THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION VERSUS THE LIBERAL & RADICAL LEFT
By Steve Forbes
I think they are dangerous. In all my years, I have never seen such venom in American politics. Even mainstream Liberals are saying things and promoting policies that could rip our country apart and weaken our national security.
U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, Liberal Democrat, said about the Iraq war:
A Yale University Liberal Leftist professor called President George Bush "the most dangerous man on earth." Liberal Leftist Bill Moyers of Public Broadcasting said in a speech that the Republicans are planning the "deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States of America."
And these are mainstream Democratic Party Liberal Leftists, mired in conspiracy theories and passionate hatred of President Bush. Other parts of the political and cultural Left are completely unhinged. A radical group, MoveOn.org, put a test campaign ad on its website comparing Bush to Hitler. There are thousands of such comparisons on the Internet and in Leftist magazines. At "peace" demonstrations, posters of the President with a Hitler mustache and a swastika are routine. One radical writes that "our unelected president is surely no Hitler, since Bush simply is not the orator that Hitler was."
You may be tempted to laugh at these outbursts of venom. Or you may get upset and then forget it, as these people surely do not represent the majority of Americans.
I'm telling you, however, that we need to take these people seriously. This is why I'm working with my colleagues at the Heritage Foundation, America's leading Conservative political, cultural and educational organization, and together we are asking for your help in fighting the Leftists.
This conflict with the Left has been going on for more than 30 years. The radicals succeeded in taking over so many American institutions that they thought they had all but won the culture war.
They took over the schools, colleges and universities, and taught young people that America was too flawed to be worthy of our loyalty.
They took over the media and put a Liberal slant on every social and political issue,
They took over the labor unions, ending decades of anti-Communist leadership.
They even took over many professional associations, so that groups like the American Bar Association and the American Library Association are now simply tools of the Left.
Since September 11, 2001, the divisions within our society have deepened with every passing day. At a time when the majority of Americans want to rally round the flag, defend our land and defeat our enemies, Liberals seem to be promoting their delusions about America and President Bush -- delusions that could weaken us and strengthen our enemies.
Typical is Michael Moore, who called Bush, Dick Cheney, and John Ashcroft "the real axis of evil." Also typical is cartoonist Aaron Magruder, who called Condoleezza Rice a murderer on national TV.
Still another typical example is actor Sean Penn. Penn, when asked whether the Iraqi people were better off without Saddam Hussein, replied:
The ideologues, activists, and propagandists on the Left have not succeeded in completely re-making America in their image. But they have inflicted a great deal of damage to the way people think. Dangerously, they have convinced many Americans that right and wrong are relative, that there is no such thing as truth, and that we have no grounds to judge our culture as better than any other.
This kind of thinking could end up destroying our civilization. The Leftists are so intent on blaming America that they even ignore the evidence of the evil of Saddam Hussein, who rivaled any tyrant in history in his cruelty. The Leftists cannot stand up for the values of Judeo-Christian Western Civilization against the barbarism and tyranny of radical Islam, which openly aims at conquering us and imposing their backward, barbaric laws on every man, woman, and child.
The problem goes way beyond politics. Over the last few decades, no matter who was President, no matter who held the majority in Congress, the schools, colleges, and universities kept on teaching that right and wrong were relative, that you could not make any moral judgements about anything, and that America's sins were more important to focus on than our achievements and our heroes.
And the results are showing throughout American life. Cheating is rampant in schools, colleges and universities, and corporate scandals and political corruption show that it's widespread in the hifhest levels of society. Many young people are unable to defend our economic and political systems and are easy prey to demagogues.
A growing fringe of people deny that human beings are superior to animals or any part of nature. Last Summer, an environmental extremist and eco-terrorist group call the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) destroyed $50 million worth of homes under construction in California. They had previously burned homes being built on Long Island, and have destroyed SUVs at dealerships all over country. This is all in protest of mankind's dominion over the earth -- what we call civilization.
To give you an idea of how morally at sea our young people are, here are some results from a nationwide survey of university and college students commissioned by William Bennett last year:
But in the last few years, especially since 9/11, we have seen a revival of traditional values -- appreciation of heroism, love of country, and even renewed valuing of masculine virtues.
Those on the Left are beside themselves with rage at these developments. And, in response, they are mounting strong attacks on the institutions, groups, persons, and forces they hold most responsible -- especially (1) President Bush and his leadership, (2) Conservative media, talk radio in particular, and (3) Conservative political and cultural organizations, the Heritage Foundation in particular.
Billionaire George Soros and other wealthy Leftists have been financing a coalition of labor, environmentalist, and feminist groups to create an independent organization -- called Americans Coming Together -- that intends to spend $75 million just on getting out the vote to defeat President Bush. Soros has said:
Soros has also given $5 million to MoveOn.org, the radical group that compared Bush to Hitler.
Another huge network of Leftist groups has formed an organization called America Votes to work together for President Bush's defeat. Altogether, the Left is mobilizing in force against the President. And, with Hollywood moguls, big media, and a shamefully high number of corporate millionaires on their side, the resources of the Leftists are enormous.
Many on the Left could not contain their glee at Rush's admission that he was addicted to painkillers. These same people are full of compassion for Hollywood and sports celebrities in the same situation -- and even for those who deliberately take drugs to get high>
In one of the most hate-filled rants I have ever read, Leftist Hendrick Herzberg commented for the New Yorker magazine that:
And the Left is taking on Heritage with "the Liberals' answer to the Heritage Foundation" -- a new think tank called the Center for American Progress. Hillary Clinton was "intimately involved" in creating the group. It is run by John Podesta, formerly a top aide to the Clinton administration. And it has started out with $10 million from wealthy Leftists. (Compare that to the $250,000 grant that launched the Heritage Foundation 30 years ago.) The Center's aim is to influence public policy from the Left as Heritage does from the Right -- though, so far, I have not seen any new ideas from the Center, only more Bush-bashing and attacks on Conservatives.
But Heritage's President, Ed Feulner, has told me the Heritage Foundation is not going to let the Left destroy the tremendous accomplishments Conservatives have made. We are not going to let the Leftists warp the understanding of the American people that we are in a war for our civilization. And we are going to go on the offensive and attack the Leftists' moral relativism and stop the rot at its base.
Heritage is not a campaign organization, so we are not involved in President Bush's reelection campaign. Rather, we are defending American policies in the war on terror, pointing out how wrong the Leftists are when they side with Europe and the United Nations against their own country, when they insult ordinary Americans, when they push for weakness in the face of our enemies. We have the resources to go all over the media and stand up for America, for the war against terrorism, for homeland security. We can proclaim and explain our support jor judges who believe in the United States Constitution, and for giving school children and youth a true picture of America's greatness.
And that is just what we do. Heritage experts are on TV or radio dozens of times each month, and in newspapers hundreds of times, explaining and standing up for the policies and point of view you and I believe in, and telling the truth to the American people.
Furthermore, we defend and support Conservative media against the attacks of the Left. We count Rush Limbaugh as one of our best friends. Rush recently said:
Against the efforts of the Left to weaken Conservative media, we are helping to build it up. We hold annual symposiums on talk radio, where talk show hosts come to exchange ideas and strengthen their presentations. We have two radio studios right in our building, where hosts from out of town can broadcast from the nation's Capital, using Heritage experts.
We make all our research available to talk show hosts, and many of them use it regularly. You may have heard Rush Limbaugh, sean Hannity, and others quoting from Heritage studies.
And, at least as important as our defenses of Conservative institutions, people and policies, we are attacking the problem at its root, i.e., attacking the problem by working to change the climate of opinion of moral relativism and to give young people a true sense of the greatness of America and of its founding principles.
We are standing up for Western Civilization and proclaiming it superior to a culture that allows no dissent, that represses its women, and that worships death. We are doing this in our media appearances, in our op-ed columns, and in the facts, figures, and analyses -- the intellectual ammunition -- we give our allies in Congress and in the Bush administration.
And we do this by taking on the deep questions about our culture, and the connection between morality and politics, in forums such as Margaret Thatcher's lecture, "The West Must Prevail"; Lamar Alexander's presentation of the case for restoring the teaching of real American history in the schools; and our symposiums on "Building a Culture of Character" and "Can Patriotism Be Taught?" Our events are often carried on C-SPAN and broadcast again and again. They are transcribed and often circulate for years, influencing countless people.
This article was written and published in order to reach loyal and patriotic Americans, in the hope and belief that each of you will join and support our fight, join and support Heritage's endeavor to counter the harmful effects of Leftist political propaganda and Leftist programs of mass psychological conditioning and political indoctrination.
It is absolutely necessary to fight back against the danger posed by the political and cultural Left. It is essential that we provide an antidote to the poison that the radical Left and their mainstream Liberal allies have been injecting into American culture, American political and social thought, and the climate of American public opinion.
It is absolutely necessary to support the war on terror and not allow it to be watered down by Leftist ideologues and Democratic Party political opportunists who would rather make President Bush look bad than to protect America.
It is necessary to fight the moral relativism that led to the great division within American society -- the split between those who see clearly that we have enemies who want to destroy us, and those who think we are worse than any of our enemies.
Most of all, I hope that you want to help do something to restore our country to a place where our citizens are not ashamed to call right and wrong by their real names, where we honor America's great history and her unique contribution to the world, and where we understand that sometimes we have to fight our enemies in order to survive as a free nation, to preserve and protect the lives and liberties of the American people.
The Heritage Foundation relies on the support of Americans like you.
Conservative Political & Cultural Organizations
Liberalism Versus Conservatism in American Politics
Liberals, Statists, Socialists, & Other Leftists
Steve Forbes is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Heritage Foundation.
The Heritage Foundation is located at 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C., 20077-7315.
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