The cost of respectability
0 comment Thursday, September 11, 2014 |
Check out this discussion from American Thinker.
The subject is, of all things, the John Birch Society.
From the AT article:
''The Birchers were repudiated by the American center-right soon after they appeared -- most famously by William F. Buckley, who read them out of the movement with comments about their "paranoid and idiotic" behavior. Even Ayn Rand, no friend of Buckley or other conservative leaders, was dismissive of the Birchers: "I consider the Birch Society futile, because they are not for Capitalism but merely against Communism."
But repudiation didn't work. Throughout the '60s, American liberals succeeded in connecting Birchers with the center-right, convincing the public at large that everybody from Buckley on down was a nascent Jack Ripper, crazy as a rat in a can, and ready to go off at a touch. Their crowning victory was the trashing of Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. After the organization endorsed Goldwater, the media ran with it, depicting the senator as a demented extremist even though he was not a Birch Society member, had no contact with them, and disagreed with them in detail. The "Bircher" accusation went on to serve the left well for nearly twenty years.''
I am not sure why Mr. Dunn is in such high dudgeon over the JBS. From what he implies in the piece, it seems that in the comments section of a previous article, somebody had the temerity to suggest that the Birch Society was right about some things. I gather that he read this as an attempt to smear AT by association with 'far-right' extremism and general nutjobbery. Smear them with whom? The left, presumably.
Firstly, I think it's generally understood by readers of any given blog that on a blog with a degree of free speech (and few blogs have a 100 percent unmoderated comment section) there will be comments made that the blog author or owner does not necessarily agree with. I don't always agree with all comments that are left here, although in general I am blessed with a good group of commenters who write intelligent comments. However I may not agree with any or every comment I get here. If I disagree, I may or may not attempt to respond to comments made, to indicate where I stand.
This blast against the John Birch Society seems a bit of an overreaction. A few pro-JBS comments among dozens does not amount to a resurgence of John Birchery, or 'right-wing extremism' of whatever sort. And if it did, given today's insanely left-wing culture, would that be so shocking? Every action produces an equal and opposite reaction.
The second thing I would like to point out is that I am not very knowledgeable on the JBS, although I am considered far-right by many people. The John Birch Society was a little before my time. Being a child who read newspapers and had an interest in politics and current events ever since I could read, I was aware of JBS, because there was quite a bit of criticism of it from the mainstream media back in the early 1960s. It was the bogeyman of the 'respectables' back then. I didn't understand what the issues were. I knew that communism was bad, so it rather confused me that those who opposed communism could also be bad. I kept hearing the term ''right-wing extremist'' then. Actually it seems that as the left began to solidify its dominance of the media in the 60s, I began to hear that term 'right-wing extremist' with increasing frequency. I gathered that there were right-wing people who were supposedly akin to the Nazis and fascists -- or so said the respectable news magazines and TV panel hosts of that time. I trust them far less now than I did as a child.
Dunn uses the left-wing Stanley Kubrick's movie Dr. Strangelove to ridicule such organizations --- as if such cartoonish characters as Jack D. Ripper were anything but a caricature.
And to get right to the heart of the issue of the supposedly extreme anti-Communism of the JBS, can we deny that they were right in warning about Communism? Even now, our media ridicule and vilify Joe McCarthy and the 'red-baiting' anti-Communists, the so-called 'witch hunters' who sounded warnings. Perhaps their warnings were too insistent, but if you saw your country in danger would you not shout a warning? That's what motivated this blog.
It looks very much to me as though the anti-Communist warnings were valid, and that we ignored those warnings to our great harm and detriment. We would surely not be where we are today had we taken the warnings seriously and acted accordingly.
The whole Communist conspiracy thing perhaps sounded fantastic to many people, who being naive, could not believe that something could be so insidious, so far-reaching, and so relentless. How anyone today of even a slightly conservative bent, can dismiss the warnings or scoff at the idea of such an overarching plan is incomprehensible. After all, it's coming to fruition before our eyes.
The left did a superb, bang-up job of fostering in the American public a knee-jerk reaction to any talk of a conspiracy, as if conspiracies per se are impossible, and anyone who warns of them is automatically an 'extremist' or a nutjob. To be fair, the 'respectable right' does its own part in encouraging this attitude, too.
The left, meanwhile, has been quite brazen lately with their talk of one-world governance, their celebration of minority status for White people in this country, and their triumph over traditional America.
Dunn creates a straw-man here, describing the Bircher's beliefs:
'' Bircher beliefs can be summed up quite simply:
* A) That everything that occurs in public life, without exception, is caused by the communists.
* B) That everybody who is not a Bircher is a communist.
Moving on, here are some choice elements of Bircher thought: That Dwight D. Eisenhower was a communist agent, that the civil rights movement was a communist plot, that the Vietnam War was a communist plot (I know, I know -- I don't get it either). That the Christian ecumenical movement was a communist plot, that the mental health establishment was run by communists. That free trade was a communist plot. (I'd like to hear somebody try to square that circle.) That the collapse of the Soviet empire was bogus, a ruse designed to make us let down our guard. Birchers were also opposed to every war the U.S. was involved in since the organization's founding in 1958, on the grounds that they were fought on behalf of guess who? (All they need is a few posters saying "God hates fags" and they'd be all set.)''
Points A and B are obviously caricatures of their position, especially point B. I do not know any Birchers (although some open-borders Republican accused me of being one) but I doubt they think everybody but Birchers are Communists.
The Christian ecumenical movement is certainly fostered by people with liberal political views and liberal 'Christian' theology. Some of the mainline churches have been quite open about supporting third-world revolutionary communists. This is fact, not conjecture or conspiracy theory. Gramscian communism quite openly prescribes infiltrating the churches and all other institutions. That is no fantasy. I need not spell all this out.
As far as his citing William F. Buckley's and Ayn Rand's condemnations of the JBS, I hardly consider them as authorities on things conservative. Rand was an ideologue, no conservative, and Buckley was an elitist who craved respectability among a certain social circle. Their opinions hold little weight with me.
I also don't look to Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and the other talk-radio figures he cites as exemplars.
They, like respectable conservatives in general, stay within the bounds of political correctness, and their quest for respectability (and employability) is based on their not being labeled 'right-wing extremists', though they are labeled as such by the media and liberals generally.
It seems to me that the quest for acceptance by the left wing or the ''middle'' is a futile one; if you are the tiniest bit to the right of 'center' you are a right-wing crazy in our narrow-minded political society today. In fact, the much-praised ''middle'', which seems to pride itself on its moderation and lack of right-wing nuttery, is in reality moving ever-leftward as the center of political gravity is pulled in that direction by the left moving the boundaries constantly. Can anyone deny or doubt that the whole political debate has moved, drastically, to the left even in the last 10 years? The 'center' now occupies what was once extreme left-wing territory. That's how it works.
And that's how the left wants it to work.
They want Republicans to continue letting them define the terms politically, and letting them control the discourse and the language and the definitions. They want to keep the right on the defensive, constantly insecure and scrambling to prove how not-extreme they are, and how respectable, diverse, and inclusive they are. That way, the left continues to move everything towards their goal, and the respectables get towed along, willingly.
I got slammed, and lost some readers recently because I criticized Glenn Beck. I was told that I was violating Reagan's 11th commandment. Well, I only know of ten commandments. Reagan said that we should not criticize other conservatives -- and I generally don't condemn people to MY right. In the quest for appearing respectable, many will throw genuine allies overboard, people who are in agreement with the basic goals. That is unwise. We are not so many, those of us who try to defend our cause, that we can afford to turn up our noses at someone just because we think they will embarrass us or make us look bad to hostile third parties.
And if we do manage to reverse the catastrophic events that have happened over the last few years, it will likely be because of the efforts of the ones who are not afraid to step outside the bounds of political correctness.
Whose respect are the respectables courting, anyway? The left, and that of the media, all of whom are hostile to us and to all we believe in. Why seek the respect of those who oppose and loathe us?
As for the John Birch Society, those of you who don't know about them might check the facts. I know all of you can do your own research and decide for yourselves what you think of them.

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