Last updated on 2012.12.24
Reading Brian C. Liss's "Suggestions for Conservative Activists" inspires to compose my own list... actually, just one suggestion for conservative activists: Don't listen to Brian C. Liss.
The retiring one-term Republican legislator from Sioux Falls gets airtime on Gordon Howie's Potemkin blogroll to offer what he calls "A Strategic Framework for Conservative Activists." But trust me: Liss offers no strategic framework. Liss offers the fantasies of a junior gamer thinking he is the next Alexander because he beat Caesar by building ironclads and forming an alliance with the Zulus in Civilization.
But let's survey the madness, in Liss's own words:
Our country's liberty and morality are deliberately being destroyed from within by Marxists and their "useful idiot" allies. If you are unfamiliar with Marxism, suffice it to say that in the souls of many there burns an infinite desire to order others about, and to punish those who do not comply. Add a veneer of compassion to this insanity and we call it liberalism or leftism or progressivism. This liberalism dominates the Democrats and has infiltrated the Republicans [Brian C. Liss, "Suggestions for Conservative Activists," The Right Side, 2012.07.31].
Infiltrated the Republicans... I guess that explains the anti-abortion legislation by which the SDGOP orders doctors and women about and punishes those who do not comply, all under the veneer of compassion.
I want to simply laugh at Liss, but his fascist paranoia becomes downright scary in his recommendation to "Remove Leftists from Positions of Power and Influence":
They have infiltrated our churches, schools, universities, governments, media outlets, and many influential professions. Practically any organization of significant size or influence that has not been specifically founded to be conservative will be targeted for takeover by leftists. Identify them and remove them [Liss, 2012.07.31].
Let's get clear on a couple things. I am a leftist. I have not infiltrated anything. I have worked in various public schools around South Dakota at the request of their duly elected local school boards. If there is a "targeted takeover," I haven't gotten the memo.
That's the stupid part. The scary part is the last two words: remove them. What kind of witch hunt is Liss after? I can see how conservative activists can remove leftists from elected government positions (run against them! vote them out!), but how is the typical activist supposed to remove people of political persuasions they don't like from their professions? Is Liss asking my conservative neighbors in Spearfish to lobby the school board to fire me without cause? Is he asking Brookings activists to conduct sit-ins at SDSU to prevent liberal professors from entering their classrooms? Is he urging his Sioux Falls neighbors to kidnap David Montgomery and keep him out of print? Is he urging right-wingnuts with employees to go Chick-Fil-A and fire all Democrats?
Brian C. Liss seems to be calling for a political purge of education, media, government, and other professions to be listed at his whim later. That's not a strategic framework for activism; that's a pitch for a putsch.
If Liss's framework has any legs, he must not have used it in the Legislature, where he never got a bill past committee. He must not have used it in his referendum petition drive, which failed. He says he plans to use his framework to push a ballot measure "making it illegal for South Dakota's governments to deduct union dues from government workers' paychecks." He fails to recognize that federal and state law already protect paychecks from such predations.
Liss is a frustrated bumbler with delusions of grandeur. But Hitler and Himmler looked like flaccid bumblers as well before they really got going with their purge of scheming infiltrator scapegoats from the professional ranks.
Paranoia and political scapegoating are diseases. As long as even a few fringe-oids like Liss sneeze their scare-tactics into the public air, we must continue neutralize their sickness with sunlight and scorn.