Behind the ‘Democracy Initiative’

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


To order David Horowitz’s and Jacob Laksin’s, The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money-Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America’s Future, click here.

When is a conspiracy, not a conspiracy?

Like the answer to Sir John Harington’s famous epigram, “Treason doth never prosper,” a conspiracy isn’t a conspiracy when it has proven to be successful. Then it’s no longer conspiracy; it’s authority.

The now mostly-digital pages of the New York Times, Time, Newsweek and the Washington Post regularly host exposés of the latest outbreak of the vast right-wing conspiracy. A conspiracy against whom? Against the authority of the left.

When the left conspires together, it can hardly get the media to cover the event, for the same reason that few reporters really like to sit through government meetings. There is no reason to report on a conspiracy by those who are already running things, especially when the writers are on their side.

The left has done its best to get its new Democracy Initiative covered with a splashy press release, masquerading as an investigative report, in Mother Jones magazine. But the only ones who showed any interest in mentioning it were the two Ed’s; a blogger for MSNBC’s looniest talk show host (it’s quite a competition) Ed Schultz and Ed Kilgore of the Washington Monthly.

Like most things that the left does with the word “democracy” in the title, the Democracy Initiative is not democratic. Not unless you consider the leaders of a small number of powerful organizations conspiring to subvert democracy to be democratic. But unlike the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, there is at least one accurate word in its name; it is an initiative.

The Democracy Initiative was assembled by the heads of Greenpeace, the NAACP, the Sierra Club and the Communication Workers of America; groups that have little in common aside from serving as tentacles of the left. As in the unforgettable conclusion to Animal Farm, meetings such as these allow the bosses to take a break from the pretense that they represent a separate constituency or cause, and kick back as members of the same movement with the same agenda. And the agenda isn’t really the environment or women’s rights or workers’ rights; it’s power.

The Democracy Initiative assembles a grab bag of the left’s biggest and richest front groups, tying together environmental, feminist, ethnic and union groups in a shotgun marriage, with the shotgun pointed in the direction of the American people. Some groups have the membership, whether it is of the forced kind (AFL-CIO) or the imaginary kind (NAACP), while others, like the Center for American Progress, a George Soros joint, have the piles of cash.

Their plan is to get the money out of politics. Not their money, naturally, but other people’s money, by harnessing their own money, harvested forcibly through compulsory unionization or from suckers who think that they’re funding the environment or women’s rights, and from the corrupt  billionaires behind groups such as the Center for American Progress, for maximum political influence.

Every time liberal bigwigs talk about getting the money out of politics, it’s as if a gang of whiskey barons were talking about outlawing liquor, while getting blind drunk around the table with friendly lawmakers.  The agenda for an initiative of organizations funded by billionaires includes challenging the political spending of a millionaire in North Carolina. It’s exactly like David and Goliath, if Goliath were a liberal.

Matthew Continetti, at Free Beacon, has noted that the total revenues of the groups participating in the Democracy Initiative comes out to 1.69 billion dollars. By comparison, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a leading target of the Democracy Initiative, weighs in at around 6 million dollars in revenues. There could hardly be a clearer picture of a conservative David and a liberal Goliath clamoring to take the slingshots and pebbles out of politics.

The pesky conservative David is writing bills for horrible things like school choice and Voter ID. Choice is fine when it means the choice to kill kids, just not when it means the choice of how to educate the kids who haven’t been killed. And once the Voter ID gates come down, the initiative can put the full organizing power of the left to use by maximizing the voting power of the voting dead, who like most of the NAACP’s membership, don’t actually exist.

Then of course there is the filibuster. You can’t possibly have democracy without trashing the democratic system when it’s to your advantage. Liberals were willing to fight to the death for the filibuster back before they took the Senate. Now that they have the Senate, the filibuster is one of those things that need to be done away with… like the millionaires who stand in the way of their billionaires.

The filibuster, like money in politics, and like any other angle of the left, is not an absolute but a variable, a token to be traded in for power. It’s good when it serves the interests of the left and bad when it stops them from doing what they want.

To the left every single institution and rule, from executive authority to judicial review, vary according to their usefulness to them at any given moment. That is why the left rejects a formal Constitution and instead prefers a Living Constitution that can be adapted to its agenda in new and contradictory ways at any given time.

The Democracy Initiative, another democratic movement of liberal billionaires and their NGO errand boys, is out to reshape American government in ways that fit their agenda right now. Their network of organizations can come apart and come together again like a cluster of cells, a living metaphor for the ethical flexibility of the entire movement, which has no permanence aside from reshaping itself constantly to accommodate its long term agendas.

The left is a lie that it tells itself. It is a populist democratic movement of billionaires that wants to restore ethics to politics by breaking all the rules and raising billions to end the influence of big money on politics. It is a conspiracy of secretive organizations with hidden donors to fight the influence of secretive organizations with hidden donors on politics.

It is a righteous alliance of the wealthiest men in the country seeking to break the influence of less wealthy men. Mostly though it’s the left doing what it has always done: building networks of influence, recruiting dupes and fellow travelers, and preparing for a revolution that will deprive everyone, but them, of everything, including democracy.

That is the eternal initiative of the left. It is the only one that counts.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Yes, it is a conspiracy and not a theory. It is an actual plan! They are the money makers behind the revolutionary Dems.
    So, while they pour millions and billions behind deconstructing America, the Dems are busy elsewhere, but in parallel – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/01/07/fiddling-with

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Fred Glass

    Don't the last 2 paragraphs describe a fascist state rather than a socialist one?

    • PAthena

      Fascism is national socialism. Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist party in World War I, as a nationalist socialist party. He was a leader of the Italian Socialist Party, editor of the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti. Italian socialists maintained the Marxist line that wars were between capitalist countries. Mussolini adhered to this view until 1917 (I believe), but then joined the Italian army, I believe, and founded the nationalist Socialist party to support the war.

  • Gylippus

    Nicely put Daniel. I'm beginning to wonder if politics alone can salvage things. Yes we can expose the Left's demented rampage through society, but until we start confronting them in large numbers in the streets, armed if necessary – how can we rid ourselves of this disease? (Note: I'm not calling for this, I just starting to wonder if it is inevitable).

  • Spider

    Excellent Article Daniel – We thank you

  • http://www.clarespark.com clarespark

    I had not even heard of the Democracy Initiative before. But I have studied the ideological compadres of the groups and individuals mentioned in Greenfield's call to vigilance. For instance, George Soros helped fund some of the late Eric Hobsbawm's books, that spread the Leninist version of history. See http://clarespark.com/2012/12/22/my-oppositional-…. "My oppositional defiant disorder and Eric Hobsbawm."

  • Winston

    In President Lincoln's day the Americans faced a civil war based on the core issue of "slavery". Isn't it ironic and mornonic that the same groups against slavery then, are now making slaves of the American people under this Statist/Collectivist/Communist/Socialist government? Is that where we are heading folks – another civil war between the unions, gays, entertainers, environmentalists, reverse racists, anti-Christians, ant-Constitution, et al = against those who truly love America, cherish Constitutional protections, national sovereignty, et al?

  • Tina Trent

    A few days ago, I sat in on a coalition of Tea Party and 9/12 groups to observe their organizing efforts. There were 40 people in the room representing about a dozen different local membership groups — real membership groups. A few people from big nationals were there too, invited and participating.

    Not controlling.

    The meeting started with an exercise designed to explored shared ethics guiding the selection of future candidates for local offices. The people in the room were both libertarian and religiously conservative, and such exercises help clarify common ground.

    The exercise was run by a recent Democratic political candidate who spoke articulately and forcefully about how much he had learned through being open to collaboration with the Tea Party. He talked about wanting to see more such collaboration. He was joined by a Hispanic immigrant who had been raised in a communist country. We talked about the values desirable in candidates. We talked about political vocabulary — about not being intimidated or angered by media attacks, and about making our ideas heard by people who have been barraged with negative images of the movement. A young black man, another recent candidate, was working on a charter school. There are always retired educators at these meetings, too. Retired social workers and lots of business people and community volunteers. Few professional activist types, almost never a lobbyist. I came away very impressed.

    I used to work in Leftist coalitions. The people sitting around those tables were ALL paid professional activists and lobbyists, some paid by nationals and a disconcerting number paid by the government — in other words, our tax dollars used to do leftist activism. There's a lot more money on the Left. And they certainly didn't have to worry about negative media attacks: the media is so deep in their pockets it's a wonder they don't have to be fished out of lint traps.

    This experience was night and day. Or rather, day and night.

    The Left has every reason in the world to be terrified of the Tea Party. Honesty, decency, independence, hard work and commitment to virtue will win out in the end. And even if it doesn't, these folks win anyway. They can hold their heads up no matter what is thrown at them by the jerks in the MSM and their masters on the Left.

    I have some serious criticism of the nationals on the Right. The Tea Party grassroots needs to own its own power and always carefully define their relationships with professional political groups. But the image being put out there in the media of a bunch of hayseeds being duped by plutocrats is so scathingly cynical, it represents a new low for the MSM.

    And a new low for those folks is really pretty impressive.

    • poest

      Beautifully expressed!

      • Tina Trent

        It was a relieving experience, after the misery of the past two months.

  • BLJ

    Screw the Left. A bunch of losers and ingrates.

  • Ghostwriter

    They sound like very nasty people.

  • Choi

    As Tina Trent posted:
    "I used to work in Leftist coalitions. The people sitting around those tables were ALL paid professional activists and lobbyists, some paid by nationals and a disconcerting number paid by the government — in other words, our tax dollars used to do leftist activism. There's a lot more money on the Left. And they certainly didn't have to worry about negative media attacks: the media is so deep in their pockets it's a wonder they don't have to be fished out of lint traps.

    This experience was night and day. Or rather, day and night. "

    This is EXACTLY how the LEFT operates.
    They keep their people in constant activities for THEIR " cause(s)" and they pay the higher ranking leadership , with grants of tax money thrown at them to pay salaries..
    Their ONLY object is to make the SOCIALIST "Constant Struggle" into what is now PERMANENT CAMPAIGNING.
    This is MACHINE PATRONAGE /POLITICS of the 21st Century.
    :

  • Choi

    "Your comment must be approved by the site admins before it will appear publicly."

    REALLY?

  • Fritz

    If one were to dig a little more into these groups one many find that as well as reaping things like union dues and donations from dupes who think they are supporting a meaningful cause, but many receive funds directly from the government through scamming grant programs.
    One of the organizations mentioned on the list, "Greenpeace" isn't even American or even Canadian, it's a foreign organization with it's head office in the Netherlands. Up until 15 years ago "Greenpeace" still had charitable status in Canada, until they were stripped of that status for engaging in too much partisan political activity, by law only 10% of their activities can be political and the majority of their activity must be in something that is actually charitable, like feeding the poor. Greenpeace is a scam, it's a for profit foreign corporation that skims money from each of its branch operations to send back to their head office and consequently it's directors.

  • b.11

    All you need to know about what Democrats think of democracy:

    they ignored the voice vote of their own members in order to reinsert God and Jerusalem into the party platform at their convention.

  • edgineer1

    Why call it the left? It is the Communist Party. And the Democratic Party is a subsidiary. Since McCarthy no journalist or politician has dared to call the left what it really is.

  • Marvin Fox

    When people begin fighting back against the manipulators of our Republic's fraudulent democracy instead of trying to save our Republic's nonexistent democracy, they will win the battle.
    The definition of our Republic is its Constitution; all other definitions are false or incomplete.
    Redefining our Republic as 'our democracy' is false, and becoming more ridiculous by the minute.
    Our constitution is our supreme system of laws. It is a crime to violate those laws.
    Marvin Fox

  • lbjack

    Wow, the Democracy initiative is a "conspiracy of Billionaires," because, um, George Soros may be involved? And Greenpeace, NAACP, the Sierra Club and OMG a union! All fronts for billionaires. It's a good thing we have such right-wing stalwarts as the Koch brothers, Richard Scaife, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump and…oh what's his name…Mitt Romney, to safeguard the interests of the rest of us.

    Dwight Eisenhower, the only GOP president other than Lincoln who was truly great and no doubt considered by today's GOP a RINO (which is why I didn't include another RINO Teddy Roosevelt), once said, "The Republican Party must be known as a progressive organization or it is sunk. I believe that so emphatically that I think that far from appeasing or reasoning with the dyed-in-the-wool reactionary fringe, we should completely ignore it and when necessary, repudiate it."

    That reactionary fringe, so in evidence here, has now become the GOP mainstream.

  • Aunt_Liz

    Okay – at the risk of sounding like an Eddie (or Edwina in my case) Haskell — Daniel – thanks for giving us, yet again, another excellent article. You've become one of my favorite writers and get posted to my Facebook page on a regular basis. I only wish I had more time to read more of your stuff. Which reminds me to head over to Sultan Knish. Keep up the great work. It truly is appreciated and most helpful.