Editor's Note: The annual Conference on World Affairs, hosted by CU-Boulder each spring since 1949, wrapped up last week with at least one conservative undergrad having a sour taste in her mouth from the liberal intolerance, intellectual bullying, and groupthink she encountered in place of the "civil discourse" CWA is supposed to foster. Erin Flynn filed the following report with one of her professors, Vincent McGuire (who is also a Centennial Fellow).
I've attended three CWA panels over the past two days and at the 2nd and 3rd I got to ask questions. So I'm at the third panel "Progressives Getting Their Groove Back" which I find to be very interesting since I think progressives are ruining America (that's just me though). But to the point, I get to ask the first question, and this is what I say (directed to the proud card-carrying socialist speaker):
"How can you defend and rationalize socialist government when our forefathers fought a bloody war to protect us from government and wrote a great document known as the Constitution of the United States to prevent socialism and progressivism?"
Though my wording was aggressive, my delivery was quite nervous-sounding, since I was in front of a couple hundred people in the Glenn Miller Ballroom. But before I could get any sort of answer, another speaker on that panel says "Wait, just wait a minute, are you some sort of plant? You keep coming to these and asking conservative questions so what's the deal?"
What followed was the panelists, moderator, and crowd ganging up on me. People in the crowd were yelling at me to "sit down" and "shut up" and the panel continued to insult my intelligence while simultaneously cutting me off. The socialist-loving speaker didn't even answer my question (and in his response decided to say that totalitarian governments haven't existed since Stalin fell. Apparently China and Cuba don't count).
I was really upset, but sat through the rest of it and listened to the all of the other questions. As soon as I got back to my computer, I sent Glenn Beck an email but I know that was just a whim. So what should I do, Professor? The CWA program states "it's conversation, where CWA promotes civil discourse, debate, disagreement, depth, discernment, and delight". I can easily disprove all of this alliteration. But I feel like even if I write to the CWA leader or some dean they'll just ignore me because really they don't care about me having any sort of voice, since I'm sure I would disagree with them politically too. All of the panels are recorded, so maybe that's a start.
It's so frustrating, and I'm sick of people hiding by saying they are about something reasonable when they are actually the opposite. Do you know of anyone reasonable I could talk to as a start? Or maybe 9News would care about intolerance on the Boulder campus?
By the way, the panelist who called me a conservative "plant" happens to be a student government officer who is paid in part by MY fees. I will definitely be going to all future panels featuring that individual. Maybe with a video camera too.
The author can be reached at Erin.Flynn@Colorado.EDU
"We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress," wrote Bob Herbert in his New York Times column the other day. A Democrat friend of mine from Rochester, NY forwarded me the Herbert piece, entitled "An Absence of Class," about the alleged ugly incidents in the aftermath of the US House's healthcare vote. She accompanied the link with this single sentence: "You would never ever defend this." The following is how I responded.
If you think I would defend it, then you completely missed the point I was trying to make before. I don't defend the things Bob Herbert describes--if they really happened (I am completely open to the possibility that they didn't actually happen as described, or that they were grossly exaggerated, or that Democratic members of Congress and their lackeys would make up or even stage such incidents in order to achieve exactly what the incidents have achieved: a smear against thousands of people).
But let's assume that it all did happen exactly as reported. I say, So what?
Any time you gather thousands of people together, no matter what the cause they're gathering to demonstrate for, you can take it as virtually guaranteed that some of them aren't going to be nice or well-behaved people. The vast majority of humans, of any political stripe, aren't exactly saints. Obviously, in any gathering of large size, you'll have a bell-curve distribution on the civility spectrum, and at one end of the curve you'll have bad apples.
This method of gathering an unruly mob to make a political point in the streets, by chanting and waving signs (as opposed to making the points on the pages of a newspaper or at the debate lectern or in some other measured and intellectual manner) has been a favored practice of the Left for decades; seeing the same tactic on the other side is a fairly novel thing.
You wouldn't seriously assert that nothing vile ever took place at any of the demonstrations in support of causes dear to the Left, over all the decades? I've seen a little bit of it myself. For example, sometimes I'd walk out of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California by its Franklin St. gate, during the height of the Iraq War, to find an anti-war mob with signs at the bottom of the hill, and some of them would jeer at me and call me things like "Nazi"--people who didn't know anything about me except that I sported a military-looking haircut. But you know...so what?
It wasn't unusual for acts of mob violence--looting, arson, etc.--to happen where MLK made a public appearance, even though King explicitly decried any such activity. Things got pretty ugly right there in your town, if I'm not mistaken. Should we paint all members of the civil rights movement with the brush of a few thuggish individuals who made the event a pretext to behave in a vile manner? Everyone who favors desegragation is is a thieving incendiary...if YOU favor desegregation then YOU're on the side of looting and arson...yeah, okay...strong argument, huh?
Herbert says, "We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress — epithets that The Times will not allow me to repeat here." Oh really? We can't allow it? How short his memory is, because he and his ilk were perfectly happy to keep quiet and allow it just a few years ago, when protesters were saying and doing things at least as vile against the previous administration. I doubt if any president has received the amount of abuse that Bush did. And I don't care about that. He's a big boy and he wasn't drafted into the job of president, and having a thick skin is part of the job. So what?
Why is this Herbert article even worth serious consideration? His chosen method of decrying a lone idiot who spat on some politician is to spit on tens of thousands of people with vile statements like these: "For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness...." "This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry."
What is this? Fight fire with fire? This is Herbert's own commitment to hatred and bigotry on display.
The whole article is nothing but an ad hominem. He's not critiquing the Tea Party's central message--he's trying to turn people off to that message with guilt-by-association. "If you are tempted to favor shockingly radical, fringy ideas like...oh, let's say, a limited government that is accountable to the people and stays within the bounds of the Constitution...then you're in the company of bigots, and therefore a bigot yourself." That's what he's saying. This is just the latest flavor of McCarthyism.
I've been called a racist and a Nazi for criticizing Obama about issues that have nothing to do with race--those names were hurled at me based on nothing other than the ethnicity of the target of my criticism, as though the only thing that keeps me from cheering him for his policies is that he's not pure Anglo-Saxon. Apparently nobody is allowed to criticize a public official on any grounds, if the official happens to be a minority. That's about the level of Herbert's argument here.
I don't care. They can call me whatever they like. All they're doing is revealing the Orwellian inversion of language that infects their thought: If I am color-blind, applying the same standards of criticism to a black man that I would to a white man, then I'm a racist It's no longer prejudice and racial double standard, but the absence of prejudice and racial double standard, that makes you a racist. If I'm for limited government and against the kind of centralization of economic decision-making that Nazis and other varieties of socialists espouse, that makes me a Nazi. Opposing socialism makes you a National Socialist. Up is down, black is white.
(CCU Faculty) Mike Lux, blogging in the Huffington Post, announces he has found the “Ultimate Contradiction-in-Terms: Right-Wing Christians.” Lux shakes his head and condemns those of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ and still vote for an occasional Republican. Here's the oracle in full.
Lux begins this attack on people like myself by relating a debate between Glenn Beck and leftist-evangelical Jim Wallis. Wallis won the debate of course because he “actually knows something about the Bible.” Beck and his hero, Ayn Rand, enthrone “selfishness as the ultimate virtue.” (Lots of “ultimates” in Mike’s Luxicon.)
But it gets worse. Conservative Christians manage to “ignore the literally many hundreds of Biblical quotes about social justice.” And still worse, we turn Christianity into “a religion solely focused on one very selfish goal: whether they get into heaven or not. That's it, that is the entire goal and purpose and meaning of their faith.”
Where to begin? For starters, Mike, citing Glenn Beck and Ayn Rand as holding the flag for conservative Christians is like using Rosie O’Donnell to shill your diet plan. Beck is a recent convert to Mormonism and before that a lapsed Catholic. Rand is a militant atheist. Try taking on real conservative Christians instead of your men and women of straw.
Next, since I “actually know something about the Bible” I have read the verses on social justice. And the Left is the greatest enemy of social justice in the history of the world. Left-wing governments have murdered more of their own citizens as a matter of state policy then all other governments in the history of the world combined. (You would claim no connection to the genocidal Stalin or Mao but I can connect you to them a lot easier than you can connect me to Ayn Rand.)
As for hypocrisy I claim no ability whatsoever to be able to compete with the Left. You sit comfortably in the richest nation in the history of the world and hold in contempt the economic conservatives who created it. You freely write your ad hominem screeds and hold in contempt the political conservatives who created that freedom. And you condescend to us religious conservatives who proclaim the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ who made Christian culture possible.
Since I am one of those cretins who “refuse to help the oppressed” let me tell you what my house is like. It is a place where the third-world poor and the oppressed in America, eat my food, sleep in my beds, drive my cars, and weep on my shoulder, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE. Multiply my story by thirty million and you get some idea what the “religious right” is all about. I would appreciate not being trashed by people whose idea of compassion is to vote to take my money away and give it to politicians they like. When it comes to giving one’s own money to help the “poor and oppressed” we troglodyte conservative Christians outgive you “compassionate” Leftists by more than three to one. (That's from Who Really Cares by AEI scholar Arthur Brooks, featured speaker at a Centennial Institute forum in Denver just this morning, as it happens.)
“Getting to heaven” is not the only goal of my life. But Jesus said, (I know this because I actually read my Bible) “What does it profit a man if gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Matthew 16:25) So apparently He is quite concerned about whether or not we go to heaven and you should be, too.
And I would like to ask one final question. You talk about people who really read the Bible and who “take the Bible seriously.” Why is it that more than 75% of the people who do so vote like I do? We read the Bible differently from you, Mike. Is it possible we read it better? (Or actually read it at all?)
So I will continue to live in the “ultimate contradiction” of being a Christian conservative until you can come up with something more than left-wing sloganeering. And in the meantime, if you want to know more about me you will have to go to someone besides Glenn Beck or Ayn Rand.
I recently got an email from a university professor in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova. He was my colleague, when I was a visiting Fulbright professor to his country five years ago, and he visited CCU in 1998, debating me publically on whether Vladimir Putin was responsible for the decline in personal freedom in Russia and a threat to the United States. So the other day he wrote me to ask, “How is the current US President viewed in Colorado, specifically knowing your state's political view. You know I was always interested in U.S. politics, elections.” Since my friend is a leading expert in his country on western politics and often serves as an advisor to his government, I felt compelled to respond: Dear Vitalie: America was born in a tax revolt. A European king was trying to squeeze as much money as possible from his subjects to fund his global agenda. Those very settlers had already fled Europe to avoid tyrannical government. Their dream, what we know call “The American Dream” was to create a better life for themselves and their family, to build their own wealth, which would not be siphoned off by a government claiming to represent their interests. When they finally began to organize their own government, they made sure there were certain safeguards built in their explicit written constitution to insure their freedom. They wanted:1) Free Markets, not manipulated by government bureaucrats, who would claim to speak for the masses but actually look out for their own corrupt special interests. In a free market everybody gets a voice. Every time one spends a dollar, it is a vote for more of that product to be produced. They spent that dollar because they felt they got the best product at the most reasonable price. If the government had set that price, it would have been a bureaucrat not the people who affected the economy. As in any command economy, bureaucrats look out for their own interests, which results in a corrupt system where those who know the bureaucrat get the product. When I lived in your country, I was amazed at the level of corruption within the government. Free markets empower the people. Governments subjugate the people. For that reason America’s founders also wanted: 2) Limited Government. If governments made decisions for individuals, those decisions would benefit bureaucrats, not the people. Who knows what is best for you and your family, a government official or you? Who cares most for you and your family, a government official or you? Statist political experiments from both right and left have been tried around the world and have failed. They have only brought massive violence, death and poverty.Most Americans I know prefer the ideas of John Locke and Adam Smith, to those of Karl Marx and Mao Tse-tung. Locke and Smith wanted personal political and economic freedom, and produced untold prosperity. Marx and Mao wanted to control the masses, and brought untold suffering to hundreds of millions. Many here in Colorado with whom I have spoken fear that Obama will not bring the hope many expect, but instead bring another failed experiment in social planning and human deprivation. Respectfully, William Watson
('76 Editor) Two important articles published recently, along with a classic from the early Reagan years, remind us how deep and grave are the pathologies threatening American self-government -- and map out the fundamental change of thinking we must achieve as conservatives if our country is not to go the way of Rome or Britain. Contemporary writers Jeff Bergner and Matthew Spalding in recent weeks have echoed the insights of Stan Evans, Bill Buckley's compatriot in the 1980s, warning that the fateful options we face are to understand the soul of America either as unlimited government seeking a coercive utopia (the liberal or progressive vision), or as limited government wherein freely choosing individuals can order their own lives (the Founders' vision). It goes so much deeper than just arguing over who's up and who's down in the polls, how to keep entitlements and the deficit in hand, and whether Democrats or Republicans should win the next election. Underlying those superficial matters is the question of what self-government really means -- and whether Americans are still capable of it.
If you love our country and want to be part of saving and renewing it, I urge you to study these three profound diagnoses:
Can Republicans Govern? Not Unless They Change 'The Narrative'By Jeff Bergner, The Weekly Standard, Feb. 8, 2010
A Republic, If You Want It: The Left's Overreach Invites the Founders' ReturnBy Matthew Spalding, National Review, Feb. 8, 2010
Unlearning the Liberal History LessonBy M. Stanton Evans, Imprimis (Hillsdale College), March 1980
(CCU Faculty) In a graduate seminar at the University of California 30 years ago, I made the mistake of using the word ‘gals’ instead of ‘women’. The feminists in the class verbally assaulted me at being insensitive to their gender issues. It seems that wherever we go now, we must be careful not offend the hyper-sensitive feelings of those who wish to limit our speech, and force us to use the words they prefer.
Last week the NBC cafeteria served fried chicken, collard greens, and corn bread in honor of black history month. The chef, who happens to be black, had wanted to do this for years but didn’t understand the controversy that flared as other African-Americans claimed they were offended. NBC apologized, took down the sign in the cafeteria, and quickly changed the menu. Had it been St. Patrick’s Day would some have been offended by corned beef and cabbage? Had it been Cinco de Mayo would some have been offended by enchiladas and beans?
The overwhelmingly number of those ‘political correct’ whom I have met were disciples of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Richard Rorty. Those who cajoled me 30 years ago to use their words were leftist feminists, who often cited these thinkers in our class. Marx stressed the overturning of traditional power structure based on wealth. Nietzsche stressed the ‘will to power’ that impels the intellectuals to dominate others. Lenin stressed the seizure of power by a small group of intellectuals, who would then remake society by eliminating traditional power structures and re-educate the masses.
Foucault considered power to be “actions upon others' actions in order to interfere with them”, to make them “behave in ways than they otherwise would not have done.” These disciples of Foucault want new “belief systems to gain momentum as more people come to accept the particular views associated with that belief system as common knowledge.” The politically-correct hope through intimidation to dominate our language and our minds, and thereby alter our culture into one which they believe is more ‘socially just.’
Derrida insisted that ideas don’t even exist outside of the language we use to express them, and that language actually constructs reality. If progressives can change the meaning of words, they believe they can alter reality itself. When the meanings of words change, they believe they can change the nature of truth itself.Rorty claimed, that truth “cannot be out there, cannot exist independently of the human mind, because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there. The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not. Only descriptions of the world can be true or false. The world on its own—unaided by the describing activities of humans—cannot.” There is no objective truth, only what we subjectively create by our use of words. By manipulating vocabulary, we impose whatever truth we wish. Grammar destroys science. The politically-correct have read (or are at least following the agenda of) Foucault, Derrida and Rorty. They want to sweep away our world and create their own.
Let’s recognize these claims of ‘offense’ for what they often are, attempts to use power over language to take away our freedoms and way of life, all in the name of their ‘progressive’ agenda. Let’s not allow the thought police, the tyrants of ‘politically-correct’ speech to feign ‘offense’ and intimidate us any longer. Let’s recognize their actual agenda, which is to force us to yield to their use of power, to force us to use their terminology and accept their aberrant world-view. In doing so we will expose their claim to power for what it really is, another attempt to take away our freedoms (especially of speech) and impose their radical agendas.
('76 Editor) "Avatar" with its leftist plotline, where capitalism and America are villains, is amusingly debunked by Denver Post columnist Mike Rosen today. Reviews in National Review, Weekly Standard, and Commentary did likewise. I'll be skipping this overhyped dud.
After posting the above on Twitter and Facebook a short time ago, I was informed by one Victoria Livingston on FB that: "Americans have had a history of being bullies; it started with overrunning the Indians before the 'settlers' were Americans." To which I then replied:
America a bully at times, Victoria? Of course, what did you expect? Strong nations, like strong individuals, may be tempted to use their strength irresponsibly. That's not confined to our country - it's the human condition, the tragic flaw, original sin, fallenness. But show me another country that has been half as earnest and noble as America in trying to atone for that irresponsibility in the past and to prevent its recurrence in the future.
With "Avatar," James Cameron - like so many others in entertainment and mass media - has bitten the hand that feeds him with liberty and opportunity, affluence and indulgence, privilege and prestige. Ingrates one and all. Fie upon them.
(CCU Student) Since Barack Obama has entered office, the emotional state of the country has shifted from a polarized sense of hope to constant unease and skepticism. To understand how and why this has occurred, it’s first and foremost a necessity to learn about where Barack himself has obtained such principles and agendas that shadow his seemingly slick modus operandi. In particular, a closer look at the notable radical and social organizer named Saul Alinsky will reveal a much darker, yet detailed picture.
Alinsky’s creed was set out in his book ‘Rules for Radicals’ – a book he dedicated to Lucifer whom he so unreservedly called the ‘first radical’. As David Horowitz puts it in a pamphlet summarizing the Alinsky-Obama connection, Saul Alinsky was an avatar of the post-modern left. His weapon, deception; his goal, destroy the American system of government, by any and all means. Like Obama, Alinsky gathered his followers with the catchy “social change” adage, which more intimately reveals itself more as a blueprint for utter chaos rather than a progressive ideal. In a nutshell, his proposal was to make ‘revolution’ the ultimate and final mark on the history and end of American democracy as we know it, this being devised from his devil-worship schemes, power-hungry radicalism, and deceptive tongue to lure the naïve.
So what does this radical-frenzied organizer of the 1960s have to do with the current American standing and threat to the survival of democracy? Referring back to the beginning, Barack Obama is one of Alinsky’s most prominent followers and admirers, never knowing him personally, but becoming an adept practitioner of his methods. Knowing this, Americans have a due right to worry and question the leadership and direction of our country. With this in mind, it’s also a solid reminder that we should never cease to pray for our leaders. The Bible tells us both “to be vigilant, for the devils walks about like a roaring lion seeking to devour us,” (1 Peter 5:8) and to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). The disciples of Alinsky can and will be countered by speaking the truth, defending democracy, and relentless prayer and hope.
Editor's Note: For a free copy of the David Horowitz pamphlet mentioned above, "Barack Obama's Rules for Revolution," email us at Centennial@ccu.edu with your name and postal address.
('76 Contributor) Harry Reid is not racist and Republican calls for his resignation are misguided. There I said it.
The senate majority leader has recently come under fire for remarks attributed to him in the new book “Game Change.” Authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann say that in 2008 Reid described then candidate Obama as a " 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.'” The comments have been seen by some as being racially insensitive.
Reid’s defenders argue that he was merely making the point that Americans were ready to elect a black president (or at least a light- skinned black president. Baby steps.) DNC chair Tim Kaine insisted that Reid’s remarks were offered in the context of saying something positive about the Obama candidacy and why his candidacy would be strong.
What remains unclear is why we weren’t treated to an equal amount of gushing about Obama’s vast executive experience and his readiness to lead. Instead, these titans of liberalism were most impressed that Obama was Black but not too black and well spoken enough not to offend the racial sensibilities of voters. It was also a plus that he was able to turn on a “negro dialect” when speaking to Black audiences. (Actually the same could have been said of Hillary Clinton. She is also light skinned with a habit of turning on a “Black dialect” when speaking before black audiences. Recall her chicken necking as she quoted lyrics from an old “negro” spiritual: “I ain’t no ways tired.” Really Hillary? But I digress.)
I would be remiss if I failed to point out that the racial sensibilities Reid and company were concerned with offending were those of liberals. Reid was not mentally tallying the votes of Republicans, but Democrats!
Certainly Senator Reid is behind the times. Who uses the word “negro” anymore? The accepted term is “people of color,” which, for what it’s worth, sounds way to close too colored people for my tastes. But do Reid’s comments really rise to occasion GOP outrage, which, let’s be honest is a bit contrived?
Is there a double standard? Absolutely! There is also a growing sensitivity to public speech that has corrupted our sense of proportion. If one must resign for speaking the truth – Obama is light skinned, well spoken and does have a habit of turning on the “flava” when he speaks before Black audiences – what is the penalty for saying something truly outrageous? Calling for the head of Harry Reid only succeeds in making legitimate liberal outrage over the similarly innocuous uttering’s by others. If we continue down this path I fear we will end up a nation unable to govern itself because we will be unable to speak lest we offend someone…somewhere.
Moreover, these displays of outrage miss the real substance of Reid’s intimations.
What is now clear for all to see is the new left's political calculation vis a vis race. For the left there can be no post racial America because for the new left race is a chief weapon in their arsenal. Their use of race and racism is premeditated; it is a commodity to be traded in the political market. THAT should be the focus of GOP outrage; that should be what the media is talking about; that should be the cause of our national indignation.
There was another interesting bit of “dish” found in “Game Change.” In an effort to gain the endorsement of Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy for his wife, former President Bill Clinton reportedly said to the liberal icon about Obama, "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.” According to the book, Kennedy was offended by the remarks and ultimately gave his support to Obama. In a subsequent conversation Clinton griped, “The only reason you are endorsing him is because he is black. Let’s just be clear.”
According to Harry Reid and Tim Kaine Clinton was quite correct; were it not for his light skin and his ability to speak like a “negro” when he has to he would still be a junior senator from Illinois and not the President of the United States. 2+2=4.
Denver native Joseph C. Phillips is a veteran TV and film actor, national columnist, campus lecturer for Young America's Foundation, and the author of He Talk Like a White Boy.
('76 Contributor) During a recent “Meet the Press” the host, with feigned indignation, asked a Senator, “You’re not calling the President a Socialist, are you?” Without waiting for a response, he repeated the question for emphasis. This performance highlights the hijacking of political semantics. “Socialist” was replaced by “Liberal” which, in turn, became a pejorative, and now “Progressive” is preferred, and used in titles of dozens of political and welfare advocacy groups.
Constantly morphing ideas and permutations of definitions make it hard to compartmentalize politicians. An accepted basic view is that Socialism advocates state or collective ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods. That essential hallmark of freedom, private ownership of property, is prohibited. Note how the current abuses of eminent domain stretch the traditional definitions of public use.
Marx called Socialism a transition between capitalism and Communism. As any high school sophomore should be able to recite from Marx’s Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei, “To each according to his needs; from each according to his ability.” An advocate of these ideas is indeed a Socialist. To quote National Socialist German Workers’ Party leader, Adolph Hitler, “The needs of society come before the individual’s needs.”
Before labeling Obama and his inventory of actions, we must also note the academic definition of Communism. “All economic activity is controlled by the state, dominated by a single political party.” Further: “A system based on holding all property in common, with actual ownership by the state.” Differences between the categories, reduced to simplest form: Socialism actually takes ownership while Communism totally controls enterprise, which ostensibly could remain private. This administration’s actions overlap both, with the common goal of doing away with Capitalism. Degrees of success are temporarily limited by public resistance. Constitutional protections are rejected as archaic annoyances.
Obama, equipped with glibness and arrogance, was dismissed as a buffoon by serious economists. His experience was largely limited to preaching Alinsky to ACORN volunteers. Without apologies, he surrounded himself with cabinet and advisor appointees, and a cadre of czars with no accountability, most of whom have serious ethical, legal and moral taints. The czars have no Congressional approval. Uniformly visible in that group is the disturbing tendency to demonize the concepts of private property ownership and free markets. The last 18 presidents averaged 46% of their advisers from the private sector. Obama has 8%.
As perennial presidential candidate Norman Thomas, and others, famously said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation without knowing how it happened.”
Fabianism (strategy of establishing Socialism by gradual means), used with patience by subversive movements world-wide, is not in vogue with this administration.
To some degree or another, the administration has addressed all the elements of the Socialist or Communist state, with varying degrees and a common thread of shrinking Capitalism with alarming speed. The advice of Obama mouthpiece Rahm Emanuel is, “Never miss an opportunity to take advantage of a crisis.” Tactics of Chicago-style patronage, populism and corruption, unabashedly taken to the national level, have caught many flat-footed.
To correct what he blames his predecessor for, “long years of drift,” Obama is moving to control major industries in Communist fashion. What better start than the showpiece of American industry for a century, automobile manufacture? The President has no desire to own the auto companies, merely to control them. Perhaps he has read of the disastrous Soviet attempts at controlling manufacture with bureaucrats making all decisions.
Obama wants control while allowing experienced management to take care of the details. Bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler certainly were never meant to be loans, but rather a grab of equity. The action instantly took 78.3% of General Motors by the government, followed by a gift of 17.5% to the auto workers union. Bond value was whittled down to maybe 10% of GM equity. Investors without rational recognition of Communist control strategy held out hope for a rebound.
A sidebar of the auto industry takeover was the “Cash for Clunkers” fiasco which, at taxpayer expense, amounted to a marginal cost per car of $24,000. It had an effect of about 32 thousandths-of-one-percent CO2 reduction. It stimulated car purchases at the expense of future business a few months down the road. For example, by the end the year, Colorado new car registrations were 29.8% less than last year.