Have Democrats been marginalized within their own party?
By Frank Salvato
web posted November 23, 2009
We have heard a lot over the past year or so about how President John F. Kennedy wouldn't be able to garner his political party's nomination for the presidency in today's Democrat Party. An examination of his political platform and the principles he embraced would today place him on the right side of the aisle. So, why is it that in just under fifty years the political ideology of the most revered Democrat to hold office in modern times is shunned by the party he served? It's because his party – the Democrat Party – isn't the party of Democrats any longer.
Sure, there are still some issues that Democrats view in the same light they did back in the 1960s. Democrats are more prone to being anti-war than their conservative counterparts. They still believe in a larger role for government in the private sector. And they still believe that government has a significant role to play where poverty and the disenfranchised are concerned. Many, like Kennedy – and Roosevelt before him – also continue to believe in a strong national defense, although they still possess a great deal of concern about the "military industrial complex."
But today's Democrat Party agenda, while holding to these core issues, has evolved into a completely different political party, complete with a foreign – as in not of the Democrat Party of old – agenda. In fact, many a Democrat has come forward to espouse, "It isn't your Dad's Democrat Party anymore."
Today's Democrat Party is led by a zealous, almost fanatical faction of the party; the Progressives. This faction is more pronounced in the House of Representatives and is led by Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and her Progressive Caucus. While the Progressive ideology is less apparent in the US Senate, it does drive the Democrat majority's agenda on the major issues, especially where spending and entitlement are concerned. In the Executive Branch, the Obama Administration is born of the Progressive movement. In the Judiciary Branch, which is supposed to be apolitical, newly seated Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor joins former ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsberg as the most notable Progressives.
Democrats, born of Anti-Federalist factions, established their political party on an agenda including states' rights, strict adherence to the Constitution and in opposition to a national bank and wealthy, moneyed interests. These precepts grew to include opposition to corruption, high taxes and tariffs. And while the Democrat Party developed to include the promotion of social welfare, labor unions, civil rights and regulation of business, it advanced this support with an eye toward balance and respect for the need for that balance.
The Progressive Movement, through three attempts at mainstreaming its philosophy, has arrived, through the social activist movement, to champion a political agenda that includes: electoral reform (including the abolition of the Electoral College), environmentalism and pollution control to an extreme degree and to the point of national detriment, same-sex marriage and the mainstreaming of alternative-lifestyles, hate-crime legislation, universal healthcare, abolition of the death penalty, affordable housing regardless of economic viability, pro-union policies, and the misguided notion that radical Islamic aggression should be treated as a law enforcement issue instead of an act of war, to name but a very few.
Further, one of the most powerful influences in the Progressive Movement – aside from the neo-Marxists of the Frankfort School and the ideological manifestation of political correctness – is the radical ideology of Saul Alinsky, whose Rules of Radicals mandated:
1) Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2) Never go outside the experience of your people.
3) Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.
4) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules
5) Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
6) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8) Keep the pressure on.
9) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
11) If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
12) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
As for ethics and morality, Alinsky said:
"The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment..."
"The morality of a means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory."
"You do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments."
"Goals must be phrased in general terms like 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,' 'Of the Common Welfare,' 'Pursuit of Happiness' or 'Bread and Peace.'"
The Progressive element within the Democrat Party, as it operates today, employs the "ends justifies the means" strategy of achieving their goals in a most egregious manner, and whether the goals are in the best interest of the "Common Good" or simply put forth in an effort to strengthen the Progressive ideology.
Examining the standard operating procedure "slash-and-burn" tactics of Nancy Pelosi, we see that she and the members of the Progressive Caucus think nothing of:
▪ Usurping the long-established House committee legislative process by crafting legislation behind closed doors and unto themselves.
▪ Colluding with organizations emanating from the Progressive movement like the Apollo Alliance, a special interest group that counted among its higher-ups the now former Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, and who helped to craft the disaster of a "stimulus bill" – which stimulated the special interests of the Progressive Left, the ire of the mainstream American people and little else.
▪ Advancing falsehoods in an effort to advance their ideological agenda – a perfect example of this is presented in Ms. Pelosi's attack on the CIA and intelligence community in which she changed her story several times about being briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques used on radical Islamist terrorists.
Further, Ms. Pelosi and her Progressive Caucus illustrated their contempt for the election process, the Constitution and the rule of law by swearing in Bill Owens prior to the certification of the congressional special election in New York's 23rd Congressional District. They did this simply to pad the vote for their healthcare proposal, HR3692.
The Progressive movement has grown to include globalists like George Soros and Peter Lewis, and organizations like MoveOn.org, Media Matters and Center for American Progress. It also counts among its political pawns organizations like CodePink, Emily's List, ACORN and America Coming Together.
The Progressive agenda, in its current form, in advancing three core issues in healthcare reform, climate change legislation and immigration reform, would not only "fundamentally change the United States of America," as Pres. Obama has told us he intends to do, but crash the dollar and set the stage for a global currency, which will lead to global regulation, authority and last, but not least, a global government.
To compare and contrast, Democrats, as core tenets, embrace a "strict adherence to the Constitution and opposition to a national bank and wealthy, moneyed interests." Progressives are usurping the Constitution and using the "national bank and moneyed interests" to move the country to a global new world order.
The surprising fact in all of this is that the Progressive Caucus in the US House of Representatives consists of 79 members, most from California, New York, Illinois or Massachusetts. Put into context, the Progressives in the US House – where all financial legislation is supposed to originate – account for roughly one-third of the 258 Democrat members and roughly one-fifth of the total of members. Yet, they control the committee chairmanships and manhandle the agenda.
Some glaring questions beg to be asked:
▪ If the actions and intentions of the Progressives in elected office is to marginalize the Constitution and move our nation toward the surrender of our sovereignty, why won't the rank-and-file Democrats remove them from leadership, if only to preserve their legislative authority and power?
▪ If Progressives – as they have demonstrated through word and deed – are so hell-bent on marginalizing our country, the Constitution and our currency in both stature and in the ability to affect global policy, why won't rank-and-file Democrats in Congress collude with the GOP in an effort to preserve the Union and her currency?
▪ If Progressives are so few in number, why do rank-and-file Democrats in Congress allow them to be seated in leadership positions, especially in light of the destruction Progressives are inflicting upon the Democrat brand with centrists and independent voters?
And last but not least, what – besides divisiveness, elitism, censorship, political correctness and the silence of honest debate – has the Progressive movement ever contributed to the people of the world?
There are quite a few things wrong with our country today. We are fighting an internal cancer in constitutional illiteracy while, at the same time, battling aggressive radical Islam and the encroaching neo-Marxism of the Progressive movement. While constitutional literacy will take at least a generation to restore and the conflict with radical Islam promises to be one that will outlast several generations, the potency of the neo-Marxist Progressive movement can be neutered almost immediately, but it must be neutered from within the Democrat Party.
This truth begs one last question: Do Democrats have the will to take back their party?
Let's hope, for the sake of our country, that they do.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show airing on AM1220 WSRQ and on the Internet catering to the US Armed Forces around the world and on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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