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Back in the days when people believed in witches, there were folks who made a pretty good living by setting themselves up as professional “witch hunters.” They claimed to know all about what witches looked like and how to ferret them out — for a hefty fee, of course. The witch hunters of old were responsible for probably thousands of innocent people being tortured and executed on fake charges of witchcraft. Today, witch hunters are by no means extinct, but the ones in business now make those of the past seem rather attractive.

Today’s witch hunters don’t look for real witches, of course, but for “extremists,” mainly “extremists” on the far right. Though they often dredge up a good many nuts and sometimes even a really dangerous type, much of what they do is as unreliable and preposterous as the accusations against the poor old crones the early witch hunters dragged to the stake.

One hunter who has hunted down the witch hunters themselves is an independent journalist and researcher named Laird Wilcox, who, for decades, has studied both the right and the left, extreme and not-so extreme, simply for the purpose of analyzing it. Unlike the witch hunters, Wilcox doesn’t have a point to push, an agenda to peddle or a buck to snatch out of your pocket. Hence, he needs to be listened to.

Interviewed this week in The Washington Times, Wilcox discusses his recent monograph on witch hunters entitled “The Watchdogs,” (available through Editorial Research Service, P.O. Box 2047, Olathe, KS 66051), a 100-page study of the work and backgrounds of the major organizations that devote themselves to the pursuit of modern “extremism.” The organizations are the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for Democratic Renewal, and Political Research Associates.

Most of these groups and the chaps who run them have a political agenda — mainly drawn from the extreme left — though they like to posture as “objective” researchers. The Southern *Poverty Law Center, for example, was founded and continues to be run by Morris Dees, a fund raiser for leftist Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern and for other causes of the left as well.

The Center for Democratic Renewal, Wilcox writes, “has a fascinating history that reaches into the recesses of the American Marxist-Leninist left.” Wilcox identifies several of the staffers and associates of the CDR as having ties to the Communist Party. Yet both groups love to dote on the past “links” of the “right-wing extremists” they’re obsessed with.

The Anti-Defamation League is mainly just liberal in its orientation, but it still tends to blast anyone at all critical of Israel, liberal Jewish causes and organizations and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East as “anti-Semitic.” As ruinous as that charge often is, the ADL isn’t always right about it. Only last month it lost a $10.5 million lawsuit in Colorado for lobbing the “anti-Semitism” charge at a couple who lobbed back — and won.

These groups specialize in drumming the tune that Nazis and Klansmen are on the verge of taking over the country or at least that they’re a growing menace as terrorists. Wilcox says that in fact, there are probably only about 10,000 followers of such fringe groups in the whole country, but by playing on fear and ignorance the witch hunters grotesquely exaggerate their numbers and power.

The Center for Democratic Renewal, for example, claimed a few years ago that “a well-organized white-supremacist movement” was behind a series of black church-burnings. In fact, as responsible reporters and law enforcement officials soon showed, “church-burnings had actually declined, … racism was a motive in less than half of the arsons, and … white churches were more often targeted by arsonists,” as the Times reports. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been faulted by some of its own former employees as “a joke” and “evil,” while black former employees have accused it of racial discrimination against them.

The witch hunters wouldn’t be dangerous except for the fact that they’ve managed to con many in the press and government to take their political propaganda disguised as “research” seriously. An FBI report last year claiming that “right-wing extremists” would commit terrorist violence at the turn of the millennium on Jan. 1 showed the heavy influence of the thinking and writing of these groups. As we now know, the report was without merit.

Instead of simply swallowing whatever these self-appointed watchdogs bark up, the media and serious law enforcement need to take a long look at Wilcox’s valuable study of them and their work. They might find it’s the witch hunters themselves who are the real witches that need to be ferreted out.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness 
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Ancient Greek mythology explained the origins of the great Trojan War by claiming that the goddess of jealousy incited a quarrel among other goddesses over the question of which one was the most beautiful. Probably not even the Greeks themselves ever really believed this, but perhaps it makes more sense than most democratic political theory does in explaining why the United States is governed the way it is. The theory is that, on a designated day, every four years, the “people” betake themselves to voting booths and express their “will” by secretly marking a ballot, pulling a lever or punching a hole. Up until this year, the theory, while entirely disprovable, managed to survive without serious challenge.

This year, because of the late unpleasantness in the state of Florida, the theory is in the process of collapsing. It is now transparent that whatever happened in Florida on Nov. 7, and whoever is eventually inaugurated as the next president, the “people” and their “will” had virtually nothing to do with it.

It’s quite true that the “people” of Florida voted. Some actually managed to vote for the candidate they wanted to vote for, but after three weeks of counting, recounting and refusing to count, and failing to count the votes cast; after doing so according to different rules and standards in different counties; after throwing out certain absentee ballots because they were not properly postmarked, or had not been properly signed by the proper bureaucrat; after not counting at all the returns from two entire counties because they didn’t meet the deadline set after the election was over, it is simply absurd to claim that the final results in Florida tell us anything whatsoever about what the “people” of the state “willed.”

Nor will that “will” be any more clearly expressed after the several lawsuits have wound their way to conclusion in the courts. The judges are also political partisans, as are the governor, the secretary of state, the legislature and the assorted munchkins and cooky-pushers of the county and state-election authorities. But even if the judges, cabinet officers, lawmakers and cooky-pushers were nonpartisan, it is unclear why their decisions would reflect any substantial body of opinion rather than their own personal and partisan preferences.

Even if we agree to accept one or another vote total as expressive of the “will” of the “people,” however, it is simply not much of an expression. Whether the “accurate” vote margin is 537, 930, 466, 157 or whatever smidgin is finally registered, the “people” did not so much roar a mandate as mumble it. With all due respect to the legality of the Electoral College, any “mandate” that democratic theory recognizes is expressed by the popular vote, not by the peculiar mechanisms of the Constitution.

Then there is the little matter of whether we can any longer (or ever could) speak of a “people” as a coherent body of collective political will at all. It is arguable that both the Constitution and the Federalist papers do not even recognize such a “people,” but rather a congregation of “factions” — interest groups, ethnic groups, classes, social categories, states and sections — that, together, constitute a functioning political society. Today, of course, added to that stew, we have voting blocs of recent immigrants who often don’t speak enough English to understand the political system into which they have been pressed, as well as various illegal aliens and convicted felons casting ballots themselves.

Finally, even if there is a “people,” in the state of Florida or in the United States as a whole, there is the question of its “will” and the capacity of the “people” to express it through casting ballots on a particular day. The more concretely you think about those questions, the more elusive each of them becomes.

The only sense in which any of these concepts reflect social and political reality is a purely legalistic one — the “people” express their “will” on a particular day, in a particular way because that’s what the Constitution and the federal, state, and local election laws say happens. That’s good enough for most of us, and throughout American history it’s been good enough to establish and conduct the functions of government in ways that most Americans are prepared to acknowledge are legitimate.

The German statesman Bismarck said that the process of making laws, like the process of making sausages, does not bear close examination. The same is true of the process of making presidents and expressing the “will” of the “people.” Americans might be well-advised not to look too closely at the mythologies by which they are governed. The real problem with this election has not been that we can’t tell who won, but that it has forced us to look.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2000 Election, Democracy 
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No sooner had America fluttered into the political twilight zone to which last Tuesday’s election delivered it, that the sages who miscalled the Florida vote began to jabber about how we’ve just got to abolish the Electoral College. By the end of the week, the demand for transforming the country into one big happy land of direct democracy seemed to be taking root, with Senator-Elect Hillary Clinton herself calling for abolition. But however attractive the idea might seem, it involves a bit more than altering the way we elect presidents. It needs to be noted in the first place that abolishing the Electoral College is probably not politically possible, if only because doing so would require approval of a constitutional amendment by a number of small states that would thereby effectively disfranchise themselves in presidential elections. It’s quite true that the Electoral College gives small states –not only conservative ones, like most of those in the West that Republicans tend to win, but also several New England states the Democrats usually carry — far more power than if the popular vote determined winners.

Yet it’s also true that in the absence of the Electoral College, the left would benefit the most. Candidates would contend for the most popular votes and concentrate on the more leftish urbanized areas where most voters live. Small towns and rural areas rather than cities, white voters rather than nonwhites, and middle income rather than low-income people would tend to be ignored. That, of course, is why champions of the left, like Senator Hillary and her fan club in the national press corps, want the Electoral College to go.

But even if abolishing it were possible and desirable, Americans ought to think through what the college is, why it’s there, and what abolishing it would mean, not only for practical politics but also for theoretical reasons.

The pundits last week were coaxing their hired experts to say that the Framers adopted the Electoral College because they distrusted the common man and wanted to control the results of letting him vote at all. That’s only partly true, though there’s nothing wrong or outdated about it. Our whole constitutional system is in fact a means of controlling the power of each part of society and government by the power of others.

A bigger reason for the creation of the Electoral College is that in the eye of the U.S. Constitution and the men who created it, there is no such thing as “the American people” as a whole. What there is are the people of the states that created the Constitution.

It follows that “the American people” do not elect and never have elected anyone. The peoples of the states choose electors, who then choose the president. The purpose of the Electoral College is not to control American voters, but to control the federal government.

The system controls the federal government by recognizing and protecting the power of the states. Rather than creating one big union in which a bare majority would elect the president directly and thereby give him an excuse to claim that he is the embodiment of the general will, the Constitution sought, through the Electoral College, to perpetuate the power of intermediary institutions like the states as checks on presidential and federal power.

Abolishing the Electoral College even today would go far to strip the states of one of their vital constitutional functions. Abolition would imply, in effect, if not in principle, that the states no longer exist, except as administrative units. The people of the states would cease to choose the electors who choose the president; instead, one big people, no longer defined by and contained within the states, would pick der Fuhrer — the leader.

Abolishing the Electoral College, then, would go far to transform the United States from a federal republic, formed by the union of states, to a unitary state created by the will of a single people and represented in a single man. The federal government would become the expression of that will, and any limitation of government would be a limitation of the people’s will. The range of governmental power would then be virtually infinite.

That, of course, is more or less what the American Civil War tried to turn the United States into. It didn’t quite do it, simply because the forms of the old Constitution, including states, managed to survive. But if the fans of expanded federal power could get rid of the Electoral College, they would go far in getting rid of the states that compose and constrain the union. That’s yet another reason Senator Hillary and her pals want to get rid of the college — and why those who want to retain some semblance of the old republic should want to keep it.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2000 Election, Constitutional Theory 
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Under Prime Minister Tony Blair and his cohorts, Great Britain is threatening to become almost as totalitarian, if not more, in its reconstruction of history as the United States under Bill Clinton. One such cohort is Ken Livingstone, the new mayor of London, whose contribution to constructing the new order is to propose that the city’s statues of various “imperialist” generals and statesmen be knocked off their pedestals.

Mayor Livingstone is known as “Red Ken,” from which nickname you can probably guess his political orientation, and his demand for removal of the statues is perfectly consistent with his socialism and hatred of the old order. What’s interesting about his demand is that it parallels almost exactly the same kind of attack in this country on the Confederate flag and similar icons.

Some statues, however, are more equal than others. Thus, the mayor especially wants to rid the city of the images of such warriors as Sir Henry Havelock, who suppressed the Great Indian Mutiny of 1857, and Gen. Charles Napier, who among other accomplishments conquered the province of Sindh in 1843. Of course, there are, today in London, other statues, such as those of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, which seem to be OK with Red Ken. Perhaps you can guess why.

Statues of any Englishman who ever did anything considered by the left to be “bad” to nonwhites must go. Statues of nonwhites who resisted British and white imperialism, “racism,” colonialism and other villainous isms are fine. Well, how about Englishmen who actually helped nonwhites, if any such there be? Nope, they have to go, too.

One such Englishman who has more than one statue in his honor in London is Major Gen. Charles “Chinese” Gordon, who supposedly destroyed a large collection of Chinese art when suppressing the brutal Taiping Rebellion in China in the 1850s. No doubt that was awful of him, but then he later helped suppress the slave trade in Africa and met his death there while fighting an army of Islamic religious fanatics in the Sudan. Of course, that sort of stuff counts for naught with Red Ken; Gordon must go, too.

The mayor’s war against the statues is just as ignorant of real history and just as ideologically lopsided as the crusade against the Confederacy in the United States, but the mayor likes to mask his real agenda by claiming the statues honor men whose achievements are now obscure. “In our capital city,” Red Ken intones, “the people on the plinth should be identifiable to most of the population.” There are two answers to that.

In the first place, there are many public statues of historic figures who are today not well-known. That’s why the statues were built — to make us ask who these gents were, and why somebody thought so well of them as to put up statues at all. In the second place, maybe they should be better known, and maybe the British schools should teach people a bit less about the iniquities of their past, but a bit more about their real history and the men who made it.

But the larger point about Red Ken’s dishonest and barbaric war on the statues is that it’s of the same kidney as the war against the West that attacks the Confederate flag and Columbus Day, and any other institution or symbol that represents Western man. It’s an attack not confined to the American South and has nothing to do with slavery — or with imperialism, either.

It’s all part of a general war by which the nonwhite races now flooding into every white majority nation on Earth — the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain — can erase the historic civilization of those lands and replace it with their own cultural patterns. As the example of Red Ken shows, not everyone on the anti-white and anti-Western side is nonwhite himself. As in every war, each side has its renegades and traitors. Red Ken and Tony Blair are British examples; Bill Clinton and Al Gore are their American analogues.

Indeed, the war against the white West probably could never succeed without the help of the racial and civil traitors who lead it, who think up clever reasons to welcome immigration, who never cease to preach about the guilt, the evil, the injustices the white West has inflicted on the rest of mankind, to sneer at and debunk its heroes, warriors, and creative geniuses. If ever the white West recovers and begins to win the war being waged against it, the main enemies it will have to pull off their pedestals are not nonwhites but its own white traitors, like Red Ken, who helped open the gates to the enemy in the dead of night.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: England, Immigration 
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A tip of the hat to George W. Bush, who — for all the press’s preaching about the “sharp disagreements” that supposedly have emerged between him and Vice President Gore — has managed to obfuscate whatever such differences exist and to advance, as his principal claim to being elected president, that he really doesn’t disagree with Gore very much.

In the last of the three presidential debates last Tuesday, Gore led off with one of his usual sermons about how much he and the federal leviathan he wants so desperately to master will do for the health of the citizenry. “I support a strong national patient’s bill of rights,” the vice president intoned. “It is actually a disagreement between us.”

“It’s not true,” the Texas governor riposted. “I do support a national patient’s bill of rights.” Like Gore, Bush in the previous debate also expressed support for federal hate crimes legislation. Like Gore, Bush is against “racial profiling.”

On affirmative action, Bush clearly did not want to say that he’s against it, though that was the direct question asked by the member of the audience and that’s the position the vast majority of his own supporters take. When Gore asked him point blank a second time, “Governor, are you against affirmative action?” Bush dodged again.

“If affirmative action means quotas, I’m against it,” he said. “If it means what I’m for, then I’m for it. You heard what I was for. He keeps saying I’m against things. You heard what I was for and that’s what I support.”

Why couldn’t the governor simply have said to the questioner, the vice president and the watching world: “Affirmative action means the federal government grants privileges to individuals on the basis of race and gender. I’m against that. I believe in promoting people on the basis of their merit, regardless of race and gender. I’ve done that in Texas, and I’ll do it in the White House if I’m elected, but I won’t let the federal government discriminate against people and deny them jobs, promotions and admissions to college on the basis of race and sex.”

By saying that, he would have placed Gore on the defensive, forcing him to deny that affirmative action discriminates on the basis of race and sex or to defend a policy that clearly does so discriminate.

Throughout the debates, Bush sounded like nothing so much as a schoolboy who hasn’t done his homework and is trying to bluff his way through his teacher’s scrutiny. Gore, for his part, sounded like a schoolboy who not only has done his homework but is eager to tell the teacher that George hasn’t. Gore, in other words, an unreconstructed and unapologetic liberal, knows exactly what he thinks, is able to support it with all the drippy cliches and slogans that have characterized liberalism in this century, and doesn’t hesitate to preach it. Bush isn’t exactly sure what he thinks and seems totally incapable of supporting whatever it is.

“It’s a difference of opinion,” Bush insisted again and again. “He (Gore) wants to grow the government, and I trust you with your own money.” “There’s just a difference of opinion,” Bush said again. “I want workers to have their own assets.” “I think after three debates, the good people of this country understand there is a difference of opinion.” Yes, there’s certainly a difference of opinion, which is why there were debates at all. But why is one opinion better than the other? Bush rarely told us. He brought up the “difference of opinion” to close off debate, not to deepen it.

“The difference,” the Texas governor finally assured us, “is I can get it done. That I can get something positive done on behalf of the people. That’s what the question in this campaign is about. It’s not only what your philosophy (is) and what is your position on issues, but can you get things done? And I believe I can.”

The “philosophy,” in so far as there is one, that Bush offers is political pragmatism at its baldest, the belief that goals, ends, purposes are irrelevant or are not up for discussion and the only thing that matters is the process — how to “get it done.” At no time did Bush challenge or question the basic assumptions and goals of the liberalism his opponent champions. The only question to Bush is which candidate can achieve those same goals more effectively.

Americans attracted to Bush need to think carefully before they pull the lever for him next month. They’ve been told there’s a difference between him and his opponent. What the debates proved is that there’s not very much.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2000 Election 
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Virtually unknown to (and unwanted by) most Americans, Congress may soon vote to grant a mass amnesty to more than 3 million illegal aliens. The reasons the impending vote is virtually unknown are obvious enough: The backers of the amnesty hope to push it through before anyone notices, and its opponents are afraid of the consequences of voting against it. Unable and unwilling to seek an up-or-down vote on the measure, the amnesty lobby is trying to sneak it through by attaching it to an appropriations bill that few congressmen would vote against and President Clinton would sign. Drafted by left-wing Democrat John Conyers, the amnesty is estimated to add some 3.4 million people — mostly already in this country as illegal aliens — to the national population.

The illegal aliens to be included under the measure are more than one million Central Americans from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, but some 40,000 Liberians here because of “temporary” refugee status are also covered, as well as any and all illegal aliens who have lived in the United States since 1986. As the Immigration and Naturalization Service estimates, the latter category constitutes a whopping 1.9 million illegal aliens.

The measure is manifestly unfair to legal immigrants who obeyed U.S. immigration laws to come here and who have waited in line to gain entry and citizenship. But the injustice to legal immigrants shrivels compared to the smack in the face to Americans themselves.

The illegal aliens to be legalized under the amnesty would be able to compete with native Americans for jobs, education and access to welfare. They would join the ever-swelling army of immigrant lobbies that pressure politicians for favors. They would increase the burden on the national infrastructure and natural resources. Once they became citizens, they could then import their own relatives into the country as legal immigrants. Moreover, since Congress will have granted one amnesty, why shouldn’t future illegal aliens expect more to come? All they have to do is sneak across the border and wait.

The INS, in a new study of the effects of amnesty, concludes that the last amnesty for illegal aliens in 1986 almost certainly increased illegal immigration in the years that followed. Amnesties don’t solve illegal immigration. Before the 1986 amnesty, the illegal alien population was estimated to be about 5 million; today, despite the amnesty 14 years ago, it’s estimated to be about the same number.

The Democrats are pushing the amnesty because they know very well that the new citizens will swell their own voters at the polls, that more immigrants mean more excuses for demanding more welfare, more spending on social programs to help them “assimilate” and more education. The Republicans are either in favor of the amnesty because they support Big Business’ bottomless appetite for more cheap labor or because they’re terrified of alienating Hispanic voters on the eve of the presidential elections.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is supposed to be in favor of the Democrats’ amnesty proposal. So are President Clinton and Vice President Gore. So is the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which has decided to dump American working people in favor of supporting foreign workers. So, of course, are the immigrant lobbies, which are holding sizable rallies in support of the amnesty measure in cities across the country. George W. Bush’s position is not known, and since the subject of immigration policy never came up in the presidential debates, there’s no reason he should take a position at all.

The arguments against amnesty are largely the same as those against illegal immigration and more legal immigration in general, but the issue is no longer settled by arguments or facts. Sentiment, ideology, special interests and sheer political expediency are what determine whether the United States enforces its own laws against illegal immigration and, indeed, whether it continues to have any laws controlling immigration at all.

The larger point of the INS study cited above is not so much that it shows that amnesties fail to solve the immigration problem as that the federal government is simply not serious about controlling immigration at all. If today we have the same number of illegal aliens inside the country as we did before 1986, that means that everything the government has done in the last fourteen years has been a flop.

You probably didn’t need the INS study to know that, but then you probably won’t learn about the proposed amnesty from your congressman. If you’d like to stop the amnesty and put a little pressure on Congress to do something serious about immigration control, you can contact an effective and well-informed organization called Numbers USA (at www.NumbersUSA.com), which is coordinating grass roots action against the amnesty. If you don’t want to stop the amnesty, start learning some new languages.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration 
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One of the distinguishing characteristics of a totalitarian system is that not only does the state impose an official ideology throughout society but so do other institutions, as well. The “totality” at which the regime aims means that every sector of the society — the economy, social and cultural institutions, as well as government — tries to make certain that no one and no thing deviates from the pattern of thought and behavior being imposed.

In the New Order now being constructed in this country and in most of the world, Thought Control is enforced not just by the state (“hate crime” laws, public education and selective condemnation of dissident ideas), but also by the mammoth corporations of the “global economy.” Here are several examples of how it’s being done:

When the Supreme Court ruled recently that the Boy Scouts of America are not required to admit homosexuals as members, or hire homosexual scoutmasters, both local governments and “private” corporations immediately started retaliating by cutting off grants and access to important facilities. Several cities denied the Scouts use of parks and other public services, while Chase Manhattan Bank and Textron Corporation “have withdrawn hundreds of thousands of dollars in support to local and national scouting groups nationwide,” as the New York Times reported last month.

The rationale for this kind of ideological disciplining is, of course, “diversity,” in the Orwellian language of Thought Control. “Their (the Scouts’) position,” a Chase spokesman says, “is, on the face of it, in conflict with our commitment and our values on diversity.” Chase’s commitment to diversity apparently does not extend to respecting the Scouts’ different views of homosexuality. That’s why it’s Orwellian.

Go into a Barnes & Noble book store these days, and you’ll discover even more diversity. The giant book chain, which contributes to diversity by driving out of business smaller book stores across the country, now greets customers with a display entitled “Close the Book on Hate.”

The display is part of a joint project of Barnes and Noble and the Anti-Defamation League, which “have come together to help children better understand the richness and beauty of our multicultural society.” That’s sweet — except that the project assumes that anyone who disagrees with multiculturalism, and its agenda of subverting distinctively Western values and institutions, is imbued with “hate” and “intolerance.”

“Intolerance,” the display piously instructs us, “isn’t something children are born with. It’s learned. Therefore, it can be unlearned.” The way to “unlearn” it, of course, is to buy the books on the display table, which would just happen to be profitable for Barnes & Noble. Most of the books seem innocuous enough, mainly a lot of drippy moralism about the “Holocaust” and several kiddies’ books containing cute little lessons in cartoon versions of multiculturalism.

Nevertheless, the purpose is clear: to popularize the idea that insistence on maintaining the cultural integrity of American society is “hate” and “intolerance,” and that those who still believe in such integrity have something wrong with them that can and should be “unlearned.”

Yet, another lesson in how “tolerant” the corporate giants really are comes from the behemoth Wal-Mart. Recently in South Carolina, a gentleman named Maurice Bessinger, who owns a small barbecue restaurant chain and makes his own barbecue sauce, raised a South Carolina state flag outside one of his restaurants, along with the Confederate flag.

It’s not the government Bessinger needs to worry about, but Wal-Mart, which used to carry Bessinger’s barbecue sauce nationwide. Wal-Mart has suddenly dropped the sauce from its shelves. When I called the customer complaint number to ask why, I was told that Bessinger “was involved in activities with which Wal-Mart did not wish to be associated.”

The munchkin with whom I spoke refused to say what those “activities” were, why they were objectionable, or whether the chain also scrutinized the activities of other suppliers to evaluate their “activities” as well. He claimed the Confederate flag had nothing to do with it. My own bet is that you can find plenty of products at Wal-Mart made by slave labor, but slavery — at least the kind that really exists today as opposed to the kind that has been extinct in this country for more than a century — apparently is not “an activity with which Wal-Mart does not wish to be associated.”

Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung could have learned something from these corporate leviathans. The tyranny over the mind that their governments imposed required secret police, death camps, genocide and state terror for generations, and still it failed. The Thought Control these titans of international capitalism are constructing is being imposed without firing a shot — and it may endure far longer than its communist cousins ever did.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness 
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After two full years of beating drums, blowing trumpets and waving torches in support of the inevitable presidential triumph of George W. Bush, it has suddenly begun to dawn on many in the American conservative community that Al Gore might very well be on the eve of kicking Bush’s butt. What we can learn from this is that many in the American conservative community have the political brains of a goldfish. Last weekend, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum held its national convention in Washington and unleashed the counsel that Gov. Bush “needs to articulate conservative positions” because “conservatives need to have a reason to work for him,” as one delegate put it. This week, National Review’s lead editorial whines that “the campaign is going badly for George W. Bush,” and insists that the Texas governor “will win it by making the public prefer a conservative to a liberal.”

To top it all off, The Weekly Standard, the neo-conservative analogue to National Review, sports as its cover article yet another pronouncement from its editor, Bill Kristol, this time on “How Bush Can Win.” Kristol’s answer is the same as that of National Review: “for starters, run as a conservative,” advises his article’s subheading.

That advice is especially sweet, considering how back in February, when Bush lost the New Hampshire primary to John McCain, Kristol pronounced yet again in The Washington Post that “leaderless, rudderless, and issueless, the conservative movement … is finished” and called for “a new governing agenda for a potential new political majority” that his hero of the week, McCain, was supposed to lead.

But if Bush really turns out to be the loser he seems to be, and if he really is losing in part because he’s failed to express conservative beliefs, the very conservatives who are now whimpering about the impending disaster have only themselves to blame. Most of them clambered onto the Bush bandwagon long before the current campaign; most would not hear of any other contender for the GOP nomination; most managed to fool themselves, and anyone dim enough to pay much attention to them, that the Texas governor really was a conservative. Now they’re astounded to learn that he offers even the milkish conservatism of the Beltway virtually nothing.

But why should he offer more? Having exploited the conservatives’ self-induced hysteria about Bill Clinton and Al Gore, Bush and his team of slickmeisters succeeded in making most conservatives think the real conservative principle consists simply in not being Bill Clinton or Al Gore. Bush didn’t have to lie to the right; it had already lied itself into believing he was the man who could and would bear its banner.

It’s quite true that Bush essentially settled the nomination with his victory over McCain in the South Carolina primary, and he did so by running well to the right of the Arizona senator. And it’s also true that Bush has stayed in the lead in this election mainly by keeping the support of white male voters, who form the backbone of Republican conservatism at the grassroots level.

But Gore, having secured his own political base among ethnic minorities (including a 20-point lead among the Hispanic voters whom Bush was ballyhooed as being able to win), is now penetrating even that GOP base. As the Washington Post reported last week, “Gore’s aggressive pursuit of a populism that pits the middle class against the elite, corporations and the wealthy has provided a way to counter his major liability among white men: their doubts about his strength and leadership.” The Post attributes to this tactic the vice president’s rise in polls in “the battleground states of Michigan, Ohio and Missouri that hold the balance of power in the 2000 election. Among all voters in each of these states,” Gore “is either fully competitive with, or slightly ahead of” Gov. Bush.

What Gore discovered is that class warfare works. His is essentially the same strategy, with a leftish twist, that won the White House for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan as the “Southern strategy,” a battle plan that Bush and the current leaders of the Stupid Party have consciously and deliberately abandoned for the moronic scheme of trying to win non-whites instead.

If the Bush campaign fails, as now seems likely, the Beltway Right will fail along with it, and the class and ethnic lines of social and political conflict in this country will resume the shape they have had for the last quarter century. Not until they do will a real right be able to replace the phony one that has given us a phony conservative as a leader and now wonders why he doesn’t act and talk like a conservative at all.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2000 Election 
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The most recent crusades for gun control seem to have fizzled, and that’s just as well, not only for the sake of the freedom and safety of most Americans, but also for the public reputations of those who push the banning of firearms. There is an ever-increasing amount of evidence that gun control is a failure, not only in the United States but in other countries, too.

The ancient and honorable nation of Japan has the distinction of enjoying perhaps the most rigorous gun-control laws in the world outside of communist states. With no tradition whatsoever of individual liberty and a powerful tradition of placing the integrity of the group — family and nation — over the individual, Japanese lawmakers have never felt the slightest hesitation in outlawing most gun ownership and punishing severely those who break the laws.

In Japan, even possessing a handgun and a bullet puts you in prison for 15 years. Other laws have been tightened and toughened since 1991, and even armored car guards don’t carry firearms. Only police officers and soldiers can carry guns at all, and the cops have to leave their guns in a safe when they leave work.

According to gun-control dogmas, that should pretty much keep gun violence down. But it doesn’t, in Japan anymore than in this country. The Washington Post recently carried a report on the increasing incidence of gun violence in the Land of the Rising Gun.

The number of crimes committed with handguns last year was higher than in any year since records have been kept, and the rate this year threatens to be even higher. An administrator in Japan’s National Police Agency told the Post, “Since 1994 or 1995 there’s been a clear change; the guns are now becoming dispersed in the population. We are worried about it. Crimes are becoming more violent, more serious. And handguns are very efficient weapons for that.” So much for the effectiveness of gun control.

The people in Japan who do have guns are the members of the “yakuza,” as the Japanese organized crime cartel is known. As the Post reports: “The yakuza are the exception. Experts believe most of the estimated 80,000 underworld members have weapons, and police have been unable or unwilling to dent that figure.” Does that remind you of anything? When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Japan, however, is not the only gun-controlling society to sport rising gun violence. The same is true in Australia, where a new law last year confiscated virtually all handguns in the country and destroyed them. It doesn’t matter. Now violent crimes committed by guns are on the rise Down Under.

One year after the mass confiscation of handguns, homicides in Australia have increased 3.2 percent. Assaults have risen by 8.6 percent, and armed robberies have increased by a whopping 44 percent. In one state (Victoria), homicides with firearms have risen 300 percent, despite the government ban. The figures on armed robberies are especially instructive, since these crimes in particular had been falling for some 25 years. Now all of a sudden, with privately owned guns outlawed, they start increasing dramatically.

Similar statistics come from Great Britain, long the gun controllers’ showcase country. There, where privately owned handguns were effectively banned a few years ago after a mass shooting by a crazed homosexual, crime figures show an increase in England and Wales for the first time in six years. The number of robberies, mostly mugging, increased by 19 percent. Violent offenses increased by 5 percent, and sexual offenses rose by 2 percent. Statistics from the Home Office show that the City of London suffered the greatest increase in crime — 22 percent.

In the United States, however, violent crime continues to fall, for reasons no one seems to be able to figure out. The high rate of incarceration and the ageing of the criminal population are often cited, but the increase in conceal carry laws, which let law-abiding citizens carry concealed firearms, is not often mentioned as reasons for the drop in violent crimes in this country. University of Chicago economist John Lott is one expert who’s shown there is a very real link between the decline of violent crime and the availability of firearms; his book, “More Guns, Less Crime,” has been virtually ignored by the establishment media..

But the connection ought to be obvious enough. When law-abiding people have guns and criminals know they have them, it’s the criminals who have reason to be afraid, and they pick on softer targets that can’t shoot back. When guns are criminilized, as in most crime-ridden American cities and in countries like Japan, Australia and Great Britain, only the yakuza and its cousins around the world will have guns, and it’s the law-abiding who have to live in fear.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Gun Control 
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“This is a conservative man,” George W. Bush says he said to himself as he reviewed the voting record of his prospective running mate, Richard Cheney. And so Cheney is. With a 90 percent rating from the American Conservative Union for his votes in Congress between 1979 and 1988, Cheney enjoys a title as a conservative that is beyond dispute. Or at least it was. It is precisely his conservative voting record that delights the Democrats. President Clinton chortled last week that he “actually was kind of pleased” with Bush’s selection. The Gore campaign was even more blunt. “Cheney’s a turnout machine — for us,” beamed one of Gore’s spokesmen.

What delights the Democrats about Cheney is not merely that they can now blast him and the GOP ticket as “right-wing extremists” but that they know the ticket and its defenders will try to evade the issue by edging away from and even apologizing for Cheney’s indisputably conservative record. By doing so, the Republicans will implicitly concede that the conservatism Cheney used to espouse is no longer relevant and that the liberalism brayed by their rivals is the only legitimate persuasion in American politics.

And so it has proved. No sooner had Cheney been named as the vice-presidential choice than the Democrats’ tame media torpedoes went to work on him, and no sooner had their badgering of Cheney begun than Cheney himself began to bend and back away.

The Washington Post reported that Cheney had voted against federal funding for abortions, against banning armor-piercing bullets and plastic guns, against funding the Head Start program and against a resolution urging South Africa to negotiate with the African National Congress and release Nelson Mandela from prison. Cheney, one might think, is sounding better and better.

But that’s not how he sounds today. Once the badgering began, the Post reported, “Cheney struggled to explain” his votes. “He said that he could not answer the questions in detail without reviewing the ‘context’ in which he opposed the measures.” But he was concerned whether the United States “could afford various spending programs during a time of growing deficits,” and he “often opposed bills whose sponsors sought to circumvent the normal legislative process.”

As for the single vote that is going to haunt him the most in the coming months, “Cheney also avoided a direct answer to the Mandela question” and insisted that “I don’t believe unilateral economic sanctions work.” As the Post commented, the resolution in question “had nothing to do with economic sanctions against South Africa.”

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” this week, the retreat continued, with Cheney readily acknowledging that on most of the issues he was being grilled about, he would not vote the same way today.

But of course there are simple and straightforward answers to every one of the questions about Cheney’s votes. On the “Mandela question,” the answer is clear: It is none of this country’s business how a separate and friendly sovereign nation governs itself; the ANC was a communist-dominated terrorist organization armed and trained by the Soviets; Mandela was legally convicted and imprisoned for plotting terrorist crimes. But all the pathetic Cheney could think of to say was that he doesn’t believe sanctions work, though sanctions had nothing to do with the issue.

Cheney has generally chosen to wrap himself in evasion — with answers that reach for the “context” of the times, answers that appeal to procedural propriety, answers that cloak themselves in what is now the standard Republican response to any and every question: It costs too much.

Not once had Mr. Cheney offered a clear answer that not only defended his votes but also challenged the liberal assumptions of the questions hurled at him. Not once has he dared raise questions about liberal support for abortion, liberal endorsement of failed socialist programs like Head Start, liberal violations of Second Amendment rights and liberal appeasement of communism and terrorism. All Cheney has done by his dodging is concede even further the moral monopoly that liberalism claims.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, a co-chairman of the Republican Platform Committee assured the press that the platform this year won’t attack the Democrats too much. “There was a lot of bashing in (the last platform), a lot of complaining about Democrats,” Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina told the Washington Times, but in this year’s platform, “You won’t see any of that.”

The Democrats know that the Stupid Party does not have the brains or the guts to defend the conservatism for which it pretends to stand. Now they know it won’t even attack them for being liberals. No wonder Bill Clinton and the Gore campaign are pleased.

(Republished from TownHall by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2000 Election, Dick Cheney 
Sam Francis
About Sam Francis

Dr. Samuel T. Francis (1947-2005) was a leading paleoconservative columnist and intellectual theorist, serving as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Patrick Buchanan and as an editorial writer, columnist, and editor at The Washington Times. He received the Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in both 1989 and 1990, while being a finalist for the National Journalism Award (Walker Stone Prize) for Editorial Writing of the Scripps Howard Foundation those same years. His undergraduate education was at Johns Hopkins and he later earned his Ph.D. in modern history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His books include The Soviet Strategy of Terror(1981, rev.1985), Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham (1984); Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (1993); Revolution from the Middle: Essays and Articles from Chronicles, 1989–1996 (1997); and Thinkers of Our Time: James Burnham (1999). His published articles or reviews appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, National Review, The Spectator (London), The New American, The Occidental Quarterly, and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, of which he was political editor and for which he wrote a monthly column, “Principalities and Powers.”