Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, July 24, 2022
Shavuah Tov,

The Enemy at Our Gates – Goodbye, America? (Part 2)
by Dr. Raymond Finney

WHO ARE ENEMIES AT AMERICA’S GATES? I repeat a quotation from last Sunday’s RR, which forms the title of this RR: “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.” Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman (106 BC – 43 BC)

The United States has many enemies. Some enemies (China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Islamic nations, etc.) are foreign enemies (enemies outside of our national gate). Some enemies are American citizens (enemies inside our gate). Domestic enemies are far more dangerous, because they are harder to identify.

America has so many domestic enemies that I cannot discuss all of them. You may not agree, but I identify two groups I consider to be United States’ enemies– Communists (see last week’s RR) and Socialists (this week’s RR). These ideologues promote their ideas with religious fervor. They share a common strategy– the United States must collapse in order that their ideology can rise and become the nucleus of a new nation. Anyone working to collapse the United States is an enemy– a revolutionary enemy– of our nation. In a constitutional republic, it would be proper that the people should vote, through their elected representatives, to dissolve the United States and create a different type of nation. Such efforts would be a protracted legal process, including writing a new constitution, not merely winning an election or two.

COMMUNISM VERSUS SOCIALISM: Last Sunday, I wrote about long-standing goals of the American Communist Party to replace the United States’ Constitutional Republic system of government with Communism. Today, I write about other strategies that Socialists would use to alter the course of this nation.

SIDELIGHT: Never make the mistake of calling the United States’ system of government a “Democracy.” Never has the U.S.A. been a Democracy. It is a Constitutional Republic. From the beginning, this feature was recognized. Although the exact wording is controversial, it is said that a Mrs. Elizabeth Willing Powel, the wife of Philadelphia Mayor Samuel Powel, encountered Benjamin Franklin outside of Independence Hall (Philadelphia) after the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Mrs. Powel (or someone in the crowd?)  asked Franklin, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin quickly answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Note Franklin’s warning: “If you can keep it!” I suggest we are on the verge of not keeping (that is, losing) our republic.

A little earlier, as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Franklin expressed concerns about the future of the fledgling United States. On the last day of the Convention, Franklin referred to a chair used by the Convention president, George Washington. The chair back was decorated with a carved sun. This carving troubled Franklin. Was the sun rising or setting on the new nation? He remarked, “I have often… in the course of the session… looked at that sun behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now at length I have the happiness to know it is a rising and not a setting sun.” (See this sun carved into the back of the chair at: Washington’s Sun Chair (ushistory.org) ). Would Franklin, if he were alive in 2022, interpret the sun as rising or setting on present-day America? END sidelight.

Although political scientists may distinguish the two political philosophies, I am too dumb to distinguish Communism and Socialism with certainty, and I know I am too dumb to discuss the difference between the two that would teach anyone else the difference.

Both systems arose during the Industrial Revolution, a harsh time when, admittedly, the working masses were exploited by the rich and powerful.

Although the two political philosophies are “first cousins,” the main difference, at least in theory, is: under Communism, most property and economic resources are owned and controlled by the state (rather than individual citizens); under Socialism, all citizens share equally in economic resources, as allocated by a democratically-elected government. The two ideologies are compared and contrasted in: The Differences Between Communism and Socialism (thoughtco.com) .

CAN AMERICA FALL? I do not have space in this RR to record Scriptures suggesting the dire possibility of America’s fall. I will discuss this topic in a future RR. I can envision several scenarios how such a fall can occur, and you probably can, too, if you think about where America is in history and how we Americans are failing God. Godless politicians and bureaucrats control America and America’s destiny. This lack of national leadership is to be blamed partly on far too many feckless leaders and congregants in the Body of Messiah, who refuse to step up and infuse Godly principles into the lives of Americans.

If you ponder the possibility of America’s fall, consider at least one Scripture (Daniel 2:21b): [Daniel said] “… [God] removes kings and installs kings….” God decides who will or will not be America’s president and other leaders. Regardless of your view of Biden, Harris, and others, God placed them in their positions for a reason. Before the Democrats rejoice and the Republicans despair, understand that throughout history God has chosen leaders for reasons that fit into His master plan. A good leader may be chosen as a blessing for a people. A bad leader may be chosen as a judgment (curse) for a people. You decide. Is Joe Biden a blessing or a curse for America?

THE CLOWARD-PIVEN STRATEGY: The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by two American sociologists and political activists, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Cloward and Piven were husband and wife and were professors at the Columbia University School of Social Work.

Cloward and Piven argued that Capitalism should be destroyed. The Cloward-Piven strategy was economic sabotage of the United States, proposed as an efficient method of collapsing America’s Capitalism. The goal of such collapse would be the establishment of a utopian system of Socialism. The idea is more important than actual results. See: https://federalistpapers.org/us/is-the-cloward-piven-strategy-being-used-to-destroy-america .

Cloward and Piven argued that many Americans, eligible for welfare, were not receiving welfare benefits. A welfare enrollment drive would strain local budgets, precipitating a crisis at the state and local levels, which would be a wake-up call for the federal government, particularly the Democratic Party. Additional  consequences of this strategy– a collapsed welfare state– would include:

● Easing the plight of the poor in the short-term, through their participation in the welfare system;

● Shoring up support for the national Democratic Party, which was at that time  splintered by conflicting interests (although the Democratic Party controlled the White House and both houses of Congress), through its cultivation of poor and minority constituencies by implementing a national “solution” to poverty; and

● Relieving local governments of the financially and politically onerous burdens of public welfare (through a national “solution” to poverty).

It was hoped the Cloward-Piven Strategy would collapse America’s financial system, resulting in financial-economic chaos. Cloward and Piven argued: if a crisis does not spontaneously exist at the beginning, create a crisis. The more chaos the better. At all times, the solution must be couched in such empathetic words as “fair,” “equal,” “humane,” and “just.” Who can fault anyone wanting to help poor people, by taking from greedy rich people?

When the capitalistic economy collapses, the new socialistic economy can rise from its ashes like the mythological phoenix. The phoenix was a mythical bird with fiery plumage that lived up to a century. Near the end of its life, the phoenix  settled in to its nest of twigs, which burned ferociously, reducing bird and nest to ashes. From those ashes, a fledgling phoenix arose– renewed and reborn for is next life. Cloward and Piven saw the “old phoenix” (Capitalism) burnt to ashes, and the “new phoenix” (Socialism) born in America.

Cloward and Piven’s 1966 article, which first appeared in the liberal publication The Nation, has been reprinted in Common Dreams at: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2010/03/24/weight-poor-strategy-end-poverty .

ALINSKY’S PLAN TO TRANSFORM AMERICA INTO A SOCIALIST SOCIETY: Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) was an American community activist and political theorist. Alinsky was a poster child for left-wing ideas. Barack Obama quoted Alinsky frequently, and Hillary Clinton based her college thesis on Alinsky.

In 1971, Alinsky authored Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer. In this influential book, Alinsky argued twelve points:

● “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from two sources– money and people, which is in abundance for the “haves,” whereas the “have-nots” must achieve power from flesh and blood.

● “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” To do so results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure strengthens the backbone of anyone.

● “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty in the enemy.

● “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” For example: If a rule of the enemy is that every letter receives a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can “kill” the enemy with this because no one can possibly obey all of its own rules.

● “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It is irrational. It is infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

● “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They will keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They are doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

● “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Do not become old news.

● “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the enemy off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit him from the flank with something new. Attack, attack, attack from all sides.

● “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.

● “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.

● “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you are caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.)

● “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

Putting these strategies together, Alinsky offered an eight-point plan to transform the United States into a Socialist state. QUESTION:  How close are we Americans evolving into a socialist state?:

Healthcare: “Control healthcare and you control the people.”

Poverty: “Increase the poverty level as high as possible.” Poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if the government is providing everything for them to live.

Debt: “Increase the National Debt to an unsustainable level.” That way you are must eventually increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty (see preceding goal).

Gun Control: “Remove the ability of the people to defend themselves, thereby paving the way to create a Police State.”

Welfare: “Take control of the peoples’ lives (food, livestock, housing, income, etc.).”

Education: “Take control of what people read and listen to; take control of what children learn in school.”

Religion: “Remove faith in God from the government and schools.”

Class Warfare: “Divide the people into the wealthy against the poor. Racially divide. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to tax the wealthy with full support of the voting poor.”

America is adopting socialistic schemes, and America could be only one or two elections away from complete Socialism. Many Americans claim they want a European-style of Socialism. If a Socialist is asked, “Can you name one country in which Socialism has truly succeeded?” Crickets. Hint: This ideology, fully incorporated, has always failed. America was built on efforts to succeed by individuals, not efforts to succeed by the government.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher quipped: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” The United States, busying itself with doling out huge sums of money, will some day run out our line of credit with China. What happens when China and other creditor nations demand repayment (or even start refusing to make more loans)? The American dollar is fiat money– legal tender authorized by government but not based on or convertible into gold or silver. If you want to feel depressed, watch America’s debt– America’s admitted debt– grow at: https://usdebtclock.org .

A LONG-RECOGNIZED DANGER: Alexander Fraser Tytler (Scottish judge, historian, 1747-1813) commented on the short life spans of democracies. (Permit me to call the United States a “democracy” for sake of this portion of the RR.) Tytler observed: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;►
From spiritual faith to great courage; ►
From courage to liberty; ►
From liberty to abundance; ►
From abundance to selfishness; ►
From selfishness to apathy; ►
From apathy to dependence; ►
From dependence back into bondage.”

Does this sound like the progression of any nation you know?

CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS (CPC): The CPC, founded in 1991, is affiliated with the Democratic Party and is regarded as the most extreme, left-leaning faction of that Party. Some CPC goals may be found at:

https://weareprogressives.org .

This caucus has one senatorial member– Bernie Sanders (Independent, Vermont) – and approximately one-hundred House members. See list of members at List of members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus – Wikipedia . Tennessee has one CPC member– Steve Cohen (Democrat, Memphis). I know Steve very well, and I am not surprised in the least.

This caucus is firmly entrenched in the Congress and has many allies in the liberal news media. In March of 2022, the CPC issued to President Biden  demands for fifty-five (55) executive orders because “working people can’t wait” (see: Progressives Hand Biden List of 55 Executive Actions Because ‘Working People Can’t Wait’ (commondreams.org) ). I am sure that mid-term elections coming in November, with forecast of a “red tsunami,” has no bearing on these demands.

WAS YESHUA A SOCIALIST? Some have called Yeshua a Socialist, even though the political ideology of Socialism was unknown in the first century. I had planned to discuss this question, but I do not have enough space. I refer you to several opinions posted in the Internet: Was Jesus a Socialist at DuckDuckGo .

Yeshua came to teach us about God the Father and to become the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He did not come to advocate any economic theory. In fact, He was itinerant and impoverished (Matthew 8:19-20): Then a Torah scholar came to [Yeshua] and said, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Yeshua tells him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

ARE THINGS QUIETING DOWN A LITTLE? We do not hear as many Communist or Socialist pronouncements now as in the past. Does this mean that there is loss of interest in these political ideologies? No. I believe it means that our enemies are becoming more circumspect in their goals and plans. There is so much communication through the Internet that anti-American messages must now be more carefully managed.

WHERE IS GOD IN THESE STRATEGIES? In the sample alternative plans I mentioned, a common goal is to eliminate worship of God. Two examples (direct quotes) are:

American Communist Party goals: “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with ‘social’ religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a ‘religious crutch.’” AND “Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of ‘separation of church and state.’”

Alinsky: “Remove faith in God from the government and schools.”

A major hotbed for anti-American thought is in this nation’s universities and colleges. Among many sites, see: The Anti-American Universities Are a Much Greater Threat to Us than Putin and China – PaulCraigRoberts.org . Christian students face extreme discrimination in many colleges and universities. Among many sites, see: Exposed: Christian Students Rejected, Failed, and Expelled for their Faith by State Colleges and Universities | American Center for Law and Justice (aclj.org) . The Bible has warned that we Believers will face extreme harassment, persecution, and martyrdom in the last days.

We are losing the principles of faith upon which our country was built. For example, John Adams– strong Founding Father and second president of the United States– observed: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” It is no wonder that the American people are so ignorant of and disrespectful for the rule of law under the Constitution. Building on Adams’ observation, the more immoral and irreligious Americans become, the less they see any need to apply the Constitution to our lives.

We see this in recent news almost daily. Since the Supreme Court’s issuance of the Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization in 2022, which overturned the 1973, deeply flawed Roe vs Wade decision (1973), protests against the U.S. Supreme Court collectively and some of the justices individually have been strident and destructive. Some Justices have been harassed in their homes.  A plot to kill Justice Kavanaugh was foiled. Crisis pregnancy centers throughout the nation have been attacked and damaged. Shamefully, national leaders at the highest level have encouraged such demonstrations and attacks.

I say “shamefully” because in our coequal, tripartite system of government, we have two Branches (Executive and Legislative) which are political and are subject to PEACEFUL demonstration under the First Amendment. The third Branch (Judicial) is intended to be apolitical. For this reason, justices and judges do not stand for election or re-election and have lifetime appointments (at least at the federal level).

I frequently dislike Supreme Court decisions, but I accept them without demonstrating against the Court. I disliked the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg– a left-wing rubber stamp, in my opinion– but I never entertained the though of assassinating her.

A true American should accept Supreme Court decisions, regardless of outcome, as the way our government works. Checks and balances are present to correct any Court error, such as, impeachment of a justice or judge, legislative correction of any bad decision (codification into law of desirable features overturned by the Court, etc.). For the president or any member of Congress to encourage demonstration against any Justice is shameful. In my opinion, the politician encouraging the demonstration should be impeached (which will not happen, of course). The First Amendment has limitations– including commonsense limitations to demonstrate peacefully only against the two political Branches of government, but not the third, apolitical Branch.

TO BE CONTINUED: I have only superficially covered this topic. Since I have overstayed my welcome today, I must close. I will continue this topic in the future. There is no Scriptural guarantee that a headstrong, rebellious, sinful America will continue to exist. America may hear, as Belshazzar was alarmed to read God’s handwritten message (Daniel 5:25-28): “Now this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL UPARSIN. This is the interpretation of the inscription: MENE: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. PERES: Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” Until next Sunday, Shalom and Maranatha.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sun 24-Jul-2022 25th of Tamuz, 5782
Nu 30:2-31:12 Eze 23 Ne 10 (Lk 18) Col 2