Conservatives are big financiers of the spread of socialism by nonprofits. Bigger even than billionaire George Soros.
There are tens of thousands of liberal nonprofits on the public dole. Conservatives tend to focus attention and even outrage on a few large and notorious taxpayer-funded nonprofits such as ACORN, Planned Parenthood and AARP. That focus, though, is too myopic.
Liberals know how to use nonprofits to "change" America. With the daily bombardment against our free-market, constitutional senses by the Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime, we may be ignoring the nonprofit foundation of their comprehensive socialist agenda. And conservatives are helping to pay for it, both against our will and volitionally even if unwittingly.
Nonprofits have a unique and profound influence on the American people and culture. Think about the many roles of nonprofits in society and our families' daily lives: churches, educational institutions, unions, health and medical care charities, youth outlets such as Boys and Girls Clubs, pet rescue and placement groups, etc.
During our lifetimes most Americans voluntarily associate with, and are personally affected by, dozens of nonprofits, yet we tend to underestimate their impact on public policy and our other institutions. Nonprofits help shape nearly every aspect of American society.
In public policy, nonprofits advocate nationally, and lobby at the federal and state levels. Within local communities, liberal nonprofits indoctrinate school children towards socialism and away from free markets, organize illegal aliens and otherwise promote liberal agendas.
Through our tax dollars conservatives not only finance liberal advocacy by the nonprofits, but help pay the salaries of liberal nonprofit employees, enough of whom are Democratic activists off the clock and who disdain conservatives.
It's bad enough that conservatives finance the liberal agenda with tax dollars going to openly leftwing organizations. But what many conservatives may not know is the degree to which supposedly non-ideological charities to which we voluntarily contribute have become partners with and advocates for big government tax-and-spend politicians, and oppose conservative policies and goals.
American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks writes conservatives tend to be more charitable in their contributions than liberals. The trouble is that many charities are now based in Washington, let politicians infiltrate their boards, and have become part of the liberal big-government establishment promoting agendas inconsistent with our beliefs and best interests. Following passage of the record-breaking Stimulus Bill this year, for example, supposedly neutral charities such as American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Catholic Charities and others praised not just the bill, but even some of the politicians responsible for it.
Government money, in other words, has bought charitable allegiance and complicity with the liberal agenda. Rather than instruments of private association and independence described by de Toqueville as part of the fabric of American freedom, taxpayer-financed charities have become extensions of big, corrupt government.
This turn away from allegiance to private association and towards fealty to the State undermines the foundations of our democracy. Nonprofits historically have been one of the two institutional watchdogs and critics of bad government and corrupt politicians. The other -- the press -- largely abandoned that role long ago. Politicians, of course, take full advantage of this situation, and use taxpayer funding of charity as a means of political patronage and even personal benefit.
Almost weekly we read about politicians caught funneling taxpayer dollars to charities with ties to the politicians or for some other improper purpose. For example, in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, California, and North Carolina, state politicians have been caught in charitable scandals, yet these states have some of the most aggressive laws and bureaucracies regulating privately financed charities. There seems to be correlation between corruption and public (versus private) financing of charity. The reasons should be apparent to conservatives. President Obama's career prior to being elected to the White House involved spreading socialism using substantially conservatives' money. It's quite possible he does that better than anything else. As early as September 2008, Steven Malanga of the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy presciently described Barack Obama as "Organizer in Chief," and chronicles harm caused by his nonprofit agenda fomented by his ‘60s radical mentors. The first major legislation he signed, the Stimulus Bill, includes an expanded infusion of billions of taxpayer dollars into the nonprofit sector, which as Congressman Ron Paul warned "will further insinuate the government into charity." The Serve America Act will federalize volunteerism, and was described by Tammy Bruce as the Brownshirt Act. It will create boot camps for radicals like Obama-founded Public Allies. President Obama was caught in the openly political attempt to move the census to White House control. Liberal surrogate nonprofits will instead receive federal funding for that ideological agenda. Even Obama's proposal to limit charitable deductions aids the liberal agenda. Conservative nonprofits tend not to take taxpayer money; liberal nonprofits often are financed over 50 percent with government money. Reducing tax deductions will disproportionately hurt charities relying on purely private financing, a political maneuver little noticed except by some liberals, who understand it will help defund the right and ensure "government, not private donors . . . decide how tax dollars are allocated."
Conservatives need to rethink their charitable giving and stop contributing to charities that receive taxpayer money. Liberal nonprofits indoctrinate our youth and are helping move society towards socialism. Conservatives must not underestimate this subterfuge of free markets, private association and traditional values, nor this foundation to the entire Obama agenda of change towards socialism.
There are plenty of deserving causes that need our money, and won't insult and operate against conservative principles.
Mark Fitzgibbons is President of Corporate and Legal Affairs at American Target Advertising, Inc., a direct marketing agency in Manassas, VA.