Truth, Ideology, and Education

Truth, Ideology, and Education

 

    Truth is an absolute. Defined in reality by immutable Law, it is independent of human invention or control. More, Truth is often unknown and incomprehensible, conveyed to human awareness in indeterminate time. Ideology, what is believed or accepted as truth, is dependent on human perception. Motivating individual behavior, what one believes derives from and is born of perception. Education, what is learned and accepted as truth, results in the human interaction with the totality of the environment. Political action is a magnification of the individual perception. Education, coming from whatever source – learned by experience or taught, etc., establishes the base from which human relationships move. Regarding those interactions with natural order, humanity is responsible, but inseparably bound by Law. Nowhere is misperception so evident as in the expressions of science and uncorrupted history. Political action, magnifying individual perception, is the part of historical truth chronicling the successes and failures attributable to those perceptions.

 

In the current presidential campaign, what is so particularly disturbing is that one party’s platform is based on lies, deceptions, and flagrant untruths, both historical and scientific. Ideologically, it violates the original intention of the Constitution. For that reason alone, the future composition of the Supreme Court will be critical in determining whether liberty, justice for all, and “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, will endure in America.

 

Calling to the poor, the disenfranchised, marginalized, the immigrant, etc., politicians spewing lies and deceptions create division in the quest to achieve political power. Until the cultural relevance movement placed markers on Americans, those new to our shores seeking the blessings afforded by no other political system or nation, chose to assimilate into the American culture. They sought to dress, speak, and interact with their neighbors in ways that blended in. Most, understanding that hard work and education opened the doors of equal opportunity, cherished equality under the order of law intended by the Constitution. Americans with Mexican heritage imparted a work ethic for those satiated by a standard of living unknown in most societies to emulate. Americans of African descent seeking social equality portrayed a courtesy and self-control in interpersonal relationships that integrated the military and the skilled and educated workforce. All of that was lost as justice for all surrendered to political correctness, reverse discrimination, and welfare to the undeserving. Unearned benefits created a resentment, usually ignored, in working responsible Americans. Lacking appropriate socialization from paternal authority figures, the illegitimate offspring of government failure disregard law and order. Joining the ranks of criminals, those holding to failed ideologies have become the militant enemies of true freedom and justice for all.

 

Looking at the ongoing economic and political failures of socialism described in the beginning at America’s birth by Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony in his book “Of Plymouth Plantation”; the economic and political consequences of the Sixteenth Amendment violating the Framer’s intention, ratified by a similar political subterfuge focusing on the disparity between the rich and the poor; American jobs lost because of energy policies riding on global warming coupled with human arrogance ignoring the incontrovertible truth that atmospheric CO2 content has little or nothing to do with cyclical global warming; the unconstitutional regulation and strangulation of administrative state; the Benghazi tragedy; the repeated political compromises of homeland security; and on and on; America is under attack by “enemies, foreign and domestic”.

 

Allied with those politicians seeking to enable a venue for discrimination and prejudice, which is exactly what diversity and political correctness foment, encourage, and establish, are the false propagandists of the liberal media and an education system preaching the lies and deceptions of false science and history revised by those choosing to believe untruths, however incorporated or accepted into their misguided ideologies. Tolerance is the enemy of justice.

 

Look carefully at every politicians’ platform, their past voting record, their past personal history, who supports them, and the platform of the party to which they attach themselves to. Truth and justice for all matter! Remember, George Washington, “the father of our country”, had no experience as president.

 

CftC

 

    The above article is published and endorsed by The Committee for the Constitution. Submitted by Don Brancato, the author of The Attack on America and Beyond Reason, we follow it below with two relevant articles, one by the former Democratic governor of Colorado for twelve years from 1975 to 1987, Richard D. Lamm.

 

  I HAVE A PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA

revision of October 3, 2003 speech in Washington, D.C.
RICHARD D. LAMM

June, 2005

 

    I HAVE A SECRET PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA. IF YOU BELIEVE, AS MANY DO, THAT AMERICA IS TOO SMUG, TOO WHITE BREAD, TOO SELF-SATISFIED, TOO RICH, LETS DESTROY AMERICA. IT IS NOT THAT HARD TO DO. HISTORY SHOWS THAT NATIONS ARE MORE FRAGILE THAN THEIR CITIZENS THINK. NO NATION IN HISTORY HAS SURVIVED THE RAVAGES OF TIME. ARNOLD TOYNBEE OBSERVED THAT ALL GREAT CIVILIZATIONS RISE AND THEY ALL FALL, AND THAT “AN AUTOPSY OF HISTORY WOULD SHOW THAT ALL GREAT NATIONS COMMIT SUICIDE.” HERE IS MY PLAN:

  1. WE MUST FIRST MAKE AMERICA A BILINGUAL-BICULTURAL COUNTRY. HISTORY SHOWS, IN MY OPINION, THAT NO NATION CAN SURVIVE THE TENSION, CONFLICT, AND ANTAGONISM OF TWO COMPETING LANGUAGES AND CULTURES. IT IS A BLESSING FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TO BE BILINGUAL; IT IS A CURSE FOR A SOCIETY TO BE BILINGUAL. ONE SCHOLAR, SEYMOUR MARTIN LIPSET, PUT IT THIS WAY: THE HISTORIES OF BILINGUAL AND BICULTURAL SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT ASSIMILATE ARE HISTORIES OF TURMOIL, TENSION, AND TRAGEDY. CANADA, BELGIUM, MALAYSIA, LEBANON-ALL FACE CRISES OF NATIONAL EXISTENCE IN WHICH MINORITIES PRESS FOR AUTONOMY, IF NOT INDEPENDENCE. PAKISTAN AND CYPRUS HAVE DIVIDED. NIGERIA SUPPRESSED AN ETHNIC REBELLION. FRANCE FACES DIFFICULTIES WITH ITS BASQUES, BRETONS, AND CORSICANS.
  2. I WOULD THEN INVENT “MULTICULTURALISM” AND ENCOURAGE IMMIGRANTS TO MAINTAIN THEIR OWN CULTURE. I WOULD MAKE IT AN ARTICLE OF BELIEF THAT ALL CULTURES ARE EQUAL: THAT THERE ARE NO CULTURAL DIFFERENCES THAT ARE IMPORTANT. I WOULD DECLARE IT AN ARTICLE OF FAITH THAT THE BLACK AND HISPANIC DROPOUT RATE IS ONLY DUE TO PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION BY THE MAJORITY. EVERY OTHER EXPLANATION IS OUT-OF-BOUNDS.

    III.     WE CAN MAKE THE UNITED STATES A “HISPANIC QUEBEC” WITHOUT MUCH EFFORT. THE KEY IS TO CELEBRATE DIVERSITY RATHER THAN UNITY. AS BENJAMIN SCHWARZ SAID IN THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY RECENTLY:

…THE APPARENT SUCCESS OF OUR OWN MULTIETHNIC AND MULTICULTURAL EXPERIMENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED NOT BY TOLERANCE BUT BY HEGEMONY. WITHOUT THE DOMINANCE THAT ONCE DICTATED ETHNOCENTRICALLY, AND WHAT IT MEANT TO BE AN AMERICAN, WE ARE LEFT WITH ONLY TOLERANCE AND PLURALISM TO HOLD US TOGETHER.

    I WOULD ENCOURAGE ALL IMMIGRANTS TO KEEP THEIR OWN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE. I WOULD REPLACE THE MELTING POT METAPHOR WITH A SALAD BOWL METAPHOR. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INSURE THAT WE HAVE VARIOUS CULTURAL SUB-GROUPS LIVING IN AMERICA REINFORCING THEIR DIFFERENCES RATHER THAN AMERICANS, EMPHASIZING THEIR SIMILARITIES.

IV.     HAVING DONE ALL THIS, I WOULD MAKE OUR FASTEST GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP THE LEAST EDUCATED – I WOULD ADD A SECOND UNDERCLASS, UNASSIMILATED, UNDEREDUCATED, AND ANTAGONISTIC TO OUR POPULATION. I WOULD HAVE THIS SECOND UNDERCLASS HAVE A 50% DROP OUT RATE FROM SCHOOL.

V.     I WOULD THEN GET THE BIG FOUNDATIONS AND BIG BUSINESS TO GIVE THESE EFFORTS LOTS OF MONEY. I WOULD INVEST IN ETHNIC IDENTITY, AND I WOULD ESTABLISH THE CULT OF VICTIMOLOGY. I WOULD GET ALL MINORITIES TO THINK THEIR LACK OF SUCCESS WAS ALL THE FAULT OF THE MAJORITY – I WOULD START A GRIEVANCE INDUSTRY BLAMING ALL MINORITY FAILURE ON THE MAJORITY POPULATION.

VI.     I WOULD ESTABLISH DUAL CITIZENSHIP AND PROMOTE DIVIDED LOYALTIES. I WOULD “CELEBRATE DIVERSITY.” “DIVERSITY” IS A WONDERFULLY SEDUCTIVE WORD. IT STRESSES DIFFERENCES RATHER THAN COMMONALITIES. DIVERSE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE ARE MOSTLY ENGAGED IN HATING EACH OTHER-THAT IS, WHEN THEY ARE NOT KILLING EACH OTHER. A DIVERSE,” PEACEFUL, OR STABLE SOCIETY IS AGAINST MOST HISTORICAL PRECEDENT. PEOPLE UNDERVALUE THE UNITY IT TAKES TO KEEP A NATION TOGETHER, AND WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS MYOPIA. LOOK AT THE ANCIENT GREEKS. DORF’S WORLD HISTORY TELLS US:

THE GREEKS BELIEVED THAT THEY BELONGED TO THE SAME RACE; THEY POSSESSED A COMMON LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE; AND THEY WORSHIPED THE SAME GODS. ALL GREECE TOOK PART IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES IN HONOR OF ZEUS AND ALL GREEKS VENERATED THE SHRINE OF APOLLO AT DELPHI. A COMMON ENEMY PERSIA THREATENED THEIR LIBERTY. YET, ALL OF THESE BONDS TOGETHER WERE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO OVERCOME TWO FACTORS . . . (LOCAL PATRIOTISM AND GEOGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS THAT NURTURED POLITICAL DIVISIONS . . .)

    IF WE CAN PUT THE EMPHASIS ON THE “PLURIBUS,” INSTEAD OF THE “UNUM,” WE CAN BALKANIZE AMERICA AS SURELY AS KOSOVO.

VII.     THEN I WOULD PLACE ALL THESE SUBJECTS OFF LIMITS – MAKE IT TABOO TO TALK ABOUT. I WOULD FIND A WORD SIMILAR TO “HERETIC” IN THE 16TH CENTURY – THAT STOPPED DISCUSSION AND PARALYZED THINKING. WORDS LIKE “RACIST”, “XENOPHOBE” THAT HALTS ARGUMENT AND CONVERSATION.

HAVING MADE AMERICA A BILINGUAL-BICULTURAL COUNTRY, HAVING ESTABLISHED MULTICULTURALISM, HAVING THE LARGE FOUNDATIONS FUND THE DOCTRINE OF “VICTIMOLOGY”, I WOULD NEXT MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO ENFORCE OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS. I WOULD DEVELOP A MANTRA – “THAT BECAUSE IMMIGRATION HAS BEEN GOOD FOR AMERICA, IT MUST ALWAYS BE GOOD.” I WOULD MAKE EVERY INDIVIDUAL IMMIGRANT SYMPATRIC AND IGNORE THE CUMULATIVE IMPACT.

VIII.     LASTLY, I WOULD CENSOR VICTOR DAVIS HANSON’S BOOK MEXIFORNIA — THIS BOOK IS DANGEROUS — IT EXPOSES MY PLAN TO DESTROY AMERICA. SO PLEASE, PLEASE — IF YOU FEEL THAT AMERICA DESERVES TO BE DESTROYED — PLEASE, PLEASE — DON’T BUY THIS BOOK! THIS GUY IS ON TO MY PLAN.

“THE SMART WAY TO KEEP PEOPLE PASSIVE AND OBEDIENT IS TO STRICTLY LIMIT THE SPECTRUM OF ACCEPTABLE OPINION, BUT ALLOW VERY LIVELY DEBATE WITHIN THAT SPECTRUM.” — NOAM CHOMSKY, AMERICAN LINGUIST AND US MEDIA AND FOREIGN POLICY CRITIC.

A Frightening Analysis

Author Unknown

 

We all know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week ( October 3, 2003) there was an immigration / over-population conference in Washington, D.C., filled to capacity by many of American’s finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor named Victor Davis Hanson talked about his latest book, “Mexifornia,” explaining how immigration — both legal and illegal — was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, “If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let’s destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that ‘An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'”

“Here is how they do it,” Lamm said: First to destroy America, “Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar Seymour Lipset put it this way: ‘The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy. Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans.”

Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, “Invent ‘multiculturalism’ and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

Third, “We could make the United States a ‘Hispanic Quebec’ without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: ‘The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved! Not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.'”

Lamm said, “I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities.”

“Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school.”

“My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of ‘Victimology.’ I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population.”

“My sixth plan for America’s downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other – that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity! Unity is what it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshiped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic Games.

A common enemy Persia threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to over come two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell.

“E. Pluribus Unum” — From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the ‘pluribus’ instead of the ‘Unum,’ we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.”

“Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits ~ make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of ‘diversity.’ I would find a word similar to ‘heretic’ in the 16th century – that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like ‘racist’ or ‘x! xenophobes’ halt discussion and debate.”

“Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of ‘Victimology,’ I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them.”

In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said, “Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis’s book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don’t read that book.”

There was no applause.

A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Every discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate ‘diversity.’ American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America — take note of California and other states — to date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell’s book “1984.” In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: “War is peace,” “Freedom is slavery,” and “Ignorance is strength.”

Governor Lamm walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy are deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don’t get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

Hug-a-thug or Law and Order? – Do facts matter anymore?

Hug-a-thug or Law and Order?

Do facts matter anymore?

Dr. Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

August 23, 2016

 

    Amid the rioting in Milwaukee, there is also a clash between two leading lawmen there — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and the city of Milwaukee’s Chief of Police Edward Flynn. They have very different opinions about how law enforcement should be carried out.

 

    Chief Edward Flynn expresses the view long prevalent among those who emphasize the social “root causes” of crime, such as income disparities and educational disparities, as well as the larger society’s neglect of black communities.

 

    Chief Flynn puts less emphasis on aggressive police action and more on community outreach and gun control.

 

Sheriff David Clarke represents an opposite tradition, in which the job of the police is to enforce the law, as forcefully as necessary, not to make excuses for law-breaking or to ease up on enforcing the law, in hopes that this will mollify rioters. Sheriff Clarke would also like to see law-abiding blacks be armed.

 

Differences of opinion on law enforcement are sharp and unmistakable — and have been for more than 50 years. However, as the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.”

 

Unfortunately, facts seem to play a remarkably small role in clashes over law enforcement policies. And that too has been true for more than 50 years.

 

In his memoirs, the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Earl Warren declared that “all of us must assume a share of the responsibility” for rising crime rates in the 1960s because “for decades we have swept under the rug” the slum conditions that breed crime.

 

But the hard fact is that the murder rate in the country as a whole was going down during those very decades when social problems in the slums were supposedly being neglected.

 

Homicide rates among black males went down by 18 percent in the 1940s and by 22 percent in the 1950s. It was in the 1960s, when the ideas of Chief Justice Warren and others triumphed, that this long decline in homicide rates among black males reversed and skyrocketed by 89 percent, wiping out all the progress of the previous 20 years.

 

The same reversal in the country at large saw murder rates by 1974 more than twice as high as in 1960. This was after the murder rate had been cut in half from where it had been in the 1930s.

 

Ghetto riots, which erupted in the 1960s, were blamed on poverty and discrimination. But what were the facts?

 

Poverty and discrimination were worse in the South than in the rest of the country. But ghetto riots were not nearly as common in the South.

 

The most deadly ghetto riot of the 1960s occurred in Detroit, where 43 people were killed — 33 of whom were black. In Detroit at that time, black median family income was 95 percent of white median family income. The unemployment rate among blacks was 3.4 percent and black home ownership was higher in Detroit than in any other major city.

 

What was different about Detroit was that politicians put the police under orders that restricted their response to riots — and some rioters said “the fuzz is scared.” It was black victims who paid the highest price for letting rioters run amuck.

 

By contrast, Chicago’s 1960s mayor Richard Daley came on television to say that he had ordered his police to “shoot to kill” rioters who started fires. There was outrage among the politically correct across the country. But Chicago, with a larger population than Detroit, had no such death rate in riots.

 

In later years, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s aggressive police policies in high-crime neighborhoods cut the murder rate down to a fraction of what it had been before.

 

But, in England, opposite policies prevailed, with what London’s “Daily Telegraph” newspaper referred to as “politically correct policing” that has police acting “more like social workers than upholders of law and order.”

 

Although England had long been regarded as one of the most law-abiding nations on Earth, riots that swept through London, Manchester and other British cities in 2011 were virtually identical to riots in Ferguson, Baltimore and other American cities. Most of the British rioters were white but what they did was the same, right down to setting fire to police cars.

 

But do facts matter anymore?

 

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com.

Under Attack By Enemies, Foreign and Domestic – The Great Silencing

Under Attack By Enemies, Foreign and Domestic

 

    The American people need to know that their freedom is actively under attack from the wealthy who imbued with the fortunes made available by free enterprise, equal opportunity, limited government, now want to deny the blessings of liberty and justice for all to those they have robbed of that hope. The liberal media’s false propaganda needs to be countered by the voice of truth and justice. That is our mission and commitment.

The Committee for the Constitution

 

Politics|News

AARP’s Retreat From Conservative Forum Part of ‘Great Silencing’

Kevin Mooney / @KevinMooneyDC / August 10, 2016

    The decision by the seniors group AARP to drop its membership in an influential legislative reform coalition is the latest example of the left’s successful pressure on corporations and other organizations to disown the group.

(“People should be concerned when any group believes solutions come from intimidation rather than discussion,” @ALEC_states says.)

    Since December, according to the liberal website SourceWatch.org, “at least 108 corporations and 19 nonprofits” have announced cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council.

    Among those listed as parting ways with ALEC: Coca-Cola Co., Blue Cross Blue Shield, Johnson & Johnson, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Hewlett-Packard Co.

    “A great silencing is taking place across America,” ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling told The Daily Signal. “All people should be deeply concerned when any group believes solutions come from intimidation rather than discussion.”

Of all the organizations in the conservative movement that have antagonized the left during the Obama presidency, this one stands out.

The American Legislative Exchange Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan network of state lawmakers, policy analysts, and private sector leaders that advances model legislation with an eye toward free market policy solutions.

The organization that became known as ALEC grew out of informal meetings of conservative activists in Chicago during autumn 1973. Forty-three years later, the exchange council includes “nearly one-quarter of the country’s state legislators and stakeholders from across the policy spectrum,” according to its website.

ALEC now has a long history of successfully promoting local and state legislation built on the constitutional principles of limited government, the free market, and federalism.

While the exchange council has attracted both positive attention and negative scrutiny since its founding, well-funded, well-organized opponents on the left have made a concerted effort over the past five years to marginalize, discredit, and defund it.

As previously reported by The Daily Signal, eight of the Senate’s most liberal Democrats also targeted ALEC last month in a letter to national and state-based think tanks and policy organizations demanding to know the names of donors.

Conservative policy analysts and think tank leaders who are familiar with the assault on ALEC have some insight.

A critical turning point came after the 2010 midterm elections, they say, when left-leaning lawmakers lost ground in statehouses across the country, making it possible for ALEC’s proposals to become policy at an accelerated pace.

Matthew Vadum is a senior vice president at Capital Research Center, which investigates the “aims and activities of left-liberal special interest groups.” Vadum said he suspects that because ALEC worked successfully to “frame the debate” during the Obama presidency, it aroused the ire of liberal groups such as Common Cause.

Those groups now see some of their most prized policy achievements in danger of losing their grip at the local and state levels, he said.

Obamacare and Voter ID

After President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, into law in March 2010, ALEC “sprang into action” and “drafted model legislation aimed at blocking states from enforcing the new health insurance monstrosity,” Vadum noted in a research paper.

In November 2011, ALEC published its “State Lawmakers Guide to Repealing Obamacare.”

At least 10 states took up ALEC’s model proposal to block the federal health care law by 2013, Vadum wrote. But what rankled the left above all else is the exchange council’s commitment to passing voter identification laws as a safeguard against voter fraud, he says.

Two opponents, The Nation magazine and the Center for Media and Democracy, have led the charge against ALEC for the past five years.

Founded in 1865, The Nation describes itself as providing a progressive outlook on political and cultural questions. Its print circulation peaked at 187,000 in 2006; by 2010 it had dropped to 145,000.

The Center for Media and Democracy is a left-leaning investigative journalism outfit based in Madison, Wisconsin, that describes itself as a watchdog on the use of public relations by corporations and political figures. The center, founded in 1993 by progressive Wisconsin writer John Stauber, publishes SourceWatch, PR Watch, and BanksterUSA.

In July 2011, the magazine and the center partnered on a series of articles highlighting ALEC’s model bills and emphasizing its connections with the Koch brothers and their companies, organizations, and foundations.

Charles and David Koch, wealthy entrepreneurs and philanthropists, drew the left’s ire by organizing contributions to libertarian and conservative causes and candidates. The Nation’s first article on ALEC called the Koch brothers the exchange council’s “billionaire benefactors.”

The left’s opposition to laws requiring voters to produce photo identification figures prominently in the articles. One, for example, says ALEC is “peddling ‘Voter ID’ laws to disenfranchise voters.”

The Center for Media and Democracy operates a website called ALEC Exposed, also dating to July 2011, that focuses on ALEC’s funding sources and policy proposals. The site criticizes corporations and nonprofits that support ALEC.

Mark Holden, senior vice president and general counsel of Koch Industries Inc., shakes that off.

     “We support ALEC and the work it is doing on criminal justice reform legislation, protecting free speech, and promoting policies that remove barriers to opportunity for all Americans, especially the least advantaged,” Holden said in an email to The Daily Signal.

‘Seek to Silence’

The pressure tactics appear to have met with considerable success.

Since December, according to the Center for Media and Democracy’s SourceWatch.org, “at least 108 corporations and 19 nonprofits—for a total of 127 private sector members—have publicly announced that they cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council.”

Four of the 127 returned to ALEC, according to the website, but the left continues to claim new scalps such as AARP.

ALEC declined to comment on membership details or the exchange council’s success rate in state legislatures, saying opponents exploit the information.

Kevin Kane, president of Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a free market think tank based in New Orleans, said the anti-ALEC campaign is undermining free speech and the free exchange of ideas.

     “There has been an important tactical shift in the campaign against ALEC and other organizations that do not toe the line on certain policy issues,” Kane told The Daily Signal. “Many organizations on the left are no longer content to engage in a debate over the issues, instead they seek to silence opponents by convincing donors and sponsors that certain policy positions are beyond the pale and therefore unworthy of consideration.”

    In an email, Kane added:

This creates an environment where policymakers and citizens are less likely to be exposed to a wide range of arguments over important policy questions. Organizations like Pelican Institute do not benefit from this development, but the real losers in this campaign are policymakers and their constituents, who are denied the many benefits that flow from robust and open debate over important policy questions.

Pelican Institute, part of the State Policy Network, a coalition of state-based think tanks, sometimes partners with ALEC on legislative proposals.

AARP ‘Decides Not to Renew

Most recently, liberal advocacy groups succeeded in pressuring AARP, the nation’s most powerful organization of older Americans, to drop its affiliation with ALEC.

AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, announced Aug. 4 it would not continue membership.

In a letter that same day to Jo Ann Jenkins, chief executive officer of AARP, liberal groups accused the exchange council of pushing for policy changes that harm senior citizens.

“AARP’s support of ALEC is antithetical to your mission to fight for the issues that matter most to families—such as health care, employment, and income security,” the letter to Jenkins said.

    The letter, which called on the seniors organization to withdraw from the exchange council, was signed by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; the Center for Media and Democracy; Social Security Works; and ClimateTruth.org, among other groups.

“After hearing from many of you, we’ve decided not to renew our membership to ALEC,” AARP said in a post that evening on its Facebook page. Politico broke the news.

    The liberal organizations’ letter to AARP’s Jenkins said in part:

By partnering with ALEC, you have allowed it to use the powerful AARP brand to lend credibility to legislation harmful to seniors that is introduced in statehouses across the country. ALEC has been at the forefront of protecting drug companies and their ability to charge unreasonable prices, has been a strong advocate against the Affordable Care Act and has opposed Medicaid expansion, forcing lower-income retirees to make terrible choices between paying medical bills and buying groceries. …

ALEC also blocks action on climate change, causing irreparable harm to the world we will leave our children and grandchildren. ALEC has spearheaded calls for a dangerous Article V convention to enact a federal balanced budget amendment that would ultimately gut critical programs for seniors like Social Security, Medicare and the Older Americans Act. ALEC has also spent years pushing the dismantling of retirement security for older Americans by promoting the elimination of defined benefit pensions and the privatization of Social Security, at least in part, in favor of risky investment accounts.

‘Contemptible Betrayal’

“AARP should be ashamed and embarrassed at its action in withdrawing from ALEC,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. He added:

     This is another sign of how much the progressive left wants to silence anyone who disagrees with them on matters of public policy. Their basic betrayal of the tenets of the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment is disgraceful—and AARP’s going along with this censorship is contemptible.

    Meierling, vice president of public affairs for the American Legislative Exchange Council, told The Daily Signal that left-leaning activist groups are working to silence organizations such as ALEC that hold alternative views on public policy.

“ALEC members represent many millions of retired Americans and work on issues such as health care, employment, and income security—key AARP issues,” Meierling said, adding:

All seniors benefit when their issues are discussed openly and with as many decision makers and stakeholders as possible. It is a shame that under the banner of good government, activists groups such as the Center for Media and Democracy would pressure any organization out of the free exchange of ideas.

    “The left succeeded in pressuring AARP to disassociate itself from ALEC by using the same smears and pressure tactics it has long used in its jihad against ALEC,” Capital Research Center’s Vadum said in an email to The Daily Signal.

“Here the left claimed ALEC hates minorities and elderly people because it backed electoral integrity laws like photo ID requirements that combat election fraud,” he said. “It’s an absurd argument but it’s been quite effective in hitting ALEC in the pocketbook.”

Vadum also argues that ALEC receives relatively little support from foundations and no government grants, according to tax filings.

That contrasts with the National Conference of State Legislatures, its “left-wing counterpart,” he said, which “relies heavily on taxpayer funding.”

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.