Democratic Activists Harassed by Republican Lunatics
Populist Democratic activists are routinely being harassed by the lunatic fringe of the Republican Right and fanatics from the anti-Democratic Left. Lately, it seems increasingly likely that some of those on the Internet harassing Populist Democratic activists are actually supporters of the Republican Right pretending to be from the anti-Democratic Left.
The idea seems to be to make political activism personally unpleasant and nasty. The Republican Right has routinely acted in this manner to keep voters from the polls. New activists and writers are often discouraged by these tactics. Many veterans of Democratic Internet activism are encouraged. I certainly am emboldened and delighted by the harassment. It means I am being effective and the opposition would like to silence me.
When I first started writing the Democratic Voices column and airing Democratic Talk Radio ( http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com ), the Republican Right lunatic fringe tried to harass us out of business with a tidal wave, frontal assault of insults, venom, profanities, obscenities, occasional death threats, anthrax hoax letters, etc. Once I wrote about how delighted these Republican attacks made me, they slowed to a mere trickle.
We restricted open posting on the Democratic message board and screened-out those members of the lunatic fringe Republicans engaging in the tactics mentioned. The message board was always meant to be a place for Democratic activists to exchange ideas, opinions and information and not a place for debate between activists of different Parties. There are plenty of places for that kind of dialogue other than my site. Our mission statement always made the purpose of the message board clear.
Since only Democratic activists were meant to use the site, Democratic Talk Radio instituted a screening process to keep disrupters from posting disinformation, profanity and insults on our site. We found that Republicans from the lunatic fringe had no problem lying to gain temporary access. They falsely claimed to be Democratic activists, thereby stealing use of private property against the wishes of the owner. So much for respect of property rights by the lunatic fringe of the Republican Right.
A few of them were successful at infiltration for a few months and created a degree of havoc. For many years, the Republican disrupters have pretended to be Libertarians while actually making statements taking positions that are Republican talking points and completely in opposition of real Libertarian ideology. They claimed to be Independents as often as they claimed to be Libertarians. The claims were equally false.
The verbal venom usually gives the imposters away. They have a strong tendency to revert to name-calling and intentional distortion of verbal statements or writings by Democrats. They frequently switch topics when supposedly commenting on topics or articles on various websites just to launch unrelated attacks on things Democratic. Readers should be wary of the motives of anti-Democratic critics using these tactics. They may be agents of the Republican Right.
Infiltration by the Republican Right of opposition groups goes back at least to the Nixon era. The current Republican Right is still closely wedded to the corrupt political tactics of the Nixon era. The 2000 Republican Presidential Primary in South Carolina saw the Bush Republicans absolutely smear their opponent, John McCain. Karl Rove used and is using Nixonian tactics everyday while running the political operations of the Bush White House.
The Scooter Libby trial has shown that dirty politics in Republican Party reaches the very top. We all understand that Tom Delay is not outside the mainstream of Republican politics. Bush and Cheney lied to the American public in order to get us into a disastrous war in Iraq, undermine the Constitutional Separation of Church and State, tilt the tax code heavily in favor of the wealthiest of the wealthy, etc. The Republican Right has a very serious political ethics problem. Honesty is not their strong point. Dirty politics is!
It is not surprising to find them now pretending to be supporters of the anti-Democratic Left. Besides making political involvement nasty, they appear to be trying to divide the opposition to Republican Right policies. The only viable electoral opposition to the Republican Right is the populist base of the Democratic Party.
Frankly, I have very good relations with many real Populists, Libertarians and Greens. We often agree on issues and work together to promote specific positions or policies. Democratic populists have a great deal in common with many third party supporters. In time, many of these third party supporters will find it comfortable to become either Democrats or Democratic-leaning Independents if populism in Democratic circles continue to grow..
Populist Democrats do often struggle against “Republican-lite” elements inside our Party. I believe that the populist Democratic approach now dominates in Democratic circles. The populist control is increasing in strength day by day in community after community. Certainly, Howard Dean, as the national leader of the Democratic Party, is a great example of the rising national ascendancy of Democratic populism.