By Brent Allen
One of the things that has driven me moonbat crazy over the years is watching the Republicans fail to seize the narrative back from the Democrats and their special interests. It used to be the Republicans that were adept at defining the issues. Now it seems they have forgotten what it even means to define the issue, and have decided instead to cave and capitulate (commonly referred to as “compromise”) to the unrelenting progressive agenda.
Rush Limbaugh has hammered the point that the current Republican leadership, and their horde of Republican strategists, constantly try and move the right toward the left, instead of the other way around. I could not agree more. This is how a fired up base (thanks to the Tea Party) seized back the House in 2010, only to be stuck with a moderate presidential candidate like Mitt Romney in 2012, thereby sucking the veritable wind right out of the base.
Ronald Reagan was amazingly successful at moving the left toward the right. Reagan didn’t apologize for his conservatism; he promoted and sold it. And Reagan disarmed the left’s ad hominem with his sharp wit. He didn’t get into ugly spats. He just simply sloughed it off. I truly believe this was a major reason Reagan appealed to the Democrats and independents who voted for him at the time.
And what were the issues during the Reagan era? Cut spending, cut taxes, maintain a strong defense, encourage economic growth, etc. My question to the current Republican leadership would be, are these issues no longer relevant? Or are they more relevant than ever?
I’m a big fan of using my enemy’s strengths against them. If it works for my opponent, it just might work for me. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are students of Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals. Some might consider Alinsky the father of what we have now come to know as community organizing—a strategy for employing mass organizations and the masses to bring about radical social change.
The goal of the radical is nothing short of the usurpation of the U.S. Constitution and the collapse of the American economic system (free enterprise, i.e. “capitalism”), in order to bring about a new system that conforms more closely to a true Marxian socialist form of government—collectivism over individualism, i.e. “fundamental transformation.”
Alinksy was none too fond of so-called “liberals.” Alinksy was a full-blown Marxist. Alinksy held liberals in contempt because he thought they were “too honest.”
Liberals in their meetings utter bold words; they strut, grimace belligerently, and then issue a weasel-worded statement ‘which has tremendous implications, if read between the lines.’ They sit calmly, dispassionately, studying the issue; judging both sides; they sit and still sit. (Alinsky 1971: 4)
Here’s a classic example of a true Alinskyite: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell excoriated none other than Glenn Greenwald a couple of years ago for being a mere “progressive liberal.” O’Donnell openly admitted, “I am a socialist. I live to the extreme left of you mere liberals!”
Morality and honesty were impediments to Alinsky’s strategy for radical social change. For Alinsky, it was all about power, period. Expediency trumps principle in Alinksy’s world … the predetermined ends justifies the means … seize power at all costs … win, win, win!
Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci believed that in order to prepare a society to accept Marxian socialism one must begin a “long march through the institutions.” This is also the philosophy behind critical theory—attack the culture from all sides simultaneously. Saul Alinksky’s community organizing methods are designed to put theory into action. And, unfortunately, for America, Saul’s tactics of social agitation appears to have succeeded.
Moving the U.S. populace away from its constitutional roots requires tearing down and dissipating American traditions and values. The goal of progressivism is to demonize and marginalize the nation as founded, with the main target being the U.S. Constitution itself. One of the more diabolical tactics the left employs, with great effect, is redefining words, terms and concepts.
For example, the U.S. Constitution clearly states in Article 4, Section 4 that the United States will have a “republican form of government.” Yet we often hear from Democrats and Republicans that we are a “democracy.” Not once does the word “democracy” appear in the U.S. Constitution—not once! But we keep hearing from the elites on both sides that we are a democracy.
[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.1 James Madison
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.2 John Adams
A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way.3 The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license] which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.4 Fisher Ames, Author of the House Language for the First Amendment
We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate … as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism…. Democracy! savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtuous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.5 Gouverneur Morris, Signer and Penman of the Constitution
[T]he experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived. 6 John Quincy Adams
A simple democracy … is one of the greatest of evils.7 Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration
In democracy … there are commonly tumults and disorders…. Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.8 Noah Webster
Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state, it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.10 John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration
It may generally be remarked that the more a government resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.11 Zephaniah Swift, Author of America’s First Legal Text
Sure, I understand, there are elements of pure democracy that are incorporated into our present form of government. But the Framers realized that democracies always fail. Our constitutional republic distinguishes itself from a pure democracy in a very important way—meaning: representative government with the underpinning of law. At its core pure democracy is nothing more than mob rule; there is no underpinning of morality or law. And there is nothing more tumultuous than the capricious will of the unrestrained mob. Ostensibly, our constitution was designed to control democracy.
But you will never hear Barack Obama or George Soros—or any committed progressive, for that matter—ever refer to the U.S. as a constitutional republic, but rather a democracy. But it’s not really that surprising leaders who belong to the Democratic Party would refer to the United States as a democracy. They are Democrats, don’t ya know.
Now some may say, so what? And therein lies the problem. When we use the left’s narrative, we’re playing their game. Trust me, hardcore progressives know the difference between a constitutional republic and a pure democracy. To the left, it is a big f____ing deal. By moving the U.S. away from its true form of government, it paves the way forward toward a new system sans the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
For example, the Seventeenth Amendment was pushed by the Progressive Movement and technically transformed our republican form of government into a de facto “democratic republic.” The Seventeenth Amendment effectively wrenched the Senate from the States. We now elect our senators by popular vote. Moving us ever closer to direct democracy.
Another example of how the left twists, redefines and demonizes all things American is referring to our free market economy as a “capitalist system.” The term “capitalism” was coined by Karl Marx. Today’s leftists often refer to free enterprise as laissez faire capitalism. This is a very clever bit of semantic manipulation.
I conducted an unscientific poll of friends and family and asked them, “What do you think of when you hear the term laissez faire?” Everyone I posed to this question to stated they believed it meant lazy, slothful, indifferent, or some variation thereof.
The English translation of the French term laissez faire is quite revealing in comparison to the colloquial definition:
When one reads Merriam-Webster’s definition of laissez faire, it becomes readily apparent that the phrase really has nothing to do with laziness or indifference, but more to do with the least amount of governmental interference in economic affairs, in order to preserve peace and property rights. Hey, if that’s “lazy,” then give me some!
One of the main reasons I personally oppose so-called “same-sex marriage” is not because I’m anti-gay; it’s because I’m “anti” redefining the term marriage. If the union between a man and a woman, which can produce children (i.e. a family), is synonymous to a marriage of same-sex individuals, who cannot procreate, I fail to see how they’re equal. It does not equate. No one is stopping people from “loving each other.” I have an issue with redefining an institution that has existed for thousands of years, since I know for a fact that the radical left is hellbent on tearing apart the traditional family.
This is what the left calls “progress.” And the interesting thing about the slogan “progress” is its neither good nor bad; it’s neutral—meaning: one can progress toward bad or good. So no matter which way you go, it’s still “progress.” The same applies to slogans like “hope and change.” One can hope for good or evil. Things can change for the worse, or for the better. But it’s still “hope and change.”
Another example would be the slogan “forward.” Forward to where? Once again, one can move forward toward hell or freedom. It’s neither good nor bad. It just is. The creepy part is the history of such slogans like “forward” and “progress.”
There are several issues that are sacrosanct to the radical left. And when I say they’re sacrosanct, I mean it! You can observe for yourself whether this is the case; put it to the test. I guarantee you, the following are the issues the progressive will defend and promote at all costs. They are so important to the progressive that they will literally fall on their proverbial swords, if they have to, in order to keep them at the forefront of political discourse:
- Gay Rights
- Immigrant Rights
- Healthcare Rights
- Abortion Rights
- Education Rights
- Minority Rights
The interesting thing about this list of progressive issues is that they are all framed as “rights.” All the groups represented in the list, albeit illegal immigrants, are already provided protection of their inalienable rights by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But this isn’t good enough for the progressive left. The clamor for ever more rights is never-ending, which is by design. By demanding more and more rights, the system will collapse under its own weight, which is the whole goal.
Furthermore, the “sacred issues” are carefully crafted so that anyone who so much as even questions them will be immediately vilified. For example, if you say you oppose gay rights, you’re “anti-gay.” If you’re pro-life, you want to deny women “choice.” If you oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants, you’re a “xenophobe.” If you oppose the federal government funneling millions to public education and teachers’ unions, you’re a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who graduated from the “Flat Earth Society.” You get the picture.
By dragging incendiary social issues into the halls of government, an incredibly divisive and tense atmosphere is created which pits individuals and groups against each other—right v. left, black v. white, gay v. straight, men v. women, rich v. poor, etc.
Issues like abortion and marriage drag one of the most divisive and emotion-packed issues known to humanity into the political arena—sex. All this division only benefits the one who introduced the division in the first place—divide and conquer.
And what has been happening lately? Despite the Benghazi, IRS, AP, Fox News and NSA scandals, the Obama Administration is trying to ram through a “comprehensive” 1,200-page immigration bill, stuffed full of pork and stimulus, and cedes “unreviewable” authority to the DHS, while doing little to improve border security, or fixing the legal immigration process. It’s amnesty, plain and simple.
The liberal mainstream media is talking incessantly about “same-sex marriage” following the recent Supreme Court decision to strike down DOMA. As if the only issue Americans care about is whether homosexuals can marry each other or not. No offense, my gay friends, but I’m more worried about how I’m going to put food on the table and whether my electric bill is going to quintuple under Obama’s all-out assault on the coal industry. I would suspect most Americans might agree. Just sayin’.
Unfortunately, the Republicans always seem to take the bait. Not only do they utterly fail to redefine the issues nowadays, they agree to “compromise” on every progressive issue shoved in front of them, while the Democrats compromise on nothing. Why should they? They’re getting everything they want, anyway.
Now I don’t mean to paint all Republicans in Congress with a broad brush. There are Republicans who are really showing some backbone, like Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Darrell Issa, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Rep. Trey Gowdy, and others, . I appreciate the work they do and the manner in which they engage with their constituents.
But I’ve had my fill with progressive Republicans like Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham recently stated that maybe bloggers didn’t deserve First Amendment protections. Unbelievable! And watching Sen. Marco Rubio get rolled like a choir boy by Chuckie Schumer and crew over the illegal immigration issue has been almost too painful to watch.
One conservative talking head who really impresses me when it comes to taking back the narrative from the progressives is Dana Loesch. Of course, her late mentor Andrew Breitbart was quite adept at dismantling liberal talking points. For years I have waited to see such individuals give it back to liberals on their own turf.
The key is knowing how to argue. Breitbart understood that many times you can throw out the premise of a liberal’s argument on its face. So many times I have watched dialog-challenged Republicans get sucked into a liberal’s premise and get jackslapped to Kingdom Come.
At the risk of being a bit technical, there are some important fields of study that will greatly assist Republicans and conservatives with the sophistry and logical fallacies constantly employed by the left.
For starters, it really behooves one to have some understanding of the origins of progressive ideology. Although the subject matter goes outside the scope of this article.
Understanding the difference between dialectical and didactic comparison is crucial. The progressive left prefers the use of dialectics. In a dialectical comparison, right and wrong becomes relative. The goal of a dialectical comparison is to determine where right and wrong overlap. The intersection of right and wrong in the dialectical paradigm is referred to as “consensus.” The only thing that matters is the “consensus.”
The didactical paradigm contrasts right and wrong. One might say it is a moralistic comparison that acknowledges the existence of good and evil; there are absolutes.
Now I’m no expert in all this stuff, but I have tried to gain more knowledge about the subject matter over the past few years. It’s maddening when I see Republicans and Conservatives get railroaded by the left in debates because they fail to call out the obvious straw man arguments, non sequiturs and red herrings thrown their way.
Understanding Socratic dialog and the art of deductive and inductive reasoning are immensely beneficial fields of study, if one desires to be a formidable debater.
The left is quite fond of purposefully using logical fallacies to obfuscate and deflect. And there are any number of logical fallacies to choose from. The trick is being able to recognize the ploy and call it out. The study of logic is quite involved. Many logical fallacies can be quite complex. Other fallacies are readily recognizable, i.e. slippery slope, bandwagon, false dilemma, hasty generalization, begging the question, personal attack, two wrongs make a right, etc.
Which brings me back to Dana Loesch. I was listening to her radio show not too long ago and she stated she had taken four semesters of logic in college. Ah! Now I get it! She’s one of the few conservatives I’ve seen who could masterfully manhandle folks like Chris Matthews and Piers Morgan, and not even break a sweat.
My whole point here is I believe it is vital the right not allow the left to redefine and dissipate the English language to suit their political agenda. Reminding the left of the actual meaning and origin of words is a powerful technique in combating their sophistry. Moral certainty is the antidote for moral relativism. Words mean something. If they didn’t, the law would be worthless. But maybe that’s the whole point of the Progressive Movement—to abolish the rule of law and replace it with the law of force.
1. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, The Federalist on the New Constitution (Philadelphia: Benjamin Warner, 1818), p. 53, #10, James Madison.
2. John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1850), Vol. VI, p. 484, to John Taylor on April 15, 1814.
3. Fisher Ames, Works of Fisher Ames (Boston: T. B. Wait & Co., 1809), p. 24, Speech on Biennial Elections, delivered January, 1788.
4. Ames, Works, p. 384, “The Dangers of American Liberty,” February 1805.
5. Gouverneur Morris, An Oration Delivered on Wednesday, June 29, 1814, at the Request of a Number of Citizens of New-York, in Celebration of the Recent Deliverance of Europe from the Yoke of Military Despotism (New York: Van Winkle and Wiley, 1814), pp. 10, 22.
6. John Quincy Adams, The Jubilee of the Constitution. A Discourse Delivered at the Request of the New York Historical Society, in the City of New York on Tuesday, the 30th of April 1839; Being the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Inauguration of George Washington as President of the United States, on Thursday, the 30th of April, 1789 (New York: Samuel Colman, 1839), p. 53.
7. Benjamin Rush, The Letters of Benjamin Rush, L. H. Butterfield, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press for the American Philosophical Society, 1951), Vol. I, p. 523, to John Adams on July 21, 1789.
8. Noah Webster, The American Spelling Book: Containing an Easy Standard of Pronunciation: Being the First Part of a Grammatical Institute of the English Language, To Which is Added, an Appendix, Containing a Moral Catechism and a Federal Catechism (Boston: Isaiah Thomas and Ebenezer T. Andrews, 1801), pp. 103-104.