The Professional Left vs. the Amateur Right
A class of radicals who live off charitable donations and devote their lives to spreading ideology has expanded its reach all the way to the White House.
August 18, 2010 - 12:00 am
Of all the slips of the tongue and unintentional admissions by this administration, Robert Gibbs’ “professional left” comment may well be the one they wish they could squeeze back into their collective windpipe the most:
I hear these people saying (Obama) is like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested. … I mean, it’s crazy. … The professional left … will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality. … They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.
That is, perhaps, the first objective analysis we’ve heard from Gibbs in his career as Obama’s press secretary — and it’s likely to be the last one. For speaking his mind, Gibbs has been urged to resign in disgrace, as if he had committed treason. We may laugh it off, and leave it at that, but the left’s ferocious attacks on Gibbs might be caused by something more sinister than a mere suggestion that on the planet of Hopeychangia, reality is a buzzkill. The latter is not a secret; neither is the fact that the truth is to the loony fringe what the cross is to the vampires. If that were Gibbs’ only transgression, he would’ve been slapped on the wrist, not kicked in the liver. So why the uproar? Why the feeling of betrayal? And just who exactly is the professional left?
The term “professional left” denotes a growing industry that specializes in converting other people’s money into an ideological product, while making a good living out of it in the process.
It would seem that Robert Gibbs broke the first rule of the professional left, which is (of course): you do not talk about the professional left. The second rule? See the first rule. Now that Gibbs has recklessly uttered the monster’s true name, the professional left has collectively risen from the murky depth, roaring and raving, demanding a ritualistic sacrifice in the form of the press secretary’s political corpse.
The term “professional left” hasn’t been in open circulation before, but it deserves to stick. The casual way in which Gibbs dropped the phrase suggests that it is part of the inner circle’s jargon, and that the White House residents are fully aware of its meaning, function, and implication. There is a class of people with radical leftist views who have made it their job — with the help of abundant grants, foundations, and trusts — to carry out propaganda campaigns, indoctrinate, subvert, and plant the seeds of the leftist worldview in people’s minds through the arts, media, education, blogging, and street protests. For many it’s the only income they’ve had in years. As with most professional enthusiasts, after a while the pre-paid idealism gives way to cynicism, and the quest for truth turns into a mechanical repetition of talking points.
In today’s busted economy, the professional left remains the only booming sector. It has grown so big, it’s time they unionized — which may be a good thing, for it will definitely reduce their productivity and make them go bust, just like the auto industry. That’s when the American economy may finally start booming again, since there definitely is a reverse correlation between the two. But then, I’m afraid, the cycle will repeat, because the professional left tend to multiply faster in a booming economy with plenty of trickle-down opportunities. When a tide lifts all boats, it also lifts flotsam and jetsam.
Observe how many professional left organizations spawned in the years of Bush’s presidency, when tax cuts ushered in economic prosperity. Immediately, they started working on bringing the economy down. The most prolific hatching, of course, occurred in the wake of the hate-Bush political flotilla.
These creatures always give themselves benevolent, kind names. Common Dreams, for example, hatched in the good year of 1997, when the Republican majority in Congress was steering the country into prosperity. Among other things, the name “Common Dreams” adequately describes the professional left’s collective ambition to attach themselves to a “progressive” think tank, with the feeding tube connected directly to the deep pocket of George Soros or his equivalent.
In contrast, there’s no such class of people on the right. Those employed in the several right-leaning think tanks are too few to make up a class, or even a guild. The same applies to a handful of magazines and newspapers, one Fox News channel, and a few dozen local and national radio talk show hosts.
They are not living off public subsidies, leeching off charities, or smuggling in a fringe ideology wrapped in a mainstream format, which is what the professional left does. Unlike their ideological opponents, these people openly state their beliefs, make a living through legitimate advertising, and run honest, sustainable businesses. They may be a force, but there aren’t enough of them to fill a large auditorium.
As of this writing, the professional left is desperately trying to coin the term “professional right,” and to use it as broadly and as often as they can to counterbalance Gibbs’ statement. Notice how unanimously they are repeating it now, pretending it had always existed and wasn’t made up by them just a few days ago for damage control.
But in real life, no intellectually honest person can talk about a “professional right” with a straight face. If such a term existed, it would most likely refer to those who earn a living in the private sector, own businesses, and are indeed professionals.
I’m not talking about official political parties and their operatives. Many of the activists on the right aren’t registered Republicans; even when they vote for the GOP candidates, they often do so holding their noses. What we have is the amateur right: a loose amalgamation of free-roaming conservatives and libertarians who engage in political activism in their spare time — and on their own dime.
The amateur right’s favorite pastime is listening to talk radio and fighting a battle of wits on political blogs and discussion forums. They are frequently accused of being corporate sellouts by their leftist opponents. A typical presumption is that no one would defend capitalist free markets unless they were paid to do so by a shady deep-pocketed entity. (That happened to me more than once and I’ve heard similar stories from others.) When the amateur right finally protested in the streets as tea partiers, the professional left and the Democrat leaders similarly accused them of being Astroturf laid down by insurance companies.
The accusations are telling. The astroturfing itself is a patented invention of the professional left — complete with union-sponsored buses full of uniformed “activists” with identical pre-printed signs. Many leftist bloggers are getting paid for building up the visibility of their causes on the Internet. Assigning these traits to the amateur right appears to be a projection, shaped by a narrative that measures success in dollars received from grants, charities, government funding, and salaries within the ranks of the professional left.
Even the wildly popular Tea Party Express must run its own independent fundraising to maintain the buses and the small staff of operatives. No money for them will be coming anytime soon from charitable foundations, whose fortunes were made through capitalist enterprise but whose programs invariably benefit opponents of capitalism.
Remember John Lennon’s Imagine? As a mental exercise, try playing it in your head while imagining the Ford, Gates, Kellogg, or Rockefeller Foundations, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the rest of the usual NPR contributors giving money to cultivate the ideals of capitalism, individualism, and republicanism — or to promote the virtues of free enterprise and private property in poor urban areas. All you’ll get is a headache and a bad case of cognitive dissonance. Tea parties need not apply. The charitable cup of tea tilts leftward by design.
If you feed birds in your driveway, your house and your car will soon be covered with droppings. Our current president and press secretary have learned this the hard way.
Obama’s entire career has been about organizing, sustaining, and advancing the professional left and their operations. One such undertaking involved the processing of $50 million given by the conservative Annenberg Foundation to reform Chicago public schools from 1995 to 2001. In this Obama was assisted by Bill Ayers, the former Marxist terrorist turned professor, who develops and teaches the methodology of advancing leftist dogmas in the classroom. If you think Obama and Ayers designed a reform to improve test scores, think again: the academic performance remained as poor as it ever was. But guess what? The ideological indoctrination of students skyrocketed, along with the numbers of public school teachers turned into professional left operatives. Mission accomplished — conservative money was successfully converted into leftist ideology.
The abuse of the Annenberg Challenge wasn’t the only example of conservative funding being hijacked by the professional left and used to destroy conservatism. It’s how the professional left make a living. Converting other people’s money into hot air is their raison d’être; everything else is a side effect.
It would be half as bad if they only processed the money given to them voluntarily. But the professional left has learned how to extract money designated for non-political purposes, and developed a variety of techniques that allow them to leech off society through government grants and endowments, union dues, and even church donations.
From 1994 to 2009, ACORN received at least $53 million in federal funding, of which they stole five million for themselves, and converted the rest into radical left-wing action to subvert America’s political institutions.
Obama once worked with ACORN as a community organizer, processing other people’s money into ideology, and later as a lawyer, defending their right to such activities. In the first year of Obama’s presidency, ACORN was poised to receive up to $8.5 billion more tax dollars through the stimulus bill, despite being under investigation for voter registration fraud in a dozen states. That same year, their “common dreams” were shattered when Congress finally withheld their funding. However, what tipped the scale was not the fact that ACORN was a home of professional subversives, but an unrelated scandal that was hardly ideological in nature and involved underage prostitution.
The professional left’s appetites go far beyond government coffers. Even after you’ve paid your taxes and saved some cash for personal spending, part of it will still be sucked into the professional left’s omnipresent and hyperactive proboscis through movie tickets, cable and newspaper subscriptions, college, and other tuition fees. You can roughly measure how much by the amount of ideological hot air coming from the screens, news columns, and your school curricula.
Every time you buy a corporate product or service — a computer from Hewlett Packard, a cell phone from Verizon, cereal from Kellogg, jeans from Levi Strauss, cosmetics from Liz Claiborne, or medicines from Merck — you also feed the professional left. All of these, and most other big companies have donated to leftist groups and causes, as well as conducted “progressive” seminars with employees — paying professional left instructors. This money is included in the price of their products and services.
The same goes for your investments and saving deposits. JP Morgan, Chase, Wachovia, Bank of America, US Bank, Citibank, PNC Bank, Provident Bank, and others have been giving money — voluntarily or otherwise — to ACORN and other branches of the professional left’s ideological-industrial complex.
Guess who is best positioned today to appropriate billions of tax dollars in stimulus slush funds, and to process them into organic, locally made hot air? Even without ACORN there remains a well-trained, hungry army of looters and moochers collectively known as the professional left. No doubt each and every one of them has already been counted and added to the list of “three million jobs saved or created” by this administration. Their job description? To spend as much of your money as possible to strike at America’s foundations, demonize your values, indoctrinate your children, and destroy your way of life.
President Obama is proactively doing just that on a national scale, converting the American economy into a gigantic ball of ideologically sound hot air, while making a nice living for himself and for all those who assist him in that activity. If that does not describe him as the ultimate mover and shaker of the professional left, I don’t know what else does.
The professional left brought him up. They taught Obama everything he knows about politics, economy, culture, history, and international relations. Admittedly, most of his friends and associates in later life were also members of the professional left. Even when they were teaching in academia like Bill Ayers, preaching in church like Jeremiah Wright, or writing poetry books like Frank Marshall Davis, they still did the work of the professional left, since professional boundaries in those areas have long ago been severely and deliberately blurred.
Slowly but surely, the professional left’s complex has diversified and expanded its frontiers to include professional educators, filmmakers, entertainers, lawyers, writers, clergy, journalists, politicians, government workers, and now also members of the president’s cabinet and even the president himself. And given the proverbial revolving door in their membership, they can all move freely from one field to another without ever stepping outside the common hot air bubble, staying in touch with the others trough a common, members-only mailing list. One of such mailing lists, recently discovered and analyzed by the Daily Caller, was used by specialists in various sectors of the professional left to share thoughts on the many ways they can spend your money, shove their ideology down your throat, and bamboozle you into voting Obama into the White House.
To paraphrase Obama’s own words, instead of complaining about the professional left, his administration should be thanking them.
Remember the Fight Club movie where an anti-corporate rebel develops a split personality disorder? He starts a fight club only to realize in the final scene that all this time, he had been fighting himself. The poor man ends up strapped to a chair in a building his other self had rigged with explosives. That didn’t go well.
Now let’s add some historical perspective.
The term “professional left” existed in the early 20th century Russian empire as “professional revolutionaries.” The term described a large group of gainfully employed leftist activists whose full-time job was street agitation and community organizing. They also set up subversive networks, created and distributed propaganda, and sabotaged the existing political and economic system by any other means possible. To be sure, the system they were destroying wasn’t perfect, but the one they created was much, much worse.
After the 1917 takeover, these people carried the title of “professional revolutionaries” on their sleeves, proudly listing it as an entry in their official work record — a document they introduced especially to control the population by keeping track of who did what in the years of “dark capitalist exploitation.”
But when their dysfunctional state-run economy turned out to be a disaster, accusations went flying in all directions, not dissimilar to the verbal shots exchanged today between the opportunistic White House and the dogmatic professional left.
As the tensions among the ruling elites escalated, some professional revolutionaries turned into the executioners of other professional revolutionaries who refused to toe the Party line. First the Bolshevik revolutionaries rounded up all the Menshevik revolutionaries who held but a slightly different view on running the country. Then they came for the Trotskyites, who used to be the most ardent revolutionaries of them all. Trotsky fled, but they got him later in Mexico with an ice axe.
But even as the “enemies” had been liquidated, the economy still remained in shambles. That’s when the victors began to round up and shoot their own. The blame game and paranoia penetrated all levels of the Party, the government, and the society at large, culminating in massive repressions and show trials, almost entirely eliminating the professional revolutionaries as a class by the late 1930s. Unsurprisingly, those who survived were the most cynical and corrupt.
If you think this could only happen in Russia, look at all the other “people’s dictatorships” created and governed by the professional left around the world.
The moral of this history lesson is this: if given power, the professional left becomes a danger to society and themselves. Closing down their shop will not just save the country and the economy — it will also save these “professionals” from their own kind.
What’s the amateur right to do opposite the professional left?
While the iron is hot, put pressure on your representatives to pull the plug on every bit of federal and state funding that goes, directly or indirectly, to the professional left — and make a big deal out of it. Wasteful spending is bad; wasteful spending that feeds the professional left doubles the damage.
In peace time, every man is entitled to his own opinions and must be left to his own devices. Not so during a crisis, which requires a different set of rules. The professional left likes “a good crisis” because it gives them wartime powers without a war. But every stick has two ends. Today’s crisis was brought upon us by the actions of the professional left and it can’t be resolved by the same people who caused it. If it’s a crisis they want, it’s a crisis they’ll get, if of a different nature. Forget the peacetime thinking.
The least the amateur right can do is turn the term “professional left” into an insult and give it the widest circulation. Learn to identify, expose, and isolate the professional left. Ostracize and ridicule them. Disrupt their networks and cut off their finances. Deny them the moral high ground from which they preach and obtain public support.
Don’t compromise, and never forget that their morals are crooked, their honor is stolen, their motives are corrupt, their methods are criminal, and their goal is a disaster.