November 29, 2012
Militant Socialism in AmericaBy Eileen F. Toplansky
Despite his "colossal economic failures" and a national debt "above $16 trillion" Barack Obama was given a second term. It is not because the conservative message was wrong; it is because Obama is a master of marketing his message. Seductive and false advertising as well as outright bribery marked this man's first term and will certainly be the hallmark of his second.
He mesmerized a misinformed or ill-informed public, convincing them that his promises would result in a piece of the pie for them. Thus, currently, "...more than half the population -- 50 percent plus one -- is dependent upon government benefits. For the past four years, the Obama administration has created a Franco-German welfare state whose sole purpose is to forge a majority political coalition wedded to the Democratic Party." The explosion of food stamps, the bailouts -- all translated into an 'I got mine, not gonna' worry about anybody else' mentality that has ruptured this country into two camps. There are those who pay and there are those who expect the payment without any effort on their part. As David Limbaugh has written in Crimes Against Liberty, "in his monomania for socialism, Obama will brook no challenge" (388).
Which is why the 1952 piece by Elia Kazan titled "Where I Stand" needs to see the light of day again. Kazan wrote it following his appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA) in 1952. It is particularly instructive as we now enter the new world of Obama socialism.
Kazan notes that
Communist activities confront the people of this country with an unprecedented and exceptionally tough problem. That is, how to protect ourselves from a dangerous and alien conspiracy and still keep the free, open, healthy way of life that gives us self-respect.
The facts I have are 16 years out of date, but they supply a small piece of background to the graver picture of communism today.
I was taken in by the Hard Times version of the communists' recruiting technique. They claimed to have a cure for depressions.... I joined the Party late in the summer of 1934. I got out a year and a half later.
I have no spy stories to tell because I saw no spies. Nor did I understand, at that time, any opposition between American and Russian national interest. It was not even clear to me in 1936 that the American Communist Party was abjectly taking its order from the Kremlin.
What I learned was the minimum that anyone must learn who puts his head into the noose of Party 'discipline.' The Communists automatically violated the daily practices of democracy to which I was accustomed. They attempted to control thought and suppress personal opinion. They tried to dictate personal conduct. They habitually distorted and disregarded and violated the truth. All this was crudely opposite to their claims of 'democracy' and the 'scientific approach.'
To be a member of the Communist Party is to have a taste of the police state. It is a diluted taste, but it is bitter and unforgettable.
Why did I not tell this story sooner? I was ...held back by a piece of specious reasoning ...which goes like this. 'You may hate the Communists, but you must not attack them or expose them, because if you do you are attacking the right to hold unpopular opinions and you are joining the people who attack civil liberties.'
I have thought soberly about this. It is, simply, a lie. Secrecy serves the Communists. At the other pole, it serves to silence...voices... [who] have allowed themselves to become associated with or silenced by the Communists.
It also left me with the passionate conviction that we must never let the Communists get away with the pretense that they stand for the very things which they kill in their own countries.
I am talking about free speech, a free press, the rights of property... and above all, individual rights. I value peace, too, when it is not bought at the price of fundamental decencies.
The original piece by Kazan highlighted his "firsthand experience of dictatorship and thought control [which] left [him] with an abiding hatred of Communist philosophy and methods, and with the conviction that these must be resisted always."
So what does this have to do with Barack Obama? Let's review:
He has been mentored by communist leaders throughout this career.
He consistently uses the Saul Alinksy parameters of controlling the narrative.
Through his many executive orders, he has taken away liberties of the American people.
He has indicated his willingness to work with Vladimir Putin of Russia as well as radical Islamists who front for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and other Islamic militant organizations bent on America's destruction.
He is comfortable with destroying capitalism, which he despises, in order to initiate a communist doctrine of spreading the wealth or asset equality. Thus, no American can improve his lot, and the Horatio Alger narrative that boasts of opportunity with hard work is extinguished.
He has capitalized on divisions in the country to redirect attention away from his unilateral and unconstitutional actions.
He has publicly stated that he has no use for the checks and balances so vital in American government.
I happened on this Kazan article while perusing an old textbook (copyright 1954) titled Unified English Composition ed. Gerald D. Sanders et al. Comparing the reading choices with any text currently in use in colleges immediately reveals why our students are so unaware of the kaleidoscope of the American way of life. Besides well known classic pieces by Munro, Thurber, Twain, and Steinbeck, are pieces under the heading "The American Way of Life." They extol American ideals. Under "Suggestions for Study" in a piece by Percy Waxman is a question "List several American qualities which the author finds noteworthy?" This is 180 degrees from the standard tenor of most of the anti-American writing in our multicultural texts so popular in colleges today.
So to those who wonder what we can do to recover our country, I would recommend demanding a return to an even balance of articles and essays that remind students what it means to be an American. If the book publishers won't publish these pieces, I suggest we create a publishing house to counter them. We should meet with school supervisors at the high school level and point out the deficiencies of the texts that are currently being used. We should check out history textbooks and demand to know why communism is not explained; why Stalin's murder of 20 million people is glossed over; why information about countries that espouse communism which has made life unbearable for its inhabitants is ignored.
We need to be better marketers for liberty. We need to call Obama out when he creates a web of deceit. If he can come up with one-liners for his party line, so can we.
In his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize Winner economist Daniel Kahneman discusses "Cognitive Ease" in Chapter 5. He discusses the "experience of familiarity." He writes that "[a] reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact" (62).
Why then have we not learned these marketing and psychological techniques and applied them properly to our message? Why do we bog down with messages that lose their audience? We need to cultivate young conservative speakers who can engage the vast numbers of young people who need to have their basic instincts better articulated. If we need to be considered credible and intelligent, we cannot continue to "use complex language where simpler language will do." Even more important, we need to make our message more "memorable." Let's get the message into verse; use whatever medium will interest a vast number of young people. Doff the suit and tie until you get them interested. If we cannot engage the audience, it will not matter what the message is.
This is not to dummy down the message; it is to entice a generation of people who have been deprived of the knowledge about what makes America exceptional. It is a rebuilding process that is always longer and harder than the destructive process about which Obama prides himself.
A great deal of money was spent on the campaign. What television, Twitter, Facebook You Tube messages will be made in the next two years? Why don't we repeatedly engage those pop singers who are pro-Republican and get their messages out? If the way to the hearts of this generation is through pop culture, then we need to embrace it.
At the end of his piece, Kazan wrote that "these things must be fought for wherever they are not fully honored and protected whenever they are threatened." 2014 is a pivotal year to make a difference because the threats still exist.
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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