September 18, 2020

Is It a Fifth-Column Assault?

Guest Opinion
By David Frederick | Dec. 14, 2019

David McCullough’s 2001 biography of the second president of the United States, “John Adams,” provides a masterful description of the political processes leading up to and running throughout the Revolutionary War period. His work provides readers with an appreciation of the challenges faced by the colonial leaders as their focus transitioned from surviving the war to building a nation.  

John Adams, one of the political architects working to define the form that government would take, expressed concern regarding an issue that is once again relevant today: the existence of competing political parties. He was concerned that at some point in the future, one or more of the political parties would place the welfare of the party above that of the nation. 

Adams was at least correct in part. Extreme partisanship has been a contributing factor in creating the existing divisiveness. However, it is neither the core issue nor direct cause. 

Today’s extreme partisanship is more likely a subset of a deeply committed, coordinated effort to surreptitiously transform our constitutional-based democratic republic governed by majority rule into an autocratic oligarchy governed by an elite minority.

It’s understandable if such an assertion is considered absurd. That such a thing could happen is almost inconceivable. Nevertheless, a cabal with the goal of redefining the governance of the United States does exist. One of its core beliefs is that it is illogical, as well as economically and politically unjust, that the top-tiered wealthiest citizens — by definition, a minority of voters, should be governed by majority rule. That is to say, by democracy.

A detailed and superbly documented book titled “Democracy in Chains,” authored by Dr. Nancy MacLean, a professor of history and public policy at Duke University — provides a path to identifying the existence of this domestically based threat to democracy. 

Much of Professor MacLean’s research for “Democracy in Chains” was conducted at George Mason University’s main campus in Virginia.  She, likely unwittingly, was given access to original archival records spanning back more than 60 years. 

I encourage you to read “Democracy in Chains” to judge its content and significance for yourself. (No spoiler alert is forthcoming; this column provides only the smallest of windows through which to view the book’s content.) 

The motivation for undermining and replacing a democratic republic with an autocratic oligarchy is difficult to understand. For starters, middle- and working-class families would lose constitutional protections as well as the right to vote in meaningful elections. And there is no apparent legitimate reason why those who have prospered the most from the existing economic and political systems would want them dismantled and replaced. Irrespective of the cabal’s motivation, the methods being used to obtain their goals are disconcerting. 

Beginning in the mid 1950’s, nevertheless, when the transformational concept of dismantling democracy began to take root, its proponents faced a serious impediment. Americans tended to be patriotic. World War II was won, the economy was expanding, and the future seemed bright.

Such positive sentiments were of course an obstacle for those committed to overturning the American system of governance. Achieving that objective would require the development of a large measure of public discord and discontent. 

The cabal’s master plan for creating the necessary social unrest was then, and today remains, based upon two historical precedents: The first, the Russian Revolution demonstrated the importance of disciplined cadres, relentless efforts, and uncompromising policies for successfully implementing social change.

Strategies adopted from the Nazi takeover of Germany proved to be similarly useful. This is particularly true for a propaganda technique that illogically remains effective today. In the words of Joseph Goebbels, “If you tell a great lie and repeat it often enough, the people will eventually come to believe it.”

The cabal adopted the discredited philosophy that attaining an important objective justifies the use of any means necessary to obtain that end. This leaves truth irrelevant, deception a favored tool, and voter repression desirable. 

“Democracy in Chains” describes in painful detail how effectively these techniques have been implemented. Since the mid 1970s a coordinated process has chipped away at discrediting the United States’ government. Today millions of Americans derisively refer to the Capitol as The Swamp. They have lost faith in public education, found contempt for labor unions, been bankrupted by health care expenses, and are convinced that federal rules and regulations create problems rather than resolving them. The requisite public discord now exists. 

Verified and verifiable testimonies submitted in an ongoing impeachment hearing are undermined by repetitive propaganda that would make Joseph Goebbels proud. A sitting president has demonstrated his contempt for democracy by making thinly veiled threats that his base — collectively composed of perhaps a third of all Americans — will wage civil war if he is impeached or not reelected. 

If an oligarchy — ruled by an autocratic dictator and legitimized by the wealth and power of self-selected oligarchs — replaces our democratic republic, we will have  not only betrayed the sacrifices of all those who came before us but also have betrayed ourselves and those who will follow in our steps. 

Consider reading “Democracy in Chains.” It is not an easy read; it covers a lot of ground in complicated detail — but it is nevertheless informative beyond measure. It provides a context for interpreting current events. It additionally assists readers in developing an informed opinion of whether or not the United States has been targeted for a fifth-column assault.

David Frederick, a centrist-based Independent, regards extremist political partisanship as a dangerous threat to the well-being and security of middle-class Americans. He further believes reestablishing coordinated grassroots truth-to-power messaging is a prerequisite for diminishing that threat.


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