By WILLIAM MAYER
November 20, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The modern era of Democrat "progressivism" was launched in 1948 when the Independent Progressive Party was formed. In the presidential election of 1948 it ran Henry A. Wallace, FDR's Vice President [1941-45] against Harry Truman.
The Progressive party was riddled with Communists and though Wallace was not one, he opposed the Churchill/Truman doctrine of resisting the expansionism of the Soviet Union and the domination of his party by radical leftists, Soviet sympathizers and outright Communists.
Reading back through some of Mr. Wallace's speeches, it's interesting to note just how similar his ideas on the eve of the Cold War, mimic today's Democratic philosophy with regards to dealing with the Islamist threat.
"Russia may be poor and unprepared for war, but she knows very well how to reply to Truman's declaration of economic and financial pressure. All over the world Russia and her ally, poverty, will increase the pressure against us. Who among us is ready to predict that in this struggle American dollars will outlast the grievances that lead to communism?
When President Truman proclaims the world-wide conflict between East and West, he is telling the Soviet leaders that we are preparing for eventual war. They will reply by measures to strengthen their position in the event of war. Then the task of keeping the world at peace will pass beyond the power of the common people everywhere who want peace. Certainly it will not be freedom that will be victorious in this struggle. Psychological and spiritual preparation for war will follow financial preparation; civil liberties will be restricted; standards of living will be forced downward; families will be divided against each other; none of the values that we hold worth fighting for will be secure?." [source speech by Henry A. Wallace March 27, 1948 http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=852]
Wallace's statement that the Cold War was already lost is indistinguishable in spirit from that of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrat leadership's similar statements regarding the Iraq war.
After gaining only 3 percent of the popular vote in 1948 [mostly in New York] it ran Vincent Hallinan for president and Charlotta Bass as VP in 1952, a campaign which outside the consciousness of a very limited number of career leftists, hardly registered a murmur.
The party disbanded in 1956, appropriately the year that the Soviet Union crushed the Hungarian uprising.
Fast forward a few years to 1959 and we find Aryeh Neier morphing the socialist League for Industrial Democracy [formed in 1905] into the Students for a Democratic Society [SDS]
The SDS came to public awareness with its issuance of the 1962 "Port Huron Statement."
"An unreasoning anti-communism has become a major social problem for those who want to construct a more democratic America...much of the American anti-communism takes on the characteristics of paranoia...In no instance is this better illustrated than in our basic national policy-making assumption that the Soviet Union is inherently expansionist and aggressive, prepared to dominate the rest of the world by military means. On this assumption rests the monstrous American structure of military "preparedness"; because of it we sacrifice values and social programs to the alleged needs of military power...it is evident that the American military response has been more effective in deterring the growth of democracy than communism." [source Port Huron Statement http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.html]
What did it mean in this context for the United States to become more "democratic," moreover how would this be accomplished?
Wallace of course pointed the way, by accepting forever the presence of a malevolent and expansionist Soviet Union accompanied by a transfer of American national sovereignty to the United Nations.
"It will involve major changes in economic direction. Government intervention in new areas, government regulation of certain industrial price and investment practices to prevent inflation, full use of national productive capacities, and employment for every person in a dramatically expanding economy all are to be expected as the "price" of peace. It will involve the simultaneous creation of international rulemaking and enforcement machinery beginning under the United Nations, and the gradual transfer of sovereignties -- such as national armies and national determination of "international" law -- to such machinery." [source Port Huron Statement http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.html]
Despite the SDS debacle with its obvious links to domestic terrorism via the Weather Underground, Neier rose spectacularly within the burgeoning leftist power structure.
He went on to serve from 1965-70 as the Executive Director of the New York ACLU and from then until 1978 as the National Director of the ACLU.
While directing New York's ACLU, the organization became the defender of Black radicalism:
The [1968 New York teacher's] strike was precipitated by a purge of union members carried out by black radicals who had taken over a local school board. Insofar as there were civil liberties aspects to the confrontation, the victims were the teachers whose rights to due process and freedom of association had been trampled. But in a stunning inversion, the head of the ACLU's New York branch, Aryeh Neier, aligned the organization against the teachers. To Neier, the crucial priority was to stand with the black revolutionaries, civil liberties be damned. [source Weekly Standard, "Human Rights Watch vs. Human Rights. The cynical manipulation of a worthy cause has a history,"' by Joshua Muravchik 09/11/2006 http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/649efeoa.asp?pg=2]
The year 1968 was a pivotal one for these anti-democratic socialists because it was during that summer and over the course of the Democrat nominating convention held in Chicago, that the Truman/Kennedy/Johnson/Humphrey wing of the Democrat part was defeated - to the accompanyment of unprecedented riots - by the new-left. The power vacuum that resulted led to the nomination, in the next exlection cycle, of George McGovern, who cut his political teeth in the 1948 Wallace campaign.
Neier went on from his experience at the SDS and the ACLU to form Human Rights Watch, running the operation from its inception in 1981 to 1993.
Merely controlling the Democrat party was frustrating for many of these people. Those pushing the envelope quickly discovered that such large organizations have a natural inertia resistant to any form of change, especially when complicated by actual opposition from within the party by the dwindling number of traditionalists.
As a result the activists sought to increase their effectiveness by creating a wealth of NGOs and taking control of important philanthropic foundations, figuring that additional firepower from the outside would hasten beating the Democrat party into submission.
In 1993 Neier was tapped by George Soros to serve as the president of his brainchild, the Open Society Institute and chair the organization's board of directors, where he continues to serve.
Soros' entry at this level, into direct political activism in the United States was a transformational event, to the extent that one of his favorite causes, MoveOn.org, claimed as early as 2004 to own the Democrat party, more a boast at the time, but now with the ascension of Barack Obama more fact than boast.
"Now It's Our Party: We Bought It, We Own It, And We're Going To Take It Back." [source, Sam Hananel, "Moveon To Democratic Party: "We Own It," Associated Press, 12/09/04]
The leftist power base has congealed under the tutelage of George Soros. He exerts his influence via a blizzard of politically focused organizations, some of which he helped create, some which he simply funds: Center for American Progress, Catalist, ACLU, Media Matters, New Progressive Coalition, MoveOn.org, Democracy Alliance, America Coming Together, America Votes and on and on and on.
These groups cross-pollinate each other working as interlocking directorates and for eight years they have effectively served as a government in exhile. The hydra-head which stands behind this clout though is Soros the Open Society Institute, a multi-billion dollar incubator of leftist activism designed to profoundly change America's culture.
These organizations - usually headed by political insiders with high level connections in DC and the nation's media centers - serve as a whole to influence the content and direction of political debate. They develop policy initiatives and then shepherd them through the process whereby they become legislation. They also provide public relations expertise/media outreach to candidates and campaigns as well as a staggering array of expert services.
Catalist is a perfect example, created through Soros funding and run by Harold Ickes, arguably the Clinton team's uber lefty. With a client list that comprises much of the leftist universe, its specialty is detailed voter analysis and databases for campaign and organizational outreach:
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democrats.com, Education Voters Institute, EMILY's List, Faith in Public Life, Feldman Group, FieldWorks, For Maryland For Our Future, Global Strategy Group, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, Grove Insight, Hamilton Campaigns, Human Rights Campaign, Lake Research Partners, League of Conservation Voters, Mack | Crounse Group, Maine People's Alliance, Mark Warner for U.S. Senate, Mellman Group, Mission Control, Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition, MSHC Partners, NARAL - Pro-Choice America Foundation, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Council of La Raza / Democracia USA, National Education Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, New Organizing Institute, North Carolina Blueprint, Obama for America, Ohio Democratic Party, OMP Direct, Oregon Bus Project, Partnership Project, Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Planned Parenthood, Polling Consortium, Progressive American Fund - New Jersey, Progressive Future / MoveOn.org, Project New West, Rock the Vote, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, Strategy Group, Texas Democratic Trust, USAction, Wake Up Wal-Mart / UFCW, Washington Bus Project, Wellstone Action Fund, Winning Connections, Women's Voices. Women Vote, 360jmg, 720 Strategies [source, http://catalist.us/clients.html]
Catalist provided the Obama campaign with information that not only identified every registered American voter, but additional millions of other names and addresses deemed open to the Democrat's appeal.
With Obama in office, Soros' theories will be now put into practice with John Podesta, president [now on leave] of the Soros funded Center for American Progress [CAP] along with a support of dozens of CAP staffers, now serving on the president elect's transition team.
Though some are comparing CAP's influence with Obama to that of the Heritage Foundation's relationship with the Reagan Administration, the two are starkly different. Where Heritage has always functioned as a think tank, developing conservative intellectual capital geared towards policy initiatives, CAP is quite different.
Movement types describe CAP as emblematic of a new breed, "Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive think and action tank." [source, http://atlanticphilanthropies.org]. All of the Soros get are similarly put together.
That action tank model is evident in CAP's structure which allocates about half of its resources into 'Net based outreach [including blogs] to media, activists and coordination of events.
Another point of departure from the comparatively staid Heritage's relationship with Ronald Reagan is Podesta's already established powerbase in DC, his central role in the Obama transition and the media's already demonstrated friendliness to CAP's ideas.
Where Heritage was pushing against the flow, Obama/CAP has a swift current at its back.
Finally and this is perhaps key, the electronic tools available today to foster mass communication of the ideas that Obama/CAP represents were unthinkable among the political class a quarter of a century ago, when the Internet was in swaddling clothes. Having run screaming from the thought of public campaign financing, the Obama team, engorged with $640 million, had the time, resources and desire to blaze new trails. They established project based mini-think tanks headed by experts on a host of key policy issues.
For example much of the campaign's fundraising, group building and voter outreach was managed by a new entity, a 'Net tools company called Blue State Digital. Created by ex-Deaniacs only four years ago, in 2004, it has quickly grown to now loom as the default set of cyber functionalities and applications used by the left. Also offering campaign consultation services it has become a one-stop shop which has already proven extraordinarily effective.
As the company website not so modestly states:
"Blue State Digital (BSD) is a leader in online fundraising, advocacy, social networking, and constituency development programs for nonprofit organizations, political candidates and causes, and corporations. Since our founding in 2004, we've delivered successfully on the promise of the Internet to over 200 satisfied clients, including Obama for America, Wal-Mart Watch, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and the Communications Workers of America, raising over $200 million in contributions to date and generating tens of millions of online signups and actions." [source, http://www.bluestatedigital.com/pages/about]
As we fleshed out just last week in [Obama Moves Towards Total Control Via Internet Leviathan, Proposal Designed To Create A Nation Of Cyberserfs] this push to Internet enabled control has already become the embodiment of the overused, but accurate in this case phrase, "paradigm shifter."
When fully configured this new method of politics will give the hard "progressive" left unprecedented opportunities for control, as we opined in the above piece.
"Even a half hearted stealth implementation of this program would fundamentally change the relationship between the government and the governed. The infrastructure so created will speed America's current march towards a nanny state into a full-out sprint.
It has the prospect of making the government the most important thing in citizen's lives, it will deliver messages, accept input to address concerns or accommodate suggestions, link citizens and groups in new ways, create databases, gather email addresses and extend offers. Above all, this new technological genie will be forever imprinted with the face of Obama.
This electronic network will have the capacity to revolutionize fundraising, of course skewed in one direction. It will allow this administration to coordinate efforts, develop policy initiatives and then sell them, along the way managing the message to bring them about."
As this aspect of the Obama presidency unfolds we must consider and evaluate the degree to which it will change the face of politics, and not only in America. If these efforts proceed along the path they now appear to be taking, the traditional relationship between the government and the governed will be fundamentally altered, perhaps the most elemental change that this administration can possibly bring about.
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