By Daniel J. Flynn
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, May 16, 2008
When the Left writes its own history, the past gets rewritten to suit
the needs of the present. This is why I wrote A Conservative History
of the American Left, to conserve not only fascinating figures now
forgotten but to retrieve from the memory hole all that the Left has
tossed down it. What is the history of the American Left that
leftists want you to forget?
10. Ayatollah Khomeini, Leftist Hero
Reflexive anti-Americanism initially moved the Left to embrace the
Islamic Revolution in Iran. Mother Jones, for instance, in 1979
predicted that "if Khomeini or his followers take power" then
"democratic reforms, freedom for political prisoners, an end to the
astronomical waste of huge arms purchases, and a constitutional
government" would follow. The Nation, Michel Foucault, and other
pillars of the Left similarly projected their ideals upon Khomeini and company.
9. Manson Family Values
"I fell in love with Charlie Manson the first time I saw his cherub
face and sparkling eyes on TV," hippie guru Jerry Rubin professed.
"His words and courage inspired us." Weatherman hoisted "Charles
Manson Power" banners, adopted a spread-fingered greeting to
symbolize the fork with which the Manson murderers impaled a victim's
stomach, and even boasted a cell nicknamed "The Fork." Weatherman
matriarch Bernardine Dohrn infamously proclaimed: "Dig it: first they
killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them,
then they even shoved a fork into the victim's stomach. Wild!"
8. Gay Activists Sue to Block AIDS Test
Today, homosexual activists blame Ronald Reagan and the clergy for
the spread of AIDS. But in the mid-1980s, the National Gay Task Force
and the Lambda Legal Defense, citing civil-liberties concerns,
actually sued the federal government to stop the AIDS test.
Thankfully, they lost and scores of lives have been saved as a result.
7. Murder Chic
The easiest way to become a hero on the Left is to kill another human
being. John Brown, the Molly Maguires, the Haymarket Square Bombers,
Joe Hill, Huey Newton, and Mumia Abu-Jamalmurderers allhave been
venerated by the Left in song and on screen. The people they murdered
are not even an afterthought.
6. Jonestown Kool-Aid
Before orchestrating the murder/suicides 900+ people in Guyana, Jim
Jones was the darling of the San Francisco Left. Huey Newton, Angela
Davis, and Willie Brown embraced a man who killed more blacks than
the KKK. Democrats Rosalynn Carter, Walter Mondale, and Gerry Brown
made campaign visits to the Peoples Temple's "comrade leader." The
mayor of San Francisco even rewarded Jones for his activism by
appointing him chairman of the city's housing commission. "The temple
was as much a left-wing political crusade as a church," The Nation
reported in 1978. Unfortunately, as the years progressed, more
Americans gulped down the Left's Kool-Aid that Jones was of the
religious Right and not an atheist leftist.
5. Concentration Camps, American Style
A year before Hitler came to power in Germany, Margaret Sanger called
for a vast system of concentration camps for the United States. The
Planned Parenthood founder demanded "a stern and rigid policy of
segregation or sterilization" for "dysgenic" Americans who "would be
taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their
entire lives." The 1932 speech concluded that "fifteen or twenty
millions of our population would then be organized into soldiers of
defensedefending the unborn against their own disabilities."
4. Heaven on Earth
American intellectuals looked upon the hell on earth that was
post-revolutionary Russia and saw a heaven on earth. The New Republic
credited the Russian Revolution with providing "the most democratic
franchise yet devised in our world," while The Nation found that "the
franchise is more democratic in Russia than in England or in the
United States." Lincoln Steffens marveled after a visit to the Soviet
Union, "The revolution in Russia is to establish the Kingdom of
Heaven here on earth."
Even before the progressive era when most states instituted eugenics
laws, the American Left had agitated for state controls over
procreation. John Humphrey Noyes' Bible Communists lamented that
freedom of marital choice "leaves mating to be determined by a
general scramble, without attempt at scientific direction" and
devised the first eugenic experiment in the U.S."stirpiculture"that
produced dozens of children and prevented hundreds more. In Looking
Backward, Edward Bellamy dreamed of "race purification" to "preserve
and transmit the better types of the race, and let the inferior types
drop out." Other proponents included Margaret Sanger, W.E.B. Du Bois,
and Oliver Wendell Holmes, who famously decreed in Buck v. Bell,
"Three generations of imbeciles are enough." State governments
ultimately sterilized upwards of 60,000.
2. Assassinating Presidents
Three of the four presidential assassins have been left-wing
radicals. Bible Communist Charles Guiteau murdered President
Garfield, anarcho-communist Leon Czolgosz murdered President
McKinley, and Soviet Communist Lee Harvey Oswald murdered John F.
Kennedy. Rather than own that history, the Left has invented
conspiracy theories that absolve leftists from responsibility.
1. Nazi-Soviet Pact
The Left switched from pacifists to warmongers overnight once the
Nazi attack upon the Communists dissolved the Hitler-Stalin Pact.
Communist Party USA chief Earl Browder, who had dubbed WWII "the
second imperialist war" during the pact, so thoroughly switched
course when the Nazis attacked the Communists that he embraced
conscription (after his opposition to it led to jail in WWI),
endorsed a 'no-strike' pledge for labor unions (after encouraging
strikes to impede the war effort), and kicked out Japanese Americans
from the CP (after ostensibly championing civil rights). The
Hollywood Anti-Nazi League ceased operations during the pact. The
Communists' New Masses panned the anti-Nazi Watch on the Rhine when
it appeared as a play during the pact only to praise it when it
appeared as a movie when Hitler and Stalin were again enemies.
Daniel J. Flynn is the author of Intellectual Morons: How Ideology
Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas and A Conservative History
of the American Left. He is also the editor of www.flynnfiles.com.