Friday, January 6, 2017

None Dare Call It Treason

The LORD your God you shall follow, him alone you shall fear, his commandments you shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast. But those prophets or those who divine by dreams shall be put to death for having spoken treason against the LORD your God—who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery—to turn you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
Deuteronomy 13:4-5

I can still see the book in the living room of the house where I grew up, sitting in the pine bookcase my father made. And there is still a copy on a bookshelf in our house in Maine, the legacy of Elaine’s great uncle Joe Higgins.

None Dare Call It Treason was written by John A. Stormer and published in 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater’s campaign for the presidency. Six million copies were distributed in bulk quantities that summer and fall.

The title of the book comes from an epigram by Sir John Harrington:
Treason doth never prosper.
What’s the reason?
Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
I grew up in a Republican household in a time when it was almost redundant to speak of “Protestant Republicans.” And the village of Sagamore, Massachusetts was part of rural America.

It was not long after the 1964 election that the combination of the Civil Rights struggle and the Viet Nam War moved our family away from the Republicans.

I never read the book, but I knew the basic thesis. America was being betrayed by the elites in politics and academia, who were procommunist. The Soviets were winning the Cold War because they were secretly supported by the elite liberal establishment. 

The title came back to me when Donald Trump began sending out tweets in support of Russia and Vladimir Putin, and against our own intelligence agencies. And it seemed bizarre that the script had been turned inside out. The longtime cold warriors must be suffering vertigo.

One can only imagine what the response would be if the situation were reversed and Hillary Clinton had been the candidate supported by Russian Spies who was now at odds with our own intelligence leaders.

In an article published online last month on Marty Kaplan wrote:
“It’s abysmal that Democrats didn’t have a good enough jobs message to convince enough Rust Belt voters to choose their economic alternative to Trump’s tax cuts for the rich. It’s disgraceful that the media normalized Trump, propagated his lies, monetized his notoriety and lapped up his tweet porn. It’s maddening that the Electoral College apportions ballot power inequitably. But as enervating as any of that is, none of it is as dangerous to democracy as the CIA’s finding that Putin hacked the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf. Without firing a single shot, the Kremlin is weeks away from installing its puppet in the White House.”
The puppet designation seems like a stretch to me. Donald Trump is too unpredictable and impulsive to be a reliable puppet for anyone. But Kaplan is right that the Russian intervention in our election is dangerous to democracy.

It is impossible to know whether the Russian hacking changed the outcome of the election. But the results were cheered in Moscow and celebrated by Vladimir Putin. It is hard to believe that could be a good thing.

Thank you for reading. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome. Please feel free to share on social media as you wish.

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