The headline news that Keith Ellison, the Deputy Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has come out via his Twitter account with what appears to be an off-hand endorsement of the domestic terrorist group, Antifa, has made some waves and raised a few eyebrows.
Here is what The New York Post [January 3] reported:
On Wednesday [the 3rd], Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the Democratic National Committee’s deputy chair, tweeted a photo of himself cheekily smiling with a copy of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.” His caption: “I just found the book that strike [sic] fear in the heart of @realdonaldtrump.” [https://nypost.com/2018/01/04/keith-ellison-invites-antifa-to-the-party/]
So, there he was, the first bona fide Muslim elected to Congress (from Minnesota), holding a copy of Antifa’s “handbook” for violent revolution, using it as a prop to attack the president, and by extension anyone who dares to support him.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 3, 2018
That was not the half of it. Newsweek—that once iconic magazine of news and opinion, now a mouthpiece for the radical Deep State—quickly leapt to Ellison’s defense, suggesting that his tweet may have been only in jest:
“Newsweek was unable to reach Ellison for comment about his tweet, but it is unclear whether or not he “endorsed” the book, or whether he was simply making a joke.” [http://www.newsweek.com/keith-ellisons-antifa-tweet-spurs-fake-news-backlash-linking-him-terror-group-770958]
But the most serious aspect of this incident according to Newsweek was not Ellison’s use of the Antifa “handbook” to attack the president, but the “far right activist” attacks on Ellison for what he had tweeted:
“The deputy head of the Democratic National Committee is under fire—again—from far-right activists after he posed with a copy of a “antifa” book and suggested anti-fascist activism is President Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.”
Newsweek emphasized that the attacks on Ellison came from Fox News, anti-Muslims and “conspiracy website(s),” and were “racially and politically motivated.”
And then, to finish this effort to explain away Ellison’s tweet and divert attention away from what he said, the once-respected weekly suggested that the Antifa may not be all that bad after all. Maybe we’ve misjudged those idealistic Social Justice Warriors:
“Antifa” is not a group; it is a word used to describe a means of protesting. The protesters involved in the movement have not been even “formally classified” as a domestic terror organization by the federal government. FBI Director Christopher Wray said in late November that some men and women who are inspired by “kind of an antifa ideology” were being investigated by the FBI to the House Homeland Security Committee, but that remark was embedded in a larger discussion about investigating white supremacists—the very people “antifa” protesters are setting out to disrupt.’
Is this, then, the face of the Democratic Party in 2018? The answer seems to be “yes,” and despite the best efforts of Mainstream Media outlets to blame such kerfuffles on the “far right” or “conspiracy theorists,” the simple fact is that the center of gravity of the old and storied Democratic Party has moved to the far left: it has accepted an extremist intellectual and operational template and pushes a narrative that actually makes the views and vision of the old Soviet Communists appear rather mild, even conservative, in comparison.
It is not just Ellison; he is by no means alone. When the “grand old man” of “the Democracy” is now aging leftie Bernie Sanders (although technically a “Socialist”)—when the leaders of the party range from the ideologically far left Senator Elizabeth Warren to such luminaries as Representatives Ted Lieu and Maxine Waters—when as one of two major political formations in this country it now embraces a forthright and literal “counter-reality,” an openly fraudulent and disintegrative conception of society and culture—then what we behold is the undeniable fact that the old Democratic Party that once could boast of a Senator Sam Ervin (NC), Senator Pat Moynihan (NY), or even a John F. Kennedy, no longer exists, has virtually disappeared. And it would be utterly disingenuous to think otherwise.
Back in the 1960s, here in North Carolina, there were still what we would call “conservative” Democrats around, millions of them. The old Democratic Party, since the decades prior to the War Between the States, had been something of a coalition that included a “Southern wing” (emphasizing states’ rights, constitutionalism and local autonomy) and Northern allies (most especially from the 1840s on, Irish Catholics and other immigrants, but also millions of Northerners who had rejected the economic policies that characterized the Republican Party).
That coalition continued throughout the last half of the 19th century and during the first five decades of the 20th. It was not just the much-debated “civil rights” legislation of the 1960s and 1970s that terminated it; rumblings of disaccord and division were apparent thirty years earlier with the expansive government programs—and overreach—during the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. It was prominent US senators like Josiah Bailey (NC) and Harry Byrd (VA), and later Richard Russell (GA), who led the “just-below-the-surface” opposition to FDR’s tentative attempts to extend government power and authority.
But, through it all and in spite of the growing friction, the South remained Democratic, giving its votes to Adlai Stevenson (in 1952 and 1956), and, yes, to President Kennedy in 1960 (who, despite his “liberal” public face, knew well how not to alienate his Southern support).
Many, if not most, political scientists attribute the mass disaffection of conservative Democrats, most particular Southerners, to the “civil rights” movement, the resulting civil rights bills and the embrace of that agenda by the national Democratic Party. White Southerners, you see, were inherently “racist.” While this explanation is superficially appealing, it neglects more profound reasons for the exit of millions, not just of Southern Democrats but eventually of other, mostly working class and Midwest Democrats, from the party.
Rather, it was the statist and increasingly authoritarian nature of the old party of Grover Cleveland and Andrew Jackson—the party that once defended states’ rights and individual liberty—that had become readily visible to even the most inattentive registered party member. It seems that when in power, Democrat hierarchs (and increasingly Republican ones as well) were seeking to extend the arms of government into every aspect of peoples’ lives, into every facet of human endeavor—in education, in the family, in the area of personal responsibility, even in what you can say…or think.
But it was not just that. For more than a century the Democratic Party was a defender of traditional (and Christian) morality. As a coalition of mostly Northern ethnic descendants (e.g., Irish Catholics and others) and Southern conservatives (mostly Protestants and Evangelicals), the party was in the forefront of opposition to advancing liberal attacks on the nation’s traditional moral beliefs on abortion, same sex marriage, gay rights, and birth control. Indeed, it was only sixty or so years ago that the archetypal New England Republican and scion of the Bush family, Prescott Bush, could take classic progressive positions on such questions—positions that were more characteristic of the Republican Party than of the Democrats of the period.
Just read a few lines from the Wikipedia about him:
“Prescott Bush was politically active on social issues. He was involved with the American Birth Control League as early as 1942, and served as the treasurer of the first national capital campaign of Planned Parenthood in 1947 [....] From 1947 to 1950, he served as Connecticut Republican finance chairman, and was the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1950. A columnist in Boston said that Bush ‘is coming on to be known as President Truman’s Harry Hopkins. Nobody knows Mr. Bush and he hasn’t a Chinaman’s chance.’ (Harry Hopkins [a Communist fellow traveler] had been one of FDR‘s closest advisors.) Bush’s ties with Planned Parenthood also hurt him in heavily Catholic Connecticut, and were the basis of a last-minute campaign in churches by Bush’s opponents; the family vigorously denied the connection, but Bush lost to anti-abortion Democrat [William] Benton by only 1,000 votes.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescott_Bush
Such sentiment dominated the Republican Party of the time and was certainly one of the reasons—along with the memories of 1861-1865—why the GOP made very few inroads in the South. And certainly, conjoined with the belief that Republicans were owned by corporate interests, it disinclined support from working class, blue collar Catholics (and conservative Protestants) in states like Pennsylvania, or Michigan.
One could argue that despite the Goldwater and Reagan revolutions of the 1960s and 1980s, the Nixonian strategy of a great “silent majority” realignment and the resulting exit of conservative Democrats from the party of their fathers, some of those “establishment” godfathers of the GOP, despite paying lip service to the new “conservative” recruits and emphasis, have never made the transition….
Yet, even if an ideological tussle has continued within the Republican Party, now coated with a “Reaganesque” brush, the radical and extreme change in “the Democracy” was even more notable. While even a Bill Clinton—a former governor of conservative Arkansas—could run for president as a “moderate” in 1992 and work with Republicans in Congress on what were ostensibly “conservative reforms,” expressing opposition to such now-dominant narratives as support for same sex marriage, for instance, no Democrat now, certainly no Democrat seeking higher office (outside of perhaps West Virginia) could come close to approximating such public statements today.
In fact, the long range transformation of the Democratic Party, which began many decades ago, has been more or less successfully completed, securing near total control of one of this nation’s two major political parties, while engendering abject fear in the opposing Republican Party, most of whose leaders simply feign or avoid real opposition, or, increasingly “go along, to get along” with many of the more noxious propositions, whether on issues of “sexual liberation” and feminism, or illegal immigration, or healthcare and Obamacare.
Despite continuing opposition by much of the GOP grass roots to such initiatives, a considerable portion of the Republican leadership seems intent on enabling programs pressed by Democrats. After all, their political bread, too, is “buttered by the Deep State.”
On immigration, for example, NumbersUSA has just published the results of a major national poll indicating that a very large majority of American citizens oppose “chain migration” (57% to 30%). An even larger majority oppose the visa lottery (60% to 29%) and insist that ANY form of legalization of status for younger immigrants must include the strict application of E-verify rules (57% to 23%). [https://www.numbersusa.com/blog/poll-most-voters-agree-trump-end-chain-migration-reduce-overall-immigration] And most citizens believe that overall legal immigration should be substantially reduced. Yet, many Republicans in Congress, especially in the Senate (e.g., Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Thom Tillis, etc.) seem to take their marching orders from the illegal immigration lobby and their big business Chamber of Commerce donors.
In these efforts, the Democratic Party, of course, has been in the forefront. Zealously championing an “open door” policy on immigration, and counting on the acquiescence and support of certain GOP “cultural traitors,” it pushes a “pathway to citizenship” for new, eventual voters whom it hopes will compensate for the millions of real citizens who continue to be disaffected by the party’s leftward plunge.
Or, take same sex marriage: prior to the much-debated and highly controversial decision of the Supreme Court , the campaign to make it legal was enjoying limited success…success in certain characteristically “liberal” states, but failing uniformly in other states. In North Carolina, for instance, an amendment to the state constitution to ban same sex marriage (May 8, 2012), was approved by a popular vote 61% to 39% (with a record 35% voter turnout and majorities among white and black voters). [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina_Amendment_1]
Rejected by the voters in most states, it took the Supreme Court’s arbitrary judicial fiat, based on incomprehensibly obtuse and constitutionally suspect reasoning, to make the extreme views of a raucous and loud minority the “law of the land.” And now, according to polls conducted by mainstream media pollsters, a majority of voters supposedly support the practice [https://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-marriage-is-a-fundamental-right-for-gay-couples/]. Yet, if true, one must wonder if, in addition to a continuous and intense media campaign, the lack of convincing and consistent GOP opposition may have contributed to this turnaround.
Not only does the Democratic Party embrace the narrative of the extreme culturally Marxist Left on such topics as immigration, feminism and sexual liberation, and racism, with overwhelming support from the media, the academy, and in most of our cultural institutions, it has been able to set the agenda generally for decades, subduing or scaring off most effective GOP opposition—at least until the advent of Donald J. Trump.
That is the lay of the land in 2018…and the incredible challenge that President Trump faces, even in the best of circumstances (and discounting the numerous “conservative” voices both in and outside the White House who counsel him to lower the volume and accede to at least some of the advances of the Revolution). And it also illustrates the continuing evolution of the Democratic Party to the extreme Left under leaders like Keith Ellison and helps explain the fanatical and unbridled opposition to the president and his agenda, even in its most mild or superficial applications.