The Whole World Is Watching!
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The Whole World Is Watching!
Tactics And Strategy: A Total Battle Plan For Democrats To Take Back America From The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
(Permission here granted to disseminate this entire article)
Also see my new blog (November 22nd):
A Call To March On Fox
For refusing to tell the truth about the rigged election
I double dare you to read this blog
I double dare you to come out of your fog
I double dare you to stand up and fight
I double dare you to utter what’s right
I double dare you to be uncouth
I double dare you to speak the truth
To call them a liar and set the discourse on fire
To expose the sewer they crawled out of
And not bow to false sanction they claim from above
I double dare you to go this far
To pin the word “FASCIST” on their rising star
I double dare you
I double dare you
I double dare you
Was this election a disaster, or a challenge to us to stand up and fight? If we let this time pass without outrage over the crookedest election in American history, with complicity by the media, pollsters, electronic vote companies, judges and everybody else, then we have granted a legitimacy to an illegitimate government that the rest of the world does not want to honor. How can they show their own ridicule if we here in the U.S. don’t? We must not sweep the 04 election rigging under the rug, we must not be silent, and we must deny the Bush regime legitimacy at all cost. It is an illegitimate bastard of a government and no amount of whitewashing will ever obscure that sewer stain.
I am reminded of how many years ago at the end of the Cold War the Germans were talking openly about acquiring guided missiles and other throwbacks to the Nazi era. Finally a woman in the German parliament stood up and shouted, “The whole world is watching!” And that helped restore some sanity there. The same is true for us now here in the United States. If we, as a nation, can not on our own clean our house, then we must at least be cognizant of how the whole world is watching us. If for nothing else than for this we must stop the undemocratic evil that has reared its ugly head among us. We live in an interdependent community of nations and we must recount how their views of us are not irrelevant to our standing in the world. We must remind any American who does not mind George Bush stealing the election that the whole world is watching us! We must keep the stolen election issue alive always and thereby encourage that world community to help our nation restore its sanity by their ridicule and pressure from outside.
We can sit and fantasize about who will run in 08 or win in 06 but none of it will happen for a simple reason. The fascist power structure controls the “truth.” If we don’t get the truth out there no matter how the world hollers against us and tries to shout us down for doing so, we will not win.
Take Senator Chuck Schumer. He ran against one of the most vicious street brawlers in American politics, Al D’Amato. And he beat him. One of the central reasons why was a type of campaigning I proposed to his campaign called “generic response.” Back when Clinton was running in ’92 daddy Bush was getting ready for the usual smear campaign. The Clinton campaign was worried Bush might use the race card again with Willy Horton type ads and so Clinton was making a series of speeches on the virtues of racial tolerance. I called up the Clinton campaign and I pointed out that this wasn’t going to accomplish much because if you could inoculate the election against racist attacks, Bush would just make somebody else a scapegoat, if not blacks, then lawyers.
I told them you need a generic response that economically works for all attacks. That is, a defense that is “economical” in the sense that it is concise enough to become an “on message” sound byte. I proposed the term “fear monger” — that whatever Bush said negatively regardless of the target, he should be called a fear monger over and over. (Kerry could have helped himself by using the same term, or even the term “smear monger” would have been good, and very generic, repeatedly useful.)
The charge of “fear monger” freaked the Bush campaign out because that just happened to be their whole campaign. Then Bush’s people called Clinton a fear monger. I was sad when Clinton dropped the whole thing. This was a mistake. If, in a single week or similar news cycle, Clinton had paused and then resumed the “fear monger” charge, he would have gotten in two jabs to Bush’s one and the fear monger charge would have stuck to Bush. It hurt Bush anyhow. And it hurt because it was not just a defense but an offense simultaneously. It answered the other side while knocking them.
I explained this to the Schumer campaign. They came up with their own generic response and unlike Clinton they persevered even when D’Amato tried to throw the attack back on Schumer. They paused for a moment and then resumed the generic attack. Score? Two to one Schumer. And Schumer kept up the generic attack for the entire campaign. Over and over and over in every single TV ad they ran. It was hilarious. And what was Schumer’s generic attack? “Al D’Amato is lying again!” They said this at the start of every ad. It was true because D’Amato couldn’t stop lying about Schumer all through the election, and it finished him off. Chuck the giant killer slew D’Amato and beat him bad. It wasn’t even close. People were shocked because D’Amato was always presumed to be invincible, an unleashed alligator against anyone who tried to challenge him. On the radio Sean Hannity sulked about a failed GOP campaign and allowed a Democrat to sing a song on the air, “Ding Dong D’Amato’s Dead” to the tune of “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” from the Wizard of Oz.
Compare this to the Kerry campaign, which could accuse Bush of being incorrect, but just couldn’t speak the “L” word — LIAR. Compare this to the statement of Mike McCurry that we don’t want to go too negative because “We don’t want to get in the voters’ faces.” Bob Shrum was yammering about how some poll had shown that people don’t like negative campaigning.
Here is the correct answer to Mike and Bob. It doesn’t come from a poll. It comes from Machiavelli. Machiavelli said in “The Prince” that when a leader has to do something unpopular, he should do it quickly so as to get it over with and get back to popular things.
In our context that means that there are times when you have to tell the truth about the other guy even if it is temporarily unpopular. You can’t judge the truth by whether it got a good reaction in 24 hours. As Nixon said, “When you have said something so many times you are ready to puke, that is the first time anybody will hear you.”
Say the rotten truth about your opponent on Monday, say it hard, say it savage, be really vicious about and make sure you use colorful over-the-top language that guarantees attention in order to draw BLOOD. Do that on Monday. Then spend the rest of the week being nice. Or have one week negative, the next couple weeks positive and back again. But tell the truth about the sewer rat you are running against or the foolish public with its empty local papers and brainwasher TV networks will never know. Again, as Machiavelli said, when you have to do something unpopular, get it over with fast. But do it.
In our context telling the truth, the whole truth about your opponent REAL LOUD is something you have to do. And all this is still relevant because Bush stole the election again and is still in power. Bush is a cokehead. His face and lower mouth are practically falling apart with the neurological jitters and twitches (“geeking”) typical of long, excessive, chronic cocaine use. He was arrested for drunk driving. He’s a hollow shell of a man, a brain dead cyborg controlled by a joystick radio receiver stuck on his back. In his youth he blew up frogs with firecrackers in their orifices and in college instituted a frathouse initiation practice of branding people in their anal crack with a red-hot clothes hanger. In the National Guard he set on fire his feces and then hurled them at the drill sergeant’s house. His flimsy alibi of having since become a Christian does not explain his constant continued use of obscene and filthy language in private.
This sewer rat is still in the oval office, still at large, and discussing that is NOT an “off-limits personal attack” or personal matter that is “none of our business.”
Bush’s wife killed her ex-boyfriend in an “accidental” auto accident and she was a drug dealer in college. (Marijuana.) Bush’s family is full of Nazis and his father has been in bed with Nazis. Does the apple really fall far from the tree? Also Prescott Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush’s father, helped finance Hitler and launder money for the Nazis. President George W. Bush let Osama’s family out of the country instead of interrogating them. He conquered Iraq as a payoff to Halliburton and he sat on his fanny while the World Trade Center burned. Wasting his time reading “My Pet Goat” while the second tower was hit came after he had already heard of the first tower being hit. Yet the World Trade Center had been bombed in 1993. So already the first plane hit was suspicious and Bush should have been on it, ordering the second plane shot down instead of entering that school for his little photo-op. Then he let Osama get away. And it’s all still relevant because Bush is still in power after another stolen election. He can’t run again but we still have a duty to run against him in the next two election cycles, and indeed when his brother Jeb will be cranking up to run for President in ’08 or 2012. The Bushes are sewer rats. Keep the heat on.
You don’t have to rail every minute, but you do have to rail, if you are going to educate the public. Let it sink in. People need time to absorb it and yes, they may tell a pollster they don’t like you for a while for being negative. But tell the truth or you will always be the victim of the GOP’s smears, because they don’t sit and tremble after an overnight poll said they were too negative. They understand that negativity builds up doubts in people’s minds, it’s cumulative and it’s corrosive.
This was part of the genius of Karl Rove’s “Kerry is a flip-flopper” charge. Of course it wasn’t only a tactical attack. It was strategic. Kerry had a liberal background and the GOP knew he would try to move to the center to beat Bush. The flip-flopper charge was intended to pin Kerry down in his liberal territory and prevent a break out.
It was also brilliant because it seemed like a bland attack. Shrum thought Rove was wasting a lot of money and so he did not immediately counterattack. And thus, the first of many doubts about Kerry was allowed to be planted with more to accumulate from there. Negativity is cumulative and corrosive. You have to corrode the other side or you die. Rove’s flip-flop charge was also clever because it was the first blow in a continuous campaign segue. First, Kerry is a flip-flopper. Then, IF Kerry is a flip-flopper, then that means he would be a weak Commander In Chief. It was a gradual conceptual build up of effect in people’s minds. Democrats need to do more of that, and be wise to it when Republicans do it. No offense Bob, but your naive overconfidence about the flip-flop attack was one of the stupidest things in the whole campaign.
We need to stop thinking in terms of “we can’t get violent or have civil disobedience” when everyone knows that is not the real option anyway. There is no law against a lawful, peaceful series of marches and rallies against the stolen election and the right wing media. If thousands can legally protest against NAFTA and right wing trade policies, then the same can be done against the right wing media, and done repeatedly, incessantly, month after month just as people have had numerous rallies against war. We need to hold rallies right in front of news organization and target them specifically as the focus of our protest. We must not acquiesce to their lying and suppression of the truth. If we are silent to the media’s lies, then we become their enablers. And we need to accompany that attack on the media with a clear agenda for the media, and not just reinstitution of the “fairness doctrine,” since the media has vast and perfidious ways of slanting the truth even with the fairness doctrine.
My personal suggestion, one of many that could be offered, is that we should demand that news organizations adopt as a matter of ethics and integrity (not unconstitutional law) trust funds to help pay their bills so they are not so indebted to advertisers and right wing hysteria. Colleges have endowments. Why not news organizations? If you are beholden to base and greedy special interests and the memes they spread amongst the public, that is a problem. An ethics problem. Of course that is only one small suggestion among countless ways the news media needs to reform. But we need to demand media reform and demand it with all earthly fury.
Why? Because none of our other freedoms is worth spit if we scream but a collaborator media refuses to tell that we screamed. How do we bring the evil into the open if the media collaborates in covering it up? Therefore they are a big part of the problem. Every single person and organization that has marched against war since Bush became president and all the rest of us now need to direct those exact same energies and organizations to marching against the lying media because nothing we shout means anything if they continue to suppress it. There are still independent portions of the media and other vehicles of expression and if we start massive protests against the media, eventually people will know that the media are being denounced.
We also need to question, albeit with less hostility, why our own Democratic politicians are quiet as mice while fascism takes over and the GOP runs riot over everything precious in our lives. We need to question them carefully, not letting such criticism be used by the Republicans and their tools, such as independent candidacies by men like Ralph Nader. We must denounce timid Democrats but we must vote solidly Democratic nevertheless.
The loss of Daschle was a blow because it reduced our numbers in the Senate and that is never a good thing. But ex post facto — after the fact — it does have one silver lining in that being from a red state he had to be temperamentally a milquetoast and couldn’t rail against the right as a Democratic leader should. Daschle’s leadership is now being replaced by a senator from a swing state, perhaps an improvement. But beyond this we need leadership that is the Democratic counterpart to a Newt Gingrich. Whether or not Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill gives prominence to people like that, we should encourage and support any Democratic senator and congressman who is willing to really rail against the right and make a stink.
Unfortunately, this has not included Hillary Clinton. She has been far too cautious and calculated in her pronouncements. Too many people complain that she is too calculated about every thing she says to rail against the GOP enough. Too often there is a gimmick to things she says, such as trying to worm children into an issue in order to prove the innocence of the issue. The joke is that someone could be dying in the street but Hillary wouldn’t help him unless he had kids. I like Hillary and I voted for her and I think she is a great asset to the party and a great fundraiser. She can also be dreadfully wooden on the stump, has trouble making eye contact with an interviewer and only won her senate seat because she was running in a very liberal state against a total creep of a Republican whom nobody wanted. She does not have the skills or the charisma of her husband and people need to realize that.
Moreover, Hillary embraced Yasser Arafat’s wife on camera with a big smoochy bear hug. That picture was all over the front pages of New York papers. Mark my word. The Republicans know that many middle Americans hate Hillary, wild, absurd, irrational hatred, and the Republicans are just praying and hoping and wishing and dreaming that the Democratic Party nominates her for president. Just the mere mention of her name in GOP fund raising letters generates piles of cash for the GOP. Hillary Clinton is to millions of Americans what Ann Coulter is to us. Speaking of which, I cannot recall ever receiving a Democratic Party email railing against Ann Coulter. We need to use Ann Coulter the fascist as a lightning rod the way the GOP has used Hillary.
We need to get beyond Hillary and pick a presidential candidate who does not have to spend the first half of his campaign learning from his mistakes. We need to nominate next time a candidate who has run before and has presidential campaign experience that John Kerry did not have, a familiar, known quantity who cannot be labeled a leftist because everyone knows he is mainstream. And that is not Hillary Clinton. The sooner we as a party face this, the sooner we can direct precious resources toward candidates who really do have a chance to take back the White House, instead of candidates who are symbols to us in ways the rest of the country does not share.
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, whether de facto or de jure, need to find their voice and stop being quiet as mice. That does not mean that such a leader should be left wing on all issues in ways that leave the GOP an opening to discredit, and he should be crafty and strategic. Howard Dean made some pretty huge mistakes that a Democratic leader ought not to make. But even on the House side, Nancy Pelosi is nowhere near equivalent to a Newt Gingrich in fire and strategy. I would personally suggest safe-seat Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, just reelected by a landslide, often brilliant, Harvard educated, terrific at getting media attention and making a stink, but a calculated stink that really sticks it to the other side. People like that need to assume loud and vocal roles now as de facto Democratic leaders whether or not they have de jure positions of leadership. If the prissy, polite official Democratic leaders tell them to shut up, we need to be there for them to tell Democratic officialdom to back off. We need to find Democratic politicians on Capitol Hill who will pick up the torch and run with it instead of worrying about making backroom deals with the Republicans in return for a crumb of bread or seat on some committee.
Also, many Democrats will be thinking of retiring now because they are just so WEARY of having to cow to the GOP who have control over what gets passed. Not being able to experience the personal satisfaction of passing Democratic legislation, now isn’t that a bitch. We sympathize. We really do. One can barely find a hanky to wipe a tear. Such Democrats, indeed, all Democrats, need to be told that if they dare quit they better not come round our neighborhood if they are looking for respect. You don’t abandon your family when times are tough. We need to show our hostility for the quitters and slackers right now.
The Democratic Party has to stop worrying about the whimpering middle roaders enough to have fire in its belly. Essentially, these last two electoral disasters have placed the party up against the wall. That is not tragic if we understand that being cornered is the impetus to fight. We’ve lost enough on Capitol Hill that it’s not about building a collegial consensus there anymore. We’re a minority and the Republican majority did nothing to fight the fascists and election rigging so stop sucking up to them. Accept the fact of our minority status enough to recognize the new freedom it confers on us. Now we are free to speak the truth and start shouting.
Even in warfare, an army will sometimes back up to a more defensible position. In politics I don’t advocate ceding ground much and even in a military conflict where one is forced by superior numbers to cede ground, one should still do so very reluctantly and grudgingly. Military historian Karl von Clausewitz said that even if you have to cede ground you should at all cost do so very grudgingly so as not to let the enemy exert its WILL over you. It is a game of WILLS and therefore we must have as our watchwords no retreat and no surrender.
That said, we are now already in a backed up position that was not of our own making. We have been condensed and compacted by the gains of the other side. We must treat such compaction and condensing like a coiled spring ready to leap forward. Either we strike hard with audacity or we suffer further retreats. Machiavelli praised audacity over caution. He was right. We need to come out of our corner of the ring swinging or we will all perish.
To do this we must dare to speak the truth though they stone us with stones. If you only say what’s popular you will never move the goal posts and change the debate. In the ‘04 election almost nothing was said by the main campaign spokesmen about Bush’s arrest for drunk driving, his wife’s drug dealing marijuana back at college, the obvious “geeking” twitches of Bush’s mouth and much, much other evidence of Bush’s ongoing cocaine habit. Bush had Zell Miller rant and rave and some Democrats snickered that Zell looked loony. Bush gained momentum and for the most part never looked back while we were snickering. We need to do the exact same thing and not sullenly, but rather, like the fire-breathing, indignant, self-righteous Republicans. The Republicans would say, “John Kerry had a piece of toilet tissue on HIS shoe and HE didn’t even KNOW it!!!” Until we start to holler and harangue and inflame like that we will never start to regain ground.
I am talking about the tone here, not the specific choice of issues. This is how minority parties become majority parties. NOT by being good little boys. The Democratic Party had power on Capitol Hill for so many decades that it forgot how to be an opposition. The Republicans are IN power because they have not forgotten. Sorry if that is too indelicate for some.
Meanwhile, while we continue to be good little boys, our ecosystem is collapsing before our eyes. Thousands of species of life are going extinct. Even species not extinct become essentially terminal when their gene pool gets small enough because they then permanently lack the genetic diversity to withstand varying perils over time. Our whole planet is dying. That’s a LITTLE more important than your PERSONAL preference for nice etiquette. The public does NOT see for itself that the other side is awful and in politics a picture is not worth a thousand words. In politics you have to put a loud, hollering caption under the picture or too many just don’t get it. If you can’t get angry now there’s something seriously wrong with you. Those who prefer “respectability” and can’t roar with rage are truly clinically suspect. We need to bury respectability before it buries us. If you can’t fight, step aside so that those who can are able to get to the front lines. This even includes Al Gore if he is going to wax excessively philosophical about the inner outer upper under root causes of greed and selfishness in society instead of having the courage to rail against them with a roar like a Jeremiah. The other side is truly evil. The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in their root causes but in their selves. There is a storm coming. Those who will not fight must step aside.
I am also, nevertheless, reminded of an astute observation of Ralf Dahrendorf in “Society And Democracy In Germany,” indeed about the causes of Naziism in Germany. He observed that Germany, being backward and parochial for so long, acquired its industrial revolution later than many other industrial countries. The industrial processes and technologies were in many cases slowly tinkered with and perfected elsewhere, and then suddenly imported into Germany already refined. The result was that Germany got its industrial transformation late but then very quickly. Consequently, all the social problems that came with industrialization hit Germany so fast that liberal forces were overwhelmed with a plethora of issues they couldn’t keep up with and thus liberalism in Germany failed. Naziism took over.
There may be a touch of this now in America because technological advance (e.g., the information age) may have created so many new issues that it is hard to articulate them all in our sound byte world. We are in danger of losing the war of words if we do not engage in some triage and pick our issues carefully with very visionary, long-term strategy.
That said, we can not only choose issues that have become hackneyed and milquetoastish like increasing the minimum wage a dollar. We also need to articulate issues with more righteous hysteria. For instance, when the GOP talks eagerly about the sales tax as a replacement for the income tax, instead of speaking of this in dreary terms of some Commerce Department study that said such a scheme would be too expensive or whatever, we need to really “demagogue” it (a figure of speech here, pardon) and aim for the jugular. How dare the GOP propose a million new taxes!!!! A sales tax means a tax on potatoes, margarine, soda pop, milk and bread, broccoli and mayonnaise and corn on the cob! Toothpaste, cars, clothing and appliances! Housewares, glassware, consumer electronics! A meat tax! A spaghetti tax! Stationery tax! Furniture tax! Every other KIND of tax! Tax, tax, tax and MORE tax! A million taxes! And NOT to mention a tea tax! The very same tax King George imposed on us that started the American Revolution!!!! Tax, tax, tax! This is the unkindest cut of all! This is the GOP STAB IN THE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THAT’S how you beat the GOP. Forget the Commerce Department study. We’re not clerks anymore. We LOST that job. Now we’re on the outside. Now we’re fighters. And if you are not speaking those words with a SCREAM and a HOLLER, really inflaming and ranting and raving your head off the way the GOP does, BESIDE yourself with hysterical trembling anger and fire in your belly, then you just don’t know what an opposition is.
Or take the issue of privatizing Social Security. Always the endless debate about the details of this idea, the endless references to some obscure, dreary Commerce Department study or other proving it’s a bad idea. I call that Commerce Department-itis. Forget all that crap. Just call a fish a fish for once! Privatizing Social Security means abolishing Social Security! Let them try to deny it. If they can lie about us, we can tell the truth about them. Forget the petty details of their proposal that are supposed to round off the rough edges of privatization. The bottom line is that we ALREADY HAD private Social Security before there WAS social security. It was simple. If you were rich, you could provide for your retirement security. Otherwise, you could just rot. THAT’S privatizing Social Security.
Why is all this so confusing and complicated to Democrats? Why all the dreary references to studies and reports? If we cannot learn to speak clearly like an opposition, instead of like government clerks, then we will perish, and the world and its ecosystem will perish along with us.
Does it really matter if we are “good little boys” when the GOP will just lie anyway and say we’re not? We might as well get our money’s worth and make a fight of it.
And we need to start calling the Republicans “fascists.” And not just on the internet. Over and over and over and over until it sticks. And then more after that. Morning, noon and night. “Fascist” needs to go with Republican like white on rice. Not just in blogs on the internet but we need to demand of our Democratic leaders that they too begin speaking this way. Specifically. We need to demand that Democratic officials and politicians all start using the “F” word: FASCIST. Make them say it. Show them how to spell it. Help them sound it out. Words matter. Words have resonance. Words convey whole universes of meaning. Just look at how insistence on a single word — “Ms” — did so much to change the sexual culture and especially the culture on the job where today someone can get sued for sexual harassment. It was not always so. Words are powerful. They can also be incendiary. Time to start a little combustion.
And we also need to know what “fascist” really means. Perhaps Hillary Clinton’s greatest contribution was that she used the term “vast right wing conspiracy.” I am not sure she realized the full meaning of that term. I am quite certain that she and all the other Democrats on Capitol Hill do not understand its full scope.
To begin with, there is a government document that is ACTUAL DOCUMENTARY PROOF of the vast right wing conspiracy. It is called the Dulles-Jackson-Correa Report. It has been called “Allen Dulles’ Mein Kampf.” In it, in terminology dripping with bureaucratic euphemism and yet blatant nevertheless, CIA Director Allen Dulles came right out and explained exactly how he was going to turn the CIA into a vast labyrinth infiltrating every branch of government and society. The place to read extensively about this classified document is in “The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World” by Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty. If you’re wondering how the media and the oil industry and the Supreme Court and the pollsters and on and on could all be lying and conspiring for the right wing with such extraordinary coordination, and so robotically, you need to read that book. It’s not just the GOP. It’s the CIA. Prouty’s book is THE source for understanding the vast right wing conspiracy. If you can’t get a copy you should be able to find it online here (contents and links to all chapters, appendices and index):
(Keep trying if the “server’s down.”)
Download all of it, the whole book, save it to your hard drive, put it on your backup disks. Everybody needs to read that book. Twice. And share it with your friends.
Here is what it’s all about. President Truman, under pressure from the Republicans, created the CIA as an information clearing house, not a dirty tricks outfit. Republican Dewey ran against Truman with lifelong intelligence man Allen Dulles actually handling Dewey’s New York campaign. (One of endless examples over the years of intelligence personnel working in Republican campaigns. Another was lifelong intelligence man William Casey who was Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign manager. One of Oliver North’s senate campaign workers actually boasted that CIA personnel were coming down from CIA headquarters to help with his campaign.) With demands to improve and beef up the CIA Truman, in a bipartisan gesture, appointed Dulles (and William H. Jackson and Mathias F. Correa) to study ways to improve the CIA.
This also gave Truman a chance to observe Dulles, although this was before Dulles was well-known or a CIA director and before anyone knew of his extensive ties to Nazis, his aid to Italy’s Mussolini (whose Fascist movement was, in fact, the original source of the term “fascist”) and the fact that his brother John Foster Dulles was a director of the Nazi company I.G. Farben — which became the quintessential vehicle of the German military-industrial-intelligence complex, infiltrating corporations all over the world and gaining control over them so that industrial processes and chemicals useful for munitions and war equipment would come under German control.
I.G. Farben became a kind of German spy agency spreading its tentacles, infiltration and dirty tricks all over the world (as well as employing Jewish slave labor at the Auschwitz extermination camp). The control was so secretive and convoluted that if you followed the ownership of some American company it was controlled by another company overseas, which in turn was controlled by a company in yet another country and then one in the U.S. and then back overseas before getting back to I.G. Farben.
Here are just some of the “innocent” brand name companies located in the United States that have had financial relations, patent agreements (basically giving Farben control) and other direct or indirect alliances with I.G. Farben:
Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa)
Atlantic Refining Company (oil)
Bell and Howell Company
Bristol Myers Company
Dow Chemical Company
E. I. DuPont de Nemours Company (duPont)
Eastman Kodak Company
Firestone Rubber Company
Ford Motor Company
General Electric Company
General Motors Company
General Tire and Rubber Company
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
Gulf Oil Corporation of Pennsylvania
Gulf Refining Company
M. W. Kellogg Company
Life Savers, Inc.
Louis K. Liggett Company
Mead Johnson & Company
Monsanto Chemical Company
National Distillers Corporation
Nestles Milk Products Company
Park Davis & Company
Phillips Petroleum Company
Proctor and Gamble Company
Remington Arms Company, Inc.
Richfield Oil Company of California
Shell Chemical Company
Shell Development Corporation
Shell Union Oil Company
E. R. Squibb & Sons
Standard Oil of California
Standard Oil of Indiana
Standard Oil of Louisiana
Standard Oil of New Jersey
Standard Oil of New York
Standard Oil of Ohio
Standard Oil of Texas
Texaco Development Corporation
Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation
(List source: “Treason’s Peace” by Howard Watson Ambruster.)
In many cases these companies and countless others produced products or materials that seemed innocuous but could also be used for war purposes. For instance, Farben moved to get world control over the manufacture of artificial textile dyes because by a quirk of chemistry such chemical manufacturing processes could quickly be converted to produce the military explosive TNT. Controlling such production gave the Germans an incalculable head start when war would break out in two world wars. Farben’s objective was the triumph of the blood line of the German beast. Its aims were military and NOT anything so petty as corporate greed. (H0w fitting, by the way, that the Republicans ran an ad against Kerry full of advancing wolves, because Hitler envisioned himself and his people as a lone wolf. He also named his big eastern compound “Wolfschanz” — “Wolf’s Lair.”)
Note that much of the incestuous relationship between American companies and the right wing German military-industrial-intelligence complex has never been undone.
And Allen Dulles’ brother John Foster Dulles was a director of I.G. Farben. It is not surprising then that Allen Dulles sought to turn the CIA into the very same kind of tentacled conspiracy monster with its moles and fingers into every nook and cranny of American life, the news media and branches of the U.S. government that are supposed to have nothing to do with the CIA. The right wing media are not just united by a vague common interest of corporate greed. They are directly coordinated by the CIA.
Consider that in 1977 Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein disclosed that over 400 American journalists had been employed by the CIA. And that’s just what was known at that time, the infiltration tip of the iceberg. The CIA personnel in the news media ranged from freelancers who were paid for regular debriefings to actual CIA officers working under deep cover — inside the American news media. Nearly every major U.S. news organization has had intelligence spooks on its payroll. It’s so easy to extend the CIA infiltration of the news media in an unlimited way because the news media itself unwittingly supplies the money that pays these CIA operatives’ salaries.
Consider Rupert Murdoch and his empire of Fox News and the New York Post. Murdoch’s empire has obtained many of its personnel and talking heads from an ultra-right wing think tank called the Manhattan Institute. The New York Times some years ago did a report on the Manhattan Institute and, no secret about it, the Manhattan Institute was proudly founded by CIA director William J. Casey.
Consider the infamous ultra-right wing GOP shill organization, the Washington Times. It is well known that the Washington Times is owned by the “Moonies” — the Unification Church of the Korean Reverend Sun Myung Moon. What you may not know is that the Unification Church is actually not a real church but a front group for the South Korean and Japanese spy agencies acting as proxies for the CIA. Again, that trans-oceanic laundering. This according to the massively documented “The Secret War Against The Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed The Jewish People,” by John Loftus and Mark Aarons. See chapter 13 and the chapter notes, especially the lengthy note 75 on page 578.
According to the authors, Reverend Moon was a front man for the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), run by the South Korean CIA and European and Japanese fascists acting as allies for Allen Dulles and the U.S. CIA and headed throughout the ‘80s by American General John Singlaub, who had been for years a CIA specialist in terrorism, subversion, guerilla warfare and psy-ops (psychological warfare operations). The authors also show extensively how Japanese intelligence was aided and built up by the American CIA. According to the authors, the Moonies have also spent $100 million buying up South American newspapers, printing companies and banks. They also funneled $800 million into the United States, with disciples carrying a considerable amount of it in luggage. They didn’t get this money selling flowers in airports. But according to the authors, while the money came from the Japanese government, the distribution was overseen by Allen Dulles’ cronies in the CIA.
You need to put “The Secret War Against The Jews” on your reading list. Don’t be fooled by the title. The book is not for Jews only. It is a who’s who of famous Republicans and their CIA and Nazi ties, among them Nixon, Rockefeller, the Dulles brothers and especially — the Bush family. The Bush family are pure creatures of the CIA. The book also details how the GOP and the Republican National Committee packed Republican organizations and activities with Nazis and recruited Nazis for activities in Republican election campaigns. The book is a very scholarly work, 670 pages with over a hundred pages of footnotes and based on thousands of declassified documents and Freedom Of Information Act disclosures plus interviews with hundreds of intelligence personnel. Author Loftus was a Justice Department Nazi hunter and has appeared repeatedly on “60 Minutes.” The book also tells extensively about how the CIA has backed terrorists for ages, paid them, aided them in an incestuous relationship. Terrorism is real good for the CIA. Helps them further an endless list of filthy objectives. And helps them snooker more money and police state power out of Congress. And get Republicans elected. According to the book, top personnel in the Palestine Liberation Organization got CIA training in Virginia, just one of endless examples the book gives of the intelligence community aiding terrorists at every turn.
We must return to Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty’s “The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World.” If you have seen the Oliver Stone film “JFK” you may recall a “Mr. X,” played by Donald Sutherland, a mysterious official who said he was not with the CIA but knew a great deal about the CIA and knew the CIA had killed President Kennedy. Mr. X was not a fictional character. He was Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty and eventually Stone held a press conference in which he introduced Prouty to the world.
Prouty was not with the CIA. Rather he was with the Pentagon. He was the chief “focal point officer” — the key officer in the Pentagon to whom the CIA would come when they needed Pentagon help for a big CIA operation. This gave Prouty a unique vantage point from which to observe the CIA’s biggest operations. And yet he never had to sign the CIA oath of secrecy. Far beyond what other authors have written about the CIA more vaguely, Prouty’s book gives the exact NSAM’s — the exact Presidential National Security Action Memoranda that the CIA bamboozled one president after another into issuing that ultimately gave the CIA the vast power it now holds. It was a bit like Corporal Radar O’Reilly in the TV series “M*A*S*H,” constantly shoving paperwork in front of the commander for him to sign, which he rarely fully understood or read. In the case of the CIA some “crisis” would be manufactured to convince the president that he had to give the CIA more power.
Prouty’s book explodes countless myths and misunderstandings about the CIA. In recent years we have heard objections to Bush policies by some in the CIA. It is critical to understand that most of these people are either very low level spies or more often members of the analytical side of the CIA. According to Prouty the analysts are not the real CIA. They don’t do their job very well and most really sharp people in academia would get better jobs in the private sector. Prouty says the analysts are just a front and that the real CIA is the Operations Directorate — the department of the CIA concerned with dirty tricks, sabotage, intrigue, black bag operations, stolen elections, assassinations and what Prouty bluntly calls “fun and games.” In the case of American election stealing the CIA merely took its overseas — talents — and directed them toward American elections. No other organization on Earth has the skills, apparatus and money to steal elections the way the CIA does.
It should also be noted that the CIA director wears two hats. On one hand he is head of the CIA proper. On the other hand he officially overseas over a dozen other intelligence agencies that are coordinated through his office, including the high-tech National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office with its spy satellites. Thus, even though the huge National Security Agency with its infamous Echelon surveillance system has a larger budget, it is really a de facto subsidiary of the “smaller” CIA which has the real control.
The CIA’s main forte is ostensibly human intelligence or “humint” — human spies and covert operators. The National Security Agency’s main forte is ostensibly signals intelligence or “sigint” — the high-tech and electronic intelligence — although in fact there is tremendous overlap in these two functions between the CIA and NSA. In the case of the NSA’s sigint we refer to its vast array of electronic eavesdropping, satellite surveillance, Echelon system snatching of signals off private telecommunications satellites and ground-based telephone microwave relay stations to eavesdrop on nearly every telephone call in the world simultaneously. The NSA has vast, mind-boggling storage capabilities including twelve underground acres of supercomputers at its headquarters in Fort George Meade, MD. The NSA stores recordings of all the world’s phone conversations, including pay phones, for at least three months. Search engines and ultra-sophisticated voiceprint identification and verbal recognition enable them to access every call made by anyone and everyone, including Democratic activists, Congressmen and Senators. It is well-known that the entire Congress is under surveillance without their permission.
Because the NSA is coordinated through the office of the CIA director, this vast eavesdropping power is really in the hands of the CIA. People assume that the high-tech sigint trumps humint and that therefore the NSA is more “important” than the CIA. Besides, the NSA has a larger budget than the CIA proper. In fact, if the CIA ever has a problem getting anything they want from the NSA, they can just prepare fake documentation, background, and resumes and have someone infiltrate the NSA by applying for positions there. All the high-tech in the world does not prevent the CIA from totally compromising, infiltrating and penetrating the NSA just by walking right through the front door.
Prouty tells how the Dulles-Jackson-Correa Report functioned. The report was dated January 1, 1949, finished after Truman had already won the election. Dulles had expected that Truman would lose and that then he would become CIA director, whereupon he would implement the proposals in the report. Instead, Dulles had to wait four years till Eisenhower became president, to become CIA director. Then the proposals in the report were implemented.
According to Prouty the Dulles report proposed that the CIA would infiltrate the entire United States government. This was framed very politely, that department after government department would accept CIA personnel to deal with matters of interest to the CIA. This even included the Pentagon itself and as a result many personnel in the military, even with very high rank, are really CIA and the Pentagon doesn’t even know it in many cases. As a Pentagon man Prouty expressed his outrage over this. It is Prouty, in his book, who called the Dulles report “Allen Dulles’s Mein Kampf” and even “The CIA’s Mein Kampf.”
Prouty illustrates how this infiltration worked with the case of the U.S. Customs Department. The CIA was always sneaking people and material in and out of the country, which gave U.S. Customs a lot of extra and unwanted work to do. Thus the CIA offered to have its own personnel handle this unwanted extra work. Naturally the CIA said these CIA personnel must have their identities concealed. So the CIA personnel went through Customs Department training, were given Customs uniforms and identification and only a tiny number of people in Customs knew who they really were. They were even paid by Customs, with CIA reimbursing Customs. However, over time, with changes in personnel at Customs, the true identities of the CIA personnel and the fact of the infiltration were forgotten and the CIA stopped reimbursing Customs. The CIA infiltration of U.S. Customs became permanent. This sort of thing happened all over the government.
A quote from Machiavelli’s “The Prince” immediately comes to mind. At the beginning of Chapter 21 he writes, “Ferdinand...King of Spain...At the very beginning of his reign he assailed Granada and...kept the minds of the barons of Castile occupied in this enterprise, so that thinking only of that war they did not think of making innovations, and he thus acquired reputation and power over them without their being aware of it.” This is exactly what the CIA did not just to U.S. Customs but to the whole government and the whole country and society during the Cold War.
In many cases the infiltration made use of the assistance other departments provided in the CIA’s formation. For instance, the FBI provided personnel and agents to the CIA to help the CIA meet its initial staff needs. Eventually most of those personnel filtered back to their original FBI work. However, unbeknownst to the FBI, they retained loyalty to the CIA and kept answering back to the CIA, which maintained control over them. The same thing happened with Pentagon personnel assigned to the fledgling CIA. For this reason, like Prouty, some Pentagon people will, in the future, be potential allies in the fight against the CIA, this evil intelligence brain that seeks to dominate and destroy our country.
Prouty also explains how the CIA acquired vast resources from the rest of the government. Earlier, under President Roosevelt, a well-intentioned law had been passed that stipulated that any surplus items not needed by any department should be made available to other departments before being offered for auction to the public as surplus. A nice money-saving idea. After the CIA arrived on the scene they arranged to have their “friends” in departments all over the government label material and equipment as surplus and then make it available to the CIA for pennies on the dollar or for free.
If, for instance, the Forestry service had trucks the CIA wanted, they would be relabeled as surplus and turned over to the CIA. Or the CIA would arrange with its contacts in a department to purchase something it needed, and then, when it was discovered that the department did not need the item, it would be hastily labeled surplus to avoid an embarrassment and handed over to the CIA. In this way a vast, incalculable cornucopia of wealth has been handed over to the CIA, giving it the most mind boggling resources and power.
From the government, to news organizations to banks to fake religious groups the CIA infiltration is throughout the government and extends deeply into the private sector and through an endless series of surrogates, including the FBI itself. While warning that there is a communist or terrorist under every rock it is the CIA that strives to be there. While screaming “commie!” and “terrorist!” it is the CIA that has achieved penetration and surveillance of our entire society. It rigs everybody else’s elections and increasingly our own. The CIA also invites police officers from local police departments to come to its Virginia headquarters where the CIA gives them a kind of show and tell, demonstrating various surveillance technology toys and recruiting the police into moonlighting for the CIA. The entire surveillance machinery as well as private society has been totally penetrated and compromised by the CIA.
It should be noted that according to the National Law Journal there are at least 16,000 government informers in the United States, snoops and rats in every corner and economic class of society. The Journal says they are poorly supervised and many have been caught in criminal conduct and will thus make up anything about anyone in order to save their own necks, stay out of jail and keep their handlers happy. It’s an endless witch hunt. The 16,000 figure is just what is currently verifiable, the real number is probably far higher. Many answer to local police. But because so many police have been compromised by the CIA, the reports these rats give their police officer handlers are also going back to the CIA — and the rats themselves don’t even know it. Your friend, your relative, your lover, your coworker, your subordinate, your boss and certainly your fellow political activist or fellow Congressional staffer may secretly be working for the CIA.
And with all due respect to Ralph Nader, even if every corporate evil he rightly rails against were eliminated that would still not save our democracy, because that’s not our greatest problem. Even the oil industry is not the ultimate problem. The CIA for decades has used an endless array of industries, including especially the oil industry, as surrogates and fronts (“proprietaries”) to further its aims, and the CIA is the one calling the shots. CIA agents roam the Middle East carrying oil company stationery and identification, with the agreement of the oil companies, who are paid by the CIA for their assistance. The CIA pays them with all sorts of favors including protecting their oil interests with coups. The CIA pays. He who pays, calls the plays.
Consider the Bush family oil company, Zapata Oil Company. In fact, it is well recognized that Zapata was a CIA front. There is much evidence of this as various authors have reported. Additionally, two of the ships in the CIA’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba were named after the Bush family and its oil company. One ship was called the “Zapata” and another of the invasion ships was called the “Barbara J” after Barbara J. Bush, George W.’s mother. In short, it’s not the corporations. It’s the CIA, stupid.
It is no surprise that Truman eventually became a critic of the CIA he founded. As Prouty recounts, one month after the Kennedy assassination Truman wrote in a December 21, 1963 column in the Washington Post,
“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government…I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment that I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.”
I should mention one important silver lining in recent events. We now know that not only Gore but Kerry really won the election. All the effort by so many hard-working and creative people from volunteers to film makers to independent ad makers to song writers and on and on to make that happen was not totally in vain. It forced the conspirators to have to come out of the closet and rig the election openly, which they would not have had to do if Kerry had run a truly failed campaign. Exposing the conspiracy and bringing it out into the open is one small benefit of all that effort. Therefore, even if you fear that the next Democratic presidential nominee will again see the election stolen, you must still fight for him. The world is watching.
It should be mentioned here that conspiracy is not a historical aberration. It is a completely ingrained part of historical events. Again we must refer to Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian Renaissance political mastermind whose book on statecraft, “The Prince,” has been read and followed by world leaders good and bad for centuries. In that book he devoted a key chapter entirely to conspiracy. In chapter 19, a chapter of just ten pages, forms of the word “conspiracy” appear at least 17 times and conspiracies, including many historical examples, are referred to at least 66 times. This is the world we live in — the real world. If we do not now take back America from the vast right wing conspiracy, if we do not expose and strip bare before the public’s eyes this monster, which now threatens to plunge the globe into ecological doom for selfish ends, then we will leave our grandchildren without a world.
We are speaking here about tactics. How to conduct a good political street brawl. The fascists need to be fought in every way we can. They need to be fought with big and incessant marches in the streets (it’s a First Amendment right so stop complaining that that is too “angry”) against the fascist news media, the fascist electronic vote companies and the fascist polling firms. Call those three the “The Fascist Axis Of Evil.” Plus aggressive lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act pressure.
And we need to push away from electronic voting that is just a one-armed bandit Las Vegas slot machine. We need to turn to mechanical voting systems that are “old fashioned” but much harder to rig. We need marches in the streets to stop more states from going to electrical voting and push back geographically with agitation in the streets, state by state until every electrical voting system is rooted out. We need something hard, simple, mechanical and physical to count, not a bunch of ephemeral electrons zipping around to get “lost.” This is man vs. machine. I should mention here that the NSA is secretly working on computers that can achieve one SEPTILLION operations per second or one with twenty-four zeroes, and may already have gotten there. That’s almost a trillion times faster than today’s fastest supercomputers, which are still in the low teraflops range (trillions of operations per second). (This charge has been made by the highly regarded James Bamford, author of the expose on the NSA, “The Puzzle Palace.” His allegations on the NSA’s work on septillion operations per second are in his more recent book,“Body Of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency From the Cold War Through the Dawn of a New Century,” published in 2001.) This means that there is no encryption in existence that can protect any electronic voting computer from NSA hacking. Conclusion: We can not tolerate ANY electrical voting system, PERIOD.
And we need to march over and over and over against the news media because who controls the truth controls the future. It’s not enough just to have a liberal radio network when the Japanese government and other CIA proxies are funneling literally billions into think tanks, news media and other public brainwashing. We need to take it to the streets outside news organizations. Cut the crap about anger being bad. Lawful, non-violent but furious chanting rage expressed in public marches and gatherings is protected by freedom of assembly and is a First Amendment right.
I will go even further. The CIA arose amidst the hysteria of anti-communism. Communism was very bad. I am fond of the way Winston Churchill put it. He said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal distribution of blessings. The inherent ‘virtue’ of socialism is the equal distribution of miseries.” But anti-communism also deranged America with the hysteria of McCarthyism. In the words of Cicero, “In time of war the law falls silent.”
To respond to this we need to push back. I would almost compare the needed response to the way one responds to a burn. If one burns his finger, plunging the finger into the exact opposite — ice water — will reverse the process and often prevent a blister. One extreme counters the other.
It would be a gross abuse of terminology to call the needed response “reverse McCarthyism” because McCarthyism involved persecuting a lot of innocent people. But we must root out the fascists in our midst, one extreme countering the other, in order to get back to the middle. All those who aid the fascist cause in this country must be rooted out. If they are condoning fascism and supporting it, if they are eagerly excusing the annihilation of democracy perpetrated by the GOP and its allies, we must fire them, we must not hire them, or do business with them or buy from them or sell to them or assist them or have anything to do with them or anyone who wants to defend them. This is what it will take to reverse the right wing disease that for decades has been devouring our democracy. And I am really not kidding. We must further make it a public shame and embarrassment to be a right-winger and with such an outcry and hysteria that people will literally tremble in fear of being so called. Everyone who is acquiescing to the demise of democracy with a smile, and going along with the “New Republican Order,” is a menace to you and to me, to your family and to the whole world. They must be rooted out just as these monsters did to the liberal movement. There must be zero tolerance in our society for fascism.
At first these efforts will be quiet and uncertain but they will grow and gain steam as it gradually becomes clear that they are having an increasing effect. The first who stand up to root out the right-wingers in our midst will stick out their necks the most and make the greatest sacrifice and it will not be easy at first. But let us begin. Don’t forget, over half the country voted for Kerry despite the lies. And Gore really won in 2000. The other side doesn’t want to admit it but we are actually the majority and we can boycott them better than they can boycott us. The tide will turn. Start firing right-wingers. Start boycotting their stores, their products. Where possible single out a single target for a boycott, as a visible example, so as not to scatter resources and efforts, such as a single newspaper, one that is prominent but where you know they could be damaged by our actions.
We already saw that our pressure had some modest effect on Sinclair Broadcasting, even though the time was so short, that they backed off a little though not much, and it was mostly for show. Still, our actions and outcry caused some hasty modulation on their part and also helped cause their stock to drop. Accept no deals and persevere no matter what. We will prevail.
In short, if you think you’re going to be a good little goat herder smiling for fascism and Deutschland, you are a threat to everything this country stands for, you are a traitor and you need to get a hurt put on you real bad. On November 2nd 2004 the voting machines were replaced with video games and democracy itself was stolen. Woe to any people that accepts this with a whimper. And people marched in the streets by the millions for democracy against the Soviets in Czechoslovakia. We want the same ferocity now for America. Let the world see us marching against vote fraud here in the United States. The whole world is watching!
Still, from here we need to recognize that the ferocity of our attacks and even a massive effort to expose the vast right wing conspiracy for the fascists they are — the tone of our confrontation with the other side — technically still falls under the heading of “tactics.”
Generally, in military terms, tactics are small-scale actions or actions on an individual or almost individual level while strategy concerns actions on a much more grand or long-term scale. Or as Karl von Clausewitz wrote in “On War,” “Tactics teaches the use of armed forces in the engagement; strategy, the use of engagements for the object of the war.”
So now we need to talk about strategy. Strategy in our case involves how, more broadly, we pull together a more viable overall coalition of voters, a new, larger Democratic base that can win elections with much greater success and dominance. How we take battleground states off the table and make them solidly Democratic so that in an election year resources will not have to be lavished to win them.
This is important even if elections continue to be stolen by the GOP. We need a vast and well-financed polling organization of super-high quality and credibility so that it will be clear to the country — and the world — how much support we really have even if the voting machines and the vote gets rigged again. More scientific polls with higher standards. Larger voter samples, say, 2000 voters polled instead of the usual 1000. Expensive yes, but immediately trumps other polls. Other polling firms will be reluctant to switch to more expensive 2000 voter samplings because of GREED. Never again must we allow the GOP and its pollster alies to say they were ahead or tied when they weren’t. With such a polling apparatus, seeking high visibility not just during election years but every year and all the time, we will be able to deny the GOP legitimacy if they steal another election. A new, prestigious, superior polling operation EXPOSES a stolen election as fraud. This is why all the polls were being fudged and fiddled with and slanted during the campaign — to prevent questions from being asked on election night when the race was stolen.
So having a larger, more viable base and coalition is important and not futile even if the GOP keeps stealing elections. Because establishing a clearly larger base and coalition denies the Republican vote rustlers LEGITIMACY. Building up that larger base and coalition is all about DELEGITIMIZING Republican stolen power.
And now I am going to tell you something you don’t want to hear. That’s okay. It’s good practice for what you need to do to the Republicans. Here’s what you don’t want to hear. The Democratic Party is suffering in part because it is only half a man. A man, a person, is composed of a body and a soul. In general, Democrats do more for people’s bodies. And Republicans do more for people’s souls. Democrats fight for cleaner air and water, safer food, safety on the job. Help for the injured, the sick. Less war. Better healthcare. That’s all about helping the body. And although frequently the GOP doesn’t know much about the soul, they offer more in that regard. They worry about human life in the womb, they promote a society that does not set a permissive public example about alternative sexuality. They do not want children to be exposed to such an example because it may confuse them about traditional family values.
And let’s face it. The heterosexual relationship predates humanity itself. Even animals have traditional heterosexual relationships. There’s a duck pond near my home. If you throw bread at a male-female pair of ducks, the male will always stand aside and let the female grab the bread. Always. I have to literally lunge with all my strength and throw the bread fast straight at the male to get him to eat it and usually he just moves away and lets the female take it. Very charming. And ducks didn’t acquire this old fashioned chivalrous behavior by reading the New Testament. No doubt, many species of life acquired their compassionate nature in part from the need to give to a heterosexual mate that was mandated by the procreative requirement of the species. A compassionate society really does derive its compassion in part from its heterosexuality. I am not saying that is the only way to get compassion. Compare this to most fish, which do not have a long relationship between the male and the female. When was the last time you saw a compassionate fish?
In the eyes of many Americans this — the fundamental goodness of society — is what is being attacked when Democrats defend gay rights or even civil unions, and to them it is not a simple matter of reasonable tolerance but a measure, however modest, of public endorsement for a lifestyle they do not want their children to embrace. It is the public example or public endorsement, not the individual right, that scares many Republicans and many families too. To them it is not just somebody’s private business but everybody’s business if it sets a public example they do not want their children exposed to. These Americans will also not listen to the assertion that homosexuality is hereditary. There are many examples of gays who grew up with abusive or absent parental role models of a particular gender.
The perfect example is, in fact, Geroge W. Bush. There is much evidence that he is a latent (or not so latent) homosexual. Kitty Kelly claimed that he has an ongoing suspicious liaison with another man. He has frequently told men in public that they look “pretty.” (His constant, documented use of the word “fabulous” proves less but has also been noted.) And everybody knows he was a cheerleader in college. His obsession with staged and practiced swagger, cowboy boots and fake tough-Texan accent is all evidence of a man with a grinding insecurity about his own sexuality. Some would say that insecurity is also expressed in his foreign policy…
And it is no coincidence that George W. Bush’s mother is in private a dominating “ball-buster” monster. She refused to attend her own mother’s funeral. On the day her five-year old daughter Robin died of leukemia she spent the afternoon on the golf course. On “Good Morning America” she dismissed the escalating American body count in Iraq by saying, “Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many? It’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” In fact, George Sr. spent much of his time away from Barbara’s icy demeanor (an absent father), leaving young George W. to cower under the chilling dominance of his cruel mother, whom younger brother Jeb once dubbed “the Enforcer.” Neil Bush said she was devoted to corporal punishment and she was known in the family as “the one who instills fear.” Even Richard Nixon said of Barbara Bush, “There’s a woman who knows how to hate.” She is also alleged to have said to George W.,
“I don’t give a good goddamn if you want to be a cheerleader. Your father and I have decided you are going to play sports, like all the other little boys, mister sissy britches. Now get your hands off of your damned hips, you little pansy, and fetch me a scotch on the rocks!”
The Democratic Party never used to formally embrace homosexuality. The Democratic Party will always be more tolerant regardless. But if it had not formally embraced aspects of gay rights such as civil unions, we could have effectively branded Bush as a pervert little “girly man” and lots of rednecks would have gone off the deep end over it and deserted Bush. I will not unilaterally disarm. Let me give you a little “viper tongue” here — let me “Ann Coulter” it for you: Fact is, Bush is gay because his dad was often AWOL from fatherhood and his mother is a ball-buster. Yeah, you heard it here first. And we need our own talking heads and nonviolent “independent” street protesters hollering this whether the official Democratic Party will or not. Who cares whether it’s relevant from a policy wonk standpoint?
I am so pissed off at the way Bush used sexuality to play with everybody’s heads. Somebody should start a website called “Faggot Bush” right now. Amass the evidence. Call him a pervert. Really give them a taste of their own medicine. Bush-trashing for rednecks. It would be hilarious. Like it or not if Kerry had not formally embraced civil unions we could have had rednecks calling Bush a “faggot.” It would have destroyed Bush’s claim to be a Christian. It would have tinged every other issue. Does Bush have a bad foreign policy? Rednecks would have been saying, “Yeah, that faggot Bush has a lousy foreign policy.” Does Bush have a lousy policy on jobs? Rednecks would have been saying, “Yeah, that faggot Bush is shipping our jobs overseas.” Did Bush fail to catch Osama? Rednecks would have been saying, “Yeah, that FAGGOT Bush never caught Osama.”
In a nation actually going fascist, the country simply is not ready for civil unions. Rather, we needed to level the playing field and we still do in Bush’s second term. Howard Dean did the Democratic Party a tremendous service in giving it back its fire. But his approach was too scattershot. He went around making speeches introduced by a woman who proudly said she had two mommies. And this forced Kerry to have to emphasize that he was in favor of civil unions (though not the more explicit right of gay marriage). It helped Kerry get the nomination but the GOP used this as a poison pill against him in November. Civil unions needs to be taken off the table right now. And no Democratic candidate for president in 2008 should be forced by the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” to embrace civil unions.
I know, I know. There are a million conflicting arguments and pieces of contrary evidence, a million yes-buts. The endless debate over nature vs. nurture will endure. And even when we speak of Republicans catering more to the soul than the Democrats, we find endless corruption and hypocrisy on spiritual matters in the hands of the Republicans, the gay issue being a perfect example.
But the public thinks the Republicans are better for the soul than the Democrats, and it’s killing us. And it will kill us more too. Read Alvin Toffler’s classic, “Future Shock.” If you’ve already read it, reread it. Toffler speaks of the endless array of new technological developments that are ripping society apart from test tube babies to cyborgs — more and more artificial items are being implanted into people and not just to save lives, but breast implants. And the more of this we see, the more people will be frightened by the dizzying turn of society away from the simple and familiar, or what I call “small town values” (a great campaign slogan if a Democrat defines it right, by the way).
So here we have more social changes bombarding the public as a result of new technology, not unlike Dahrendorf’s observations about Germany acquiring industrialism too fast to solve the attendant social problems, leading to an exhaustion and failure of the liberal movement.
To win back a world that is about to go off a cliff, we can’t have it all and if we seek to have it all we will be overwhelmed by the “off-message” cacophony and lose all. And we need to give the public more than half a man. We need to offer both body and soul. To be sure we will never be able to offer the religious voter everything the Republicans do. For starters, Bush’s faith-based initiative has given Christian groups one billion dollars and nothing to any other religious group. That’s scary and theocratic. Bush is turning Christian groups into a patronage scheme. And if we do not make an adequate, indeed a shrewd counterattack on the spiritual front, the GOP could gain a Senate supermajority and America could become a truly frightful theocracy.
If, at least in some modest way, we could offer the public both body and soul — the whole package deal — the Republicans would never win an election again. Because once we compete with the GOP, even in a modest way, for appeal to people’s souls, then the playing field is leveled and the real advantage of the Democrats emerges — that we offer infinitely more for bodily and material needs. We could then say we’re better — we give you one-stop-shopping, body and soul, the whole package deal.
For the future of our planet we absolutely have to get to the point where Southern Christians are not monolithically Republican, and more specifically, where the Midwest, with its millions of Catholic voters, is solidly Democratic, and not the nail-biting cliff-hanger it has become every four years on Election Night. Indeed, solidifying the Midwest for the Democrats would also help us in states like Florida simply because once the Midwest is solidly Democratic it would cease to be a battleground and we wouldn’t have to waste more money in the Midwest. More money would then be freed up for states like Florida. No matter what it takes, good, bad or ugly, we need to LOCK UP the Midwest for the Democrats and take it off the table. Incidentally, even New Mexico and Pennsylvania are over 30% Catholic. Even Ohio, which has fewer Catholics than some other Midwest states, is nevertheless 20% Catholic. Michigan is 25% Catholic. Wisconsin is 31% Catholic. Minnesota is 25% Catholic. Iowa is 24% Catholic. Missouri is 20% Catholic.
Think of the incredible arithmetic in this. The Northeast is already Democratic. The far West, Oregon, Washington and California are Democratic. If the Midwest became reliably Democratic, the Republicans would be left with only the South, and the West (excluding the far West). Nobody lives in the West. It’s full of lots of empty spaces, farms, ranches, mountains and deserts. Without the Midwest, the Republicans would dominate only one heavily populated area — the South. Solidify the Midwest and we have essentially QUARANTINED the Republicans to mainly one single populous area of the country. Bingo. Instant new Democratic majority.
Can we truly solidify Democratic control of the Midwest? Yes, but we will have to swallow our pride some to do it. By making a direct appeal to Catholic voters offering them more than economic issues. No, we can never offer them all the GOP does. But we don’t have to. Many Catholics voted Democratic in the past. Catholics already know we are much better on many bread-and-butter issues. If we offered them something on the religious front, not everything but something, we could shift the whole tide of history. And quarantine the Republicans in the Deep South.
So let’s be honest. There is a long list of religious issues Democrats will never offer to Catholics. Not the abortion issue, or a ban on stem cell research or prayer in the public schools.
Give them the school choice issue.
I know, I know. That’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Let me show you how, if we steal this one single issue from the Republicans, we can change everything and save the whole dying planet.
Yes, school choice.
Some people knock over a liquor store.
Let’s knock over school choice.
To be sure, in the hands of Republicans, school choice can become a moral, ethical, financial and constitutional mess. But in the hands of Democrats it would not have to be such a mess. Unlike Republicans, Democrats really do know how to run things well. And a Federal Democratic school choice program could require governors to put up matching funds. Most school spending is state or local anyway, and since most of the governors are Republicans, if a school choice program forces their budgets into the red, that could create enough chaos to throw them out of office. And gaining Democratic governorships means a far greater chance for fair elections in that state. Not that a Democratic school choice plan would have to be such a mess, but if it did push state budgets into the red, my heart bleeds for all those Republican governors. Bleeds mind you.
So school choice is a potential two-fer issue. It helps us win the Midwest solidly in national elections by appealing to the huge Catholic population of the Midwest, and it also helps us elsewhere to make gains and even capture governorships in various states. It’s not that I’m saying we should be ruthless or anything. Okay, I am saying to be ruthless. In 1992 Clinton campaign consultant Mandy Grunwald said privately, “This campaign scares the hell out of me because there is no one who wakes up each morning thinking how to f--- the competition.”
I’m telling you how.
First, let’s get the constitutional question out of the way real fast. The Supreme Court, the REPUBLICAN Supreme Court, has ruled that school choice is constitutional. I read their opinion. It’s conservative but not off the wall. Their opinion basically boiled down to the idea that if parents decide individually which school to send their kids to, even if the money comes from the government, that is not the GOVERNMENT favoring any particular religion. Under such a program anybody gets to send their kid to any school they want. That includes atheist schools like New York’s Ethical Culture school. And secular Afro-centric schools that cater to blacks or schools that cater to Hispanics.
It could even bring more money into schools that are run by moderate religious denominations. Presently, too many of those sending their kids to parochial schools are religious fanatics, and hence, they support fanaticism in religion. The less fanatic have priorities that are more mixed. School choice could conceivably make religion less reactionary in the United States.
And to be fair, it should be mentioned that some of the greatest leaders of progressive and liberal causes have been religious men who went to parochial school, such as the great Abolitionists, civil rights leaders, and of course the Kennedys. Many said Bobby Kennedy was the most ethical of the brothers, and as a Catholic, the most religious of the Kennedy brothers.
Yes, teachers unions are afraid of school choice because if more children went to parochial school some teachers might have to get jobs in parochial schools which may be less unionized. But there is nothing stopping them from unionizing those schools. And for the record, John Sweeney, head of the AFL-CIO, one of the great labor leaders, who helped revitalize the whole labor movement, went to Catholic parochial school. Somehow he survived the experience.
It is simply not accurate to equate religion with conservatism and many people exposed to religious instruction went on to become great progressive leaders. School choice would not have to produce a sea change in favor of the Republicans. Even if it did it would take twenty years for those school kids to grow up. In the meantime we could kick the crap out of the Republican Party. The party could be hurt so bad it could splinter and come apart at the seams. A twenty-year reprieve from GOP Armageddon could save the whole planet. We might even get rid of the Republican Party during that time.
And of course, it is useless to complain about Supreme Court decisions as long as we don’t have a Democratic president to put some liberals into the court. New courts can overturn decisions of the past. First we need to take back the White House. I propose that we do that by any means necessary. School choice will get us back into the White House. Then we can appoint justices who aren’t such reactionary nut jobs.
Why is school choice the “spiritual” issue to appeal to Catholics? For a very simple reason. Compared to other religious issues favored by Catholics, it is the least intrusive. Prayer in the public schools, for instance, imposes religious ideas on non-Catholics that they may not want. So does teaching Creationism in the public schools. Banning abortion restricts the choices of non-Catholics. Even in the case of civil unions and gay marriage, banning that, although popular with many voters, does impose one religious view on individuals holding a different view.
However, to a considerable degree, the issue of school choice is quite the opposite and is largely a separatist issue. It allows parents to separate their children from a secular environment and place them in a religious one. That does not brainwash, contaminate or proselytize the students in the secular environment. If anything, it removes from those students the influence of religious students who would now instead be attending the parochial school. This is actually particularly significant because recent Supreme Court rulings have said that although the public school itself can not promote religion, it may not restrict students at a public school from forming a religious club or the like. And we all know those kids are nevertheless busy trying to proselytize their fellow students in the public school. Some of this is very hard sell, telling kids they are doomed if they don’t accept their religion. In a classic case of unintended consequences, school choice could actually rescue some public school students from annoying brainwashing.
Seriously, if these little Christian jihadniks want to leave, LET them. Help them do so. School choice splinters a community and actually isolates one proselytizing group from another. You see something vaguely analogous in prisons. Each prisoner learns from the others. It is like a crime university. How to crack a safe, pick a lock, kill someone without him screaming and so on. The best thing we could do in a prison would be to give each prisoner his own separate cell so he can’t further criminalize his fellow prisoners. Guaranteed: If you leave more Catholics in the public schools, more non-Catholics over time will be recruited to Catholicism.
What about the class issue? Yes, presently the rich have an advantage in sending their kids to a parochial school because they have more money for tuition. Yes, some rich people like parochial school. Some rich people also hate public schools.
Okay, I admit it. I hated public school too. We used to sing, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school, we have tortured every teacher and we’ve broken every rule.” “The Student As Nigger” by Jerry Farber was an underground leftwing classic and one of my favorite books. Hilarious read too. Fictional sections described teachers plotting to kill each other over curriculum issues.
But school choice is not — fundamentally — a clash between the rich and poor. It’s not about money. I am not speaking about how Republicans could run a school choice program because we already know that they don’t know how to run anything right. Iraq for instance. Republicans know how to destroy nations, not build them.
But what if the DEMOCRATS had a school choice program? Here’s how it might work under a Democratic president. Federal money would be provided to the states and the states would have to put up matching money. The program would be an overall school aid endeavor that would give lots of money to public schools — something the Republicans never want to do — and also some money to parents who choose to send their kids to other schools including parochial schools. How many get into the program would be limited by the money involved. Who got into the program would be determined by a set of equitable criteria devised by the Democratic administration, or it could even be decided by a lottery. A modest program would not have to harm public schools.
Public schools could wind up with smaller class size too. That’s important since in recent years burgeoning student populations in some areas have increased class size excessively. In such areas school choice could help the public schools — if a DEMOCRAT designed the program. In some cases, class size could actually be a factor in who gets to leave a class and go to a private school. And essentially what we are talking about here is a school aid program that would help both public schools and parents seeking to enroll their children in private schools of all types. The combined goals would help please more people and get the program adopted.
And this would make many Catholics very happy. Many Catholics have large families. Yes, I am sorry that they do not realize that they are not helping matters and that there are six billion people in the world, going on seven. But having a large family is part of their religious belief. And “rich people are for school choice” aside, a lot of Catholics with large families have to subsist on diets heavy in white bread or pasta because they conscientiously object to the curriculum, morals or ideas promoted in the public schools, which is their right. No, I am not Catholic. No I do not agree with a lot of things Catholics believe. No, I do not think large Catholic families should have to subsist on substandard starchy diets for their beliefs.
Essentially what we are here offering Catholics (and others seeking alternative schooling), is a federal aid program especially targeting wavering voters to get them solidly into the Democratic column. A patronage program. Pork spending specifically targeting a key voter group that used to vote Democratic, and who were a major portion of the “Reagan Democrats.” ‘Scuse me, but the world is coming to an end and we really need those voters back ASAP.
And notice how this compares with Bush’s faith-based initiative. That program funnels money to various churches and charities for the poor and homeless. That money basically goes to churches and is supposed to “trickle down” to those who really need it. How much of that money actually winds up in the pockets of Catholic parents trying to educate their children, instead of church coffers? Just asking. In this sense a Democratic school choice program could affect the lives of Catholic voters in places like the Midwest a lot more than George Bush’s faith-based initiative that is supposed to replace the safety net and doesn’t, like Newt Gingrich’s absurd proposal to put poor children with parents into orphanages instead of aiding the parents.
With school choice we can offer Catholic voters something much better than faith-based initiatives. We can lock up the Midwest for the Democratic Party for a generation. The school choice issue would also help us win over Hispanic Catholics in the Southwest. If we do it right, if we design the program so it works well, fairly, and wisely — which only Democrats know how to do with ANY PROGRAM — we can make those voters reliably Democratic for the nearly two decades that their kids are in school.
This would change the whole political map. It would isolate and quarantine the Republican Party to mainly one populous area of the country, the South. They would become known as the minority party of Southern hicks with an awful image they couldn’t sanitize and the brunt of endless jokes. They would be seen as an anachronism, a thing of the past. School choice is enough to tip the scales in a divided country. It would help us cement a coalition of multiple voter groups large enough to govern the country for many years.
Far from limiting liberalism this issue could actually empower liberalism. Just look at New Jersey’s Senator Robert Torricelli. He was much more liberal than his state, with one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate. He had mainly one striking conservative position. He was in favor of school choice. And that one lone religious issue was enough to win support of a lot of voters despite New Jersey being over 40% Catholic. It would have continued if Torricelli’s career had not ended in scandal.
Now I know what some of you will say. “That was a great blog — except for the part about school choice.” If you don’t look at this proposal as a whole, if you cherry-pick the tactics and not the greater strategy, you will miss the ship that could come in for our cause. Granting religious Americans a choice of schools is a very small, modest price to pay for a retaining the great bulk of the rest of our agenda, which is now under extraordinary attack. Imagine how the world might be different today if, during Clinton’s presidency, every time he fought for some issue, such as healthcare, he had poll numbers consistently several points higher because of loyalty from Catholics.
Get real. There’s a maniac at the wheel who is driving the whole world off a cliff. To those who can’t see that big picture, stop sitting there fretting over a few lousy bucks sent to some religious people to help coax them into recognizing that the Democratic Party serves their interests. In the larger scheme of things this is a very small price to pay for reassuring such people who worry that we are against their religion.
We all know that in Congress some of the greatest legislative achievements came about because wise Democrats let some stubborn congressman in Deadwood Gulch have some stupid dam project he had to have. That is sometimes the compromise you have to make to get things achieved. And yes, some hydroelectric dam projects are environmentally problematic though certainly not as bad as fossil fuels. And some big environmental bills were also passed because Democrats compromised and brought some stubborn congressman on board by letting him have some dam project or other in his district. This is the kind of shrewd compromise Democrats have made when necessary to hammer out progressive advances. School choice is another such compromise that could move us forward. In fact, it’s just a disbursement of funds to key voters we need. It doesn’t mar a river or landscape by building any dam. But it could help us achieve a staggering list of progressive objectives by tilting a polarized public over the divider line. You can’t get more for less.
I am talking here about a very narrow, surgical strike on a specific voting group especially, though not exclusively, in a specific region of the country we badly need to sew up. This is very different from giving away the store. One of the problems with President Clinton’s “New Democrat” “triangulation” was that it sought to make too many concessions on a broad range of issues. Among other things it placed an unrealistic and harsh five-year individual lifetime limit on welfare benefits, which will run out for millions of people with inadequate and changing job skills and requirements in a lousy job market. We will be overrun with swarms of desperate homeless people.
This draconian trend began with Newt Gingrich and ultimately brought public shock when a homeless man in the cold caught his foot on the ground and only realized it was dead when his foot fell off.
These were the kinds of Faustian bargains being made by some of President Clinton’s “New Democrat” policies. And yet, when it came to religious issues President Clinton offered religious voters much less. On school choice he promised “public school choice,” a false choice akin to a communist bureaucrat arriving in some Russian village to bring the peasants good news — “You can now vote for any communist party you choose!” Catholics were insulted by the false and useless offering of being able to choose any public school they wanted.
As a political strategy wouldn’t it have been better to offer some religious voters a few bucks than to start dismantling the whole safety net? Notice that my proposal, argue with it though you may, involves giving people something instead of taking things away. Is that really so radically different from time honored and traditional political patronage that in the past kept the party afloat? School choice does not jeopardize abortion rights, gay rights or women’s rights. It does not force prayer or Creationism on the public schools. It is the least objectionable of all religious issues we could use to appeal to religious voters.
We need more than just better tactics. We need a shrewd, surgically-targeted strategic vision, not a broad program that waters down everything. In this sense school choice is ideologically liberating for Democrats. Once we have the Catholics solidly on board we can securely push forward with much more assertive stands on many key issues, and really make a stink about them confidently, not hesitantly.
For instance, partly because support for our party is so hesitant among religious voters, we now often content ourselves with essentially “symbolic” issues like cheaper and more available drugs, instead of daring to push full speed ahead on full universal health care for all even though everyone in Europe has it. Everywhere you look we are making such compromises because we simply don’t have a large enough base. Instead of faking it with pseudo-conservative “triangulated” type stands on a broad rage of issues that irritate everybody (plus prissy comity with the GOP thugs on Capitol Hill), we need a truly conservative stand on one narrowly and cleverly selected issue so we will be free to be more progressive everywhere else.
I propose this not to move the party to the right as some have wanted, but to free the party to move, and to move the country, to the left. We are halfway to a filibuster-proof Republican Senate. When we get there people will start dying in the streets. Are you so squeamish about a little shrewd politics that you would let this happen? In short, to underpin the progressive movement we need a larger, more viable coalition, a larger base, one that brings back the Reagan Democrats. We need to bite the bullet and embrace school choice. This is the sword to slay the dragon. TAKE it. This is a calculated move, a strategic move, which could once again make whole our party, the country and — the world.