Filter Down II
In our last exciting episode, Bob was trying, AGAIN, to explain what everybody took for granted in 1955.
Now, as usual, I am going to do a piece of basic arithmetic for you. The population was then divided into two sets of two groups.
First, there were those who understood how bad things were going to get. This was back when the idea of students ever going through a metal detector in high school was considered nutcase hysteria. This was when even hard-core segregationists thought that “integration” meant a few blacks in a few schools.
Practically everybody agreed that integration was NOT, repeat NOT, about intermarriage.
Then there was a very tiny group of “alarmists” like me who predicted how bad things were going to be. In 1956 I was called “Federal Troops” Bob because I said federal troops would be used to enforce integration.
It is as hard for me to explain to you what the thinking was like then as it was for me at that time to explain why Federal troops would HAVE to be used. It happened the next year in Little Rock and everybody promptly forgot the “Federal Troops Bob” label.
Except me. After fifty years I am very used to living in a world where nobody remembers what was filtering down yesterday.
But, and this is another important point others never could empathize with, there was an even greater division among the few of us who KNEW how bad things were going to get.
In this tiny percentage, I was part of an even SMALLER minority.
Those who were not “alarmists” lived in the real world. They lived in a world where people do things for reasons, rather simple reasons.
Here comes the Catch-22. In order to be an alarmist, you had to visualize a nightmare future as a reality. But in order to see a nightmare as a reality, you cannot believe that the world follows any normal rules.
A very tiny percentage of people were in my alarmist category. But only a vanishingly small minority of THAT group could realize that the coming nightmare was a result of some obvious, basic results of human behavior. All the other alarmists saw a Communist Conspiracy. They saw what every magician depends on, that Things are Not as They Appear.
If Things Are Not as They Appear, neither God nor evolution would have given us EYES.
So I was part a tiny percentage of a vanishingly tiny minority. I fought the ideas that were filtering down in the real world while all the other alarmists battled for Things Are Not As They Appear.
If you simply cannot empathize with my living in the world as it was THEN, it sounds absurd for me to say that I was a major factor in destroying the Soviet Empire. When I met with George Wallace in 1968 and 1972, no one in the Kremlin knew that I was what turned out to be almost a one-man conspiracy that would destroy them.
In 1974, when Bill Rusher, publisher of National Review, converted completely to the realization that only a combination of Wallace conservatives and Republican conservatives could eventually elect Reagan, everybody was fully aware that there was only one person in America who had been a trusted spokesman for working people’s conservative protests for years.
Every time he got me a job or an interview, the guy would explain that Rusher had talked about me for half an hour to explain exactly who I was, WHAT I was.
But if you read my first book in my name and Rusher’s introduction to it published in1976, you will be puzzled as to what was so revolutionary about it. It is all perfectly obvious NOW.
That book was given a rave review in National Review and was the object of cover-article attack in National Review. By 1981 everybody took credit for knowing it all along.
Bill Rusher realized that there was nobody else who could do what I did. He had for twenty years been part of the “business usual let’s not be alarmists all is lost but we are the last-ditch heroes” crowd. He was man enough to take a LONG time to explain why he had been wrong.
Without me I think the Soviet Empire would STILL be limping along with Western support. But Rusher had to explain what THAT had to do with MY getting independent truckers to block traffic in DC at rush hour or doing the press conference for tens of thousands of working people paying their own way and marching in Washington DC against the education establishment for DIFFERENT causes.