From studying American political history, it seems as if liberals have a secret playbook and have been using it from the early days of the Republic, handing it down to each succeeding generation.
Liberals seem to know exactly what to do when any situation arises and history is full of interesting parallels.
1. Use the Cover of a Crisis to Implement Your Agenda and Smash Your Political Enemies.
America’s first political party, the Federalists, the Party of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams, led the nation from 1789 to 1801, a period of twelve years that included control of the presidency and both houses of Congress.
The liberal party of its day, Federalist lawmakers imposed a wide variety of direct taxes upon the people, centralized the banking system, and ran rough shod over the new Bill of Rights with their crown jewel – the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.
With a quasi-war brewing with France, and with the hysteria it was causing, these acts were supposedly enacted to help secure and protect the homeland. But the left has long used deceit to hide their true intentions, particularly during a crisis. The real target was Thomas Jefferson’s Republican opposition.
The Alien and Sedition Acts consisted of four bills, three of which were specifically designed to weaken the Jeffersonians.
The Naturalization Act raised the period of residence required for citizenship from five years to fourteen years. The reason for this was quite simple – a majority of new immigrants from Europe were joining the Republicans.
The Alien Act authorized the president to summarily deport any aliens, regardless of country, that he deemed dangerous “to the peace and safety” of the United States. Under the act, aliens would not receive a jury trial and the president was not required to explain or justify his decision. Jefferson considered the bill “worthy of the eighth or ninth century.” Like the Naturalization Act, the Alien Act was one of pure political partisanship.
The most controversial was the Sedition Act. It provided fines of up to $2,000 and jail sentences of up to two years for anyone who publicly criticized the president, members of Congress, or other administration officials, by publishing “false, scandalous and malicious” accusations. It was a clear violation of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, taking aim at Republican newspapers, which were springing up all over the nation.
After the Senate passed the Sedition Act, ironically on July 4, 1798, Federalist leaders toasted the president: “John Adams. May he, like Samson, slay thousands of Frenchmen with the jawbone of Jefferson.”
Under this act, a number of Jeffersonian newspaper editors were charged with sedition, and those brought to trial were convicted, fined, and sent to prison.
Congress also established sunset provisions for most of these new laws, allowing them to expire just after the 1800 elections when Adams would have secured a second term. If Federalists retained power, those laws would no longer be necessary. This shows the level of politics attached to the new acts.
But despite administration efforts to maintain power, the people rose up against what Jefferson called “a reign of witches,” and ousted the Federalist Party from the White House and both Houses of Congress. The party never again held power.
FDR used the Great Depression to “reform” capitalism with a litany of new government programs and newly discovered powers. The social welfare state we now live in was born in the 1930s.
And as we well recall, Obama’s former chief of staff, now Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, famously said during the economic panic, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” This is liberal thinking in its finest. They simply cannot express what they really want to do so they use a crisis as a way to pass laws they know the people will not support, like massive bank bailouts, stimulus spending packages, and financial regulatory bills to take more control over the nation’s economy.
But we must always remember what James Madison once said, “Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant.”
2. When You Can’t Legislate Your Agenda, Use the Judiciary to Impose It.
Though the Federalists were routed in the 1800 elections, they were not down and out, but had one last trick up their sleeve – impose their agenda by judicial fiat, which is why liberals insist on a strong court system.
To keep Federalist policies in place, President Adams, in his last days in the White House, appointed a wealth of Federalist judges in the many new courts the out-going Federalist-controlled Congress hastily created. They became known as Adams’ “midnight judges,” most of whom were named during the last night he resided in the Executive Mansion.
Adams also appointed John Marshall to the Chief Justiceship of the Supreme Court, a fierce proponent of nationalism. Marshall used judicial power to solidify the Federalist agenda of centralizing power in Washington. He never found a federal right he did not like.
Jefferson and Republicans in Congress fought hard to undue the Federalist-dominated judiciary with some success, but were unable to overturn it completely.
And for that, we have been living with a left-of-center judiciary nearly every step of the way. The courts have imposed abortion rights, stripped prayer from schools, expanded eminent domain, limited property rights, interfered in state affairs, and generally caused mayhem, all in the name of liberalism.
3. Smear, Slander, and Shame Your Enemies, Especially to Guard the All Important Supreme Court.
When it comes to conservative judges, especially for justices of the Supreme Court, liberals have vilified them in vicious personal attacks and smear campaigns in the hopes of protecting the one branch of government not subject to popular sovereignty. By keeping the Court left of center, liberals can write laws from the bench and implement their unpopular policy goals with no opposition.
But to do that they must maintain control of the court system, especially the High Court, at all costs.
In 1888, in an effort to help end sectional tensions, President Grover Cleveland appointed Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar of Mississippi to an associate position on the United States Supreme Court.
Congressional liberals, mainly from the North, attacked Lamar, not as a Southerner, which they hated, but as “unqualified” to sit on the High Court. One Massachusetts Senator opposed Lamar “not because I doubted his eminent integrity and ability, but because I thought that he had little professional experience and no judicial experience.”
The San Francisco Chronicle believed Lamar leaned “naturally and spontaneously to the side of the strong against the weak. He is a friend of monopolies.”
The name Bork, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, or Alito could have been substituted for Lamar with little difference. The attacks against conservative nominees to the Court have been nothing short of vicious. And the left says it’s the right that is “mean spirited.”
4. Use Deceit to Mask Your Real Intentions.
Liberals have always been disingenuous about their real goals.
In the 1890s, the left sought to implement an inflationary monetary policy based on the free and unlimited coinage of silver. The nation was on the gold standard, but liberals wanted to inflate the currency supply with cheaper paper money and silver coins. They claimed to want a system of bi-metallism, allowing both gold and silver to circulate, but in reality sought to replace gold, the money of the bankers they claimed, with silver, money for the poor.
Inflation, they contended, would help the poor, especially the nation’s farmers, who were in perpetual debt. Inflating the currency with cheaper dollars would make it easier to pay those debts.
But Gresham’s Law states that “bad money drives good money out of circulation.” This economic rule would allow the left to get what it wanted without actually having to legislate it.
They could not advocate a silver standard, so they sought a sneaky way to implement it. If enough silver entered circulation, Gresham’s Law would kick in, eventually driving out gold, because people would hoard it, and the nation would be placed on a silver standard.
The plan failed, however, because the people did not want it and the gold standard was saved at the ballot box by electing a string of gold standard presidents.
Does this tactic sound familiar?
The Obama-Reid-Pelosi Administration did exactly the same thing with the 2010 Health Care Bill. They wanted a “single payer” government run system but could not get it passed, so they instituted a “public option” in the name of “competition.”
But no private insurance company can ever hope to compete with the government, which does not have to worry about making a profit and can always draw from the public trough to make up any shortfalls.
Knowing full well that any government system would spike health insurance costs, Democrats hope that businesses will be forced, out of necessity, to drop their increasingly expensive private plans in favor of the cheaper public option, eventually placing the country under a “single payer” health care system.
Liberal Democrats claim they are against monopolies and the big insurance companies, which are supposedly in the pockets of the Republicans. But it was conservatives who sought to end the state monopolies for health insurance companies, forcing them to compete nation-wide, a move that would dramatically lower the cost of premiums. The left, as well as the insurance companies, have fought this idea tooth and nail.
So who really favors monopolies and the insurance companies?
5. When All Else Fails, Use Class Warfare and Denigrate the Rich.
Democrats used a similar strategy of deceit to kill the flat tax proposal but eventually pulled out one of their oldest cards to finish it off – the Class Card.
The federal tax code is so dense and cumbersome that members of the House Ways and Means Committee do not even understand it, nor does the IRS.
One conservative plan is the flat tax, which would abolish the entire code and implement one flat rate for everyone. Gone would be the thick and burdensome forms, to be replaced by a simple index card, whether for a business or an individual. Wherever this plan has been enacted, the economy has soared.
Democrats immediately pounced on the idea as a sop to the rich. But is it?
The plan gives generous personal exemptions for families and children. For instance, under one proposal each adult would get a personal tax exemption of $17,500 and $5,000 per child. The tax rate would be 17 percent.
So let’s look at two families, each with two parents and two children.
Family A makes $50,000 a year. The exemptions would total $45,000 ($17,500 for each parent and $5,000 per child), meaning no tax would be assessed on that amount. So Family A would pay 17 percent of the remaining $5,000 for a total tax bill of $850, much less than they are paying now. If they added another child, the tax bill would fall to zero.
Family B makes $1,000,000 a year. But they receive the same exemption of $45,000, meaning they pay 17 percent of the remaining $955,000 for a total tax bill of $162,350. If they added another child, their tax bill would only fall to $161,500.
So who really benefits from this plan and who are Democrats actually protecting?
Liberals, even though they condemn Wall Street and the “rich,” have been among their strongest backers. Remember, it was mostly conservative Republicans who fiercely opposed the bank bailouts and liberal Democrats who wanted to make the package larger.
These are just a few examples to demonstrate how liberals have been sticking to the script for more than 200 years. They use tried-and-true methods because the right falls for it every time. But Sun Tzu’s rule, “Know Your Enemy,” should be on the mind of every conservative when it comes to liberals and their playbook, and a working knowledge of American political history will provide that knowledge.