Judi Caler lives in California and is Article V Issues Director for Eagle Forum of CA. She is passionate about holding our public servants accountable to their oath to support the U.S. Constitution.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” –Joseph Goebbels
In the novel, “1984,” George Orwell’s unsettling prophecy of a totalitarian society, Newspeak was the official language of Oceania. It was devised to limit freedom of thought. New words were invented, undesirable words eliminated, and the remaining words redefined or limited in scope to further the Party’s ideology. If something can’t be said, it can’t be thought, making a diverging thought unthinkable.
So too, the Convention of States Project (COS) uses Newspeak to manipulate people into believing that the convention provided for by Article V of our Constitution is really a “convention of the states” which is controlled from start to finish by State Legislatures.
“Convention of the States” v. “Constitutional Convention”
On September 24-25, 2011, radical leftist professor Larry Lessig who has ties to George Soros, and salesman Mark Meckler who now heads COS, co-hosted Conference on the Constitutional Convention at Harvard.That conference kicked off the current push for the Left and the phony Right to work together to promote an Article V Convention.
But the Convention Lobby soon realized that conservatives had been schooled over previous decades by the John Birch Society and Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum to recoil from an Article V convention, also known as a “constitutional convention” or “con-con,” because it could run amok and replace our existing Constitution.
And despite their attempt to win conservative support by focusing state Article V convention applications on supposedly “conservative” issues like a “balanced budget amendment” or “fiscal restraints,” convention proponents were met with resistance from those who understood that State Legislatures have no power to limit the scope of a convention to specific topics or amendments.1 The same ploy was tried and failed in the 1970s and 1980s for the same reason.2
What to do?
Shamelessly, Mark Meckler and his legal operatives turned to Newspeak. Attorney Rob Natelson, the Newspeak guru of the convention lobby, announced in a speech on September 16, 2010, that he was “…going to put our concepts on ‘reset’”:
“I hope this is the last time I’ll say [the words] ‘constitutional convention’…I often have made the mistake of calling it that, but it is a serious mistake because it causes people to misunderstand what the convention is all about. The Constitution gives the convention a specific name—a convention for proposing amendments—and I think we should call it that or perhaps an Article V convention, an amendments convention, or a convention of the states.” 3
Thereafter, they adopted the term, “convention of the states”; defined it as a convention totally controlled by State Legislators; and claimed that a “convention of states” was the same as an “Article V convention,” and different from a “constitutional convention” or a “con-con.”
As Meckler spins the narrative:
“A constitutional [or plenipotentiary] convention has only been held once in the entire history of the country set in 1787…they can draft a new constitution from scratch…
“[But] This is an ‘Article V Convention of States for proposing amendments’…They do not have supreme authority. They do not have the authority to redraft the entire [Constitution]…So, an ‘Article V Convention of States for proposing amendments’ is a convention that is limited by the instructions from the States as to what they can deal with.” 4
In Oldspeak, i.e. the real world of English grammar and common sense, “constitutional convention” and “Article V convention” are synonymous. Any convention dealing with drafting or amending a constitution is a “constitutional convention.” Also, any convention provided for in a constitution is, by definition, a “constitutional convention.”
But in the Orwellian world of COS Newspeak, a “convention of the states” can’t run away, by definition!
That the Newspeak definition for “convention of the states” doesn’t exist in our founding documents, doesn’t matter to the convention lobby. It serves to deceive legislators into thinking that an “Article V convention,” unlike a “constitutional convention,” can’t run away; and secures legislators’ YES votes on con-con applications.
Recently in Michigan, 32 Representatives responded to a National Association of Gun Rights survey, saying they were opposedto anArticle V Convention, most likely because they were concerned they would lose the Second Amendment at a con-con—a very real possibility. After being exposed to COS Newspeak, some of those same legislators decided they could simultaneouslysupport COS legislation asking Congress to call a “convention of the states”!
“It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’” –1984, Part I, Chapter 3
“Limit” in Newspeak means “expand,” as shown by amendments proposed by COS supporters. Our Constitution already limits the federal government to the enumerated powers. The amendments proposed by Mark Levin, Michael Farris, and the COS simulated convention would legalize powers the federal government has already usurped and strip States of existing powers and rights.
COS recently promoted itself as “the largest Article V grassroots organization…nationwide.” So, a “grassroots” organization in COS Newspeak is one bankrolled with millions of dollars from mega-billionaires! 5
“WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.” –1984, party slogans.
Another word trick in COS Newspeak would replace “Delegate” with “Commissioner.” A “delegate” is a representative who has power; but a “commissioner” is a person charged to manage some particular subject-matter and is controlled by his superiors. Accordingly, Meckler told Senators at a February 25, 2015 Nebraska committee hearing that they’ll direct their “commissioners” by text messaging during the convention because legally, commissioners are equivalent to hired insurance agents! 6
What COS Fails to Mention
COS operatives and their coterie of attorneys fail to mention that we have another founding document in addition to the Constitution. That document is the Declaration of Independence which preceded the Constitution.
“It would have been quite impossible to render [the Declaration of Independence] into Newspeak while keeping to the sense of the original. The nearest one could come to doing so would be …the single word CRIMETHINK.” –1984, Appendix
The Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2, expresses our founding principles which are above the Constitution: that all men are created equal; that our Rights come from God; that the purpose of government is to secure those Rights; and that, if the government fails to secure our Rights, We the People have the Right “to alter or to abolish” our government and set up a new one.
The convention is the highest form of government, having more power than State Legislatures and Congress put together. So even though the Framers met in convention in 1787 “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation(AOC),” they had the inherent and legal right, as expressed by the Declaration of Independence, to write a new Constitution which created a new government. Moreover, they set a precedent by making the new Constitution easier to ratify than amendments to the AOC.
And with the words, “We the People…,” they reaffirmed in our Constitution the founding principles written eleven years earlier. In fact, in Federalist 40, Madison justified writing the new Constitution, which was to replace the AOC, by citing the Declaration of Independence.7
Newspeak, invented by the convention lobby, is believed and repeated in State Capitols across America by too many Republican legislators who have set logic and truth aside to buy the false narrative. They believe that the solution to an overreaching federal government that has ignored our Constitution is to change our Constitution! And that an Article V convention called by Congress can’t possibly run away because it is just a “convention of the states” in Newspeak!
And shame on the heavily bankrolled, self-professed “conservatives” at COS along with their team of attorneys, “constitutional scholars,” and lobbyists who risk our Constitution by selling a bill of goods to well-meaning and unsuspecting legislators. The same propaganda is used to fool ordinary citizens whom COS claims to “represent.”
A runaway convention can’t be prevented with Newspeak! Americans must educate themselves on this deception and be vigilant. Understand the real remedies our Framers said we must use to prevent federal overreach. Once a convention is called, it will be too late to stop a new Constitution with an easier mode of ratification from being imposed. Our existing Constitution and our Liberty hang in the balance.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and never will be.” –Thomas Jefferson to C. Yancey, 1816
The danger of an Article V convention (which made James Madison “tremble”, caused Alexander Hamilton “dread”, and Chief Justice John Jay to say that another convention would impose an “extravagant risque”) is this: the delegates to the convention can run away: instead of proposing amendments to our existing Constitution, they can write a completely new Constitution with a new – and easier – mode of ratification. 1
The convention lobby implicitly acknowledges this danger when they say State Legislatures should pass “unfaithful delegate” laws to control delegates. 2
Accordingly, Wyoming passed a delegate law earlier this year which purports to empower the WY Legislature to “immediately recall” any delegate who makes an “unauthorized vote” at the convention, and to charge with a felony any delegate who fails to follow the WY Legislature’s instructions on what he may do at the convention. The Texas delegate law purports to make “invalid” any “unauthorized vote” at the convention, and to empower the TX Legislature to recall any delegate who violates his instructions. But Tennessee takes the cake with its delegate law: Not only does the TN law purport to “void” votes cast at the convention by TN delegates which are outside the instructions or limits placed on the delegates by the TN Legislature – and then to prosecute such delegates for a felony; the TN law also asserts that if all TN delegates vote or “attempt to vote” outside the scope of the instructions or limits, TN’s previously filed applications for an Article V convention are to be treated as “having no effect at all”. Other States have passed similar laws.
Such laws are contrary to our Founding Principles and are based on false assumptions. Accordingly, they are unenforceable and ineffective.
1. Self-evident Rights and the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence is the Fundamental Act of our Founding.3 It declares that all men are created equal; our rights are bestowed by God; our rights are unalienable; and the purpose of government is to secure the rights God gave us.
The Declaration is not “law” – it is higher than law, for it sets forth The Divine Standard which a Constitution – and the laws made pursuant to the Constitution – must meet.
It also declares that a People have the self-evident right to throw off their government and set up a new one. With that Principle firmly in mind, let’s look at our first amendments convention; and then, at State unfaithful delegate laws.
2. The federal convention of 1787
After our Revolution, we operated under our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation. But there were defects in the Articles, so on Feb. 21, 1787, the Continental Congress called a convention to be held in Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. The States also drafted instructions which purported to restrict delegates to proposing amendments.
But the delegates ignored their instructions and wrote a new Constitution [the one we now have]. In Federalist No. 40 (15th para), Madison invoked the Declaration of Independence and claimed, as justification for what they did,
“…the transcendent and precious right of the people to ‘abolish or alter their governments as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness,’…”
Yet State unfaithful delegate laws claim a power to divest The Representatives of the People – and to criminally prosecute them for exercising – what the Fundamental Act of our Founding declares is a “self-evident” right”!
3. And what if the delegates make their proceedings secret?
The State Legislators who vote for unfaithful delegate laws assume they will be able to know what is going on every minute of every day of the convention.
But Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 (where our present Constitution was drafted) shows that on May 29, 1787, the delegates voted to make their proceedings secret.
If delegates to a convention today vote to make the proceedings secret, the States won’t know what is going on – and can’t stop it. And if delegates vote by secret ballot, the States would NEVER know who did what.
You might think that with cell phones & cameras, it’s impossible to have a secret meeting. But the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which “induces” State Legislators to push the COS application for an Article V convention, is experienced in conducting secret meetings with State Legislators. WATCH this 6.5 minute video of a Georgia TV crew which attempted to get into a meeting held at a Georgia hotel of ALEC and Georgia Legislators.
4. State Legislatures are “creatures” of their State Constitutions, and have no “competent
authority” to control The Representatives of The People at an Article V convention
Americans have forgotten a Principle which is the basis of free government: That political power originates with The People. 4 The People create governments by means of constitutions. Since a government is the “creature” of its constitution, it can’t be superior to its Creator, The People.
This is why at the federal convention of 1787, where our present federal Constitution was drafted, our Framers understood that only The People were competent to ratify the new Constitution. George Mason said on July 23, 1787,
“…The [State] Legislatures have no power to ratify it. They are the mere creatures of the State Constitutions, and cannot be greater than their creators…”
Keeping that Principle firmly in mind, let’s look at Article V, US Constitution.
It provides that when two thirds of the State Legislatures (“mere creatures”) apply for it, Congress is to call a convention. At that point, it is out of the State Legislatures’ hands – the bell has tolled, and State Legislatures can’t un-ring it. Congress “calls” the convention (sets it up); but when it assembles, the delegates, as Sovereign Representatives of the People, are not answerable to State Legislatures (which are “mere creatures” of the State Constitution) or to Congress (which is a “mere creature” of the federal Constitution). The delegates actually have the power to eliminate the federal and state governments – and that is precisely what the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America does.
Delegates to a federal convention called by the federal Congress, to perform the federal function of altering or replacing our federal Constitution, are performing a federal function, not a State function. The delegates don’t represent any government, federal or state. 5 They are supposed to represent The People; but in our corrupt time, they are more likely to represent the Koch Brothers (because they have the cash).
Dust off your copy of the federal Constitution we already have, read it and defend it. It filled all Europe with “wonder and veneration”. If you don’t do this, we will lose it.
1 The proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America creates a totalitarian dictatorship. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government. It is ratified by a national referendum [national popular vote] (Art. XII, §1). Other proposed Constitutions are also waiting in the wings for a convention.
2 The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) claims their model delegate bill “will eliminate the possibility of a ‘runaway convention’ the reason most often cited by scholars for their opposition to an Article V Convention.”
3 Dr. Alan Keyes spoke of this on the radio some years ago; and I knew he had just handed me the Key to understanding our Constitution.
5 The term, “convention of states”, is a misnomer which gives the false impression that States control the convention. In Rob Natelson’s speech on Sep. 16, 2010 [now removed from free access] he said he will no longer call it a “constitutional convention”, but will henceforth say, “convention of states” (pg.1-2).
This Chart illustrates who has the power to do what at an Article V convention.
Screenshot from Dr. Gina Loudon’s appearance on CNN
Dr. Gina Loudon caused a bit of a stir on CNN with Isha Sesay when she claimed that “…the hate, and the bigotry, and the slavery, and all those things have come always out of the left not just in this country, but historically, and globally it has always come out of the left.”
SESAY: Gina, to you. What do say to those who say — who strongly believe that this country cannot heal, it cannot move forward as long as those monuments are out there when there are so many people that they cause pain too?
LOUDON: Well, I think you — it is good that we are discussing this, I think. And I think it’s good that we want to learn history and talk about it and have this dialogue. I think it’s important to know that the hate, and the bigotry, and the slavery, and all those things have come always out of the left not just in this country, but historically, and globally it has always come out of the left. The right has always been the party of freedom, and the party of constitutional liberties that we see today, like the First Amendment that is everybody to speak about this.
GENOVESE: Well, you know, history is a funny thing and we need to learn from it. And to say that, for example, all the movements against freedom come from the left. World War II, Nazis — that’s not from the left, it’s from the right. And so —
LOUDON: That’s on the left.
GENOVESE: That’s just not so, and you know it’s not so. You must know it’s not so.
LOUDON: The national socialist, they’re the same socialist we see today trying to take away all of our First Amendment Right, right in this moment.
KELLY: I’m sorry, I have to jump in.
SESAY: Go ahead.
KELLY: The fact of the matter is, the Confederacy, the KKK, was formed by former Confederate soldiers.
That is not the left. They are trying to preserve the hierarchy, the racial hierarchy of the United States. I would love to find some good former Confederate soldiers or people support the Confederacy who did not vote for Donald Trump.
LOUDON: I would love to find some members of the network is a member of the Confederacy that weren’t Democrats or some members of the Socialist movement that weren’t on the left. I mean, if we’re going to talk about it, I’m fine having a conversation. But let’s be honest —
LOUDON: — it has always been leftist politics that have been —
KELLY: It’s not true.
LOUDON: It has not been the right side of —
KELLY: No. Conserving slavery is conservatism.* [See note below]
LOUDON: Are you telling me Abraham Lincoln was a racist? Are you telling me that it wasn’t the Republicans who fought against slavery? Are you telling me that the — (CROSSTALK)
KELLY: Are you telling me that LBJ wasn’t the president who signed —
KELLY: — into law the Voting Rights Act. The Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed with the South for the next 40 years, are you saying that did not happen? Are you saying that people like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, who were Democrats, left the Democratic Party and then went to the Republican –
ISHA SESAY: OK, I’m going to have to jump in and leave it there.
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Speaking of Lyndon Baines Johnson, we have previously reported on LBJ at TrevorLoudon.com:
“Several particularly egregious and racist quotes have been attributed to LBJ. As observed at the Huffington Post, LBJ said in 1948 that President Truman’s civil rights proposal…
…is a farce and a sham…I have voted against the so-called poll tax repeal bill … I have voted against the so-called anti-lynching bill.
Consider that LBJ’s failed “$20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty” known as the Orwellion-sounding “great society” program has been the single greatest contributor of the breakdown of black families in America.
“Nearly 50 years after the release of the U.S. Department of Labor report ‘The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,’ which was highly controversial and widely criticized at the time [as it was released at the time of the unveiling of the “Great Society”], the new Urban Institute study found that the alarming statistics in the report back then ‘have only grown worse, not only for blacks, but for whites and Hispanics as well.’”
President Trump predicted this and he wasn’t the only one. I did and so did many other pundits. The communists, radicals and leftists never intended to stop at taking down Confederate statues. Their real target was the Founding Fathers and destroying the heritage and history of this country. It’s what communists do. They want to destroy the Constitution and rewrite our history and propagandic media outlets such as CNN are helping to push their agenda.
CNN political commentator Angela Rye either doesn’t know history at all or is just a racist, bigoted liar. It’s true that the Founding Fathers owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson for example had slaves who he wanted to free, but could not because he had debts. By law, he was prohibited from freeing them. George Washington’s family also owned slaves, but Washington did not approve of it either. In fact, they set up our Founding Documents the way they did with careful wording so that slavery would eventually be abolished. Look it up, that’s exactly what happened. I was never taught that everything we did as a nation was perfect, but I have read our real history and our nation is a great and good one. These people want to destroy that.
President Trump predicted that people will start going after statues of our slave-owning Founding Fathers after Confederate monuments are taken down and he couldn’t be more right.
On Thursday, CNN political commentator Angela Rye made an impassioned plea to remove all vestiges of slave owners around the United States, saying:
“I think that we have to get to the heart of the problem here, and the heart of the problem is the way in which many of us were taught American history. American history is not all glorious… George Washington was a slave owner and we need to call slave owners out for what they are, whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not, he wasn’t protecting my freedom.”
Rye added, “My ancestors weren’t deemed human beings to him. And so, to me, I don’t care if it’s a George Washington statue, or a Thomas Jefferson statue, or a Robert E. Lee statue, they all need to come down.”
When she was confronted with the idea that she was “feeding in to Steve Bannon’s and Donald Trump’s talking points,” Rye recoiled, saying she was “calling out white supremacy for what it is.”
No, these statues should not come down. They are reminders of our past and history. I don’t see these people calling for the statues of Robert Byrd to come down, or the Lenin statue in Seattle to be removed. They hate the Founding Fathers because they were white and if you get right down to it, the primary instigators in all this are communists, who want to rip the very fabric of this nation apart. Trump is not a racist or a white supremacist. What about black supremacy and racism? Because there is sure plenty of that here as well.
This woman is disingenuous. The violence she speaks of happened all right… but whites and other races faced it as well. The first legal slave owner in America was black. And there were many white indentured slaves in America. And you might want to speak to the Chinese about slavery as well. All of this has nothing to do with modern day America and we owe nothing to these people. This will probably become the norm now as a pastor in Chicago is calling for the same thing. And someone burned an Abraham Lincoln statue there yesterday. None of these people know the first thing about our history and what’s more, they don’t care. They just want to burn it all down. One last thing… George Washington united and gave birth to this country… the Civil War sought to tear it apart. It is idiotic to compare the two.
I will close with a quote from one of my favorite writers, Daniel Greenfield: “Civilizations are built on virtue. Without virtue, there is no civilization.” Reason and virtue are in short supply in America today and our Republic is in danger of falling. An SDS radical and communist once wrote: “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.”
There may not be a question more difficult to answer for Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance and spokesman for its Convention of States Project (COS), than this:
Since the federal government ignores the Constitution as now written, why would it obey an amended Constitution?
This is a fair question, considering COS has spent several years and millions of dollars from undisclosed sources1 on paid lobbyists and “senior advisors” who crisscross the country leaning on legislators to pass resolutions asking Congress to call an Article V convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution, ostensibly to limit the federal government.
All the while, at the local level, COS has been carrying out a massive public relations campaign claiming to be a grassroots movement with a “solution as big as the problem.”
But Meckler’s group has a solution that has nothing to do with the problem! Since the problem is a federal government that has overreached its powers by ignoring our Constitution, logic alone tells us that amending our Constitution, the very document being ignored, can’t possibly fix the problem.
A caller asked: “Once the amendments are proposed and ratified, how are they actually implemented?”
In response, Meckler said, “… [the amendments] just automatically become part of the Constitution…part of the structure of governance in America…and that means that government then has to begin operating according to those amendments in the same way that they do with the rest of the Constitution.”
He continued, “And functionally, ultimately that means government will shrink, they will have the authority to do less. And if they fail to follow those amendments, then obviously, there is litigation that ensues up to the federal courts and ultimately up to the Supreme Court, if necessary.” (Emphasis added.)
But wait! COS has contended for years that the Constitution needs to be amended precisely because of decisions by activist judges who have undermined the original intent of the Constitution and allowed the federal government to usurp powers not delegated by our Constitution.
In other words, Meckler gives us a circular argument. He’s saying that COS will add more verbiage to the Constitution to counter activist judges; and then, when the federal government ignores the new wording, as they have in the past, there will be lawsuits to force the government to follow the original intent of the framers. And lawsuits generate still more decisions by activist judges!
It should be noted, too, that our Constitution already limits the federal government to its enumerated powers; and any changes such as a Balanced Budget Amendment, will expand the power of the federal government.
The last caller, only 10 minutes later, hit upon the circular argument and got a different response from Meckler:
Caller: “…What happens, if say, we call a “convention of states” [and] we get some great reform amendments made to the Constitution to undo a lot of damage that has been done by activist judges and left-wing congressional majorities and presidents. What happens if we have future…laws…that violate the new amendments…and… new activist judges on the Supreme Court that then give rubber stamp approval [to the unconstitutional laws]. …Is there a bullet-proof, really good way to stop the same process from cycling over and over again after we get new amendments [at a convention]?”
Meckler: “You know, I think that’s one of the best questions there is. And I’m going to give you the short and blunt answer which is NO!”
That’s right, Mark Meckler asserts there is no way to stop the federal government from ignoring amendments proposed by a convention that later become ratified! And the entire process places our current Constitution at risk—for what?!
Meckler elaborated philosophically: “There is no way to prevent the cycle from happening because the cycle is the cycle of human nature. In our history, you can go back to the Roman Empire and look at what happens… So, I think what happens is, you correct course, you put the ship on course, and eventually it will begin to be blown off course.
“History tells us it takes about 100 years for amendments to stop being effective…I think, for example, the first amendment about 100 years ago started to come under assault. So, it had been in place for well over 100 years; so, I expect the slide to happen.”
Let’s get this straight. The convention lobby is pouring massive resources into putting our Constitution at risk in convention because Mark Meckler is trying to steer the ship back on course, somehow predicting that in 100 years our children’s descendants will need to go through the same process, subjecting our Constitution to risk once again (assuming it survives the second federal convention he is trying so hard to invoke?) Why haven’t he, his lobbyists or “senior advisors” brought this up at legislative hearings?
Why not work on enforcing the Constitution we have, instead of rewriting 2,000 annotated pages of Supreme Court decisions, and very probably the entire Constitution? Why not encourage our State Legislators to stand up against and refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal dictates now—that’s what they are supposed to do, according to our Framers.
If the main COS proponent thinks his “Solution” is a temporary “fix”; and his method of implementing Amendments resulting from an Article V convention is no different than the system that created the problem in the first place, one must wonder…
What is the real reason COS is being bankrolled to advance an Article V convention whose Delegates, as direct Representatives of the People, would have the inherent Right “to alter or to abolish” our “Form of Government”? (Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2.)
Much like the far-right, Antifa members around the world comprise a patchwork of groups, though the most active appear to be based in the US, the UK (under the name Anti-Fascist Action) and Germany (Antifaschistische Aktion).
The German movement was founded in 1932 to provide a militant far-left group to counter the fast-rising Nazi party.
They were disbanded in 1933 after Hitler took control of parliament and were resurrected in the 1980s as a response to neo-Nazism after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
*** The BBC actually did us a favor with this reminder, however, lets go further shall we?
The America Heroes Channel ran a program last night titled The Hitler Apocalypse in which for a fleeting moment there was a particular building in the show. As you read below, you should take some notes on the positions of mayors, governors and other lawmakers in Washington DC, regarding exactly where their loyalty is planted. Removing monuments, stopping speech, allowing violent protests and rallies and having law enforcement stand idle rather than protecting people exacerbates the chaos that will be with us on Main Street for a long while.
Notice that large sign on the building with the flag? Look familiar?
Media will tell you this new movement and the old one was a far right movement, while others will tell you it is far left. Sheesh….
Going back to an interview in part published in 2009:
In the UK, we hear a lot about a strong autonomous Antifa movement in Germany. Could you give us a bit of an idea how this has come about?
The autonomous Antifa is part of the radical left movement which developed following 1968. After the protests of the early 1970s had faded, the radical left seemed to be in a dead-end. A large part of the left occupied itself with the debate over the armed struggle of the RAF and other armed groups, as well as with their conditions of imprisonment. Another part organized in orthodox communist splinter groups. Although strong in numbers, by the early 1980s both approaches had lost contact to societal discourse and struggles. More here.
Hitler was ideologically opposed to communism but realised that the KPD did represent a real threat to the Nazis prior to January 1933. The KPD was the largest communist movement outside of the USSR and during the mid to late 1920’s had sort to develop closer ties to the USSR. Probably the most famous leader the KPD had was Ernst Thälmann who was arrested by the Gestapo in 1933 and shot in 1944, after 11 years in solitary confinement, on the direct orders of Hitler.
Prior to the March 1933 election, the KPD had made steady gains in the national elections. However, the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor in January 1933 and the Reichstag Fire of February 1933 and the consequences surrounding the fire, spelt the end of any political influence that the KPD might have had. The Reichstag Fire was blamed on the KPD and in the immediate aftermath of the fire, KPD leaders were rounded up and were among the first people to be put into the newly created Dachau concentration camp, which was just outside of Munich. After the Enabling Act was passed in March 1933, it was very dangerous for anyone to openly espouse their support for the KPD and the influence of the party swiftly dwindled. Some KPD members fled to the USSR while others spent years in hiding. More here.
The KPD (Communist Party) was formed from the Spartacus Union that had led a revolt against the Weimar government in January 1919. It was very closely allied to Moscow and it refused to co-operate in any way with the parties that supported Weimar. They were especially hostile to the SPD. This refusal to support Democratic parties went as far as allying with the Nazis (their sworn enemies) in Reichstag votes. This was in order to further destabilize the Republic.
*** So we have communists, socialists, Marxists all in the mix and none of it is compatible with standing U.S. law or the Founding Documents of protection for Americans. Just in case you need more on the Antifa movement in the United States and their national chatter among those in solidarity, go to this Twitter account, that is if you can stomach the whole thing. By the way, that is the Beverly Hills Antifa Twitter account…hello Hollywood.
The Supreme Court of the United States has not ruled on the Communist Control Act’s constitutionality. Despite that, no administration has tried to enforce it. The provisions of the act “outlawing” the party have not been repealed. Nevertheless, the Communist Party USA continues to exist in the 21st century.
U-S lawmakers say there is new evidence that Soviet-era leaders were backing plans for a secret war to be fought by Soviet agents in America during the cold war.
Former agents of the Soviet intelligence service, the K-G-B, say there were plans for sabotage, assassination, and perhaps even the use of small nuclear devices on U-S soil as late as the 1970’s. And you think Moscow is trustworthy? Remember, China and Russia are the lead team now dealing with the North Korea threat.
It may have seemed like any other Thursday in Moscow. The dismally overcast sky and near-freezing temperature lay heavy on the city, heralding the darkening days of winter. On that morning, the historical Art Nouveau-style Hotel Metropol Moscow, situated between the Kremlin and the FSB (formerly KGB) headquarters, was slowly and quietly filling with important guests. It is unlikely that many passers-by noticed the members of Russia’s power elite, headed by President Vladimir Putin, arriving one by one at the hidden entrance.
It was 10 December 2015. Russia’s global propaganda television channel RT (formerly Russia Today) was celebrating its 10th anniversary with a lavish gala. The organizers had put great effort into hand-picking the guests: the tables were filled with high-calibre figures active in the fields of politics, the economy, and propaganda.
When analyzing images taken at the event in light of the information available today, it is immediately clear to a watchful eye that this was a carefully planned Russian active influence operation. Its main objective was not to promote the television channel but to prepare for the massive interference in the upcoming US presidential elections.
Retired US General Michael T. Flynn had taken his place at Putin’s right hand. By that time, it was well known in Moscow that Flynn could play a key role in advising presidential candidate Donald Trump on national security issues. A battle-hardened veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Flynn’s pronounced negativity towards Islam suited Russia very well.
Putin and General Flynn at the celebration of RT anniversary in Moscow, 10 December 2015. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev
Flynn did not fail to meet the expectations of those who had ordered the speech. For 40,000 dollars, the retired general scolded Obama’s administration for its Middle East policy and kept mum about Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, as well as the many civilian casualties of air strikes in Syria. One must not forget that during the Metropol gala the international situation was rather tense, especially when it came to Russia’s relationship with the West. Only a couple of weeks had passed since Turkey had shot down a Russian Su-24M attack aircraft on 24 November 2015. Flynn was not bothered by this.
Putin did not shy away from egging Flynn on during their dinner-table talk. Having essentially been removed from the position of director of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Flynn had a bone to pick with President Barack Obama. Thus, Putin’s jaundiced views on Obama and Hillary Clinton fell on fertile ground. Flynn admitted in a later interview with Dana Priest of The Washington Post that the only thing he remembers from his table talk with Putin was the latter’s deep mistrust of the Obama administration.
Flynn had likely been under surveillance for a while. When he was still the director of the DIA in 2013, the three-star General Flynn received an unusually warm welcome in Moscow. He was the first—and so far the only—high-profile US officer to have entered the headquarters of Russia’s Main Intelligence Agency (GRU). Flynn himself remembers this with great pride because he was asked to conduct a masterclass on the professional development of leadership. The mind boggles at the thought of what the listeners made of him at the time. After all, countering the activities of the US and its allies was and continues to be one of the GRU’s main priorities.
Nevertheless, it is evident that Flynn ending up as the main guest at the December 2015 gala was no coincidence; the role of RT commentator was merely a suitable cover. However, Flynn was not the only one to attract attention on that table of ten bigwigs.
Right across from Putin sat another fateful figure from the US—the Green Party’s presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is known for her accentuated friendliness towards Russia. She also made a presentation at the gala, although her presence was advertised more modestly than Flynn’s. Still, it was Stein who became the dark horse of the November 2016 elections.
To-be U.S. presidential candidate Jill Stein in Moscow’s Red Square, December 2015. Screenshot from a video
Stein drew more votes in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan than Trump’s margin of victory over Hillary Clinton. Stein received the votes of 1.4 million people nationwide, i.e. 1% of voters. All this could have been an additional reason for stopping Clinton from becoming president.
Putin was not the only one gracing Flynn and Stein with his undivided attention at the main table. The conversation was steered by the then Kremlin Chief of Staff and former KGB general Sergey Ivanov, the president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov (who is also regarded in intelligence circles as Putin’s national defence adviser), one of the Kremlin’s leading propaganda chiefs Alexey Gromov, and RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, who is known to be friends with Putin.
In order to help Flynn and Stein blend in with the crowd, the main table also included Willy Wimmer, a veteran German politician from Angela Merkel’s party and a former member of the Bundestag (1976–2009), and the former Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda. Both are also known for their pro-Russian attitude. For instance, Wimmer has said that pursuing an anti-Russia policy is a crime against the whole of Europe. As expected, Wimmer’s analysis has no room for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, because he believes that the coup in Kyiv was caused by the West.
The picture of what transpired at the Metropol would be incomplete without mention of Julian Assange, whose presentation was broadcast via a live link and who was later suspected of leaking 20,000 emails stolen from the server of the US Democratic Party; former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who has justified Russia’s aggression against Ukraine with the need for protection from NATO; and a former analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, Raymond McGovern, who had become a scandalous political activist in the 1990s. McGovern later admitted to having voted for Stein in the 2016 elections.
As the event at the Metropol drew to a close, few people realized that something big was happening. Back then, nobody outside his immediate circle knew Flynn. Today, his name features in the international media almost every day, and with good reason. The most dramatic outside interference in the US presidential elections is a fact, and Flynn played one of the key roles in it.
Trump and Flynn during the 2016 presidential race. Photo: George Frey
Even though his career as President Trump’s national security adviser was cut short, his suspicious and covert ties managed to cause serious damage to the reputation of the US as the leader of the Western world. The story does not end there. One thing is certain: this is the first time the global public has felt the reach of Russia’s influence operations and the professionalism of its subterfuge so clearly. Many see this as something new and unexpected but, in reality, it was a long time coming.
II. The Marquis de Custine’s timeless testament
In 1839, a French aristocrat, the Marquis de Custine, traveled to Russia to seek support for his reactionary views. He was resentful of the representative democracy of his own country and thought it would lead to mob rule. He was a well-known travel writer and had published eloquent accounts of Spain and Italy.
Custine got the idea to write about Russia from the 1835 book by Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, in which the author foretells a great future for Russia and the US. Custine was later called “the Russian Tocqueville”.
He spent most of his time in Russia in Saint Petersburg, but he also visited Moscow and Yaroslavl. Custine was interested in the lives, customs, and mindsets of both the aristocracy and common folk. His hopes of finding support for his ideas in Russian authoritarianism were promptly crushed. He was especially appalled by the fact that Russians were ready to cheerfully collaborate with their own enslavers.
Having collected only one year’s worth of immediate impressions and information, Custine managed to turn the material into a book titled La Russie en 1839, which captures the nature of Russia extremely well. The book was so successful that for a long time it was banned by the Russian authorities. The unabridged version of Custine’s book was finally published in Russia 157 years later, in 1996.
Among other things, the author noticed the tendency of Russians to deceive their guests or alter reality. Custine wrote that everything in the country was an illusion and the professional misleading of foreigners was a practice only known in Russia.
In 1839, Custine recorded the thoughts of a noble Russian companion on the role of lie in his government’s policy
A former US ambassador in Moscow, General Walter Bedell Smith, wrote an introduction to the English edition of Custine’s book in 1951. Smith stressed that Custine’s political analysis was “so penetrating and timeless that it could be called the best work so far produced about the Soviet Union.” All of today’s extensive historical books on Russia owe thanks to Custine’s contribution. In Russia, however, the Frenchman is seen as the father of classic Russophobia.
Custine was not the first or only person to draw attention to Russia’s “Susaninist” nature. Even during the Livonian War (1558–83), the tsar’s negotiators tried to leave the misleading impression that Tallinn was situated on ancient Russian land and that Livonia should, therefore, be ruled by Moscow. The “villages” of Prince Potemkin, a favorite of Catherine the Great, have even acquired a proverbial meaning.
III. The KGB and the beginnings of disinformation as a science
The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 changed everything. All previous experiences paled before the extent to which deliberate lying, deception and misleading became a conscious choice in the forge of the Bolshevik special services. In the course of a century, many people from all over the world, from popes to presidents, from countries to international organizations, witnessed the disinformation skills of the Cheka/GPU/NKVD/KGB/FSB and the implementation of active influence measures in the service of Russian foreign policy.
The use of disinformation as a tactical weapon of influence became organized as early as 1923, when the Deputy Director of the GPU, Józef Unszlicht, formed a special disinformation unit to conduct active intelligence operations. Born in Poland, Unszlicht was one of the founders of the Cheka and saw disinformation as an excellent opportunity to create successful diversions in open Western societies.
On 22 December 1922, Unszlicht and Roman Pillar wrote to Stalin’s Politburo that the special disinformation unit should focus on the creation and distribution of misleading information. The best way to spread disinformation in a credible manner was to use the media of open societies. Stalin and the Politburo approved the proposal and urged Unszlicht to proceed.
The first notable and successful use of disinformation was Operation Trust. This ran from 1923 to 1927 with the aim to mislead the White Army and monarchist organizations in exile and foreign intelligence institutions with false information about an extensive resistance organization, Trust, operating within the Soviet Union. The illusion helped to lure many anti-Soviet (Boris Savinkov and Pavel Dolgorukov) and foreign (Sidney Reilly) agents into Russia, who were then arrested and executed. Interestingly, both the beginning and the end of the operation had close ties to Estonia and Latvia.
Trial of Boris Savinkov, an ardent anti-Bolshevik, who was lured to the USSR by Soviet secret services in August 1924. He was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment and was said to have committed suicide in jail in May 1925. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Trust was followed by a number of other known and less-known operations that have provided material for hundreds of books. One of the best sources is the collection of notes made by Vasili Mitrokhin during his 30 years as a KGB archivist before he fled to the West in 1992. The historian Christopher Andrew has written two hefty books based on these notes.
Another person who deserves a mention is Ion Pacepa, a general in the Romanian communist special service Securitate, who fled to the US in 1978. In 2013, he published the book Disinformation, in which he uses his own immediate knowledge to shed light on the creation of false narratives such as the framing of Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope” during World War II.
In the Soviet Union, disinformation became a science in its own right and was honed to perfection over the years. The term was first used in The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia in 1952, where it was presented as classic disinformation. According to the book, disinformation constitutes false news distributed in the media with the intention of misleading the public. The entry added that such tactics were used by the West against the Soviet Union. The truth was, naturally, the exact opposite.
Curiously, “disinformation” did not enter Western dictionaries until the late 1980s. The English word is directly derived from the Russian дезинформация [dezinformatsiya — ed.].
In the late 1960s, the Director of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, took disinformation as a successful instrument of influence to a whole new level. Andropov himself said that:
“disinformation is like cocaine—sniff once or twice, it may not change your life. If you use it every day, though, it will make you an addict—a different man.”
FSB reinstalled the memorial plaque to Andropov, which was dismantled in 1991, on its Moscow headquarters in December 1999, shortly before ex-FSB director Vladimir Putin became acting president of Russia. Photo: Anatoly Novak
In general, it is customary for foreign intelligence services to be created on the basis of collected information to advise a country’s political authorities in matters of foreign relations. However, in addition to collecting past facts, the tasks of Russian foreign intelligence involve manipulating the future.
Furthermore, the masterclass of Russian special services includes the creation of a new past to destabilize the opponent, which is then used to tamper with the latter’s international image. I will look at Estonian examples later, but Russian attempts to change the past to serve its foreign-policy interests are best illustrated by the subject of World War II.
It is crucial to understand that the fall of the Soviet Union changed nothing. The KGB was broken up and reorganized, but its tasks remained roughly the same. Mistrust in the Western system of values and security persisted.
For instance, in his 2007 book Comrade J, Pete Earley uses the story of Sergei Tretyakov, a high-ranking Russian intelligence officer who defected while at the UN in 2000, to demonstrate how Moscow continued with active intelligence and influence operations against the US even in the 1990s, the friendliest period in their relationship.
Tretyakov makes a thought-provoking statement in the book:
I want to warn Americans. As a people, you are very naive about Russia and its intentions. You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia now is your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR [Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service — ed.] is trying to destroy the US even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War.
Thanks to the endless possibilities of the internet, disinformation and national propaganda acquired an entirely new meaning with the rise to power of the former KGB intelligence officer and FSB director Vladimir Putin in 1999. The KGB’s machinery was polished and harnessed to serve Russia’s imperialist interests. The state quickly assumed control over the media, and the leading television stations became the world’s most professional propaganda outlets.
The authorities turned their attention to information security, which quickly found its way into new strategy documents. Its nuances were made famous by Russian general and current Chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, in his notorious doctrine.
The introduction of social media and its rapid development have proved to be an unprecedented goldmine for intelligence services. The distribution of disinformation is considerably easier in today’s world than it was in the late 1980s, for instance.To compare: it took more than three years for the KGB’s Operation INFEKTION to succeed in spreading a global rumor that the HIV virus originated from the Pentagon’s biological weapons program. This information leak first appeared in a small pro-Soviet Indian paper, Patriot, on 17 July 1983. Two years later, this was referenced by a popular Soviet weekly, Literaturnaya Gazeta, as the source of the scandalous story. From there it found its way to the front page of a British tabloid, and by April 1987 the fake news had been published by the mainstream media of 50 countries.
A standard message featured by a leftist paper within the AIDS disinformation campaign
On the eve of the decisive round of the 2017 French presidential elections, the favorite, Emmanuel Macron, fell victim to a massive hacking attack. The database of his e-mails and other documents went viral on a file-sharing service within minutes. In the space of just three hours, the post was shared around 47,000 times, and half a day later it was trending worldwide on Twitter. Even though Russia has denied involvement, the cyber trails prove otherwise.
In the noughties, several Western intelligence leaders were already complaining that Russia had become more active than it had been during the Cold War, but this went largely unnoticed. Russia was off the radar while the focus lay on Afghanistan and the Middle East in general. The Western political elite began to regard Russia as a threat only after the occupation and annexation of Crimea. This also brought Moscow’s activities back into the sights of intelligence services.
IV. Estonia as a target of Russian information attacks
Depicting Estonia (and Latvia) as a country that discriminates against minorities and promotes Nazism has been one of Russia’s largest and most consistent international deception operations in the last 25 years. The reasons for this are numerous, the main one being Moscow’s strategic interest in restoring its authority over the Baltic States. Russia became particularly pushy in the 1990s when Estonia and the other Baltic States were applying for membership of NATO and the European Union.
On 4 December 1991, only three months after the restoration of independence, the Estonian foreign ministry was forced to send its Soviet counterpart a note condemning President Mikhail Gorbachev’s hostile attitude towards the Baltic States during his appearance on Soviet Central Television the previous day. Gorbachev first blamed the Baltic States for violating the human rights of minorities and then added that Russians, Ukrainians and other minorities living in the Baltic States had requested protection from the Soviet Union. Estonian diplomats treated this as a threat to national security.
Active measures continued to be taken in this spirit on both diplomatic and journalistic levels for years. Essentially, it has not stopped, even today. The situation was particularly severe in the 1990s when Russia tried to influence the West to ignore the Baltic States. Moscow also tried to discourage Estonia from adopting the Aliens Act in 1993 by issuing threats bordering on the undiplomatic.
For instance, on 18 June 1993, the then Russian deputy foreign minister, Vitaly Churkin, who later became Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Radio Moscow that: “Russian-Estonian relations are clearly deteriorating. We are currently preparing a package of serious diplomatic, political and perhaps not only political measures with regard to Estonia.” Six days later, President Boris Yeltsin said that Estonia had “forgotten” geopolitical and demographic reality and threatened that Russia had the means to refresh its memory. Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev did not hold back on 14 August 1993, saying that international relations in the Baltic States had “strong potential for violence and unrest.”
On 23 August 1993—exactly 54 years after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact—Yeltsin’s press secretary, Vyacheslav Kostikov, naively stated that:
“the forces that try to push Russia out of the Baltic States must consider that Russia governed the Baltic geopolitical area for centuries and it has invested great material and intellectual resources into its development.”
On 2 March 1994, Artur Laast, a diplomat at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, was invited to the Russian foreign ministry, where the head of the Second European Department, Yuri Fokin, made a threatening oral statement about President Lennart Meri’s criticism of Russia in his speech at the annual Matthiae-Mahl dinner in Hamburg on 25 February. The memo of the meeting ends with Laast quoting the Russian diplomat: “If the course that is focused on aggravating the relations between the two neighboring countries does not change, Estonia will assume full responsibility.”
In the 1994 report “Russian Threats to Estonia” by the embassy in Moscow, an Estonian diplomat discusses political hazards among other questions. The author of the report writes that Russia:
“attempts to influence Estonia by damaging us on the international arena. For this, it uses the well-known thesis of violating the human rights of the Russian minority, spreads rumors that Estonia has become a transit country for crime and that Estonian citizens participate in military conflicts in Tajikistan and Chechnya, and accuses us of supporting separatism in Russia.”
These are only a few examples from the archive of the Estonian foreign ministry that illustrate Russia’s diplomatic pressure on Estonia, but also on the West. At the time, occupying forces were still in Estonia. The troops were withdrawn on 31 August 1994.
When the First Chechen War broke out at the end of 1994, Russian media gave extensive coverage to a false news story about alleged Baltic female biathletes serving as snipers on Dudayev’s side. As the so-called “White Tights,” the phantom snipers even featured in songs.
From my time as a foreign correspondent in Moscow, I clearly remember a detailed, multi-page account in the daily Moskovskiye Novosti of how Estonians were skilled and disciplined killers: all this to distort our image and influence public opinion at home and abroad.
World War II has remained one of the main arguments in the information war against Estonia over the last 25 years. The tension grew at the beginning of Putin’s tenure and finally led to the Bronze Night events in 2007. Russia has not made much progress on this matter or on other topics.
Russian anti-Estonian cartoon attacks Estonian schools as an alleged hotbed of Nazism as opposed to Russian/Soviet-style “peace education.” Source: newsbalt.ru
Estonia has now been a member of NATO and the EU for 13 years and will use its presidency of the EU Council to collaborate with other member states to implement more effective means to combat Russia’s information attacks and disinformation campaigns.
V. In place of an epilogue
In 1930, Professor Dmitry Manuilsky of Moscow’s Leninist School of Political Warfare wrote that Russia was creating the world’s most progressive peace movement to lull the West to sleep. Convinced that a war between the two great systems was inevitable, Manuilsky thought that:
“foolish and decadent capitalist countries will be happy to use the opportunity to cooperate with us to bring about their own destruction. They will use every opportunity to become friends. As soon as the enemy lets their guard down, we will crush them with our iron fist.”
The Soviet empire used various means to achieve its geopolitical goals and, to an extent, world domination. At the forefront of the campaign in the free world were the “useful idiots” and agents of influence.Moscow took good care of its mouthpieces. In the 1980s, French communists were paid 24 million dollars, while Americans received 21 million dollars. Finnish communists received a generous reward of 16.5 million dollars for their pro-Russian views. During the final two decades of the Soviet Union, Moscow distributed more than 400 million dollars of such benefits all over the world, mainly to extremist communist movements.
The fight for the hearts and minds of the free world was on, and it has not subsided even today. Russia’s new clients are mainly extremist forces of both left and right, and by supporting them Moscow tries to weaken the integrity of the European Union and NATO, disrupt the internal stability of their member countries, and create the circumstances for a Finlandization of Europe.
Russia has managed to make a right mess of America’s domestic politics. However, the Dutch and French elections provided some assurance that Moscow’s influence operations have limits and that Europe is not disintegrating. Then again, the fight continues and it is too early to draw any final conclusions.
The international debate has provided many good ideas and political suggestions to counter Russia’s aggression, information attacks, and propaganda. History provides good counsel, even here.
On 14 April 1950, only 12 months after the founding of NATO, the US National Security Council’s special task force presented President Harry Truman with top-secret report No. 68. The 58-page document was essentially the basis for the US long-term policy on the Soviet Union, which culminated with the victory in the Cold War in the late 1980s. The report described the challenge posed by the Soviet Union as something that could cause “the destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself.” The Soviet Union was treated as the exact opposite of the US, with Moscow’s expansionist policy deemed a great threat to the security of the free world.
Among other topics, the report also highlighted the fight against the Soviet Union’s influence operations. The document stressed that the campaign for truth must above all become a fight for people’s minds.
Putin boasts of Russia’s fight against ISIS in Syria to the filmmaker Oliver Stone showing a U.S. video from Afghanistan. Screenshots from Stone’s film The Putin Interviews (2017)
A lot has changed by 2017 but, in general, Russia and the US, together with the latter’s allies, remain in fundamental opposition. Hence it is vital that the allies’ conflict-avoidance strategy looks beyond the false hope of solving problems with meaningless dialogue.
For those who know me well, there are two presidents that I loved more than all the others. The first is Calvin Coolidge. The second is Ronald Reagan who idolized Coolidge. A new book has come out that I highly recommend that is written by Henry Olsen, entitled: The Working Class Republican – Ronald Reagan And The Return Of Blue-Collar Conservatism. President Reagan changed my life and made me a staunch constitutional conservative. So of course, this book intrigued me.
In this book, Olsen takes a controversial stand that Roosevelt’s New Deal was more conservative than anyone knew. The book promotes that Ronald Reagan was the natural heir to the New Deal. Now, I personally don’t agree with that, but I find Olsen’s argument very interesting. I think you will too. Some of the things that Olsen puts forth are correct. Reagan appealed to both Democrats and Republicans because he used common sense, truth and passion to get his points across. And when he was elected, he had a clear plan, kept his promises and got things done. He worked within the government, not against it to accomplish his agenda. He was monstrously successful at it too.
In this sure to be controversial book in the vein of The Forgotten Man, a political analyst argues that conservative icon Ronald Reagan was not an enemy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal, but his true heir and the popular program’s ultimate savior.
Conventional political wisdom views the two most consequential presidents of the twentieth-century—FDR and Ronald Reagan—as ideological opposites. FDR is hailed as the champion of big-government progressivism manifested in the New Deal. Reagan is seen as the crusader for conservatism dedicated to small government and free markets. But Henry Olsen argues that this assumption is wrong.
In The Working Class Republican, Olsen contends that the historical record clearly shows that Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal itself were more conservative than either Democrats or Republicans believe, and that Ronald Reagan was more progressive than most contemporary Republicans understand. Olsen cuts through political mythology to set the record straight, revealing how Reagan—a longtime Democrat until FDR’s successors lost his vision in the 1960s—saw himself as FDR’s natural heir, carrying forward the basic promises of the New Deal: that every American deserves comfort, dignity, and respect provided they work to the best of their ability.
Olsen corrects faulty assumptions driving today’s politics. Conservative Republican political victories over the last thirty years have not been a rejection of the New Deal’s promises, he demonstrates, but rather a representation of the electorate’s desire for their success—which Americans see as fulfilling the vision of the nation’s founding. For the good of all citizens and the GOP, he implores Republicans to once again become a party of “FDR Conservatives”—to rediscover and support the basic elements of FDR (and Reagan’s) vision.
Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. A former president of the Commonwealth Foundation, he has also served in senior leadership roles at the Manhattan Institute and American Enterprise Institute. Olsen earned his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and J.D. from the University of Chicago. This is a brilliant and thoughtful man. And one that would be fascinating to debate points with.
The book draws parallels between the Trump presidency and Reagan’s. Perhaps there are some, but for the most part, I don’t see them. Trump did mimic Reagan to some extent, but their styles and methodology are as different as night and day. Olsen applies to American politics what he terms the “truckers and cashiers” test. Truck driving is the biggest employer of white, working-class men, and being a cashier or waitress is the most common blue-collar job for white, working-class women. For Reagan, “virtually every speech had this person in mind, and virtually every speech had something that person could uniquely relate to.” Trump does this to some extent as well, but not nearly as effectively. He is attempting to work within the government framework somewhat, but not to the extent or the manner that Ronald Reagan did.
Read the book and decide for yourself if there is indeed a connection between FDR and Reagan. It’s a fascinating conclusion that deserves considering. But in the end… personally I feel Reagan was the disciple far more of Coolidge than he was of FDR. Pick up a copy of Olsen’s fascinating book here.
As defined by Diffen.com, a republic is similar to a representative democracy except it has a written constitution of basic rights that protect the minority from being completely unrepresented or overridden by the majority. In theory, all citizens have an equal say and so are treated equally by the government, especially insofar as there is a constitutional prohibition on government discrimination.
Power is not alluring to pure minds. — Thomas Jefferson
Today’s deep state controlled media lead liberals to seek to enlarge the government and give it more and more power. They believe that in doing so that they can position themselves to maintain and/or assume control of that power. However, the issue that they keep running into — and it really upsets them — is that the constitution was designed to protect the people from the government. Many liberals today would throw out the constitution if they could. It maintains a continuous thorn in their side as they work towards their globalist and collectivist agenda.
The vast majority of liberals are secular humanists who don’t actually believe that Jesus Christ is sovereign, alive, and pursuing a relationship with them. Additionally, they believe that truth is relative, that there is no such thing as THE truth (as Christians believe there is), but that truth is found by majority opinion. So from that paradigm, they seek a big government (ie. big powerful secular god) that they can control and manipulate (through propaganda) to sway public opinion (a.k.a their archetype of truth) to control the people via their fleeting irrational sentiments, emotion, and whim.
Hence the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the media jackals who are controlled by the deep state and who in turn control the DNC.
Throughout his entire life, Thomas Jefferson was a consistent opponent of slavery. Calling it a “moral depravity”1 and a “hideous blot,”2 he believed that slavery presented the greatest threat to the survival of the new American nation.3 Jefferson also thought that slavery was contrary to the laws of nature, which decreed that everyone had a right to personal liberty.4 These views were radical in a world where unfree labor was the norm.
At the time of the American Revolution, Jefferson was actively involved in legislation that he hoped would result in slavery’s abolition.5 In 1778, he drafted a Virginia law that prohibited the importation of enslaved Africans.6 In 1784, he proposed an ordinance that would ban slavery in the Northwest territories.7But Jefferson always maintained that the decision to emancipate slaves would have to be part of a democratic process; abolition would be stymied until slaveowners consented to free their human property together in a large-scale act of emancipation.
Here’s the hope!
Well before we get into the hope, let’s make a few things abundantly clear. We are more than a bit irreverent and certainly not politically correct. As George Carlin stated, “Political Correctness is fascism attempting to appear as manners.” It can make for some great entertainment when you try and create peer pressure for us to become what you consider politically correct — good luck with that 🙂
If you’ve made it this far, and you are one of our liberal friends, you are either not easily triggered or reading this post has taken you three days — either way congrats. We can be friends. We’ll not stop giving you a hard time for your folly, but we can be friends.
Here’s where we’re headed. We’re not trying to convert the left. We’re entertaining and facilitating communication for a family of Christian Conservatives. We believe that together we can manifest the Kingdom of Heaven on earth — not through legislating morality, but through raising awareness in Patriots that the government is a reflection of their hearts and minds. We seek liberty at all costs! It was for liberty that Christ set us free.
Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government. — Thomas Jefferson
This is the day we remember those who have fallen in battle, thereby making the supreme sacrifice in service to our great nation. Too many of us don’t fully recognize what this day symbolizes. So I am offering a Memorial Day prayer, both to give my thanks and hopefully help us all be a little more appreciative.
Here it is:
I pray for the fallen, those brave souls who gave their all for this country, never flinching from their duty, whatever they were called to do, and whether the leadership decisions that brought them to their last mission were well considered or not. They have given all they had, without question.
But I pray especially for the fathers and sons, mothers and daughters of these fallen princes, for they have to live on without, and doubtless would have taken their place without question, even if only to save themselves from such unbearable pain. Nothing can compare to the suffering endured by a mother who loses her child, or a child who loses his mother or father before their time. The fallen sacrifice their lives; the family sacrifices the rest of their lives. They will never see what their beloved’s life could have become, will no more share life’s trials and triumphs with them, never again see their smile or share their warmth on a cold winter’s night. They live in a sea of grief and will carry that wound for eternity. So, please God, bestow Your Tenderness and Grace especially on these families, whose loss can never be repaid.
But God, I pray also for the rest of us, for we lose too. We lose what could have been, from among the most selfless, principled, promising souls of our living generations. I would gladly exchange any ten Harvard graduates for one serviceman who willingly walks at the knifepoint. He has more guts, more integrity, more fortitude and likely more resourcefulness than the lot of them combined.
So, God, please let not their ultimate sacrifice be in vain. See to it that the objectives they were deployed to obtain are achieved. See to it that we have the satisfaction of realizing their mission successfully concluded. God, preserve this country for which they gave their lives, and give us all the wisdom, humility, and virtue to fully comprehend and gratefully acknowledge their sacrifices for what they are; for “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
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