by Gail Jarvis
by Gail Jarvis
Top ten lists have been around long before David Letterman made them a staple of his television program. Although these lists usually tend to be oversimplified and rather subjective, they are a good tool for addressing certain issues. For example, to analyze the deterioration of American society, we could select the top ten organizations (other than government bodies) that bear the major responsibility for this deterioration. Each of our lists would be slightly different but I suspect there would be substantial agreement among them. Here, in alphabetical order, is my top ten list of the nation's most detrimental organizations.
- ADA (Americans for Democratic Action)
- Emily's List (Network for Progressive Democratic Pro-choice Women)
- GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)
- NEA (National Education Association)
- NOW (National Organization for Women)
- People for the American Way
- Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
- SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center)
These groups claim to be doing good works such as promoting tolerance, equality and fair-play, exposing biased behavior and uplifting disadvantaged groups. And they certainly have convinced many of our legislators and most media outlets of their lofty intentions. In fact, when members of media have a question about a certain segment of society, they characteristically turn to one of these groups for an informed answer. Naturally the response they will get is one that best accommodates the group's agenda.
For example, if members of the media want to know how American women feel about an issue, they will ask NOW. Likewise, the NAACP is considered by media to be the voice of blacks. However, the vast majority of American women do not share the beliefs held by NOW and the NAACP no longer represents the preponderance of black citizens. But I suspect the national media know this but still prefer the responses they get from these select groups because it is the one the media want to hear.
Many of the claims made by these groups are either unintentionally or deliberately false. Monetary gain for individual members is in many cases their real goal, disguised by high-sounding rhetoric. In fact, two of these organizations — Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and Morris Dee's Southern Poverty Law Center — were created for the purpose of enriching the founders and their cohorts. Rev. Jackson has amassed a fortune for himself and his family with his racial shakedowns of large corporations. And many corporations now consider these "payoffs" a cost of doing business; such costs being passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
Morris Dees has also made millions with the Southern Poverty Law Center's exposure of "hate groups." It seems that once Dees founded his organization, hate groups began popping up all around the nation. Newspapers frequently interview SPLC members to learn about the latest hate groups and National Public Radio regards SPLC claims as unimpeachable. Of course, it has never occurred to these editors and broadcasters to ask what criteria SPLC uses to determine what constitutes a hate group.
A close scrutiny of this top ten list reveals that the consequences of their actions and demands are more harmful than helpful. The harm they are causing is exacerbated by ill-advised government regulations often hastily enacted as a response to unverified complaints from groups like these. Incredibly, most of these groups are exempt from paying income taxes even though they are violating the rules regarding non-profit organizations; i.e., engaging in political activities. In tax matters, the IRS subjects these groups to a relaxed standard and the rest of us to a rigid standard.
Because of groups like these, important traditions are being sacrificed under the pretext of tolerance, fair-play, equality and equity. These righteous sounding terms are employed by these groups to thwart criticism. If we object to any of their "noble" endeavors or even raise questions regarding the authenticity of grievances; the methodology for redressing them, and the unintended consequences of such methodology, we are accused of attacking a specific class, gender, race or ethnic group.
Another reason why these groups have been so successful in trashing America's traditions is because more than half of today's population was born after 1965. Consequently, the bulk of our population entered a culture when everything was being turned upside-down in the name of tolerance and equality; a culture where select groups have more power than society at large. The dubious egalitarian philosophy spouted by these groups has, after a lifetime of indoctrination, been internalized by this new generation to the point that they regard America prior to the 1960s as a dark, sinister place. In fact, the words "dark period" or "dark time" are often used by them to describe the pre-1960s.
Any opposition to this post-1960 mindset is considered to be a sign of intolerance. But it is not intolerant to make distinctions. And once a society ceases to make distinctions, reasonable distinctions, between what contributes to and what detracts from its general welfare, it begins to wither away. Many, including myself, believe that this withering away process is well under way.
Quite frankly, there is entirely too much tolerance in our society. A certain amount of tolerance indicates virtue but excessive tolerance is a sign of ethical sloth. Today, school children as well as adults, are being encouraged, almost pressured, into being uncritically tolerant. In fact, tolerance is so widespread that behaviors that have the potential to unravel the fabric of our society are being condoned, even celebrated
As long as the nation's leaders and opinion makers are more concerned about the interests of noisy grievance groups rather than society at large, the downward spiral of our nation will continue. It doesn't matter which major political party is in the White House. Politicians aren't concerned about the rest of us. We are simply "fly-over" people. And, at this point, I don't think anything short of a revolution could get their attention.
March 23, 2004
Gail Jarvis [send him mail], a CPA living in Beaufort, SC, is an advocate of the voluntary union of states established by the founders.
Copyright © 2004 LewRockwell.com