One of my favorite books is None Dare Call It Treason, written by John Stormer. None Dare Call It Treason is a 1964 right-wing classic that was about Communist infiltration of key institutions (e.g., education, the media, etc.) as well as America’s weakness in the face of the Communist threat.
The book is well-documented and worth reading, but I think that one can form different conclusions from the ones that Stormer presents, at least in certain cases. For example, did President John F. Kennedy stop aiding anti-Castro Cubans because he was soft on Communism, or did he have other motivations? In an audio book that I listened to recently, An Unfinished Life, Robert Dallek said that Kennedy stopped aiding the anti-Castro Cubans because they had failed to create a mass uprising against Castro’s regime. Kennedy did not want it to appear that the U.S. was helping a few Cuban rebels overthrow Castro, since how could the U.S. criticize Soviet interventionism in other countries when it was practicing an interventionism of its own? Kennedy viewed the Bay of Pigs as a failure, so he pulled out. Kennedy may have acted as he did because he viewed foreign affairs as a delicate matter!
I think that’s how it may have been with a lot of the “treason” that Stormer criticizes. Did FDR at Yalta give Eastern Europe to the Soviets because he was pro-Communist, or because the U.S. had just gotten out of a World War and he didn’t want to fight another one against the Soviets? Stormer could rightfully argue, however, that we never had to actually fight the Soviets. All we had to do was cut off aid to their dying economy!
I think that Stormer does a good job in documenting the left-wing bias of the media and education. He even discusses an incident in which Time Magazine (I think) clearly drew its facts from The Daily Worker (a Communist publication), even going so far as to make the same factual errors! But is left-wing bias the same as a conscious Communist conspiracy to destroy America and subject it to the Soviets? If the Communists were as effective as the right-wing claims, why didn’t they take over the United States?
Still, None Dare Call It Treason is one of my favorite books, for it contains drama, an alternative view of history to what was fed to me in schools, and good questions. So you can imagine my excitement when I turned on Dr. Stanley Monteith’s Radio Liberty and heard that John Stormer was the guest!
I decided to call in, but I wondered what I should ask. Should I ask him if his book is still relevant, given that the Cold War is now over? I decided not to ask that, since he probably addresses that question on his web site (see here). And, sure enough, he does! In a documentary that he advertises, along with an interview on a New Zealand blog (not Steph’s, but the one here), Stormer claims that Communism is still a threat in the world. Russia has Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGB agent who is trying to resurrect the old Soviet empire, and he has formed alliances with Communist China, Vietnam, Ortega’s Nicaragua, and Hugo Chavez. My impression is that, for Stormer, if Reagan defeated the Soviets, then it was a short-lived victory!
I decided to ask Stormer about Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, names that are deemed particularly relevant to today’s economic crisis. In a post that I wrote in March, Hoover and FDR: Liberal or Conservative?, I referred to Stormer’s documented claim that the economy was actually improving near the end of Hoover’s Administration, but Roosevelt came in and prolonged the Great Depression. I decided to ask Mr. Stormer if he had any thoughts on current tendencies to portray Herbert Hoover as a big-spending liberal, and FDR as a budget-cutting conservative.
I was surprised at how easy it was to get on the show! When I called the Bible Answer Man several years ago, the screener wanted to know what my question was so he could determine if it was good enough to be asked on the air. (It was!). But the screener for Radio Liberty didn’t inquire about my question, and he told me I’d be on right after the present caller.
And so I was on! I thanked Dr. Stan and said it was an honor to be able to talk with John Stormer, one of my favorite authors. Then, I asked my question.
I had a hard time listening through my phone, and I couldn’t listen to the radio because it was a few minutes behind (so I got to hear my geeky voice once the conversation was over!). But what I got out of Stormer’s response was that Herbert Hoover (unlike Calvin Coolidge) was a big government man, yet FDR took big government to new extremes. He noted that FDR ran in 1932 as a critic of Hoover’s big government policies, but he went back on his word when he started the New Deal. Dr. Stan interjected by drawing parallels with Barack Obama, who didn’t run as someone who would nationalize the automobile industry. Plus, Dr. Stan criticized FDR for taking America off of the gold standard, which protects America from inflation. It’s interesting that the right-wing conspiracy theorists champion the gold standard nowadays, whereas Charles Coughlin was an avid opponent of it in the 1930’s! And he opposed many of the same people–the Federal Reserve, one-worlders, etc.
Dr. Stan and John Stormer were very gracious, and Dr. Stan asked me if I had any more questions. You rarely hear that on radio programs, which try to get people through the show, one after the other! I then asked if Mr. Stormer and/or Dr. Stan had any thoughts on FDR’s budget cutting in 1937, which many claim made the Depression worse. Stormer said that he was not aware of this, since, as far as he knew, the federal budget swelled under Franklin Roosevelt.
Stormer is probably right on this in a big-picture sense. In my link Hoover and FDR: Liberal or Conservative?, I refer to William P. Hoar, who documents that FDR actually increased government spending.
But there was a brief span of time, 1937-1938, when Roosevelt raised taxes and cut the federal budget. Unemployment climbed then, but it went on a downward trajectory once Roosevelt increased government spending (see here). Many conservatives point out, however, that the jobs people had were in the public sector, and they are not a reliable indicator of how many people are employed. The true sign of economic recovery is more people having private sector jobs, according to this line of reasoning!
In any case, I enjoyed my opportunity to interact with John Stormer! I just ordered his book on judicial activism for an inexpensive price.