Terrorism, Elites, and the Low Character of the Average American
by Dr. William L. Pierce (1999)
TODAY I want to talk with you about something I’ve already mentioned on several earlier programs, but with the trial of Bill Clinton now starting in the Senate, I believe it’s worth discussing again. That is the fact that well over half of the American electorate still likes Clinton and wants him to remain President. They don’t want him tried on the charges he is now facing. They believe that neither his demonstrated lack of character nor the crimes he committed should disqualify him from leading America. They believe that those things aren’t important.
That is really the single most significant fact of this whole, sordid Clinton scandal: the voters don’t care; the voters think it’s not important. Some anti-Clinton people have told me that they don’t believe the opinion polls which show these results. They believe that the media bosses, who always have supported Clinton, have faked the polls. But you know, a couple of dozen polls by several different polling organizations have produced consistent results over a period of months, and I don’t believe that all of these results have been faked. I believe that the polls are a real reflection of the feelings of the electorate. One of the reasons I believe this is that I have talked to a number of individuals whose own opinions agree with the polls. They really do think it’s more important that Clinton has a nice smile and lots of boyish charm than whether or not he bombed Iraq to delay his impeachment. They really do forgive his perjury and obstruction of justice, because he tells them that he feels their pain. They really don’t care whether or not he sold America’s military secrets to Red China in return for Chinese campaign contributions, because he is one of them, a man of the people.
And why are these foolish and womanish expressions of sentiment important? The answer is obvious: these are the expressions of sentiment of a substantial majority of the American voters. These expressions are a revelation of the character and mentality of the people who choose our legislators, our Presidents, our governors. Without the polls the believers in democracy could hide from this conclusion by putting the blame on Clinton rather than on the voters. They could tell themselves that Clinton fooled the people. The people didn’t realize that he was a crook and a liar when they voted for him. But that excuse is no longer available, because the people have spoken, and they have said, “No, we weren’t fooled. We realized what Clinton was, and we don’t care. Bill Clinton is the type of leader we want.” That was the voice of the people.
In earlier programs I’ve already told you why mass democracy is no longer workable as a system of government, and I won’t go into that again today except to point out that what has happened in America should not be surprising to any student of history. The system of government in the Roman Republic was quite different in its details from that in America today, of course, but similar demographic laws applied. Until the last century or century and a half of the Republic the Roman Senate and the magistrates elected by the public assemblies of citizens ruled Rome in a more or less dignified and responsible manner, and a patriotic citizenry generally supported the system. The ordinary citizens, of course, did vote in the public assemblies, and the Senate could not afford to do anything to outrage them. But despite its democratic aspects, rectitude and propriety characterized the Roman system for the most part in its early days.
As the Roman electorate was broadened, however, the vulgarity and irresponsibility which characterize American democracy today crept gradually into the Roman system. Groups of newly enfranchised citizens — so called “new Romans” — did not have the same appreciation for Roman traditions and values the original Romans had had. Citizenship lost much of the moral and spiritual meaning once associated with it. In the last days of the Republic, the votes of those qualified to vote in the public assemblies were bought with bread and circuses, with food stamps and ball games. But not to put all the blame on the voters, the patrician families also began losing some of their virtue as self-discipline gradually gave way to self-indulgence, and then the patricians lost the respect of the plebeians and with it much of the moral authority they once had held. Anyway, the Roman Republic is by no means the only historical example of the demographic decline of governing systems based on democracy.
So, as I said, what has happened to America shouldn’t be surprising, except perhaps in its rapidity. The really interesting question now is, how will the various elites in America respond to this revealing demonstration — this startling demonstration — which the American electorate has given us in the Clinton popularity polls?
The Congress, of course, is continuing to do its constitutional duty by proceeding first with the impeachment and now with the trial in the Senate, despite the clamoring of the mob to let Clinton off the hook and get back to doling out the food stamps and ball games. Unfortunately, however, what Congress is doing cannot be attributed to any moral superiority of the politicians to the members of the mob. The course of the present process is being determined purely by political considerations, not by considerations of duty or patriotism. Republicans don’t have to be very smart or very brave to decide that sometimes the mob can be ignored, especially when they don’t have to worry about elections for another couple of years.
What about other elites? At the very least, they should be feeling a bit uneasy now — all except the elite which controls the mass media, of course. Most elites favor stability and predictability. They should be feeling a bit like someone has suddenly yanked a rug out from under them and left them standing precariously on very slippery ice. They should be, I said. The mass media certainly aren’t drawing any radical conclusions from the Clinton polls, and perhaps that is keeping many people lulled into a sort of denial of reality, into a false sense that nothing has really changed. But the people who are in elites are there because they are a bit more perceptive and a bit more independent minded than the members of the mob. Some of them eventually should draw their own conclusions, even without the media telling them what those conclusions should be.
One conclusion that should dawn on some of these independent thinkers is that the media elite is by far the most powerful elite, because it is the elite which tells the rootless and aimless rabble of the electorate what to think. The old view, the view that students still are taught in classes on civics and government, is that the common people possess a sort of collective wisdom and a collective morality, and these virtues of the people will provide a corrective influence on any really bad tendencies among the politicians and bureaucrats. But now this view has been shown to be false. The corrective influence no longer exists. That ought to worry a lot of thoughtful people. It ought to give them the sort of feeling a passenger on a train going down a steep mountain grade would have when he realized that the train’s braking system had failed.
If I were a leading member of America’s financial/industrial elite — if I were Bill Gates, say — I would be looking at the members of the media elite with a warier eye than before, since it would have become clear to me that my own fortunes were dependent on the whims of the people controlling the mass media. And I would be very strongly inclined to put at least a few billion dollars into buying as much influence in the media as I could get. I would feel a little less vulnerable if I could buy myself a seat on the board of directors of one of the big media conglomerates. And if I began to get a sense of the ethnic clannishness which exists among the media bosses — an ethnic clannishness which made me an outsider because I’m not a Jew — I might begin thinking about other ways to strengthen my position and secure my precarious future.
If I were a member of the military elite — if I were a top general in the Pentagon — I might have a similar feeling that I wasn’t standing on quite as firm ground as before. And since buying my way into the media elite wouldn’t even be an option for me, I might be thinking about other ways to protect myself — and to protect the status and the privileges and power of the elite to which I belonged. I would be thinking hard about those things.
Somewhat similar considerations apply to other elites. All of them — except the media elite — should be feeling a little less secure, a little more uncertain about the future. In fact, this feeling of insecurity should be shared by every perceptive person, whether he is a member of a power elite or not. Every institution in our society has been undermined. You know the standard formula which used to apply when a criminal was hauled into court: it was “the people versus so-and-so.” That gave a sort of justification to the process and a sort of inevitability: the people demand justice, and who can stand against the people? Well, now we know that the people, collectively, at least a majority of them, don’t demand justice. They demand their ball games. They demand their food stamps and their welfare checks. But they don’t give a damn about justice. They really don’t. Remember, I’m not talking about everybody. But I am talking about the majority of the American voters.
The Clinton polls also ought to knock a little wind out of all the thoughtful folks who have regarded themselves as populists and have thought of the will of the people as something very fundamental and almost sacred.
What does it all mean? Reality hasn’t suddenly changed, of course — just our perception of reality. But perceptions are important. They do have real consequences. The mass media, of course, will continue flattering the public with the same old baloney, telling the people that they are moral, that they are wise, that they are powerful, but now the perceptive few will understand that it is baloney. And some will act accordingly. They will be inclined to look out for themselves just a little more diligently than in the past. Society will become a little more alienated, a little more atomized. We will have a little less stability than before.
That loss of cohesion and stability may not show up much under normal conditions, but it will show up when the society is stressed: when the United States is subjected to a major campaign of terrorism, for example. I’m not predicting anything specific now, but I certainly will not be surprised if within the next few months we begin paying the price for Bill Clinton’s recent bombing of Iraq in his desperate effort to head off impeachment. I also won’t be surprised if we get hit with stuff a lot worse than truck bombs parked outside our overseas facilities, stuff which does more than just wreck real estate.
There’s a big moral dimension to terrorism. In fact, terrorism is an activity based almost entirely on moral considerations. It’s not at all like ordinary military activity, which typically is for the purpose of taking and holding ground. The aim of terrorism is to have a moral effect on people, to cause them to change their attitudes and their behavior. The aim of a major campaign of terrorism in the United States would most likely be to persuade Americans that they shouldn’t let their government continue to starve Iraqi children and bomb whomever Israel wants bombed. And it also likely will be aimed at persuading Muslim regimes which in the past have collaborated with the United States that it is no longer in their interest to do so.
Actually, Bill Clinton already has come pretty close to achieving that latter goal, both with his private behavior and with his reckless and utterly unprincipled policy in the Middle East. He is a laughingstock everywhere, and he is well on the way to wiping away the last traces of respect for America in the Muslim world — and in much of the rest of the world besides. And when the American electorate expresses its approval of Clinton generally as President and specifically of his unprovoked and unjustified attack on Iraq, most Muslims can only conclude that we all deserve whatever bad happens to us.
In an interview just two weeks ago Osama bin Laden, who has declared a jihad against America, explained his justification for waging war against American civilians as well as American military targets. He said, and I quote: “If the Israelis are killing small children in Palestine and Americans are killing innocent people in Iraq, and if the majority of the American people support their dissolute President, this means the American people are fighting us and we have the right to target them. Muslim scholars have issued a fatwa against any American who pays taxes to his government. He is our target, because he is helping the American war machine against the Muslim nation.” — end of quote — So you see, people like bin Laden pay attention to the Clinton popularity polls too, and they draw conclusions from them. The significant part of that quote I just read to you, the part to remember is: “if the majority of the American people support their dissolute President . . . .” then the American people will be held responsible. The bin Laden statement I just quoted was carried in this week’s issue of Newsweek magazine.
I remember seeing some people in a VFW club being interviewed by an NBC television reporter after Clinton launched his pre-impeachment attack on Iraq. These VFW people not only expressed their approval for the bombing, they were saying things like, “Yeah, that Saddam is a bad guy. We should have taken him out a long time ago.” People who believe that America’s national policy ought to be to “take people out” because they’re “bad guys,” even if that means starting a war with another country which hasn’t attacked us, just aren’t serious adults. They do not have the maturity, the judgment, and the sense of responsibility a voter ought to have. But their attitude toward Clinton’s unprovoked attack on Iraq is consistent with the view that Clinton ought not to be impeached, because he has a nice smile, and with the view that the laws against perjury, obstruction of justice, and so on ought not to be enforced if the offender is a nice guy who feels our pain.
So, when polls show that a substantial majority of Americans have such views, it is understandable that Americans are not respected by serious people anywhere. And we ought not to feel very much indignation when American tourists have their throats cut or American buildings, whether in the United States or abroad, get blown up. And if the terrorism gets really nasty, and large numbers of Americans begin losing their lives, and if Muslim countries everywhere decide they’d rather not do business with us any longer, don’t blame Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden or even Bill Clinton. Blame the irresponsible rabble who put Bill Clinton in office. That’s whom the rest of the world will be blaming. It will be the views expressed by that rabble in the recent opinion polls which will be the moral justification in the minds of people everywhere for terrorism against the United States and its citizens.
And besides placing blame correctly, what should responsible Americans do? That really is something to think about, isn’t it? And I believe that the time to begin thinking seriously, to begin planning seriously is now, rather than after the situation becomes much nastier. Of course, some people began planning a long time ago. The media bosses have been orchestrating developments for quite some time. They haven’t always achieved exactly the results they wanted. They have a habit of overreaching. I think they made a mistake in giving so much publicity to the Clinton popularity polls, for example. But certainly, they have labored assiduously for decades, for generations, to corrupt and debase the American electorate in order to bring it more completely under their control.
Members of some of the other elites in America would be well advised to stop merely watching the media elite continue growing in power. They would be well advised to begin taking steps toward self-preservation, even if they don’t feel inclined to worry about the preservation of America or their people as a whole. The Clinton opinion polls were the first wake-up call. A major campaign of terrorism against Americans will be the next wake-up call, for those who still are snoozing. But those who wake up sooner will have an edge on those who wake up later.
If you don’t mind, I’ll just reiterate the principal points I’ve tried to make today. In America we used to believe that our strength as a nation was rooted in the wisdom and the morality of the people as a whole. We used to believe that the people as a whole knew what was best. We used to believe that the will of the people provided a sort of stability and security which could offset the tendency of any elite to lead the country astray. Now we know that none of what we believed is true. The people have demonstrated that they have neither wisdom nor morality. The people have said that they care more about feeling good than having the laws of their country respected and enforced. The people have said that they aren’t embarrassed by the shameful spectacle their President has presented to the world. The majority of the people have said that they still trust Bill Clinton, that they believe his excuse for bombing Iraq and that they believe such attacks on other countries are justified if the other countries are led by “bad guys.”
This revelation of what the majority of American voters think should be a stark warning to the perceptive and independent-minded minority of Americans, that they are on their own, and that if they want to survive, they had better not count on the government or the majority of the people. They had better understand that the media bosses are the only elite which has really been looking out for itself all along.
And perceptive people ought to realize also that other people around the world — and not just Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein — already have drawn correct conclusions from the recent expressions of opinion of the American majority.
And perceptive people ought to realize that all of these developments will have consequences — very serious consequences. And they ought to begin doing something about that.
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Source: American Dissident Voices broadcast of January 9, 1999