This is an excellent article written by a native Iowan, Dr. Bill Israel, who also once taught a political science class with Karl Rove. The article lays out how conservatives have stealthily taken over our government and institutions beginning in the 1930’s. Black and white. No frills. He is the author of “A Nation Seized: How Karl Rove and the Republican Right Stole Reality, Beginning With the News.”
Here is an excerpt:
All eyes have been on the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire’s primary this week, but fewer are seeing that the Republican presidential race is effectively a sideshow. Conservatives now so dominate news and political communication that they’ll command American politics for the New Year and for the foreseeable future, because they planted the seeds of victory beginning 80 years ago.
Three years after the shellacking President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave them in 1932, conservatives began an “American Way” campaign to push the country to the right after World War II, resulting partly in the union-slowing Taft-Hartley Act.
Their push to the right sputtered, however, once the civil rights and anti-poverty movements helped deliver a second shellacking in the election of 1964.
With that, conservatives regrouped, made common cause with the Christian right, bypassed the news media by creating their own networks, and founded new institutions to push the country right: the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Cato, Hudson, Manhattan, and, later, the Federalist Society, to name but a few.
By 1978, 70 of those institutions were in place, reversing the national discourse from public good to private gain. They also helped oust a half-dozen Democratic senators — including Iowans Dick Clark and John Culver [italics BFIA’s] — then elected Ronald Reagan president. By 2000, there were 500 of them.
The Reagan administration not only helped form one of the 500, the Federalist Society, to push the judiciary to the right — it also buried broadcasting’s Fairness Doctrine.
With that, 4,000 right-wing talk radio hosts sprang up…. The right-wing media pile-on followed: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, the American Spectator, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and Fox News.
By 2000, the coordinated power of the 500, the new right-wing media, and the manipulations of strategist Karl Rove made it possible for George W. Bush to lose by a half-million popular votes but win 5-4 in the Supreme Court.