American Dream or Socialist Nightmare
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published February 24, 2011 on The Washington Times website.
There are few things more galling than communists lecturing Americans on how we can live up to our “values.” A case in point is former Obama administration “green jobs czar” Van Jones rhapsodizing about the union rent-a-mobs in Madison, Wis., Indiana and coming to a city near you.
In his article “Introducing the ‘American Dream’ ” at the Huffington Post, Mr. Jones, who lost his White House job when his communist affiliations surfaced, says these “heroes and heroines” in the mobs will usher in a new nation by confiscating and redistributing wealth. Well, he doesn’t put it that way, exactly, but he uses progressive-speak about “fairness,” “democracy” and “justice.” This means dreaming of taxpayers trussed up like hogs on a spit or cows lined up at the milking machine.
Except for the 14 Democratic Wisconsin Senate shirkers in hiding to avoid a vote on fiscal sanity and the 38 Democratic Senate shirkers in Indiana doing the same thing, Mr. Jones and Moveon.org want all radicals to get off their BarcaLoungers and raise a public ruckus.
Declaring that “the American Dream is under fierce attack” (finally, something we can agree on), Moveon.org is calling for rallies on Feb. 26 in all 50 state capitals. Mr. Jones concurs: “Over the next hours and days, all who love this country need to do everything possible to spread the ‘spirit of Madison’ to all 50 states,” Mr. Jones implores. “This does not mean we need to occupy 50 state capitol buildings; things elsewhere are not yet that dire.”
Oh, if only they were. Then we could truly relive the 1960s, with their broken glass, obscenities, pot smoke and invasions of college presidents’ offices. Only this time, the gray-ponytailed crowd will get to sit in governors’ chairs while smoking cigars (well, they could be joints). And instead of quaffing Boone’s Farm apple wine, they’ll be knocking back shots of Maalox.
Yes, times have changed, but not for unreconstructed radicals who follow relative youngsters like Mr. Jones back to the revolutionary ramparts. At the head of this parade is the ghost of Saul Alinsky, the brilliant community organizer whose left-wing school in Chicago helped educate President Obama. Alinsky’s prize pupil has called Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed reforms “an assault” on unions.
In his seminal book “Rules for Radicals”, Alinsky advises revolutionaries to “make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” That’s why we’re hearing leftists like Mr. Jones loudly saying they want to preserve the American dream. Their version of that dream, however, is not “God bless America” but more like “Imagine,” John Lennon’s anthem to abolishing private property.
Alinsky is smiling somewhere (if he’s permitted) as his students hector the nation about “civility” while screaming obscenity-laden epithets. He’s doubling over with mirth while they shed crocodile tears over government spending and deficits. Here’s an example from Mr. Jones:
Nobody objects to politicians cutting budgetary fat. But the GOP program everywhere is so reckless that it would actually cut muscle, bone and marrow, too.
Translation: Any cuts, no matter how small, will be met with this kind of hyperbole, plus mobs. But Mr. Jones was just getting warmed up:
If a foreign power conspired to inflict this much damage on America’s first responders and essential infrastructure, we would see it as an act of war.
And what’s the proper response to an act of war? Not usually more civility. As Mr. Obama says, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Yes, he was speaking figuratively when addressing a crowd in Philadelphia in 2008. But he made his point.
In 2010, the largest political donor, spending $90 million, was the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The National Education Association (NEA) gave $40 million. That sounds like a lot of money until you consider that in the 2009 stimulus bill, $160 billion went to the states, largely to pay public employees, who, in turn, gave a portion of their union dues to politicians, who kept the spending flowing, and so on. The collective state-government debt around the nation is now more than $2.4 trillion and rising.
In Wisconsin, the union-led money grab has produced a $3.8-billion budget deficit. Nothing can be done about it if the Democrats remain in hiding. But like 17 other states, Wisconsin has a law that might offer a partial solution to the impasse. Wisconsin’s Constitution allows recall of elected public officials after their first year in office if enough signatures are gathered. According to Peter Ferrara, general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union, in a FoxNews.com column, “Of the 14 missing Democrat state senators, at least half would be subject to immediate recall this year, maybe more. While efforts to recall U.S. senators under such state law provisions have been subject to legal controversy, there is no controversy about the authority of voters to recall state senators under such provisions.” For more information on recall, see recallcongressnow.org.
The conflict of interest is too obvious to ignore. America is broke and headed for a fiscal train wreck, with the unions hitting the throttle as a horrified nation tries to apply the brakes.
The protests are backfiring, with average, taxed-out citizens seeing mobs on TV with their hands out. Insisting that “it’s for the children” doesn’t cut it anymore when legions of Wisconsin’s unionized teachers engage in a massive sickout, complete with phony doctors’ notes. How about that, kids? With the mood America’s in, I’d say the more protests – and recalls – the merrier.