The Communist Party Hails De Blasio and Obama
For a long time, the communist left has used the word "progressive" to cloak its agenda. This phenomenon is hardly new. It has gone on since at least the 1930s, not long after the American Communist Party was founded in Chicago.
I know this well, having written at length on the subject. You might have thought this strategy died with the USSR, when we won the Cold War and once defeated communism. Unfortunately, thanks to the left's takeover of education and media, it continues unabated, and is moving full steam ahead in Barack Obama's fundamentally transformed America, where the far left seems invigorated unlike ever before. The communist left has sudden new energy in the "progressive" mayoral victory of Bill De Blasio, the New York mayor who once raised money for the Nicaraguan communists and honeymooned in Castro's Cuba.
Handy evidence of how communists continue to exploit the "progressive" label isn't hard to find. It's always just a click away at the website of People's World, the house organ of Communist Party USA and successor publication to the Daily Worker (which throughout its existence received Kremlin oversight and funding). People's World is very shrewd in the words it chooses to use, and not use.
Predictably, People's World is thrilled with New Yorkers electing Bill De Blasio. The CPUSA mouthpiece isn't silent in its enthusiasm, though it is carefully avoiding the "c" word (communism) in favor of the "p" word (progressivism). In this, it is not unlike Bill De Blasio himself. Notably, too, People's World links De Blasio's "forward" success and "change" vision with Barack Obama's "progress" (as does De Blasio). Witness two fresh articles:
The first, covering De Blasio's inauguration, was titled, "De Blasio Takes Over in New York." The People's World reporter celebrated the "joy of a new day for New York" and glistening opportunity for "change." It highlighted the personal inspirations invoked by De Blasio: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Fanny Lou Hamer, Robert Kennedy, and César Chavez -- with Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega curiously absent. It's odd that RFK would have been invoked. Robert Kennedy was a staunch anti-communist who literally pushed for a bullet to be fired into Fidel Castro's skull. RFK wasn't a big fan of liberals either. He once calledthem "sons of bitches ... in love with death."
In fact, it will horrify Bill De Blasio and his comrades to hear that RFK worked for Joe McCarthy, whom Bobby liked and agreed with on the evils of communism. Both Bobby and Tailgunner Joe marveled at how communists excelled at deception and at duping non-communist liberals. Indeed, the old Kennedys, especially Bobby and Jack and the old man, would have howled at De Blasio's clever co-opting of "moderate Democrat" Bill Clinton at his inaugural ceremony. Bobby and Jack despised communists, who hated them in return, and even targeted them for assassination. They would have easily detected the loaded words carefully chosen (and omitted) in De Blasio's speech. Among them, "communism" and "Marxism" were (naturally) a no-show. Rather, "progressive" was the word of the moment. "And so, today," promised New York's new mayor, "we commit to a new progressive direction for New York."
Yes, of course, a progressive direction.
For contours as to what this new "progressive" direction entails, we can take a careful read of the second excited article on De Blasio in People's World, titled, "New York's tale of two cities extends to America." Here, too, we see words like "progressivism" but never "communism," albeit in this flagship publication of the American Communist Party.
In discussing the "central" tenets of De Blasio's agenda, People's World used all the right language to appeal to the wider left. The article employed the word "progressive" four times, "inequality" four times, "wealth" four times, "wage[s]" four times, "housing" three times, "union" twice, "Wall Street" twice, "gilded age" once, "forward" once, "change" once, "justice" once, "green industrial policy" once, "capitalism" once, "one percent" once, and -- most significant -- "communist" or "Marxist" or "socialist" not one time. The only place where you can find the word "communist" in this explicitly communist publication is in the links at the bottom of the page for Communist Party USA and the Young Communist League.
Here's a typical line in the article: "The struggle forward takes on many forms and takes place in many arenas with different coalitions and movements. The De Blasio victory has offered new hope that a national progressive shift on tackling the wealth and racial inequities plaguing our country's cities is in the making."
From the John Edwards-like title to the Obama-like buzzwords, this article reads like something you'd see from the Obama White House or Democratic Party leadership.
Speaking of Obama, the People's World reporter noted the shared goals and work of Obama and De Blasio, particularly in their urban/city agenda: "The crisis of the cities is rooted in capitalism.... In early December, de Blasio and more than a dozen other mayors-elect were invited to the White House to meet with President Obama. Afterward, de Blasio described a commonality of interests among the mayors that could be the basis of a national movement."
Alas, here comrade De Blasio's and Obama's shared enemy is conservatism, or, as People's World frames it, the business world and "the far right." Extolling this new "progressive" movement, the reporter wrote: "Such a movement -- one that combines struggles against class and racial inequities -- has the corporate titans and their champions worried. De Blasio, like Obama, will be challenged by events and a fierce opposition, the far-right in the first place. Wall Street will make sure of that."
As ex-communist James Burnham liked to say, for the left, the preferred enemy is always to the right.
So much more could be said, but here's the big picture behind the smoke and mirrors: The American far left is riding high. Self-styled "progressives" are advancing faster than they have in a hundred years, and with encouragement from American communists, who, in many cases, are one and the same.
How did this happen? How did America get to this sorry state two decades after defeating communism? You can blame slick campaigning. You can blame the perverse attraction of Obama-ism. You can blame the liberal media and educational establishment. These are all factors. But I lay the blame where it most deserves to be placed: the American voter. Americans (most of them oblivious) did this to us, whether in New York City or the country as a whole. It is they who are responsible for this fundamental transformation.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His most recent book is The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mentor. His other books include The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism and Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.