Archive for March 23rd, 2011

Don’t Concede Their Ascendancy

I have been in active politics since I campaigned for Strom Thurmond’s write-in campaign in 1954.

The reason you read is largely because I have been there and done that. Most of us don’t feel hurt when I criticize you because you are making a mistake I made, not once but over and over and over.

Which is why it is so unique that there is actually a very popular error I never made. That was failing to learn from the other side. But before you pin the medals on my shirt that I so richly deserve, let me point out that one reason for this was that in all my reading there was almost nothing BUT the other side.

That was when any debate on television consisted of liberal Republicans as The Other Side against the Democrats who represented what was declared openly to be “mainstream opinion.”

Back then all Civil Rights legislation was stopped by a Southern filibuster. Conservative Republicans simply would not vote closure on debate, which required the vote of two-thirds of the total Senate membership, 64 senators at the time.

Southerners would take turns talking. But it was particularly hard on advocates of the legislation, since they had to sit it out, day and night, while all but one Southern senator stayed away. If at any time there were not 48 of them sitting there, the Southerner talking would simply ask for a quorum call.

The media all declared that these Southerners and Northern conservatives were stopping legislation “mainstream opinion” supported.

My brother gave a very good ironic explanation: “The South, the Midwest, and the West are combining to thwart the National Will.”

One lesson I learned from this was that the side that says it’s the National Will, or anything else, is likely to be seen as doing so. When several leftist women, each of whom had been the serial rapist’s best friend in the most extreme period of “Criminals are innocent, it’s society’s fault in the 60s, held a press conference in the 70s to declare themselves The Women’s Movement, they were accepted as such.

One of their first big issues was how many serial rapists a male-run society was putting back on the streets.

I was not surprised that the Women’s Movement had almost no popular base at all. Hundreds of thousands of women joined women’s groups with a conservative, anti-Women’s Movement agenda. But they got no notice at all.

When we set up our highly-publicized Populist Forum, we set up press conferences for genuine ground level anti-textbook movements, independent truckers, and anti-bussers, wildcat coal strikers, farmer’s groups and lots of others. Since my press releases said exactly what they wanted to say without subordinating it to any spin, we simply had to turn down all the dozens of requests for our help because we had no money.

But the media did call us the Populist Forum, a name liberals would die for.

In fact, though he doesn’t know it, we secured that title so that James Edwards can use it now.

The other side gets out in public and claims things. But it also gives the press something it can USE. You write their articles for them and they will use your title. I once made the front page of the New York Times doing that.

Conservatives expect to lose all the big titles. The conservative women with larger outfits could have called themselves the REAL Women’s Movement, but they always used words like Christian or Traditional. if they had come to me I could have helped them take over the Women’s Movement title.

And if a bullfrog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his butt every time he jumped. Conservatives didn’t like me because I COULD do things. That is NOT the way you become a respectable conservative and earn money to pay for your suit and tie.

I would like some comments on whether we always assume everybody is against us when we go into our debates. It is the ones on the other side who do all the talking because they know what to say. Who doesn’t? For one I can say we have heard it a thousand times.

But what if we go in there knowing that there are a lot of people out there who are on our side but not only fear to say it in their own names, but who have no idea how to say it at all?

I have fought many, many battles watching conservatives cringe away and standing there alone. My boss in congress, John Ashbrook, did it all the time. He and three or four others would keep congress from adjourning and get huge concessions for it, while conservative congressmen around him bitched at him.

They hated him more than the liberals did for that because they knew he was right and didn’t have the guts to do likewise.

The PC crowd always assumes it is the major, if not the only, point of view. This can be done if 1) yours is the only point of view allowed and 2) no one knows how to get snout-to-snout with you and tell you yous is not.