“Deceptive Neo-Con Language”


By John F. McManus, President, The John Birch Society


New Hampshire Center for Constitutional Studies, September 23, 2007


            A U.S. Navy ship was steaming along one night when lights ahead flashed the signal, “Turn your ship five degrees to starboard.”  The ship’s captain, quite indignant about being told what to do, told his signalman to send back a message, “You turn your ship five degrees to starboard.”  That prompted an immediate response from afar, “No, you turn your ship to starboard.”


            Now, the captain was really irate.  He told his man to send the following message: “I’m a captain of this U.S. naval vessel.  You turn your ship to starboard.”  And the final message came right back, “I’m a seaman second class and I’m aboard a lighthouse; turn your ship five degree to starboard.” 


            The point, of course, is that the stripes on your sleeve or the initials after your name aren’t as important as the ground you stand on. If you have truth and can deliver facts, you are like the sailor at the lighthouse who certainly had solid ground to stand on.


            We’re here to stimulate interest in the U.S. Constitution.  The document, of course, was written 11 years after our nation began, and it was finally agreed to one year later when a sufficient number of states ratified it.  It was the work of a group of men who had learned from history, didn’t seek power for themselves, and knew that government – not the people – should be limited.  That’s an amazing group!  That they should assemble in Philadelphia in 1787 and produce what they did has to be one of the high watermarks in man’s history.


            The Constitution received extraordinary praise from some famous British political leaders.  William Pitt said, “It will be the wonder and admiration of all future generations.”  William Gladstone concurred by stating, “It is the greatest piece of work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.” 


            France’s Alexis deTocqueville surveyed our nation more than 50 years after it began and he heaped praise on “the American constitutions,” obviously referring not only to the U.S. Constitution but to the state constitutions. 


            And the first prime minister of Canada, John MacDonald, said of our Constitution, “I think and believe that it is one of the most perfect organizations that ever governed a free people.”    


            I have often stated a conclusion about the Constitution that no liberal or neoconservative likes to hear.  It is that, if the Constitution were fully and honestly enforced as it exists today, the federal government would be 20 percent its size and 20 percent its cost.  I have even been chided by a few here and there who say that my figure should be 10 percent.  Just imagine: No foreign aid, no Departments of Education, Housing, Health, Agriculture, Homeland Security, and no commissions, bureaucratic monstrosities and other meddlesome agencies that “harass our people and eat out their substance.”  That’s an actual indictment of King George in the Declaration of Independence.


            Also, there would be no undeclared wars and no policing the planet.  No Federal Reserve.  No federal funds for highways that can be taken away if a state refuses to knuckle under to Big Brother’s edicts.   Let me make a point about the Department of Homeland Security.  Isn’t that why we have a military, and why there should be a state militia in every state – homeland security?  But so much of our military is overseas.  We actually have forces stationed in over 100 nations, many of them protecting the homeland security of someone else’s country.


            I revere the Constitution but I do not think it’s perfect because mere mortals can’t come up with anything perfect.  Like many, I have my favorite passage.  It’s Article I, Section 1, sentence 1 that reads, “All legislative powers herein granted are vested in Congress….” 


            If there are any algebra students here who are willing to help me out, I’ll appreciate your input.  If “all” lawmaking power resides in Congress, how much is in the Supreme Court?  None!  Thanks for your help.  The word “all” still has meaning.  A Supreme Court decision can’t be the “law of the land” as we’re so frequently told. It’s the law of the case that binds the plaintiff and the defendant – period.  And most decisions of the Supreme Court should be, “It’s not a federal matter” that should be sent back to the states or to the people.  Instead, layer upon layer of government has been sanctioned, even initiated, by the black-robed justices who regularly ignore the very first sentence in the document they have sworn an oath to obey.


            How about the Executive Branch?  Any lawmaking power there?  Not if the first sentence means anything.  Yet, we get Executive Orders, Presidential Decision Directives and signing statements from the White House that become law.  This is another serious violation of the Constitution’s first sentence. An Executive Order from the White House addressed to federal employees is proper – such as the granting of a holiday to celebrate the birth of the Lord.  But if an Executive Order binds the whole nation, or usurps power from the other branches of government, it’s wrong.  It’s not the President’s prerogative to make law – but we all know that this is being done all the time. 


            Go back to that sentence, “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in Congress….”  Even more violated are the two words “herein granted.”  Very simply, any power possessed by the federal government that is not granted to Congress in the pages of this document – “herein granted” in other words – is illicit.  I defy anyone to find foreign aid in here, or education, or housing, or medicine, or policing the world.


            I believe there’s a great lesson to be learned by anyone who will abide by the Constitution’s first sentence. 


What About Neoconservative Language?


            Let’s first define neoconservatism.  For that, we turn to the man who has joyfully accepted the label “godfather of neoconservatism,” Irving Kristol.  In 1995, he wrote Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea. He claimed that the “small but talented group” of which he was apart, drifted away from liberalism and proceeded toward “a more conservative point of view.”  More conservative?  Not really. The view he had the nerve to call conservative “accepted the New Deal in principle and had little affection for the kind of isolationism that then permeated American conservatism.”


            Ladies and gentlemen, the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt – which he approvingly cited – is socialism, the very antithesis of Americanism as defined by the Constitution.  And while we’re discussing godfathers, let me point out that socialism’s godfather was Karl Marx.  In fact, communists and socialists argue over who is more pure when it comes to following the program attributed to Marx.  Recall that it wasn’t the Union of Soviet Communist Republics that murdered millions, enslaved more millions and destroyed the independence of dozens of countries for decades.  It was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. What’s the difference between a communist and a socialist?  That’s simple: A communist is a socialist in a hurry. 


            In his definition of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol stated that neoconservatives rejected “isolationism.”  Fastening that term on anyone is the equivalent of the saddling him or her with the Black Plague.  Whenever I get accused of isolationism, I respond, “I’m not an isolationist.  I’m a non-interventionist with your son, your daughter, and your wallet.”  That usually stops the name-calling.  But neocon targeting of “isolationism” is a good example of the way these people deceive with language.  You are supposed to be a bad person, and even a bad American, if you disagree with the neoconservative program that urges the use of American military might to police the world in undeclared wars.


            Kristol is also on record advocating a “conservative welfare state.”  How’s that for an oxymoron?  I wonder if he likes dry water, or bright nights.  He included in his “conservative welfare state” social security, medicare, food stamps, even a cash allowance for mothers of unwed children. There’s nothing conservative about any of that.


            It is important to realize that the leading neoconservative all came out of our nation’s Trotskyite movement.  Leftists to a core, they claim to have become disillusioned with 1972 Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern’s excesses.  They actually labeled McGovern an isolationist – a real stretch if there ever was one. So these future neoconservatives gravitated to the Republican Party and brought their affinity for Trotskyite socialism with them. 


            Trotsky, as many of you know, parted company with Stalin in the 1920s. He didn’t favor the head-cracking methods of Stalin, preferring instead to have the people in a nation vote themselves into socialist slavery. This is what is happening here in our country Stalin exiled Trotsky in 1928 and Trotsky ended up in Mexico where one of Stalin’s henchmen murdered him in 1940.  But not only is it true that the creators of neoconservatism were all Trotskyites, they actually boast of the fact.  Of course, the choice between Trotsky’s ways and Stalin’s ways is like choosing between multiple sclerosis and inoperable cancer.  Both are very bad.


            So we see that a neoconservative is someone who likes socialistic big government and meddling militarism.  With that in mind, let me read to you the thoughts of a man who could correctly be described as a neoconservative before the term was even coined. Let us go back to 1952 and a magazine article authored by a man you’ve all heard of.  I’ll tell you who wrote these words after you hear them.  He stated:


            We have got to accept Big Government for the duration – for neither an offensive nor a defensive war    can be waged except through the instrumentality of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores. [We must]support large armies and air forces, atomic energy, central intelligence, war production boards, and the attendant centralization of power in Washington….


            Ladies and gentleman, that’s neoconservatism in spades. Who wrote those words in 1952? None other than William F. Buckley, Jr.  And he wrote them while serving with the CIA in what he later described as a “deep cover” assignment in Mexico.


            Is William F. Buckley a neoconservative?  Irving Kristol believed he was.  In 1991, Buckley’s National Review sponsored a three-day meeting for top Republicans conservatives.  Kristol reported with delight that the result of the gathering was that its attendees arrived as conservatives but left as Republican-first neoconservatives. The alliance between Buckley and a host of neoconservatives grew deeper and deeper. 


            Neoconservative Charles Krauthammer once urged the formation of a “new universalism [which] would require the conscious depreciation not only of American sovereignty but of the notion of sovereignty in general.”  Get rid of national sovereignty?  That’s what he said. He even insisted that his willingness to cancel sovereignty wasn’t “as outrageous as it sounds.” 


            Another favorite term the neoconservatives use to deceive the unwary is globalism, or getting along in a globalist world.  This is really the opposite of independence, something inherently present under our constitutional system.


            Kristol would later credit neoconservatism for helping to “modernize” the Republican Party.  He heaped praise on Ronald Reagan as the “first Republican President to pay tribute to Franklin D. Roosevelt.”  Later Newt Gingrich would shower FDR with similar praise, and he received the thanks of the neoconservatives.


            The late columnist Sam Francis, who wrote a few articles for The New American magazine, our affiliated magazine, summarized what he called the “Neocon Invasion” when he wrote in 1996:


            As the Cold War would down, “exporting democracy” and opposing “isolationism” became the major neoconservative foreign policy goals, reflected in their almost universal support for NAFTA, the World Trade Organization, and United Nations peacekeeping missions.   


            Francis was absolutely correct in pointing out that neoconservatives applaud U.S. immersions in NAFTA, and the WTO, and the United Nations.  Mr. Buckley enthusiastically supported all of that – and more.  Sam Francis had already concluded that Buckley was a leading neocon.  In 1993, he wrote:


            … the whole concept of conservatism in America is virtually devoid of meaning, in large part because conservatives made the seminal error of allowing dilettantes like Mr. Buckley to define it for them in the first place.


            Over recent years, besides godfather Irving Kristol, prominent neoconservatives include Norman Podhoretz and his wife Midge Decter, Ben Wattenberg, the late Robert Bartley of the Wall Street Journal, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams and Kristol’s son William who publishes the Weekly Standard and never misses an opportunity to promote neocon policy.  Today, neocons would include the leaders of the Bush administration who follow neocon thinking both domestically and in their foreign policy adventurism.  They would include Richard Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz (now at the World Bank), Condoleeza Rice, Robert Gates, and the many radio sycophants like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others who regularly defend the indefensible while working hard to persuade the unwary that current U.S. policies are constitutional, praiseworthy and beneficial.   


            In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and the first President Bush went ballistic. He repeatedly called for a “new world order” and included in his urging the need for a reinvigorated United Nations.  American forces (joined by some from other nations) went to war against Iraq in early 1991.  The authorization for the war came from a UN Security Council resolution – and all it called for was ousting Iraq from Kuwait.  Why the U.S. should lead to way in protecting the Islamist despotism known as Kuwait was never answered.


            The Bush Defense Secretary at the time was Richard Cheney. His deputy was Paul Wolfowitz.  The two of them immediately drew up plans to reinvade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein.  But before they could pull off their newest caper, Bush Senior lost the election to Bill Clinton (courtesy of Ross Perot, by the way) and the Cheney-led team had to find other work.


            We skip ahead only a few years and find Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and several other future Bush II appointees forming the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).  The immediate goal: attack Iraq.  They sent a letter to Speaker Gingrich urging the attack.  They petitioned President Clinton to do so – but he was busy defending himself from his late-night escapades with an intern.  But, as chance would have it (I don’t really think chance was involved), Cheney nominated himself as George W. Bush’s vice president.  From day one of the new Bush administration, nine months before September 11th, Cheney and his PNAC teammates started planning the next invasion of Iraq. Never mind that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, had no weapons of mass destruction, and had no ties to AlQaeda.  Iraq had to be attacked.


            It’s not unreasonable to wonder why.  And the answer may be that the enormous new embassy being built in Baghdad – far more spacious than anything needed just for our own nation’s ambassador – will be the headquarters of a new Middle Eastern Free Trade Area.  This new facility will have space for 1,000 desks. The Middle East is one of very few parts of the world without a sovereignty-compromising free trade agreement.  Europe has the European Union; we have NAFTA and CAFTA; there are similar pacts in southeast Asia and Latin America.  And now, the neocons are proposing the North American Union.  It should be clear that what is called “free trade” has supplanted revolutions, wars of national liberation, and internal subversion as the route to cancellation of sovereignty on the way to world government.


            And for this, our troops have been bogged down in Iraq since March 2003.  The authorization for this action, once again, is a few UN Security Council resolutions.  Asked what I think ought to be done about Iraq, I say that bringing the troops home by midnight would be soon enough.         


            Let me sum up.  Neoconservatism means socialistic big government and internationalism.  It dislikes national independence and favors world government under the United Nations. It urges the use of the U.S. armed forces in UN peacekeeping missions and undeclared wars.  It champions NAFTA, CAFTA, the World Trade Organization and the new drive toward a North American Union.  And it has control of the George W. Bush administration lock, stock and barrel.


            To a man, neocons loved the elder Bush’s call for a New World Order because he always said that it included deference to the United Nations. Neocons not only love the idea of “democracy,” they want to “export” it and will do so by force if allowed to.  And by democracy, they understand completely how it is the very opposite of what our Founding Fathers gave us with the Constitution of the United States.  Benjamin Franklin told the woman who wondered what the 1787 constitutional convention had produced, “A republic madam, if you can keep it.”   


            If you love America for its history of limited government and strict independence, you have to realize that neoconservatives are your enemy. And you have to realize that the current administration is replete with un-American neoconservatism. 


            Is there any hope that we can stop the drive toward socialism and world government.  Of course there’s hope.  The American people don’t want this and there are still tens of millions who can be reached and energized.  Add to this the fact that the Constitution still stands.  Requiring those who swear a solemn oath to it can be achieved in many areas of this country.  But let’s realize that it is highly unlikely that anyone who agrees with us will “steal” the presidency.  The control is too tight to place much hope there.  But we can take our country back through the House of Representatives, the body of government that holds the power of the purse.


            Article I, Section 7 states “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House….”  If 218 members of the House refuse to back a bill to fund the UN, undeclared wars, education, housing, and so much more, that’s it.  There’s nothing the Senate, the President, the Supreme Court, or The New York Times can do about it. The House is where the effort of concerned Americans ought to be directed.


            Can it be done?  Of course!  So let’s get busy and do it.


(End of this address, by John McManus)