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Uniting the Right (2).docx

Uniting the Right (2).docx

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Published by Vicki McKenna
David Horowitz explains liberal/progressive motivations and offers a path to unite conservatives.
David Horowitz explains liberal/progressive motivations and offers a path to unite conservatives.

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Published by: Vicki McKenna on Oct 30, 2013
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 David Horowitz
Uniting the Right
Anyone who pays attention to politics can see that Democrats speak from thesame text when they attack, and march in lock-step when they vote. If one Democrat says
the wealthy must pay their “fair share,” all Democrats
do
 – 
regardless of the merits of thecharge; if Democrat leaders say Republicans want to shut down the government to denyAmericans affordable care, the rest will follow their lead, whether the claim is true or not.When key legislation like Obamacare is the issue, not only do Democrats back it with onevoice but every player on the left -- journalists, professors, talk show hosts, union heads,MoveOn radicals and Occupy anarchists
 – 
fall into line and promote it with virtuallyidentical words. They do it in fair political weather and foul, and they do it for legislationlike Obamacare that is ill-conceived, falsely presented, incompetently executed, andfiscally excessive. When the voices of the left come together the amplification isstupefying. The result: a morally bankrupt, politically tyrannical, economicallydestructive party is able to set the course of an entire nation and put it on the road todisaster.In contrast, their Republican opponents speak with multiple voices, in words thatoften have no relation to each other. If one Republican says
de-fund Obamacare
,”
 another says,
fund the government
,” e
ven if that means funding Obamacare.
It’s a
tactical dissension. If one says
do
n’t
intervene in Syria,
another says
“don’t hesitate
;
if one says
“Obama
-supported immigration reform is a dagger aimed at Americansovereignty,
another says
opposition to immigration reform is a threat to our party,
 more tactical diversity. Contending voices in the party ranks are multiplied byconservative talking heads in the national media who march to their own drums. Theresult is a cacophony of talking points that point nowhere in particular.In short, because Republicans speak with many voices, their message is oftendifficult if not impossible, to make out. Internal dissension not only blunts their attack ithands Democrats a convenient stick to beat them with. No one on the right, whether conservative or Republican thinks this is a promising situation. But why, then, is it thecase? What do Democrats have to unite them that Republicans lack?
It’s
not a party whip to enforce discipline in the ranks. Both parties have them.Moreover there are no whips to rein in factions like the tea party and the grassroots, or media voices that command larger audiences than members of Congress. On the other hand, Democrats also lack a formal means to bring their media sympathizers and grassroots allies into line. So how do they do it? What unites them as they go to battle?It is the power of a unifying idea. A unifying idea is not a consensus over policyor tactics. Unanimity about in these cases are difficult to achieve and impossible tosustain. People on the left do not find unity in a consensus over such issues. Their unity is
 
inspired by a missionary idea. On the eve of his election in 2008, Barack Obama said tohis followers:
“We are five days away from
fundamentally transforming the United Statesof America.
No
conservative talks like this. Transformation is what progressives areabout. It is what motivates them to march together. More importantly, it is what makesthem progressives in the first place. It is their identity in the same way
“Christian” and“Jew” defin
e people with a religious faith.Progressive, socialist, and liberal are terms that describe members of a moralcrusade. Their goal
is “social justice”
-- social and economic
equality
. The quest for thisutopia is what forges their commitments, defines their allegiances and justifies the meansthey use to get there. They may differ on what particular policies and tactics will advancethe cause, but those who are also Democrats see that party as the practical vehicle for making the idea a reality. It has within its grasp the power of the state, which is only waytheir future can be achieved. That is why they are willing to follow its marching orders,and advance its fortunes.The Bolshevik leader, Leon Trotsky, revealed the reasoning behind such behavior when explaining why he would not leave the Bolshevik Party even after Stalin
 – 
whowould eventually murder him -- became its absolute
leader: “
We can only be right with
and by the Party,”
Trotsky
said, “
for history has provided no other way of being in theright... If the Party adopts a decision which one or other of us thinks unjust, he will say, just or unjust, it is my party, and I shall support the consequences of the decision to theen
d.”
1
  Non-Bolsheviks may not share Trotsky
’s
metaphysical certitude, but they willrecognize the principle. If the cause is about changing the world and there is only one party that can acquire the means to do it, then even though it may be wrong on this or thatoccasion, its fortunes must be advanced and its power defended. This commitment isgreatly intensified when the opposition party is viewed as the enemy of the cause. If Republicans are identified as the party of privilege at war with minorities, women and the poor, then their ideas are not only wrong but evil. The religious connotation is apt. If oneis not of the party of God fighting injustice, then one is
of the devil’s party.
This isexactly how Saul Alinsky,
President Obama’s political mentor put it in
 Rules for  Radicals
:
“One acts decisively only in the conviction that all of the angels are on one sideand the devils are on the other.”
This conviction is a powerful unifier.Verbal assaults onthe moral character of conservative opponents inspire fear in supporters of the progressive idea -- fear of being politically incorrect and joining the ranks for thedamned. This is one reason why progressives
don’t require marching orders to speak with
a single voice.
The Democrats’ campaign message
 
 – 
Republicans are conducting a war onminorities, a war on women, a war on the middle class
 – 
are formulations of the centralidea that unites progressives behind the party:
We are for equality, they are not.
 
1
Speech at the XIIIth Party Congress, May 1924
 
Here is another instruction from
 Rules for Radicals
:
Our enemies (are) alwaysimmoral.
” The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the immorality of 
theopposition. If the opposition is perceived as immoral and indecent their policies andarguments can be dismissed without a hearing, and we can win the power to do good.In1996 Senator Bob Dole
 – 
a moderate Republican and deal-maker 
 – 
ran for president
against the incumbent Bill Clinton. At the time, Dick Morris was Clinton’s political
adviser. As they were heading into the election campaign, Clinton
 – 
a centrist Democrat -- told Morris
, “You have to understand Dick, Bob Dole is evil.”
When I was invited tospeak at one of the leading liberal arts colleges, I asked a political science professor if hewere conservative. His reply:
“If the Democrats ran a duck for 
office, I would vote for 
it.”
To stop the evil Republicans.
This reflex is the product of a successful politicalstrategy.Because Democrats and progressives regard politics as a battle of good versusevil, their focus is not on policies that work and ideas that make sense, but on what willmake their party win. Demonizing the opposition is one answer; another is unity --
“s
olidarity.
Divided we fail, and that will mean the cause will fail. In their minds, rightand wrong are already determined by the fact that they are on the side of the good;therefore whatever they support is right even if in a particular instance it is wrong.Democrats and progressives have a saying that expresses this attitude: We are on the rightside of history. President Obama has placed a carpet in the Oval Office in which thesewords are inscribed.
The moral arc of the universe is bent towards justice.
 
Their 
justice;their cause. The issues are never the issues. The issue is always what will bring power tothose who are on the right side of history, because their cause is just. This intoxicating belief is the key to the power not only of the party to but to the sense of achievement andself-worth in its rank and file for being soldiers in a moral cause.Conservatives for the most part are wary of mixing religious fervor with a political enterprise, and the coalition of the right is extremely diverse. It does not presently have a unifying idea in the sense described above. Conservatives do not speak from the same page generally or march in lockstep; their divisions are open for all to seeand for their opponents to exploit. Conservative media is often at odds with theRepublican Party and the Republican Party is often at odds with itself. An entiremovement has emerged in the tea parties out of dissatisfaction with the way Republicansconduct themselves in conflicts with their progressive opponents. There is also a progressive grassroots that has significant disagreements with the Democratic Party. Butwhen it comes to election time, when comes to who gets the power, the progressivegrassroots falls into line
 – 
for the good of the larger cause. Conservatives, on the other hand, are not averse to sitting on their hands at election time, or even voting for the other camp. If as many conservatives had voted for John McCain in 2008 as voted for GeorgeBush in 2004, McCain would have won. If as many conservatives had voted for Romneyin 2012 as voted for John McCain in 2008, Romney would have won.Why is this so?
Because Republicans don’t
frame their cause as a moral crusade, because they
don’t project a unifying idea,
their focus is on policies and tactical issues,and these inevitably divide them and frequently put them at odds with their political base.

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