The Republican’s Dr. Strangelove Promotes Book By Nazi Sympathizer On Fox News

In the most recent polling of Republican voters, their top choices for president almost always include Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon-turned-Fox News pundit who viscerally hates President Obama and advocates Christian supremacy in America.

Carson appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program last night to warn that the United States is “going down the tubes” like the great empires of the past because we have “become enamored of sports and entertainment,” and have “lost our moral compass.” This downward spiral, Carson says, is an extremely dangerous situation that threatens to subject America to the same dreadful fate as previous historical dynasties like Greece, Rome, and Britain.

Ben Carson

The segment was mostly a paper thin discourse on vague apocalyptic generalities that provided scant insight into anything other than Carson’s embarrassingly poor grasp of history and government. His main points were cliched right-wing admonitions against progressivism and straying from Christian faith. And in the midst of this harangue, Carson made a note of the risks of divisiveness:

Kelly: To what extent do you feel divisiveness is playing a role in what we’re seeing right now?
Carson: It’s playing an extremely large role in what we are doing.

In what “WE” are doing? That was certainly a clumsy phrasing that Carson would probably like to retract. However, it is also ironically truthful. For the better part of the eight minute segment Carson was fiercely divisive, referring to his ideological foes as neo-Marxists, specifically aligning them with Marx, Lenin, and one of the right’s favorite bogeymen, Saul Alinsky. Which is why his unintended admission that divisiveness plays a large role in what “WE” are doing rings true.

Even Kelly observed that calling people neo-Marxists could cause others to view him as unpresidential and too extreme to ever be elected president. Carson’s response to that was to encourage viewers to do their own research. He then offered this as an example of the sort of troubling things they would find:

Carson: Number one rule of Saul Alinsky: You make the majority think that what they believe is no longer in vogue; that nobody with any intelligence thinks that way; and that the way you believe is the only way that intelligent people believe.

The only problem with that example is that it does not happen to be the number one rule of Saul Alinsky. Nor is it any other rule. It appears that Carson just made it up as it doesn’t even resemble any of the actual rules that Alinsky laid out in his book “Rules For Radicals”. Or, more likely, he adopted it from some disreputable source that he naively believed. [For reference I have included all of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals at the bottom of this post] But it wasn’t until Carson sought to buttress his criticism with additional girders of fringy philosophy that he went spinning off the rails entirely. And in the process he demonstrated how vulnerable he is to disreputable sources.

Carson: There was a guy who was a former CIA agent by the name of Cleon Skousen who wrote a book in 1958 called “The Naked Communist,” that laid out the whole agenda. You would think by reading it that it was written last year. Showing what they’re trying to do to American families, what they’re trying to do to our Judeo-Christian faith, what they’re doing to morality.

W. Cleon Skousen was a disgraced Mormon whackjob whom even the Mormon church repudiated. He was a rabid anti-communist who veered off into conspiracy theories and fabricated prophecy. His extreme views led him to support other contemporary opponents of communism, better known as Nazis. And for good measure, Carson shares his admiration of Skousen with another popular whackjob, Glenn Beck, who insisted that his followers read Skousen’s “The 5,000 Year Leap,” which Beck said was divinely inspired.

And so it has come to pass that Ben Carson is the darling of the Tea Party and other far-right dimwits. It is a strange love, so to speak, because despite having absolutely zero expertise in government, law, social sciences, public service, or any other study relevant to statecraft, the Republican base has embraced him and are striving mightily to persuade him to throw his hat in the ring for the presidency, a job for which he is profoundly unqualified.

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But what is truly dumbfounding is that he isn’t much less qualified than many of the other prospective GOP candidates (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio) or candidates past (Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin). Scary, isn’t it?

From Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals:

  • Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
  • Never go outside the expertise of your people.
  • Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.
  • Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
  • A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
  • A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
  • Keep the pressure on. Never let up.
  • The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  • The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
  • If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.
  • The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  • Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

EXPOSED: The Source Of Cliven Bundy’s Crackpot Constitutionalism

The unfolding drama in the Nevada desert over a deadbeat cattle rancher’s refusal to pay customary grazing fees like every other rancher, continues to excite the Tea Party pseudo-patriots who believe that threatening a range war in defense of personal greed is a mark of virtue. However, Cliven Bundy’s domestic terrorism serves nothing more than his own selfish financial interests, and the crusade he purports to lead is rooted in the worst sort of perversion of constitutional principles.

Bundy has resisted paying to graze his cattle on federal land because he doesn’t recognize the authority of the government to assess those fees. In fact, he doesn’t even “recognize the United States government as even existing.” His argument has lost repeatedly in court, but he continues to ignore his responsibility and to defy the law. His malfeasance amounts to the theft of over a million dollars from the American people. Ironically, if his argument prevailed he would be subject to paying the state of Nevada for grazing rights at $15.50 per head of cattle, rather than the federal rate of $1.35. But simple math, like simple logic, is too complicated for these cretins. So instead, they take up arms against their fellow Americans and pretend to defend their twisted misinterpretation of the Constitution.

Now we have evidence of where Bundy may have picked up his constitutional delusions. In a recent media appearance, Bundy was proudly displaying a copy of the Constitution in his shirt pocket.

Cliven Bundy

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After searching for the distinctive cover of the document in Bundy’s pocket, the publisher turned out to be the innocuously named National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS). However, the NCCS is not the commendable educational organization it purports to be. It began life as the Freemen Institute, a vehicle for the far-right, Mormon, anti-commie, history revisionist, W. Cleon Skousen. Skousen taught that the Constitution was inspired by a God who intended America to be a Christian nation. He also professed the canon of white supremicism that Anglo-Saxons are descended from a lost tribe of Israel. The Southern Poverty Law Center chronicled the NCCS curriculum based on Skousen’s philosophy saying that he…

“…demonized the federal regulatory agencies, arguing for the abolition of everything from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency. He wanted to repeal the minimum wage, smash unions, nullify anti-discrimination laws, sell off public lands and national parks, end the direct election of senators, kill the income tax and the estate tax, knock down state-level walls separating church and state, and, of course, raze the Federal Reserve System.”

Sound familiar? Skousen’s warped ideology syncs up perfectly with the Tea Party and other purveyors of fringe fear mongering like politi-vangelist Glenn Beck, who literally begged his audience to read Skousen’s book, “The 5000 Year Leap,” which Beck said was “divinely inspired.” The conspiracy-obsessed NCCS shares with Beck and Bundy an animosity toward government that exceeds the boundaries of common sense. Along with Skousen’s books, the NCCS website features anti-UN screeds (“Confronting Agenda 21”), treatises on wingnut electoral reforms (“Repeal 17 Now!”), harbingers of one-world government (“The Rise of Global Governance”), and appeals for institutionalized theocracy (“America’s God & Country”). No wonder Bundy was sporting a version of the Constitution that was distributed by the NCCS, an organization that advances ultra-conservative conspiracy theories and promotes anti-government hostility.

The threatening hysteria and deception emanating from Bundy, and the armed militias that came to his defense, are emblematic of the apocalyptic doctrine of the NCCS. It is no accident that Bundy’s Constitution was provided by a group whose teachings have been denounced by historians and constitutional scholars. But it does explain the extremism and advocacy of violence that Bundy et al have espoused. All of this makes it all the more inappropriate and irresponsible for Bundy to be hailed as hero by conservative media outlets like the National Review and Fox News who, just last week, compared Bundy to Gandhi in a feat of epic cognitive collapse.

Glenn Beck’s Campaign For American Supremacy

Over the years that Glenn Beck has been a public figure there have been numerous representations of him as a rabid, right-wing, conspiracy-obsessed, extremist. All of which were true. In his inimitable way, and despite all the corroborating evidence, Beck countered such portrayals as smears and sought to cast his critics as Nazi sympathizers or worse. To that end he embraced Jonah Goldberg’s absurd fabrication of what he called “Liberal Fascism” – about as oxymoronic a word pairing as there ever was.

Last week, however, Beck sealed the deal. He let his true colors show by taking to the air and promoting the writings of Elizabeth Dilling, an avowed racist, anti-Semite, and Nazi supporter, who praised Hitler and called President Eisenhower “Ike the Kike.” With this testimonial Beck joins the likes of David Duke and the Stormfront crowd as admirers of Dilling’s commitment to hate.

This is really nothing new for Beck or the rightist faction from which he evolved. Beck and other conservatives have lately been advocating a distinctive philosophy they call “American Exceptionalism.” While its original definition had more to do with a unique quality that was attributed to a new nation of immigrants who were committed to forming a democratic republic, it has been twisted into something much uglier by modern conservatives. Whereas it once referred to a nation and people who were different, the New Exceptionalists define it as a nation and people who are better. It has undergone a transformation from American Exceptionalism to American Supremacy. In this form, America is considered to be entitled to a superior status among nations. It is stronger, more virtuous, and favored by God. And it is exempt from the moral boundaries within which other nations must abide.

No one embodies this doctrinal mutation more fittingly than Beck. In recent months he has blurred the lines between political pundit and religious cult leader. He has declared that the Constitution was the result of divine inspiration and is as immutable as holy scripture. He regards the nation’s founders as saintly. One of those founders, Thomas Jefferson, expressly disagrees with Beck. On the matter of Constitutional immutability, Jefferson wrote that “…with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.” That’s hardly an argument for strict constructionalism. And with regard to the divinity of himself and his contemporaries, Jefferson spoke disparagingly of the arrogance of one generation dictating the terms of existence to their heirs, castigating those who would “…ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human.”

Of course, Beck could hardly be expected to understand that sort of ego-less self-awareness and humility. He is far to busy canonizing repugnant figures like Dilling and his political mentor, Cleon Skousen, another Nazi sympathizer. And he is also preoccupied with exalting himself as the only mortal with the transcendent vision to see the dastardly schemes being perpetrated by President Obama, unions, environmentalists and progressives.

Beck’s campaign for American supremacy is as bigoted as Hitler’s doctrine of a Master Race. The notion that one group of people, on the basis of their nationality, are better than others, is as repulsive as one group asserting superiority on the basis of skin color. Yet this is Beck’s unabashed position, and he promulgates it daily.

There is a glaring irony in the right’s promotion of American supremacy. Their delusion that they are better than everyone else contradicts their affinity for American Averagism. They abhor those they portray as elitists. If you graduated from Harvard you are automatically out of the mainstream. If you dedicate your life to public service you are out of touch with ordinary working Americans. And the highest standard by which a leader is judged is whether you would like to have a beer with him, as if the souse at the end of the bar sucking on a Budweiser is the best qualified person to negotiate a nuclear arms treaty.

So, in fact, the people who claim to be superior actually have an aversion to the real character traits that signify achievement. At the same time, they revere traits that are decidedly lowbrow. Yet these ignorant dullards have an absurdly high, and undeserved, impression of themselves and believe that they are best suited to lead the world.

Rightist theocons like Beck are hypersensitive to charges of racism or fascist leanings. They have spent many years trying to shield themselves from such connections, mostly by accusing their critics of the very same thing. But now Beck has come out of the Nazi closet with his endorsement of Dilling. It is the most blatant admission of his true bigoted self to date. And he can no longer hide from it. Neither can his enablers at Fox News And News Corp. If these people don’t want to be called Nazis, they ought not to praise them and promote their views.

Glenn Beck’s A Historian Like Hannibal Lecter’s A Vegetarian

Glenn Beck began his program yesterday asking his audience to…

“Join me on another one of my ‘designed just to get TV ratings’ history lessons?”

The only the wrong with that statement is everything in it. First of all, nobody is joining Beck as he embarks on his solo venture across the blackboard seas of his dementia. The best you say is that his disciples can watch glassy-eyed from afar. Secondly, everything Beck does is designed to get TV ratings, despite his snarky allusions to the contrary. And lastly, his idea of history lessons leaves out a major component of the curriculum: the history.

Pope Glenn BeckIn yesterday’s lecture, Beck sought to explain the concept of “Mutually Assured Destruction,” wherein nations in conflict proposed deterrence of aggression by threatening overwhelming retaliatory response that would effectively destroy both nations. Beck began by falsely asserting that scientists had first proposed a version of MAD that involved a “Doomsday Device,” wherein the whole planet would be obliterated. In fact, that was only proposed by analysts at an Ayn Rand think tank and Stanley Kubrick in “Dr. Strangelove.” It was not real science, policy, or history.

Then Beck reveals to his disciples the source of his historical doctrine. It’s a book called “Tragedy and Hope” written by Mormon historian Carrol Quigley. Beck describes Quigley’s thesis as MAD via a network of interconnected and reliant economies. Then he asserts that this plan has already been implemented and offers as evidence this question:

“[C]an you think of a war since [the 60’s] where there has been a clear winner and loser since then? Vietnam? The Gulf wars? Afghanistan? The War on Terror?”

Well, yes. I’d start with Vietnam and the Gulf wars. Clearly the North Vietnamese took over the whole of the peninsula after American troops pulled out. And does anyone think that Kuwait is still under the grip of Saddam Hussein, or that Hussein wasn’t toppled from power in Iraq? And there is a reason the former Yugoslavia is called the “former” Yugoslavia. And don’t forget the great battle for sovereignty in the Falklands.

This makes Beck’s accusations that “Progressives don’t want you to read real history,” particularly amusing. Clearly it’s Beck who is reading and recommending fictional accounts of history. One of his favorites is “The 5,000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen, another Mormon historian Beck fancies. Beck beseeched his disciples to heed Skousen as a prophet:

“I beg you to read this book filled with words of wisdom which I can only describe as divinely inspired.”

Skousen also read Quigley’s “Tragedy and Hope,” and found it compelling to say the least. In a superb essay about Beck’s roots and influences, Alexander Zaitchik noted the relationship between Beck, Quigley, and Skousen:

In 1969, a 1,300-page book started appearing in faculty mailboxes at Brigham Young, where Skousen was back teaching part-time. The book, written by a Georgetown University historian named Carroll Quigley, was called “Tragedy and Hope.” Inside each copy, Skousen inserted handwritten notes urging his colleagues to read the book and embrace its truth. “Tragedy and Hope,” Skousen believed, exposed the details of what would come to be known as the New World Order (NWO). Quigley’s book so moved Skousen that in 1970 he self-published a breathless 144-page review essay called “The Naked Capitalist.” Nearly 40 years later, it remains a foundational document of America’s NWO conspiracy and survivalist scene.

[T]he editors of Dialogue: The Journal of Mormon Thought invited “Tragedy and Hope” author Carroll Quigley to comment on Skousen’s interpretation of his work. They also asked a highly respected BYU history professor named Louis C. Midgley to review Skousen’s latest pamphlet. Their judgment was not kind. In the Autumn/Winter 1971 issue of Dialogue, the two men accused Skousen of “inventing fantastic ideas and making inferences that go far beyond the bounds of honest commentary.” Skousen not only saw things that weren’t in Quigley’s book, they declared, he also missed what actually was there — namely, a critique of ultra-far-right conspiracists like Willard Cleon Skousen.

“Skousen’s personal position,” wrote a dismayed Quigley, “seems to me perilously close to the ‘exclusive uniformity’ which I see in Nazism and in the Radical Right in this country. In fact, his position has echoes of the original Nazi 25-point plan.”

So Beck is now promoting Quigley’s book which he plainly fails to understand. Skousen, the authority Beck regards as divinely inspired, was castigated by Quigley as reminiscent of Nazism. Now there’s a shocker – Beck reveres a discredited, Nazi-esque academic. But it’s Beck’s viewers who are the ultimate losers as they are subjected to a plethora of disinformation. Beck’s sermons are as representative of “history” as “Alice in Wonderland.” Anyone who believes Beck’s version of the past may just as well munch down a sack of magic mushrooms in their search for reality.

The Inspiration For Glenn Beck’s Racist Extremism

Salon has published an article that explains a lot about how Glenn Beck came to his repulsive ideology of hatred, conspiracy, and rage. It focuses on the author of a book that Beck has described as having changed his life. “The 5,000 Year Leap” has become an integral part of Beck’s sermonizing. He has literally adopted it as a sacred text, even pleading with his disciples to read it:

“I beg you to read this book filled with words of wisdom which I can only describe as divinely inspired.”

Alexander Zaitchik’s article in Salon tells us something about the author, W. Cleon Skousen. And while it may not be the word of God, it is a revelation. Skousen was a man who was so far out on the fringe that the most committed right-wingers of his day would have nothing to do with him, a status Beck is beginning to share. Also like Beck, Skousen was a Mormon who was rabidly anti-communist and imagined conspiracies that mirror the delusions articulated today by Beck – including the ludicrous allegations that the Rockefellers were part of a vast communist plot.

Zaitchik’s article is long and filled with surprising details that close the circle on what makes Beck tick. A highly recommended read.