Tag Archives: Martin O’Malley

Socialism: National Review Should Talk

English: President George W. Bush shakes hands...
President George W. Bush shakes hands with William F. Buckley, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes partisan reactions to political event prove more informational than the events themselves. The first Democratic presidential debate was a yawner. We learned little that we didn’t already know about the five participating candidates. But we learned something important from conservative columnist Jim Geraghty of National Review: “America Now Has an Openly Socialist Party.”

Well, it’s about time ONE of the two parties came out and admitted the nature of its program, don’t you think?

Sure, the forms of socialism offered by the Democrats and Republicans differ in style. Democrats attack “the 1%.” Republicans offer to “save Social Security.” Democrats emphasize the welfare state. Republicans talk up the warfare state. But both parties are state socialist in substance, with very little daylight between them on the real issues.

Old style socialism supposedly operated on the prescription “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

21st century American state socialism tweaks that a bit: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his lobbyist’s talent at wangling sweetheart government contracts to build weapons or hand out condoms.”

But really, I’m surprised that anyone from National Review wants to talk about socialism, given that publication’s role in shaping the modern American Republican Party into the nation’s most successful and enduring socialist institution.

National Review was founded by William F. Buckley, Jr. in 1955. Among its co-founders was James Burnham, Buckley’s mentor and the former head of America’s Trotskyites, who were firebrand advocates of worldwide communism (as opposed to the  “socialism in one country” of their bete noire, Stalin).

As early as 1952, in The Commonweal (an American Catholic magazine, not the better-known British socialist newspaper), Buckley had called upon the Republican Party to support “a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores. …. large armies and air forces, atomic energy, central intelligence, war production boards and the attendant centralization of power in Washington …” He founded National Review to bring that vision to life.

Sixty-odd years later, behold the mutant form of Trotsky’s “war communism” imposed by Buckley’s disciples on an American politics and economy harnessed to pursuit of “global democratic revolution” (yes, they dumped the s-word to make it more warm and fuzzy).

There’s not enough facepalm in the world to encompass the silliness of National Review whining about “socialism.” The puny proposals of the debating Democrats pale in comparison to the actual accomplishments of Buckley’s commissars.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Correct the Record: Pardon William Lloyd Garrison!

Liberator (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Should the governor of Maryland pardon 19th century abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison? Yes, he should. Some background:

In 1830, Garrison co-edited a newspaper in Baltimore, MD that among, other things, called for the abolition of slavery. He accused a man named Francis Todd of slave trading. There is little doubt the charge was accurate, according to the late Henry Mayer’s magnum opus on the abolitionist editor, All On Fire, but Garrison was convicted of malicious libel. He was fined $50 plus court costs; since he could not pay the fine, he was jailed for what would have been six months. After 49 days in Baltimore’s jail, Arthur Tappan of New York, who later became a abolitionist himself, paid the fine. Garrison was released on June 1, 1830.

This experience crystallized Garrison’s determination to fight slavery through the press and agitation. Using a tiny newspaper, The Liberator, and enormous inspirational and organizational skills, Garrison raised abolition to prominence on the national stage, often at risk to his own personal safety — he was near nearly lynched by a Boston mob in 1835.

Convinced that Garrison deserved a posthumous pardon both by way of clearing his name and removing a stain from the great state of Maryland’s honor, I wrote to Maryland Secretary of State John P. McDonough in 2013 to find out if such a pardon has ever been issued.  McDonough never replied, so I have to assume the answer is “no.”

I also emailed then-governor Martin O’Malley for his thoughts on the matter. Once again, no reply.

Now a former governor, O’Malley recently announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. While his state’s miscarriage of justice versus William Lloyd Garrison may not rise to the level of major issue in a national campaign, it seems to me that O’Malley should have corrected a great historical wrong when he could have done so at no personal or political cost to himself.

Abolitionism was a powerful moral movement that all Americans can take historic pride in; Garrison was its acknowledged leader.

Leveraging the founding ideals of the nation and  the moral suasion of biblical injunctions, Garrison spurred our consciences and called  us back to our deepest values.

Like his predecessors, O’Malley neglected to correct the historical record with a well-deserved pardon. I hope you will join me in asking Maryland’s new governor, Larry Hogan, to rectify that oversight.

Elwood Earl “Sandy” Sanders, Jr., is a Virginia attorney and political activist. He blogs at Virginia Right on a myriad of issues, including local Virginia politics, UKIP, sports and legal issues from a libertarian and Christian perspective.  William Lloyd Garrison is a hero for Sandy; sometimes he asks the question before he blogs:  What would Garrison do (or say)?