Saturday, 14 April 2012

Rep. Allen West Says There Are Communists in Congress; Is He Right?

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Allen WestAt a town hall meeting in Palm City, Florida, on April 10, Tea Party favorite Representative Allen West (R-Fla.) informed the audience that there are Communists in Congress.

In response to the question “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card carrying Marxists, Internationalists, or Socialists?” West claimed that there are: “78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist party.”

When asked if they hide it, West responded, “No, they actually don’t hide it, it’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

Later, however, after the remarks were mentioned in an article in the Palm Beach Post, West’s campaign manager, Tim Edson, told a reporter for The Daily Caller that West “was making a jab at the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and not making an outlandish, McCarthyesque allegation.”

Reporting on a series of campaign stops in Martin County, Florida, the Palm Beach Post made only passing mention of West’s allegations of active Communists on Capitol Hill.

Regardless of the jeers directed at Representative West and the description of his statement as a “Red Scare,” there is more than a scintilla of suspicion that his comments may be correct. Let’s break down the conservative congressman’s remarks and review evidence of their accuracy.

First, are there any members of Congress who openly align themselves with the organized Communist Party?

Witness this story printed on the US Daily Review website:

Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business and Publisher of the US Daily Review actually covered an event of the Communist Party USA back in the 1980s and stated “there were actually several members of Congress at the event. A couple gave speeches and displayed their membership cards with pride. So hearing that there are members of the party in the Congress today doesn’t surprise me, but the number quoted by West is much more than any could expect.”

Next, is the notion that there may be Senators and Representatives who adhere to and work to achieve the implementation of the philosophy and policy aims of the Communist Party without having their names listed on any official roster?

In his answer to the question regarding the existence of Marxists and Socialists in the legislative branch of the federal government, Representative West identified the Congressional Progressive Caucus as a cell of Communists in Congress.

An important step in the analysis of West’s statement is to investigate this group.

According to their website:

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) consists of one United States Senator and seventy five members of the United States House of Representatives, and is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus. Established in 1991, the CPC reflects the diversity and strength of the American people and seeks to give voice to the needs and aspirations of all Americans and to build a more just and humane society.


Our Caucus members promote a strong, progressive agenda, what we call “The Progressive Promise--Fairness for All”.  The Progressive Promise is rooted in four core principles that embody national priorities and are consistent with the values, needs and aspirations of all the American people, not just the powerful and the privileged. They reflect a fundamental belief in government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

A more thorough explanation of the Progressive Promise is also included on the website. A few highlights from this agenda is included for the sake of comparison:

The Congressional Progressive Caucus believes in government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Our fairness plan is rooted in our core principles. It also embodies national priorities that are consistent with the values, needs, and hopes of all our people, not just the powerful and the privileged. We pledge our unwavering commitment to these legislative priorities and we will not rest until they become law.

"1. Fighting for Economic Justice and Security in the U.S. and Global Economies"

Included under this section is the “right to universal access to affordable, high quality healthcare for all.” The source for this “right” is not disclosed in the CPC declaration, nor does it set forth a mechanism for funding such an expensive scheme.

Also included in this section is the right to “live above the poverty line ... by raising and indexing the minimum wage.” Again, neither the source of this right nor the precise location of Constitutional authority to further it are left unidentified.

"2. Protecting and Preserving Civil Rights and Civil Liberties"

Under this section is included a commitment to “eliminating all forms of discrimination based upon color, race, religion, gender, creed, disability, or sexual orientation.” Discrimination in all its forms is despicable and not consistent with republican values. However, imposing tolerance from the top down via federal laws and intrusions is also incompatible with fundamental principles of liberty and self-government.

"3. Promoting Global Peace and Security"

Under this heading the CPC promotes “our nation’s constructive engagement in the United Nations and other multilateral organizations.” As readers of this publication will be well-aware, the surrender of American sovereignty to extraconstitutional regional and global governments is detrimental to freedom and will result ultimately in universal slavery under a one-world authority that is not bound by the rule of law.

"4. Advancing Environmental Protection & Energy Independence"

As part of this goal, the CPC lists a mish-mash of proposals to clean the environment, all of which require alterations of the federal tax to redistribute money from those who are not actively working to achieve these goals to those who would be anxiously engaged in promoting the end to global warming and other green boondoggles.

Now, in fairness to the CPC, there are many noble and worthwhile entries on their list of goals, including the “sunset of expiring provisions of the Patriot Act and bring remaining provisions into line with the U. S. Constitution;” protecting “the personal privacy of all Americans from unbridled police powers and unchecked government intrusion"; and bringing American troops “home from Iraq as soon as possible.” These are aspirations that most Constitutionalists would find agreeable and not at all “Communist.”

However, a more relevant question in light of Representative West’s association of the Congressional Progressive Caucus with the Communist Party is whether the CPC’s goals dovetail in any way with those of the Communist Party.

A useful tool in answering this question would be a comparison of those pronouncements listed above and a similar mission statement published by the Communist Party.

Under the tab “What does the Communist Party Stand For?” the following answer is given on the Communist Party USA’s website:

The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign.

But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit - socialism.

We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

Until we win enough support to change the system, communists call for radical reforms under capitalism. We call for nationalization of the banks, railroads, and industries like steel and auto. Everyone who wants to work should be guaranteed a job or get unemployment payments until she/he can find a job. We say put the unemployed to work at union wages on massive public works programs to rebuild our cities, provide affordable housing for the homeless, build mass transit, and clean up the environment!

Our outlook is based on the social science of Marxism-Leninism. We study history, politics and economics in order to change the world.

When viewed side-by-side (which the reader is encouraged to do), it becomes evident that in several key aspects (and indeed often using identical language) the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Communist Party are working toward the same end and promoting the similar means to achieve them. Granted, to my knowledge, none of the members of the CPC admit to being “card carrying Communists,” but such an explicit declaration is unnecessary. Whether one attends meetings or shouts his Marxism from the rooftops is immaterial to the more relevant question of whether one aligns himself with an organization (no matter the name) that openly works within the chambers of the people’s representatives to replace the republican form of government guaranteed by our Constitution and wisely established by our Founding Fathers with one whose principles are inarguably inimical to that system, whether the followers call it Progressive, Communist, Socialist, or any other name.

Photo: Rep. Allen West

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