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  • Friday, November 17, 2006


    The Curious Case of "V" in Washington, DC

    Like many people, I was impressed with the political theatre of having a person costumed as the character "V" from the comic and film V for Vendetta go to the White House carrying "People’s Petitions for Redress of Grievances". The symbolism and appropriateness was beautiful to behold. Striking visuals always give power to such actions. But as I began to look a little deeper into the motivations and goals of the group behind the action, I was less thrilled.

    The We The People Foundation (WTP) has a high sounding mission statement which contains lots of generalities, stuff to easily elicit agreement from many US citizens:
    1. To protect, preserve and enhance the unalienable rights, liberties and freedoms of the people.
    2. To teach people that under our system of governance all power comes from the people and all government is limited by our written constitutions.
    3. To help people become better informed about the history and meaning of every provision of the Declaration of Independence and their State and federal constitutions.
    4. To help people become better informed about what is really going on in government.
    5. To help people become better informed about how to confront unconstitutional and illegal behavior by those wielding power in government at all levels.
    6. To institutionalize vigilance by the ordinary, nonaligned citizen-voter-taxpayers.
    However, their actual focus seems to be decrying and fighting the government's right to levy income taxes on the population. I get the impression they are probably philosophically aligned with the libertarians: small government, deregulation, etc. Robert Schulz appears to be the head of the organization.

    Then I began checking out a few names in the sidebar of their main page: Alan Keyes, Bay Buchanan, Joseph Sobran, Aaron Russo, Hutton Gibson, and Rabbi Daniel Lapin. These people aren't all necessarily members or part of WTP but they are all featured in video files available on the site (WTP-TV). These are all very conservative people. I mean, almost neolithic in outlook.

    Hutton Gibson is Mel Gibson's father, even more anti-semitic than his son and a Holocaust denier as well. Bay Buchanan is Pat Buchanan's sister and Treasury Sec. under Pres. Reagan. Alan Keyes stands almost alone as an ultra-right Republican Black politician. Joseph Sobran wrote for the National Review, has been accused of anti-semitism, and favors revision of Holocaust history. He has also been connected to the Institute for Historical Review which has also been accused of anti-semitism.

    So I find myself sighing heavily. I wanted WTP to be an organization I could like and get behind. Excellence in political street theatre tactics comes along so rarely. I admire the tactics. The group behind it, not so much.

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