Radical socialists are once again on the scene, pushing against conservative principles

By Ellen Sauerbrey – – Wednesday, March 13, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Many Americans are shocked that socialism, which has been anathema to the vast majority throughout our history, has suddenly emerged as the guiding principle for most Democratic presidential candidates. How has this happened?

The seeds of todays’ socialist and conservative movements grew out of the 1960s — a time of turmoil, war protests, civil rights riots, assassinations and a clash of fundamental ideas about the role of government in organizing society.

Communism had been making great strides in Europe and the United States was in the crosshairs. A former FBI agent, W. Cleon Skouse, wrote an alarming book, “The Naked Communist,” outlining the Communist strategy to take over America. In 1963, Florida Congressman Albert Herlong Jr. inserted a list of 45 Communist goals from Clauson’s book into the Congressional Record. Today it reads like a checklist of the left.

The goals included: Capture one of the political parties, get control of the labor unions, big business, schools, and student newspapers. Infiltrate the press and the churches and eliminate prayer or religious expression in schools. Discredit the U.S. Constitution, the Founding Fathers and the family.

One of the leading voices on the left in the Sixties was Bill Ayers, the most prominent member of the radical and violent Weather Underground, and a self-described Communist. Ayers, his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, and co-conspirator Kathryn Boutin were dedicated to the violent overthrow of the capitalist system.

Two other influential Sixties radicals, Columbia University sociology professors Richard Cloward and Francis Fox Piven, promoted a nonviolent approach in a 1966 article in The Nation. Their idea was to collapse the financial system by recruiting so many poor for welfare that it would create a political crisis. They founded the National Welfare Rights Organization, packed the welfare rolls and by 1975 forced New York City into bankruptcy. With their success, it was clear that this strategy could be used to overwhelm other government systems as well.

Meanwhile, a conservative congressman, Barry Goldwater, was promoting very different ideas. His book, “The Conscience of a Conservative,” appeared in 1960 and spread like wildfire. I was one of the millions motivated to political activism by this bible of conservative ideas of less government and more freedom.

Though Barry Goldwater lost the 1964 presidential election, the most memorable part of his campaign was The Speech, “A Time for Choosing,” delivered by Ronald Reagan. During years as a liberal, fighting communism in the film industry, Reagan did a complete right turn and was described as a “liberal mugged by reality.” His speech for Goldwater cemented his popularity as the leader of the new conservative movement.

For decades, Reagan conservatism prevailed. But the socialists were burrowing into basic institutions. Former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers involved himself in an education foundation that provided grants emphasizing social justice and social activism, and pushing issues of inequity, war and violence.

Ayers wrote a number of influential books on education and became a faculty member at the University of Illinois. His influence became clear when Barack Obama kicked off his first campaign for the state Senate in Ayers’ living room. His Weather Underground co-conspirators, Bernadine Dohrn and Kathryn Boudin, have also been employed by major universities where they can promote their radical ideas.

The Cloward-Piven 1966 article in The Nation was republished in 2015. Their strategy today remains a blueprint for overwhelming the welfare, immigration and electoral systems. Over the years, hundreds of interlocking socialist organizations and left-leaning foundations have grown up below the radar screen to organize and finance these goals.

An example is Centro Sin Fronteras, a parent group of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an organizer of the caravans that are bringing tens of thousands of Central American migrants to the United States to crush the immigration system. They are supported by a number of community action groups and leftist American grant-making foundations, including the National Immigration Forum, which is funded by George Soros.

The biggest threat to traditional America is the indoctrination of our children. Vladimir Lenin boasted, “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.” In too many schools, civics has been replaced by political activism involving “social and environmental justice,” white guilt, LGBTQ and gender rights. Instead of developing inquiring minds, schools are creating a new brand of intolerance, harassment and violence to shut down conservative speakers and ideas. No surprise that recent polls indicate young Americans now favor socialism over capitalism 51 percent to 45 percent.

The clash of ideas of the Sixties pitting radical socialists against conservatives is repeating today. As Dr. Ben Carson noted, “The Naked Communist lays out the whole progressive plan. It is unbelievable how fast it has been achieved.” The termites of socialism have been gnawing away at American institutions for decades and have finally come out of the woodwork.

• Ellen Sauerbrey is a former Republican nominee for governor of Maryland and U.S. assistant secretary of State.

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