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The Lying Left, Then and Now

By Assemblyman Chuck DeVore
Human Events
Posted Jan 03, 2006

Why is it that liberals, progressives, leftists, humanists and the like seeking a brave new world for the rest of us often resort to lying or cheating to turn their vision into reality?

Socialist Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906. He meant his book as an attack on what he and other Socialists termed “wage-slavery” but the book’s main claim to fame was as an exposé of unsanitary practices in the meat-processing industry. It was Sinclair’s kind of writing that President Theodore Roosevelt termed “muckraking.”

Sinclair also wrote The Profits of Religion, a non-fiction book that attacked organized religion, and was the author of almost 90 other books, novels, pamphlets and tracts. Literary critic Alfred Kazin, himself a left-winger, described Sinclair as having “…a talent for facts, a really prodigious capacity for social research.”

Of interest to Californians was that Sinclair had run for governor of California as a Socialist in 1926. He ran again as a radical Democrat in 1934, but lost badly in a highly contentious general election. He didn’t even earn the endorsement of President Franklin Roosevelt since the Democrat Party and the Socialist Party were distinct, but not quite yet without a difference as is the case today.

Upton Sinclair was, in many ways, the prototype for many leftist social activists to follow: Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11) with all his left-wing, hyper-commercial, self-promoting excess could be considered the ultimate evolutionary product of the line that began with Upton Sinclair. (in Sinclair’s defense, he, at least, eventually disavowed Stalin).

Michael Moore is widely known to consider facts as irrelevant to the case he wants to make, when attacking anything American and good. Thankfully, lies are more easily combated in today’s world of Internet communications than they were 50 or 100 years ago, which brings us back to Upton Sinclair.

Courtesy of a December 24 Los Angeles Times piece by Jean O. Pasco titled, “Sinclair Letter Turns Out to Be Another Exposé” we see a more ancient example of the sort of ends-justify-the-means rationalization we’ve come to expect from the left.

In her piece, Pasco reveals a shocker: Sinclair withheld the truth about Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two leftists who murdered two men while stealing money to finance their revolutionary activities.

The historical importance of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial and its aftermath to the American left and their war on American institutions cannot be overstated.

Prominent left-wing attorney Fred Moore defended Sacco and Vanzetti during their widely covered 1921 trial. Moore politicized the trial, claiming that his clients’ leftist political convictions were the real reason for their arrest amidst the beginning of the co-called Red Scare era. Despite this, the trial ended in a conviction for the pair.

Later, Fred Moore lost his enthusiasm after learning that his clients were truly guilty. The Italian murderers fired him.

Still, the American left continued to agitate over the supposed lack of justice for Sacco and Vanzetti. Enter Stalin’s secret propagandist, Willi Münzenberg. Münzenberg took up the cause in 1925 and raised over half a million dollars in the U.S. alone for the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee. Curiously, the committee saw only $6,000, as the remainder of the money went to bolster Soviet communism by attacking American exceptionalism.

To weaken America in its fight against communism, Münzenberg knew he had to destroy one of America’s strongest weapons, the worldwide view of America as the land of opportunity. Münzenberg used the Sacco-Vanzetti legal controversy was as an example of American right-wing imperialist persecution of the working class and it, and other cases like it, led to the disaffection of many American intellectuals. This, in turn, allowed the recruitment of Soviet agents such as Alger Hiss and others. Interestingly, Münzenberg underling Otto Katz was able, especially after the start of the Great Depression, to co-opt Hollywood resources for Stalin too.

By the time Sacco and Vanzetti were finally executed in 1927–a long six years by the standards of the day–the uproar over the perceived political nature of their conviction would lead 25,000 people to march in protest in Boston with additional demonstrations in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

The conviction and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti was condemned by the ACLU. In 1977 Massachusetts then-Gov. Michael Dukakis (the Democrat nominee for President in 1988) issued a proclamation asserting that Vanzetti and Sacco had been treated unjustly.

The left-created furor over the Sacco-Vanzetti trial made it difficult to oppose Communist activity in America, because liberals, backed by the ACLU, used the case as an example of American tyranny over the politically non-conforming and the poor. Thus, anyone registering genuine concern about treasonous left-wing activity would himself be attacked by the ACLU and its allies.

Known by historically minded conservatives as “anti-anti-communism,” this crusading mindset of the left in America made the Cold War all the more dangerous by disarming a large segment of the American population to the notion that the Soviet Union and communism was a deadly enemy to be resisted. Instead, the theory of “moral equivalency” took hold, largely due to the efforts of people such as Upton Sinclair, whose influential writings portrayed the United States as a bad nation with no standing to criticize the U.S.S.R., a Socialist workers’ paradise.

Pasco’s piece lays bare Sinclair’s true role in promoting left-wing myths in America through his lying about Sacco and Vanzetti. In a recently uncovered 1929 letter from Sinclair to his attorney, he wrote that Sacco and Vanzetti attorney Fred Moore “…told me that the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them.” Sinclair continued, “I faced the most difficult ethical problem of my life at that point. I had come to Boston with the announcement that I was going to write the truth about the case.”

A later Sinclair letter comes into its full meaning in light of the newly discovered correspondence. “My wife is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe, I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book,” Sinclair wrote to a friend who worked at the Socialist Daily Worker newspaper.

The book Sinclair was referring to was Boston, his fictional attack on the American system for how it treated Sacco and Vanzetti.

As the son of one of the group of Boston revolutionaries told Pasco, “They all lied. They did it for the cause.”

They all lied for the Cause.

Remember that the next time you see the heirs to this shameful legacy with their banners and bumper stickers trying to break our resolve in the face of evil. Their forefathers did their best to weaken America. They succeeded to a certain extent and we are still struggling with their shameful legacy. But, thankfully, the American ideal is strong and resilient and most Americans see these self-loathing fools for what they are: liars for an unworthy cause.





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