of the major means of production”. …
Politics is primarily class struggle is classic Marx. Government control of the means of production, think Communism. … Bernie Sanders is still touting the support of Marxist economists. …
Sanders was a big fan of the Sandinistas … [He] marveled that he was, “believe it or not, the highest ranking American official” to attend a parade celebrating the Sandinista seizure of power.
It’s quite easy to believe, actually, when one wonders what elected American official would knowingly join a group of largely unelected officials of various “fraternal” Soviet dictatorships while, just a few feet away, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega bellows into a microphone that the United States is governed by a criminal band of terrorists.
And Sanders vocally defended the Marxist murderers.
The lesson Sanders saw in Nicaragua could have been plagiarized from an editorial in Barricada, the oafish Sandinista propaganda organ.
“Is [the Sandinistas’] crime that they have built new health clinics, schools, and distributed land to the peasants? Is their crime that they have given equal rights to women? Or that they are moving forward to wipe out illiteracy? No, their crime in Mr. Reagan’s eyes and the eyes of the corporations and billionaires that determine American foreign policy is that they have refused to be a puppet and banana republic to American corporate interests.”
President Reagan had deplored an atrocity committed by the Sandinistas: forcing Indians into a church and setting fire to it. He had also objected to their driving the Jews out of the country. The Sandinistas’ henchmen attacked a synagogue with firebombs while shouting “Death to the Jews”, “Jewish Pigs” and “What Hitler started we will finish”. And …
The president of the synagogue that the Sandinistas had attacked was forced to sweep the streets, a scene reminiscent of Nazi behavior in occupied Europe, before being forced to leave the country with [nothing but] the clothes on his back.
The synagogue was seized and transformed into a Sandinista youth center decorated with Anti-Zionist posters.
The Jewish community of Nicaragua fled to Miami and Costa Rica.
But that is …
Nothing Bernie Sanders cares about. …
All of which re-raises a question often asked: Why do a majority of American Jews go on voting for the Democratic Party when it has become openly anti-Israel and is sliding ever nearer to the blood-red end of the Socialist spectrum?
Answer: Because their Leftism is their religion.
The great ex-Communist authority on Communism, Sidney Hook, writes interestingly on this question:*
The political fortunes of the Communist Party in the United States began to decline precipitously as the war continued. It took another nose dive after the Soviet Union invaded Finland … Meanwhile the the details of the close collaboration between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were beginning to percolate to the West. Even radical circles critical of the Kremlin’s duplicity were stunned by the news that Stalin handed over to the Gestapo scores of German-Jewish Communists. …
The comparatively large following the Communists had among the Jews gradually dried up, but a sizable segment remained [who were] professionals, especially teachers. One who found this phenomenon puzzling was John Dewey. I remember him once asking me to explain how after the Nazi-Stalin Pact so many Jews could still be numbered among the Communist faithful. I explained it in part as an expression of their idealism. Most of them did not identify themselves as Jews. They were citizens of the world – the ideal Communist world of the future. To them what was happening to the Jews as a consequence of policies adopted by the Kremlin for raison d’état was part of the cost of historical progress.
There were other reasons why so many Jewish Communists remained faithful to the Communist Party line despite Stalin’s willingness to placate and appease the author of Mein Kampf. The political life of the Communist faithful was their whole life. It defined not only their intellectual allegiance but a network of social, emotional, and personal relationships that constituted a vibrant community. To break with the Party was tantamount to a self-imposed exile from its sustaining warmth into a cold, hostile world, in which they could hardly be integrated.
For many of the older generation of Jewish Communists, there was perhaps a deeper reason. Most of them had been reared in the orthodox Jewish religious faith, in which the whole of life from rising to retiring at night is organized around its central dogmas. These determine a complex pattern of prayers and ritual pervaded by a spirit of piety and unquestioning acceptance of the Divine Presence. Emancipation from this mode of life meant at first a gradual and then ultimately a total rupture, culminating in a conversion to the atheism of Marxism and a total rejection of Judaism as a parochial and confining creed. Yet psychologically those who still remained faithful to some of the ideals of prophetic Judaism were drawn to a movement that, despite its militant secularism, provided a mode of life every whit as integrated and sustaining as the religion they had abandoned. They could feel themselves once more, even if persecuted, a chosen people not of God but of history, a vanguard, liberated from the exclusionist and chauvinist prejudices of their forefathers, preaching a salvation open to all mankind.These Jews were naturally reluctant to break their ties with the Communist movement, hoping against hope that the Kremlin would mend its imperial, totalitarian, and racist ways. When at last they were compelled to disavow the Soviet Union, they were for a long time bereft, psychologically akin to to those who after a crisis of belief surrender their religion. At the time of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, despite the shock, many of the faithful could not yet make the excruciating wrench with their past.
Sidney Hook may be right. Those may be the (emotional) “reasons” why Jews cling to the Left even as Jews are ever more abused by their fellow Leftists. Because it’s their religion. Because, as their religion, it’s their whole life. Because it would be painful to break with it.
But we are talking about intellectuals. People who are supposed to be devoted to Reason. How would it really hurt them to switch their votes to the side where every candidate has emphatically declared his and her support for Israel?
Those “reasons” look more like excuses. And at this point in history, they are unacceptable.
It is a simple matter for anyone who can think to see the way the wind blows, how the land lies … and change his mind.
Bernie Sanders is a relic of a bygone age. How nice it will be when everyone can see that so is the far-left Democratic Party, and the entire ideology of Socialism, in all its shades of red.
*Out of Step by Sidney Hook, Harper and Row, New York, 1987, pp.306-307.
(Hat-tip for the Hook quotation to Robert Kantor)
Afterword: We have written that Communism is Secular Christianity (see under Pages in our margin). Now we declare it to be the The other Jewish religion. We deny that there is any contradiction between the two statements. Communism is secular Christianity, and it is the other Jewish religion. Only neither Christians nor Jews (as far as we know) are generally aware that it is both those things.
In September 2015, Sanders’s presidential campaign received the support of the former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, who wrote: “I believe that among the Sanders supporters there are thousands who are dissatisfied, who are disgruntled, but who do not have a coherent left analysis, who therefore are open to our ideas as they weren’t before they got involved in the Sanders surge. … So, why don’t we join a Sanders local campaign or go to a mass rally? … We could have lists of places and projects where anarchists and others are working with people in projects that are using anarchist and community participatory ideas and vision. Places where Bernie supporters might get involved once they knew about them.”
That paragraph and the following come from Discover the Networks:
In his first public speech as a presidential candidate in Burlington, Vermont, in May 2015, Bernie Sanders broadly laid out the major planks of his campaign’s agenda:
- He declared that financial inequality “is immoral, it is bad economics, it is unsustainable”.
- Vowing to send “a message to the billionaire class”, he said: “You can’t have huge tax breaks [for the rich] while children in this country go hungry … while there are massive unmet needs on every corner…. Your greed has got to end…. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities.”
- He pledged to enact “a tax system that is fair and progressive, which tells the wealthiest individuals and the largest corporations that they are going to begin to pay their fair share”.
- He claimed that “the current federal [hourly] minimum wage of $7.25 is a starvation wage and must be raised … to $15.00 an hour”.
- He described the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as a “modest” step in the direction of rightfully forcing the U.S. to “join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right”. “And we must do it through a Medicare-for-all, single payer health plan,” he explained.
- He called for “pay equity for women workers”, and “paid sick leave and guaranteed vacation time for every worker in this country”.
- Describing the rising costs of a college education as “insane”, he vowed to “fight to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lower interest rates on student loans”.
- He pledged to “expand Social Security benefits” and mandate “a universal pre-K system for all the children of this country”.
- Asserting that “there is nothing more important” than fighting global warming, he said: “The debate is over. The scientific community has spoken in a virtually unanimous voice. Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating problems in our country and throughout the world.” He elaborated that in the absence of government intervention, America would inevitably see “more drought, more famine, more rising sea level, more floods, more ocean acidification, [and] more extreme weather disturbances”, in the absence of government intervention.
- He called for the government to use taxpayer dollars to rebuild America’s “crumbling infrastructure” by repairing “our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our rail and airports”.
- He would begin this process by working to advance, in the Senate, a five-year, $1 trillion bill that he himself had proposed, claiming that it “would create and maintain 13 million good paying jobs”.
Bernie Sanders has an older brother, Larry, who says that Bernie is a “genuine socialist”.
We know about Larry from Nico Hines, who writes a quite sympathetic – even affectionate – profile of him at the Daily Beast:
[Larry Sanders is] a soft-spoken man, who has been calmly explaining his little brother’s sudden political success from his sun-drenched kitchen table in Oxford [England]. …
If Bernie is able to ride the recent surge in support all the way to the White House, Larry says he would go big — no matter what Congress, the usual conventions or even the majority of the Democratic Party might say.
“He’ll flex his muscles,” Larry said. “I mean this is not cowboy stuff, there are very intricate constitutional discussions, [but] he won’t hesitate, if he thinks he’s got the constitutional power to do something—he will do it.” …
If that’s a warning to those who think President Obama has been guilty of constitutional overreach, he also has one for Democrats who would try to moderate a Sanders presidency. … Bernie wants to revolutionize politics, but he also specifically wants to revolutionize the Democratic Party. …
There is no doubt that Larry was a formative influence on Bernie, who is six years his junior. When Larry was at college studying Marx and Hegel, Bernie was still at high school. “Sometimes I would tell Bernard about something I’d heard about or read about so I think he did get — at a much younger age than most people — an idea of political thought. So I think I did help him get started,” he said. “He has given me credit — not all the credit.”
As a radical member of the Young Democrats in the 1950s, Larry was already attracting political attention within the student body. “I do recall a Republican club paper called me ‘an obese socialist’, ” he said, laughing. “And I wasn’t even very fat then!”
Last week, Larry was appointed health spokesman for the left-wing Green Party in England. He had been an active member of the Labour Party in the 1980s, but he grew disillusioned once Tony Blair had taken the party into the center ground.
He is far more impressed with Jeremy Corbyn — the hard left campaigner who won a shock election to become the new leader of the Labour Party last year. Many have pointed out the similarities between the two men [Bernie, that is, and Jeremy], even though British politics is centered considerably to the left of the American mainstream — and Corbyn is way out to the left of that.
Larry isn’t so sure that his brother is more moderate, however. “Bernard is a genuine socialist in his sense of class warfare — that he thinks there is not a national interest so much as there is an interest with sectors of the population,” he said. “In that sense, his passion and the sense of conflict between the major owners and the rest of the population is very socialist — as socialist as Corbyn.”
Some of the Corbynistas have been helping Larry and the “London for Bernie” organization to raise awareness about the global primary, which allows Americans abroad to send delegates — and even some super delegates — to the Democratic convention. Larry said Corbyn supporters within the Labour Party had helped to arrange for UNITE, Britain’s largest union, to allow Bernie’s supporters to hold events in their buildings for free. The union confirmed that the group used its rooms without charge. The move might be a violation of U.S. campaign finance law depending on who was involved, according to the former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission.
Bernie has always told his brother that the cause of socialism, or social democracy, is more important than his own career.
Who put in “or social democracy”? It is extremely unlikely that Bernie has “always” told his brother that his is “the cause of social democracy”. That’s his claimed cause as he fights in the Democratic Party for the presidential nomination. His long career shows his cause to have been a deeper shade of red.
“What he said to me very clearly was: ‘I don’t mind running and making a fool of myself, I’ve been humiliated before — I’ll go back to doing the job I love[as Senator], no big sweat, but if I do badly then everyone will say: ‘See, I told you, nobody is interested in that crap.’ And for a generation those ideas and the millions of people he thinks need those ideas will be wiped out,” Larry said.
“He would not have run if he thought he would damage the cause — ‘I think I can make a respectable showing’ — that was his decision. I’m not sure that he thought he could win.”
Bernie Sanders has already surpassed the “respectable showing” stage, he has the Clinton camp on the hop, and the latest polling suggests that he has closed a 40-point deficit to come within the margin of error in Nevada.
Larry says he always had faith in his brother but he uses the word “astonishing” over and over again to describe the events of the last six months.
Bernie likes to praise the Scandinavian countries as “democratic socialist” models,
Here, in a 2013 video, Stefan Molyneaux talks about the Myth of Scandinavian Socialism.
We don’t agree with all his opinions, but find the facts he presents interesting:
President George W. Bush was probably the most maligned president of modern times (though fans of President Obama make that claim for him).
Last night Rudi Giuliani, the great former mayor of New York, said in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, that President George W. Bush had kept Americans safe after the Muslim mass-murder attack of 9/11, and for that America owes him honor and gratitude. We agree. In practice President Bush did a good job.
Where we did not agree with President George W. Bush himself, was on a matter of theory: his political philosophy of “compassionate conservatism”. (It’s a sentimentality that Governor John Kasich now puts in his shopwindow as he advertises himself for the Republican presidential nomination.)
Compassion is an emotion. Individuals feel it or hold it as a moral value. But the state has no emotion. A government has no heart. Government is for protection – of the nation by means of a strong military defense, and of the individual by the rule of law strictly and indiscriminately applied. Government is not a father or mother or nanny or sugar daddy. In conservative philosophy, it has no duty to provide for the people it protects. It has no means to do so. It is not the nation’s money earner. It ought not to be an agency that forces some people to give it money so that it can hand it to other people. .
But in socialist philosophy, providing for the people’s needs is government’s chief function. Socialist government starts by “redistributing” private wealth: taking money from those who have earned it and giving it to those who have not. The long-term plan is for government (euphemistically, “the people”) to “own the means of production, distribution and exchange”. In plain words, to own everything. A socialist government is in loco parentis. The people are its children whom it must house, feed, educate, medicate, and make all decisions for. It knows what is best for you, and your duty is to obey it. It will give you what it judges you need – or withhold it if you step out of line. If you are disobedient, you will be punished. If you put your personal interests above the government-ordained interests of the collective “All”, you may find yourself provided with no house, no food, no schooling, no doctoring, and – once the grip of a socialist regime has become absolute, as in Russia in the last century – no means by which you can supply these needs for yourself.
Socialists, Communists, Marxists – let’s say Leftists in general – believe that History (a sort of god whose prophet was Karl Marx) is moving humankind in a certain direction it has pre-ordained. Towards a world in which people live without private possessions. Where each is concerned only with the good of All. (Invention, which is essentially an individual enterprise is thus made impossible, so no actual advance is ever made.) Moving towards that utopia is what Leftists mean by “progress“.
That’s why they call themselves “progressives”.
Professor Walter Williams writes at Townhall:
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders seek to claim the “progressive” mantle. Both claim the other is not a true progressive. Clinton teased Sanders as being the “self-proclaimed gatekeeper for progressivism”. Bernie Sanders said that Hillary Clinton can’t be both a moderate and a progressive and that most progressives don’t take millions from Wall Street. But let’s talk about the origins of progressivism. It’s only historical ignorance that could explain black affinity for progressivism.
The Progressive Era is generally seen as the period from 1890 to 1920. President Woodrow Wilson, a leading [Democrat and] progressive, had a deep contempt for the founding principles of our nation. Progress for Wilson was to get “beyond the Declaration of Independence”, because “it is of no consequence to us”. President Wilson implored that “all that progressives ask or desire is permission – in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word – to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine”.
President Woodrow Wilson was a believer in notions of racial superiority and inferiority. He was so enthralled with D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation movie, which glorified the Ku Klux Klan, that he invited various dignitaries to the White House to view it with him. … When President Wilson introduced racial segregation to the civil service, the NAACP and the National Independent Political League protested. Wilson vigorously defended it, arguing that segregation was in the interest of Negroes. Booker T. Washington wrote during Wilson’s first term, “I have never seen the colored people so discouraged and bitter as they are at the present time.”
President Woodrow Wilson’s predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, was another progressive captivated by the notions of racial inferiority. He opposed voting rights for black Americans, which were guaranteed by the 15th Amendment, on the grounds that the black race was still in its adolescence. …
The Progressive era gave birth to the “separate but equal” doctrine that emerged from the Supreme Court’s notorious 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, a case that symbolized Jim Crow racism. Progressives were also people who attacked free-market economics. Along with muckraking journalists they attacked capitalistic barons. They were advocates of what might be called “scientific racism” that drew from anthropology, biology, psychology, sociology, eugenics and medical science. …
Legal scholar Richard Epstein concludes that progressivism sought to grant the state vast new authority to manage all walks of American life while at the same time weakening traditional checks on government power, including private property rights and liberty of contract, two principles that progressives hold in contempt. Epstein notes, “The sad but simple truth is that the Jim Crow resegregation of America depended on a conception of constitutional law that gave property rights short shrift, and showed broad deference to state action under the police power.”
It is clear that today’s progressives have the same constitutional contempt as their predecessors. I hope they do not share the racial vision. Black voters ought to demand, at a minimum, that progressives disavow their ugly racist past.
They should re-label themselves to something other than progressives, maybe compassionate totalitarians.