Saturday, February 26, 2005

Gannon, Norquist and Armstrong Williams. A closer look at the Leadership Institute.

Maybe it's my early spring diet and the time of day, but I just went to the newly minted Following the links I realized I was getting physically ill. Nauseous.

First off there's the Fear and Loathing headline -- we're all guilty of using it, in COLLEGE. Using "Fear and Loathing" when you are an ADULT instead of thinking of your own headline is just embarrassing. It was cliché almost as soon as Hunter penned it. If you are going to borrow it, you better live up to its pedigree (you sir, are no Hunter Thompson). To use it now, considering the recent suicide of its creator, is so lazy and to, well, make you sick.

Wanting to better understand The Guck's ideological identity, I went to a place where there's a public record of ideology. GOPUSA and Talon have a mission and plenty of material to peruse, but the Leadership Institute claims Karl Rove himself used their workshops to learn about politics and leadership. This is a place where yu ind everyone is on the same page.

On their website they sell a video called The Roots of the Ultra Left. As a matter of fact, it is the ONLY item for sale on the Leadership Institute website. Sure, they offer "workshops" in "journalism" and "leadership" -- but how much you wanna bet if spent the cash and attended, you would watch the video and break out into groups to use the rhetorical foundation of The Roots Of The Ultra Left to form various strategies.

I think we can use this resource to glimpse their inner mind.

Even though the script itself is only 90 or so pages, it took a while to digest because there's an historical figure the Leadership Institute references -- Robert Owen -- who the Leadership Institute basically thinks is The Supreme Evil One himself. Despite the fact that studied Marxism and other forms of utoptianism in graduate school, I had never heard of this Owen -- so off to educate myself which was very easy. Owen's got a lot of web presence despite the fact he died more than a century ago. He has a museum and is considered on the I wondered what Owen's offense was and was intrigued by his status as The Root Man of the Ultra Left. I've been a lefty since birth and I had never heard of this guy.

Robert Owen

He was a British industrialist and reformer who fought to establish child labor laws and other civic commitments we take pretty much for granted, most prominently, public education. For this, the Leadership Institute compares him to Hitler and Stalin. It's a long story and a boring read, but The Roots of the Ultra Left are workers' rights and public education which to these people, are The Root of All Evil.

This is THE ONE MESSAGE the Leadership Institute spends its time and apparently generous budget promoting.

Now for the tasty bits.

Guess who is on the appears on this video as guests of the Leadership Institute:
Grover Norquist
Robert Bork
Ann Coulter
David Horowitz,
Walter Williams, George Mason School of Economics
Dan Flynn, author of Why The Left Hates America
Mike Pence, Indiana Republican Congressman

Armstrong Williams. Paid partisan hack.
Ann Coulter, Partisan hack. Possibly insane.
Dan Flynn, Partisan hack. Not as photogenic as Coulter.
David Horowitz, Partison hack. Former Salon conservative pustule.
Then there's the brains of the operation.
Grover Norquist, Grand Pooh Bah
Robert Bork, Grand Pooh Bah
Walter Williams, Pooh Bah
Mike Pence, Little Pooh. Bah Wannabe

The script outline has the inelegant tone of a 1940s racist screed. Get a load of this:
Section One:
Profit Comes From Evil Greed
Socialists must get all your property
Tax all income at 100%
Support big government. No new tax cuts.
Why work when you can loot those who do?
Socialism has never been tried

Section Two:
What Socialists Really Think About Your Family And Our American Culture
Traditional morality is always bad
Do what feels good now. Make taxpayers pay the bill
Break all family ties
Make God illegal
Masculine is bad; feminine is also bad
Kill it. Why give your baby to a moral couple?

Section Three:
What Socialists Really Think About Liberty
Give the Left all power.
Stamp out liberty. It's unfair.
Everything not compulsory must be prohibited
Re-write history or stop teaching it
Keep campuses conservative-free zones
In the media, any conservatives are too many
No free speech for conservatives
Only groups have rights
Give up your guns. We want you defenseless.
Pay the union boss or we'll crack your skull
Save the environment. Kill off all the people.
Destroy all non-government education
Teachers unions -- more important than teaching kids
When judges give us what we want, forget the laws and the Constitution

blah blah blah -- there's more -- go see for yourself.

My husband has been talking to a guy at work (another software developer) who has been upset about the "socialists" for some time now. We've been perplexed at this because, well, the Cold War is over and has been for some time now. Having studied Marxist theory in school, this made my brain lock. So I ignored it. It makes my brain lock because saying there is a Socialist threat in America (now!) is like saying there is a gravitational threat and therefore are an Anti-Gravitarian. This is a Capitalist country. We all buy and sell stuff. The scruffy communists in Lafayette Park don't run things. No one it taking anyone's property -- except the Republicans in taking our sons and daughters off to war.

But there it is. These people really believe there is a Socialist Threat and if you read the material you find out that what these people hate most is public education and workers' rights. These are the Angry White Men, who, despite having great jobs and stay-at-home wives and home-schooled chunks of children, they truly believe the world is out to get them. The feminists want their masculinity. The schools want their religion. The government wants their money. They are middle class and operating out of fear they might lose their footing. they are one lay-off or serious illness from bankruptcy (for as long as that exists).

What they don't see is that these are projections, that the only people out for their shit is the conservatives. So, it's sad to say the least. These folks benefit the most from "transfer payments" in the form of roads and government services and they are being used to tear down their world brick by brick at the behest of Grover The Defunder Norquist.

What gets me most is that the tyranny of the masses is ignorance and it's public education they are most fiercely opposed to. Wake up people.



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