GOP Planned to Destroy Dems and Minority, LGBTQ and Poor Americans Long Before Trump: It Is Vital to Understand This to Defeat Reactionary Politics, Not Just Trump.

 
The late right-wing conservative "values” leader, Paul Weyrich. ( Wikimedia)

The late right-wing conservative "values” leader, Paul Weyrich. (Wikimedia)

Many progressive analysts point to the infamous 1971 Lewis Powell memo as the beginning of the GOP strategy to ensure corporate dominance of US politics and the economy. The second part of that strategy was to galvanize a white patriarchal “grievance” base that would turn out and vote to protect themselves from minorities, the LGBTQ community, the poor and, in general, “the other.” The Republicans would also appeal directly to so-called “value voters” on issues such as restricting abortion and bringing the church into government. Under cover of this unseemly dog whistling and alliance with one religion (Christianity), the GOP would pass tax legislation that favors corporations and the wealthy and roll back regulations on big business.

In return, the leaders of the right-wing faith-based and ideological organizations would assist Republicans in destroying the Democratic constituencies. Meanwhile, the GOP in states and on the federal level would engage in a variety of voter suppression strategies and gerrymandering to ensure white control of various levels of government.

In this December, 2001, BuzzFlash shows how a group headed by the late right-wing honcho, Paul Weyrich, promoted a white paper calling for the destruction of the Democrats by breaking all the rules of civility and smashing them.

It is a warning, from 18 years ago, that Trump is not an aberration, but rather just a reality-TV show continuation of the Republican effort to refight the Civil War — and this time win at all costs.

Originally posted in December, 2010

BUZZFLASH ANALYSIS

Pasted below are excerpts from the Free Congress Foundation's lengthy strategic statement for the Traditional Conservative Movement (the URL is provided if you want to read the whole thing). It lays out the expedient, propagandistic, dishonest, morally relativistic strategy supported by some on the far right. Recall that the Free Congress Foundation is headed by prominent and influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich (who also founded the Heritage Foundation). To really understand just how scary this strategy is, just remember how cozy the Bush administration is with Weyrich and people of his ilk. This quote from a Time magazine article is apropos:

"Each Wednesday Rove dispatches a top administration official to attend the regular conservative-coalition lunches held at Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation. When activists call his office with a problem, Rove doesn't pass them off to an aide. He often responds himself. When Weyrich heard a few weeks ago that Bush's budget slashed funding for a favorite project called the Police Corps, which gives scholarships and training to police cadets, he complained to the White House. To Weyrich's surprise, Rove called back. "We've taken care of it," Rove said. "The problem is solved." Weyrich, who says his memos to the Reagan and Bush Sr. White Houses were rarely read, was impressed. "That," he gushes, "is what it means to have friends in the White House."

[The Free Congress Foundation is now the “American Opportunity” think tank.]

[Bold highlights added by BuzzFlash]

This essay is based on the belief that the truth of an idea is not the primary reason for its acceptance. Far more important is the energy and dedication of the idea's promoters--in other words, the individuals composing a social or political movement...

We must, as Mr. Weyrich has suggested, develop a network of parallel cultural institutions existing side-by-side with the dominant leftist cultural institutions. The building and promotion of these institutions will require the development of a movement that will not merely reform the existing post-war conservative movement, but will in fact be forced to supersede it--if it is to succeed at all--because it will pursue a very different strategy and be premised on a very different view of its role in society....

There will be three main stages in the unfolding of this movement. The first stage will be devoted to the development of a highly motivated elite able to coordinate future activities. The second stage will be devoted to the development of institutions designed to make an impact on the wider elite and a relatively small minority of the masses. The third stage will involve changing the overall character of American popular culture....

Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions....

We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment's rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today's American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.

We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime...

We must create a countervailing force that is just as adept as the Left at intimidating people and institutions that are used as tools of left-wing activism but are not ideologically committed, such as Hollywood celebrities, multinational corporations, and university administrators. We must be feared, so that they will think twice before opening their mouths...

We will be results-oriented rather than good intentions-oriented. Making a good-faith effort and being ideologically sound will be less important than advancing the goals of the movement...

There is no medium more conducive to propagandistic purposes than the moving image, and our movement must learn to make use of this medium. A skillfully produced motion picture or television documentary has tremendous persuasive power...Rational arguments simply do not have this power, and all arguments made in print tend to appeal to the rational, critical faculties of the mind to a greater or lesser degree...

The visual image allows us to illustrate our beliefs and arguments to our members and others in highly compelling terms--we will be able to show all the examples of cultural decadence, irrationality and disingenuousness in public debate, combined with our commentary, selectively edited and arranged for maximum impact...

We need more people with fire in the belly, and we need a message that attracts those kinds of people....We must reframe this struggle as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between good and evil. And we must be prepared to explain why this is so. We must provide the evidence needed to prove this using images and simple terms....

Some will argue that "conservatives" do not believe in apocalyptic fervor. The reader should simply ask himself, is he happy with the state of cultural conservatism in this country? If not, does he think it likely that conditions will improve in the future by operating according to the current rules? And if not, is he willing to witness the death of true civilization in this country so that conservatism will not suffer the ungentlemanly taint of "fervor"? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, this movement will not appeal to the reader.

BUZZFLASH ANALYSIS

Mark KarlinComment