I normally would not do this, but this blog entry I read the other day sticks in my mind and is so descriptive of what we as American's are faced with today. Of course as you no doubt suspect, it is about ALEC.
Posted by 2old2care at the above link of "Because I Can". I think in one blog 2old2care caught all the nuances, agenda and end goals of ALEC and at the same time caught the difficulties we are faced with in refusing to present a united front in opposition to that agenda.
"Our President lives in a fairy land.
"Our President and all the Democrats (except Mark Pocan & Bernie Sanders [I] ) live in a fairyland.
"All of them are so busy chasing their tails that none of them are paying attention to what is really happening in America.
"Their ignorance and their refusal to act against ALEC will destroy the United States of America.
"Our ignorance and our refusal to act against ALEC will destroy the United States of America.
"No one is going to step forward and save our country. We are headed for a “corporate state” – we will become a complete fascist state, probably within the next ten years - that's what ALEC wants and there is no one to fight them on it - (oops, better pull the covers over your head, put your fingers in your ears - la, la, la, la, la, la, - there's that "f" word - god forbid I should upset the "offenderati" of political blogging).
"Those of us who see the phrase “American Legislative Exchange Council” (ALEC) and pull the cover over our heads are only delaying the inevitable truth.
"Those of us who see the phrase “American Legislative Exchange Council” (ALEC) and pull the cover over our heads denying the truth about what is REALLY happening to the United States of America – are supporting ALEC – giving them exactly what they want and need– our complacency."
In order to understand the foregoing statements and how on point they are we must look back more than a decade to Paul Weyrich (ALEC Co-Counder) and one of his disciples, Eric Heubeck. Weyrich is also co-founder of several other Right Wing foundations, organizations and groups. At the core of Weyrich's thinking was to completely change America's culture and make Progressive politics and processes illegitimate. Weyrich outlined his theories and ideologies in a "training" manual disseminated to Conservatives. In 2000 Heubeck compiled all of Weyrich's instructions into one document and published it as "The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement". A lengthy diatribe perhaps, but a must read if we are really to understand what the agenda is, how they designed it to work and tools they would use to accomplish eliminating the Progressive element from politics completely.
Below I have copied some of the more important sections revealing the philosophy and mechanics. It is simply time to take the gloves off and call this Conservative agenda exactly what it is - corporatocracy or by the more familiar term fascism. Time for political correctness has ended. Cover your ears, avert your eyes or do the la, la, la, la,la thing described above. Sadly, none of those actions will make ALEC and their activities go away. They and the Cabal and joint agenda will not disappear.
After reading take a moment and think back over the past decade and see if the pattern set forth in this document was literally put into action...
As Heubeck proclaimed in 2000 - and Weyrich a decade earlier:
"We will never stop being engaged in the wider culture. We will not "hunker down" and wait for the storm to blow over. Our strategy will be to bleed this corrupt culture dry. We will pick off the most intelligent and creative individuals in our society, the individuals who help give credibility to the current regime. To do this, we will promote a set of beliefs more compelling than that of our opponents. We will launch a movement with more energy and more intensity than our opponents are capable of summoning. When the choice is made clear, the people--cultural elites and non-cultural elites alike--will vote with their feet by either joining or patronizing our institutions and abandoning those of the Left, and the reigning leftist regime will collapse from lack of support.
"Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions."
Clear enough already? If not let's see what else they "intended" to do to advance their agenda:
"We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment's rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today's American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.
"We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime. We will take advantage of every available opportunity to spread the idea that there is something fundamentally wrong with the existing state of affairs. For example, we could have every member of the movement put a bumper sticker on his car that says something to the effect of "Public Education is Rotten; Homeschool Your Kids." This will change nobody's mind immediately; no one will choose to stop sending his children to public schools immediately after seeing such a bumper sticker; but it will raise awareness and consciousness that there is a problem. Most of all, it will contribute to a vague sense of uneasiness and dissatisfaction with existing society. We need this if we hope to start picking people off and bringing them over to our side. We need to break down before we can build up. We must first clear away the flotsam of a decayed culture.
"In terms of our long term prospects, because we will be seen as a purely defensive movement, not interested in imposing our views on anyone, only interested in being left alone, we will surely gain the sympathy of the public. The dominant culture will see its life-force being sapped, and it will grow terrified. It will do whatever it takes to destroy its assailant. This will lead to the perception that the dominant leftist culture is empty, hollow, desperate, and has lost its mandate to rule, because its only basis for authority is coercion, much like the communist East Bloc. Sympathy from the American people will increase as our opponents try to persecute us, which means our strength will increase at an accelerating rate due to more defections--and the enemy will collapse as a result."
Intimidation, using multi-national corporations to obtain their goals and disenfranchise supporters of "Leftists":
"We must create a countervailing force that is just as adept as the Left at intimidating people and institutions that are used as tools of left-wing activism but are not ideologically committed, such as Hollywood celebrities, multinational corporations, and university administrators. We must be feared, so that they will think twice before opening their mouths. They must understand that there is some sort of cost involved in taking a "controversial" stand--although positions cannot honestly be labeled "controversial" if conservatives are unable to mount a meaningful opposition. Perhaps once we are able to mount such an opposition, we will be able to take some of the trendiness out of leftist cultural activism, because lukewarm advocates of leftist causes will be forced to actually get their hands dirty. Support of leftist causes will no longer be the path of least resistance.
"We will apply a scientific analysis to every problem. We will be results-oriented rather than good intentions-oriented. Making a good-faith effort and being ideologically sound will be less important than advancing the goals of the movement. We must learn to be more self-critical. Our efforts should be less haphazard, less prone to fits and starts, and they should make better use of accumulated knowledge and past errors.
"We must place a high value on art, because the most important thing any movement can do is capture the imagination of the people. One must give them dreams and ideals that have been put in terms they can understand, and that touch their hearts, as opposed to their rational minds. If we cannot capture the imaginations of our members, then we cannot expect our members to make great sacrifices for us. There must be a common repository of books and movies that everyone in our movement is familiar with and inspired by, so anyone can quote a line that will be recognized by everyone else. Young people already do this, only with the wrong movies, songs, and other products of popular culture."
Well I guess this explains the Heartland Institute, Heritage, CATO and a dozen more of the Cabal's outlets. Nearly everything is maintained in a huge library at the Heartland Institute. Scientific reports, charts, graphs and "analysis" is provided by Heritage Foundation, Reason Foundation, Pacific Research Institute and legal training and "programming" provided by George Mason University's Law and Economics Center.
"The visual image allows us to illustrate our beliefs and arguments to our members and others in highly compelling terms--we will be able to show all the examples of cultural decadence, irrationality and disingenuousness in public debate, combined with our commentary, selectively edited and arranged for maximum impact. (Fox News?) It avoids the vagueness and generalizations that tend to characterize many conservative arguments. It also allows us to show what we think is right about our current culture--examples from movies or television that we as cultural conservatives support and are excited by.
"An excessive amount of intellectualization divorced from application in the real world is a kind of escape from reality, or the creation of a virtual reality. Thinking becomes tired, static, and inward-looking. People become more interested in creating mental utopias than in having a real impact on society. Scholars become mere pedants; ideas are no longer creative and vital.
"Ideas interest us only insofar as they offer a guide to action. There is a place in society for abstract, academic discussion. This is not that place.
"The new movement will inevitably be geared toward children and young adults, especially their education. We will accomplish the goal of retaking our country only when large numbers of young people are educated outside of the indoctrinating environment of many public and private schools, universities, and of course, the popular culture. At this point in their lives, many of their ideas are still in the formative stage, the more so the younger they are. Furthermore, young adults (of college age and above) should be given a large role in the organization of the New Traditionalist movement, as many older people, because of work and family life, simply do not have the time to devote to reading, discussion, and action (and all three are equally important). They also often lack the necessary energy, enthusiasm, and idealism that is prevalent in youth. However, retirees could also make a valuable contribution to the movement.
"College students must be a key audience for our movement, since they are free of excessive time commitments and they find themselves in an environment that (theoretically) encourages activism and exposure to new ideas. We should consider creating alternative fraternities where traditionalists can live, interact with each other, learn from each other, socialize with each other. New Traditionalist fraternities can help replicate lifestyles from the past--emulate "civilized" behavior from the past--by discussing traditionalist ideas, literature, and art, and then acting based on what has been learned. Members of the fraternities and collegiate study groups should build each other up in every possible way: in terms of public speaking skills, debating skills, physical fitness, intellect, manners, aesthetic sense. It is imperative that our ideas be lived and not merely discussed.
"A basic problem is that most bright, creative, dynamic, energetic young people with leadership skills become leftists, and this is why most student leaders--who eventually become the leaders of society--tend to be leftists. New Traditionalist fraternities and collegiate study groups can help reverse that tendency."
Enter the Kochs and their funding of colleges, endowments in exchange for picking the professors and curricula taught, their pursuit of privatizing public education and supporting those Conservative corporations that are chosen to operate these educational programs and facilities. Combined with ALEC's model legislation and initiatives designed to promote this privatization are the Conservative legislators who disseminate these "Bills" and initiatives.
Charles and David Koch fund not only the efforts of privatizing and controlling education and curricula, they fund CATO, Heritage, Reason, Heartland and provide interns for them and two dozen other Conservative organizations and foundations. They pay the salaries of these interns ($10.00 per hour) to help offset the costs to these "tax exempt" entities they support. The interns are taught Conservative ideology and are trained to become the next wave of front line "troops" in this quest to control the U.S. government and we as citizens of that country.
We are faced with a well funded, organized and well thought out organization. They have money, an agenda and 1/3 of all state legislators on their "payroll". They are unified and focused on their objectives and goals - and Heubeck's treatise provides them with a road map and a multitude of "tool kits" they can use to reach those goals.
When I've written that ALEC is merely the tip of the iceberg, I meant it. We cannot be blinded by the bright spotlight of ALEC and not try and shield our vision and look beyond them...for behind them are all the rest; funding, providing false "facts", "documents", science and technology to support their totally false view of economics, environment, and uselessness of government.
Aligned against ALEC and the Cabal are a myriad assortment of activist groups, workers, students, journalists and actual scientists, researchers and a handful of Progressive media outlets and sources. We represent the majority - and the hope for that majority's future, political, financial and environmentally. Yet we are totally disorganized; protests and demonstrations against Wall Street, supporting workers and Unions, our public schools, LGBT rights, immigration, criminal justice...and the list goes on. Instead of unifying and pooling our resources to confront the attacks head on we are responding piecemeal, each group supporting their issue and agenda without supporting the issues being fought by others - against the same source of these attacks.
As Heubeck and Weyrich anticipated, we are being kept off balance, disorganized and thus unable to mount a credible and purposeful defense - let alone an ability to go on the offensive. When we as a society and Nation were faced with fascism in the past we put aside our cultural and philosophical differences and fought against it. For our ancestors knew without a doubt that regardless of how we saw one another as neighbors, workers or even political opponents - our world would be worse off under fascism and we fought side by side to defeat that possibility from happening.
The difference between 60 - 70 years ago and today is that we are faced with this at home - on our continent instead of the far off European continent and countries. It is unimaginable that this could be occurring here in America - advanced by Americans on behalf of multi-national corporations. Our jobs are gone, our freedoms being taken or weakened one at a time. Our economy is in the tank and all efforts to revive it are met with resistance from both the corporations and lawmakers affiliated with this hardened cabal.
In the face of this, we remain isolated. One group fighting for this...another fighting for that...Unions fighting for rights and survival...parents fighting for a proper "public" education...patients for adequate and affordable healthcare...immigrants for reform and citizenship. In such isolation the cabal will meet each small group and defeat us one by one. Alone, each can not prevail against such an organized and influential opponent.
Together is a different story. If all of us with Progressive and Liberal principles and ideals band together, pool everything and take these bastards on as a single force we can prevail. The questions are: when are we going to realize the source of these attacks and threats to democracy? and; When are we going to agree to put our issues and activism into one battle, come together and oppose these attacks collectively?
As 2old2care discussed..."if we continue to pull the covers over our heads and think all of this is the problem of someone else or that it will simply go away" we are all doomed.
We need a coalition representing every facet of activism on the Left. At each demonstration we need representatives on every issue standing side by side in opposition to the cabal. Issues of LGBT activists must become our issue; issues of teachers, workers and union members, must be our issue; foreclosure, wages and healthcare must be our issue, and; fighting the corruption and theft by banks and financial institutions must also be our issue. At every protest and demonstration we have to come together and present "Our Issue" to the public and in opposition to the likes of Koch, Scaife and ALEC.
Recently we saw the article from Wisconsin advising that one of the Republican legislators is proposing a bill to abolish employees having to identify their employers regarding political contributions. Senator Glenn Grothman (R) is he sponsor of this bill...and an ALEC member, with a seat on their Education Task Force. The basis for Grothman's "bill" is due to pressure being put on Koch Industries, Coca-Cola and other "contributors" from all the publicity identifying them as supporting Walker and ALEC's agenda. The Boycott of Koch and Coca-Cola products is hurting their bottom line, but instead of withdrawing support or dropping their membership in ALEC, they choose to have one of their legislative lackeys introduce legislation to help keep their identity hidden...help them remain in the shadows, behind the political curtain pulling the strings.
Progress is being made in this fight, the opposition is starting to feel the resistance - push back against their agenda - from the continuous demonstrating and protesting there in WI. This is the same fight that needs to be carried out in every state, each city where the opposition resides or is attempting to enforce their agenda. They can be opposed, reduced and contained - but it takes the effort of all of us acting as a cohesive and resisting force.
I'm game...are you?