David Horowitz was raised as a Communist but rejected the ideology as an adult. He sees today's DC battles through a different lens. Here are some extracts from his Front Page piece of Oct-10:
I never once heard my parents and their party friends refer to themselves as Communists. They were progressives – and registered Democrats.. . .
The good news is that the bad five years we have just been through have aroused a sleeping giant among Americans who didn’t see it coming and couldn’t imagine that it would. For the first time since the Cold War, people with a public voice are calling socialists by their right name; conservatives are finally organizing at the grassroots to defend their freedom; and at last we have leaders who are willing to stand up to the thuggery of the left and who have the spine not to back down.
As a sometime Jonah freed from the whale let me offer some intelligence about the political forces arrayed against us. Do not make the mistake of thinking that progressives and conservatives are people who merely differ about practical agendas. There are four defining features of the left, which distinguish it as a movement of individuals who approach politics quite differently from pragmatically-minded conservatives.The first of these features is their alienation from country. . .
The second feature of the progressive left that is key to understanding it is its instinctive, practiced, and indispensable dishonesty. . . . The strategy of the lie is progressives’ new gospel. It is what the progressive bible — Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals — is all about. Alinsky is the acknowledged political mentor to Obama and Hillary, to the service and teacher unions, and to the progressive rank and file. Alinsky understood the mistake Sixties’ radicals had made. His message to this generation is easily summed up: Don’t telegraph your goals; infiltrate their institutions and subvert them; moral principles are disposable fictions; the end justifies the means; and never forget that your political goal is always power.
An SDS radical wrote in the Sixties: “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” The Alinsky version is this: The issue is never the issue; the issue is always power: How to wring power out of the democratic process, how turn the process into an instrument of progressive control. How to use it to fundamentally transform the United States of America — which is exactly what Barack Obama warned he would do on the eve of his election... . .
A third feature of progressives that defines their politics is that they regard the past, which is real, with contempt, and are focused exclusively on a future, which is imaginary. . . .Progressives focus on an impossible future, a utopia of promises, and this justifies for them their unscrupulous means. Issues for them are merely instruments for accumulating political power.
Conservatives look to the past as a guide to what is possible and humanly practical, and what is not. Issues for them are problems that need to be fixed, and they take seriously the policies they devise to address them. This puts conservatives at a huge political disadvantage. It causes them to argue policy as though they were debating a party with whom they shared goals and only differed on the means to get there. But that is far from the case. . . .
progressives see themselves as the redeemers, which is why they are so dangerous. Because they regard those who oppose them as the eternally damned. Progressives are on a mission to create the kingdom of heaven on earth by redistributing income and using the state to enforce politically correct attitudes and practices in everyone’s life. They want to control what you do, and who you are, and even what you eat. For your own good, of course.
The fact that they see themselves as saving the world – or “saving the planet” as they would prefer — results in a fourth key characteristic of their politics, which is that they regard politics as a religious war. This explains why they are so rude and nasty when you disagree with them or resist their panaceas (and of course if they had the power, the punishments would be more severe); that is why the politics of personal destruction is their favorite variety, why they are verbal assassins and go directly for the jugular, and why they think nothing of destroying the reputations of their opponents and burying them permanently. And that is why they can perform their character assassinations without regrets . . .
As Mr. Instapundit says, read the whole thing. Here.