by Richard "Chip" Peterson, PhD , March, 2010

    When Bill and Hillary Clinton were under pressure because of their involvement in the "Whitewater" affair and other matters, Hillary proclaimed that they were the victims of a "vast right-wing conspiracy." She asserted that right-wingers were organized and giving them a hard time. I found it rather hard to believe that such a "conspiracy" existed because my knowledge of right-wing oriented groups is that they are very individualistic, often hold to slightly different ideologies, and ,thus,  have a hard time cooperating with each other. For instance, even the tea-party movement has differing views in different parts of the country and various local frictions exist between local and national "spokespeople" for that movement. Also, the religious right is not unified. That is easy to see when one observes different churches on almost every street corner and hears of bitter doctrinal differences that exist between different types of Lutherans or different types of Baptists--let alone between different denominations altogether. I also know. personally, many Libertarians who are fiscally conservative but want nothing to do with the Republican Party--even its most fiscally conservative wing--because they feel the party as a whole has been tainted by big-government types. Conversely, many Republicans look askance at Libertarians because Libertarians believe in social tolerance and individual  responsibility; thus, Libertarians believe it is not government's role to forcefully prevent adult individuals  from doing things that may be deemed harmful or sinful as long as those activities will hurt no one other than themselves --either secularly or in the hereafter. Consequently, I really don't believe that the "right-wing" is sufficiently unified to create a vast right-wing conspiracy--even now when people who are angry at overly intrusive and expensive government have banded together to form grass-roots tea party movements across the country. Therefore, I have wondered why Hillary Clinton was so quick to presume that a vast "right-wing conspiracy" existed--long before popular concern about expensive, arrogant,  and overbearing government generated the tea-party movement.

    Only now, I think I may have figured it out. She believed in a vast right wing conspiracy because, in fact, a vast "left-wing" conspiracy" has existed in this country for some time and she was aware of it. My mind works by putting together pieces of a jig-saw puzzle until a sufficient amount of pieces (evidence) has been assembled so that I can see an overall pattern. The last piece in the jigsaw puzzle appeared to me when I perused the background of Obama's White House staff and political appointees. It also helped that I recently became aware of the work of Saul Alinsky and his book, "Rules for Radicals" which some people say has been the textbook for left-wing (neo-communist) organizers in recent years, including Obama's friend and big political supporter, Bill Ayers (who was previously sentenced for trying to bomb the Pentagon). 

    The recent evidence cited above let me see a pattern. But other pieces of the jigsaw puzzle were available to me earlier--unfortunately, they were overlooked or denied. I think that if a vast left-wing conspiracy exists, its origins go back to the Great Depression and the influence of Communist thinking on many U.S. intellectuals of that time. Because the U.S. press covered up  evidence of the brutality of Stalin's Russian regime and focused upon its economic growth at a time when the U.S. was suffering from high unemployment, many American intellectuals and college students became enamored with the idea that the Communist system was superior to the U.S. economic system and joined groups that supported Communist ideology in the U.S. This process was aided and abetted by Communists from abroad who wished to spread their ideology. It also was abetted by various labor organizations who believed that all value was created by labor (the labor theory of value) and, therefore, labor, rather than capitalists, deserved the fruits of production. Many international labor organizations existed that promoted the growth of labor's power, and Communist ideology, because of their beliefs in this view. Domestically, while not explicitly communist in their ideology, labor organizations grew in power during the Great Depression and the Roosevelt Administration rewarded them with favorable laws. 

    During the 1930's, U.S. intellectuals who joined organizations that sympathized with Communist ideology proliferated. In the early 1950's Joseph McCarthy  led hearings in Congress that identified several Communist sympathizers who had risen to achieve power and influence in U.S. government  circles. The names Alger Hess and Whittaker Chambers come to mind. In addition, the Rosenberg's were implicated in leaking U.S. Atomic bomb secrets to Communist Russia, and their trial made headlines across the country. Unfortunately, McCarthy went to excess in his hearings and badgered and persecuted people based on hearsay who were not necessarily Communist. He was particularly harsh on Hollywood media and the press retaliated for his investigations by smearing McCarthy over all his missteps and excesses and his name is now "mud" even though his hearings did uncover some evidence that Communist sympathizers had infiltrated the U.S. State Department, media, and other areas. 

    I was young when McCarthy held his hearings so they had little impact upon me. My first realization that Communist "front" groups had made extensive inroads into the U.S. came when I was about to start graduate school in the early 1960s. I had received a three-year lucrative scholarship for graduate school under the National Defense Education Act. As a requirement for receiving the money, I first had to visit a federal office and swear that I had not belonged to any of many Communist front and anti-American groups and organizations. I was amazed at two things in this process. First, I was amazed that the list of anti-American domestic groups was so long. Second, I was amazed that so many of them had patriotic sounding names--the very opposite of their presumed intent. This was another piece in the puzzle, since it made me aware that a great many front groups existed in the U.S. to promote Communist or anti-American ideologies and that many of them had cloaked themselves in the most patriotic sounding names in order to try to avoid detection. 

    Chronologically, I discovered the next piece of the puzzle while working in Washington. While I worked in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at one point I was asked to assist the Division of Consumer Regulation in analyzing their proposed regulations on consumer finance--both on proposed consumer credit regulations initially promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission and, most importantly, their implementing regulations for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Most, if not all of the lawyers in the Division of Consumer Regulation were graduates of Ivy League Universities, most commonly, Yale. While working with them, I found that they were almost totally insensitive to what was involved in running a business. If I raised the point that a regulation would be very costly with which to comply, they generally responded that it would just be "an ordinary cost of doing business." I felt that they viewed all businesses as having a large safe stuffed with money in the back room that the business could go to at any time to pull out money to pay for the costs of complying with any regulation. They seemed to have no understanding of how difficult it was for businesses to acquire money to put in that safe and how costly regulations might prevent businesses from operating altogether. I used to come home complaining to my wife that it seemed that ivy league lawyers had no business education at all-- and that at least 5 years experience in the real world should be required before anyone could become a government lawyer. Their ignorance about business was very disturbing to me. Thus, I suggested that they send their proposed regulations to people with expertise on both credit and business. Initially, I was able to get the sole economist in their group to send their proposed regulations to Bob Johnson, a distinguished finance professor and head of the Credit Research Center at Purdue University , and to Jim Smith, the chief economist at Sears Corporation who often dealt with credit matters. However, as soon as the lawyers  learned that the regulations had been sent out for comment, they demanded that the regulations be returned without being read. Nonetheless, at many of the meetings I attended, the Yale trained lawyers raised comments such as "What are we going to do for the gays?" or other comments that indicated that they were trying to make the comments favorable to various interest groups, such as the National Organization for Women, that often had  "liberal," i.e., "progressive" persuasions. It was clear to me that they had talked to members of those groups on a regular, perhaps daily, basis while the drafting the proposed regulations.

    I became frustrated by the fact that the liberal lawyers were totally unconcerned about the high costs their proposed regulations would impose upon business, listening only to various interest groups and not to any business interests. I tried to get my boss in the Division of Research and Statistics to bring the matter up to the Federal Reserve Board, which would be ultimately responsible for the regulations. However, he did not want to go outside "channels" since I was merely on loan to the other division. Consequently, I decided to take a leave from the Federal Reserve, but I was not allowed to take a leave until I could find someone to replace myself for the year I would be gone. Bob Johnson had already asked me to visit the Credit Research Center at Purdue, but I had to find a replacement before I could accept. Fortunately, I knew Jim Smith well since I had served on his dissertation committee when he was finishing his doctoral degree in Economics at SMU, and I knew he was well qualified since he had previously served on the National Commission on Consumer Finance. I also knew that he traveled extensively and said he didn't like to be on the go all the time. Thus, I called Jim and asked him if he would like to travel less and visit at the Federal Reserve by taking my job for the year  I intended to take a leave and go to Purdue University. He agreed, so I was free to take a leave from the Fed and visit at Purdue, provided that he passed his job interview.

    On his way to interview at the Fed, Jim stopped over in Philadelphia to visit with Sear's regional credit manager. While there, the credit manager showed him the regulations that Jim  had been required to return to the Fed lawyers unread previously. Jim asked how the credit manager had been able to see the regulations. He was told that a friend of the credit manager who was a local member of the National Organization for Women had given them to him. Thus, it became obvious to me that there was a subterranean linkage between all the liberal interest groups that wanted to have their input on Washington regulations, and did not want any business interests to comment on them. These groups were extensive, operated across the country, and encompassed many left-leaning ideologues. 

    At this point I became aware that linkages existed among all the left-leaning groups in Washington. My assumption that subterranean linkages existed between left-leaning interest groups was further reinforced by the fact that when Clarence Thomas was being vetted for his supreme court appointment, liberal interest groups were violently opposed to his appointment. At one point his former subordinate, Anita Hill, also a Yale lawyer,  made many salacious allegations against him. Some of the allegations, it turned out later, were almost verbatim quotes of statements that been made in legal proceedings in far removed parts of the country (in  Minnesota, if my memory serves me right). This indicated to me, that there was a linkage between generally left-leaning "public interest lawyers" all across the country. In additional testimony that I have given over the years, I have encountered both "public interest lawyers" and law professors from Harvard, who also seem to have a strong liberal, anti-business, bias, Therefore, I have concluded that it is not uncommon for anti-business left-leaning sentiments to be taught at Ivy League law schools. There are exceptions, of course. Clarence Thomas and Gerald Ford both have Yale law degrees. Also, my cousin's son and son-in-law both are active in business ventures and they graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law School, respectively. However, the Ivy league trained lawyers that I encountered who took up public interest law careers seemed to both be very liberal and to be active networkers. 

    Still, I had not yet put all the pieces of the puzzle together. My next clue was an unrelated piece of information that I heard after the Berlin Wall fell and Eastern Europe rejected their Communist past. At one point, I heard of a former Romanian (or Bulgarian, I don't recall exactly) spy who had worked with the Russian Communists to try to subvert the U.S. In his memories of his spying career, he mentioned that one of his assignments was to go to the U.S. and try to organize groups that were opposed to U.S. government policies. Such groups often involved people who opposed U.S. government policies because they had strong ideological leanings, such as anti-war groups, environmentalists, animal rights groups, etc. When I read the list of the groups that he, and the Russian communists had tried to organize, I recalled all the patriotic sounding groups with whom I  had previously had to swear that  I was not affiliated. Still, I did not complete the puzzle at that time.

    I made further progress toward completing the puzzle when I read the Nobel Prize winning economist's, Friedrich Hayak's book, The Road to Serfdom. He wrote the book in 1944 to try to explain why Communism, Fascism, and Nazi Socialism were the way they were. He pointed to common elements in each and explained that when the "central planners" in each ism found that they couldn't control their citizens and their economies  as effectively as they wished, they often turned to violence. They also tried to dominate the media and educational system to make people agree with and subscribe to their goals. This explained to me why the innocent sounding pro-Communist groups in the U.S. were often connected to media or educational interest groups, as well as to groups that involved highly emotional people who were passionate about their interests and therefore could be led easily by someone who appealed to their passions. That may be one reason that our teachers' unions (not necessarily our teachers) are so liberal and anti-business in their orientation. It also may be why our media and educational interest groups are so quick to promulgate political correctness ideas that defame profits, the benefits of free markets, and businessmen's motives, while promoting the goodness of supposedly altruistic community organizers and other central planners.

    After Barrack Obama was elected, the final piece of the puzzle fell in place. Not only did he have a Harvard Law Degree, he also admitted in his biography that he had been interested in Marxist (i.e. Communist)    philosophies, when he was a beginning college student. Many of the "czars" he appointed to his staff were either former socialists or, even, avowed Marxists or Communists, previously. Many had also been associated with various left-leaning interest groups and very few had business backgrounds. It was clear, that if there was a vast left-wing conspiracy to dominate this country and its economy, Obama was doing the best he could to maximize its power and influence under his administration. Now, it also made sense why the "political correctness" promulgated by our nation's leading universities and in its educational system tended to favor left-leaning objectives. The work of subterranean interest groups, guided at times, by the interests of people and countries inimical to the best interests of our country, were finally becoming effective. If, as I surmise, a vast left-leaning conspiracy exists, it now has come to fruition. 





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