Bill Ayers said in 1995 that he was just a "small ‘c' communist." He said it with a little laugh. And most of us aren't even shocked. We've heard words like that before. But we should feel shivers running up our spines.
I know goofy liberals who moan about all the good intentions demonstrated by Karl Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky. They're all Obama voters, for some reason. They are the same kinds of people who think Jesus was a communist, and that George W. Bush is Hitler. They are often the kind of people who try desperately to be completely nice in their lives, especially to designated victims. But often they harbor a belly full of rage -- against conservatives, or big corporations, or fundamentalist Christians, or anybody who challenges their belief in their own saintliness.
In basic politics there are only two numbers you need to know. One is Six Million. You know what that means. The other number is not nearly as well-known, but it should be. It's One Hundred Million. Six Million is forever linked to Hitler's Final Solution to the Jewish Problem. Whether it was precisely Six Million, or whether we should include the Armenian Genocide committed by the Turks, or whether we should add the tens of millions of other people killed by Hitler, not to mention all the other genocides in history ... all that comes later. The expression "Six Million" has come to be a touchstone for human evil, and we fragile humans really need our touchstones. Otherwise we get confused, and wander off into perversity. We become suckers to political scam artists.
We need some kind of soundbite to remind us of deliberately chosen human evil, and Six Million is just about the right size to keep in mind. Six Million should stand for all the massacres of innocents: In Rwanda, in centuries of African slave trade, in Nanking, in Turkish Armenia, in the Partition of India, the list is painfully long.
One Hundred Million is the estimated number of people massacred by Communists in the 20th Century, according to a definitive study by French Leftist historian Stéphane Courtois and his team, published in The Black Book of Communism.
One Hundred Million is the second soundbite every sane person on earth should know.
Six Million and One Hundred Million -- forget all the quibbles, just listen to the sound of those numbers.
Now when your friendly neighborhood "small ‘c' communist" comes along, all smiles, and offering love and peace, we need to say just one thing: One Hundred Million. If that doesn't wipe the smile off their faces they are beyond human reach. By that act of willed ignorance they have exiled themselves from the company of decent people.
Try it some time: There are an amazing number of nominally sane people who will try to explain that number One Hundred Million away. Vladimir Putin is doing it even now in Russia, where many of the murderers and their victims lived. That reveals what kind of man Putin really is.
In the same way, murderous racists need to be confronted with only one number: Six Million. It's not because those murder victims were Jews killed by Nazis. It is just a gut-grabbing allusion to deliberate, massive human evil -- always performed in the name of some transcendent ideal, of course.
So we only need to ask about two numbers to find out where people stand.
If Professor Bill Ayers then comes along and says with his little laugh,
"I am a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist ... [Laughs] Maybe I'm the last communist who is willing to admit it. ... The ethics of Communism still appeal to me."
Well, right away we know who he is, don't we?
Or take his lady wife, Bernardine Dohrn, who famously cheered on the Manson murders in 1969: "Dig it! First they killed those pigs and then they put a fork in their bellies. Wild!"
She's sure no Governor Palin of Alaska, is she?
Or take the grinning minister who tells his people that "Jesus was a Communist." (What about those 100 million, Reverend?) Then there's Obama's Harvard Law backer, black supremacist Don Warden, aka Khaleed Al Mansoor,
"...whatever you do to [white people], they deserve it, God wants you to do it and that's when you cut out the nose, cut out the ears, take flesh out of their body, don't worry because God wants you to do it."
It's kind of a twist on Sesame Street: Which of these is just like the others?
They're all the same, kids.
So if somebody -- say, one of our presidential candidates -- if he just doesn't get that, it really tells us all we need to know, doesn't it?
I would never give the time of day to anybody who fills his life with Nazis, Kluxers, or Maoists. Or with bloody-minded professors of any stripe whatsoever.
And to Professor Bill Ayers: If you were just "a small ‘n' nazi," instead of "a small ‘c' communist" ... you would still be just as evil as you obviously are. You have convicted yourself out of your own mouth.
See, simple touchstones are pretty useful.