The term “useful idiots” was attributed to Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin describing intellectual idealists persuaded to adopt communism. Later after a fait accompli, with their idealism supremely disappointed and dangerously reactive, they would of course have to be eliminated. Wikipedia explains how Lenin’s, “‘useful idiots of the West,’ described Western reporters and travelers who would endorse the Soviet Union and its policies in the West.”
From www.usefulidiots.com , the question, “Why This Web Site?”: "Useful idiots is a name no group of people would like to be called. It is however, what most Americans are relied upon to be by the powers that be. When the voting segment ... allows itself to fall for the same old word games and mind manipulation, it sadly earns the title of useful idiots ... too many Americans are naive about their political ‘system’ and its politicians ... America is a land of plenty. Plenty of food, plenty of money, plenty of gods, plenty of corrupt politicians and alas, plenty of useful idiots that repetitively vote for them.”
From five million Coloradans, 65 House and 35 Senate members emerge to serve public office in the Legislature. They take an oath to support the Colorado and U. S. Constitutions. This is their only required oath -- not to their constituents, the government, their political party, nor the citizens, voters and taxpayers of Colorado, not even to their families or themselves. Just to the rich heritage, words, meaning, expression, majesty and magnificence of those documents.
Question: How many elected officials have read both documents, before or after entering office? The oath presumes familiarity with, understanding of, and a full, recent read and determination to honor them. Otherwise it’s easier to create, cultivate and control “useful idiots.”
Officeholders are prote cted in this ignorance. Those who voted them into office too are “useful idiots.” They have little familiarity, interest or knowledge of those documents whose power is to contain and control only the government, not the people.
Once public officials, they are in intimate contact with “the system” – elected colleagues, special interests, partisan political parties, government bureaucracy and employees, bond dealers, lobbyists and friends of same, and far removed from those who sent them there. The Legislature meets for 120 days creating legislation presumably to make Colorado a better place. However, officeholders’ limited political, economic, business, financial, constitutional and governmental acumen put them at the mercy of the true, long-term professionals, well-paid, who know how to manipulate people, opinions, legislative bills and votes.
With accompanying “spotlight and applause,” many of these “useful idiots” can be persuaded to perform in ways anathema to what they otherwise would want done, or perhaps more importantly, not done. They sponsor, sign on to, or support bills that on their face violate their oath of office and the Constitution.
Examples of the Useful Idiot Dodge (UID) are abundant. Colorado’s executive, legislative and judicial branches too often misapply, misinterpret or ignore the Constitution when it threatens their agenda or very existence. Good job, “useful idiots,” on the following:
** “FASTER” legislation politically morphed an in-fact tax increase into an automobile fee increase, to obtain more revenue, and avoid submitting it to the electorate, in compliance with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution.
** The General Assembly could have put on the ballot a gasoline tax increase, but no. Instead, this UID was an intentional end-run around TABOR, depriving taxpayers of their power to accept or reject this tax increase.
** The general assembly enacted a mill levy freeze to increase tax revenue to the schools, to provide the general fund more money to spend, again without a vote of the people, a UID for a billion dollars over the next ten years.
** Boisterous assault on TABOR, with a power-hungry and derelict Democratic Majority in the House, Senate, Supreme Court and Governorship. The next TABOR-forbidden UID target, is the 1 992 Bird-Arveschoug six percent growth limit to the General Fund, conservatively interpreted and highly respected for 17 years, is now being plundered to allow for easier, less confined state spending.
** The current target is to throw Colorado’s nine electoral votes into a consensus pool of other states, making null and void the Founder’s concepts. The 222-years-old Electoral College was crafted to protect the small versus big states. Requiring a consortium of states to support one national candidate/party is a UID that shrinks the power of Colorado voters. Is there no limit?
William Shakespeare said in Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” That’s the tragic tale of today’s “useful idiots.” While in office they are conned into legislative actions that are long-term anathema to what their Founders and Freedom Documents, their children, grandchildren, even themselves; and unborn, unrepresented generations in the future would want. But once in, laws stay. Good job, “useful idiots.”
Conversely, realization is how legislators can get beyond being “useful idiots.” They first realize the Founders created a system of limited government and self-governing people, that government is to protect the people's rights and property, that its financial impact was not to overspend, overtax or over borrow, that its Founding document, the Constitution, was meant to control the government, not the people. When the people put in place an amendment to the Constitution, it is not up to the legislators to flail it to oblivion, but to respect and abide by it. Inconvenient, frustrating or difficult? Deal with it.
How can one avoid becoming or being an elected official or citizen “useful idiot?” Six steps:
1. Read, understand, know, preserve and protect America’s and Colorado’s Freedom Documents--Declaration of Independence, Constitutions and their incredibly important Bills of Rights. Lesson: Master the basics, the fundamentals of a successful society.
2. Build your knowledge and understanding of history’s fundamentals -- its ideas, philosophies, ideals, events and actors, heroes and villains. “Who knows only his own generation remains always a child,” is chiseled on a building at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Lesson: Grow up.
3: Read. Watch. Listen. Think. Understand. Lesson: Get and stay informed.
4. Quit being a civics dropout, constitutional illiterate or citizen slug. America’s Republic (not “Democracy”) is not a spectator sport. Lesson: Become aware, interested, informed, concerned, involved and active in what is going on.
5. Share your information, knowledge and concern. America’s educational system leaves too much out. On many talk shows I told listeners too many Americans are “dumbed down, numbed up, tuned out and turned off.” We need to turn them back on, to a country and future of Freedom and destiny. Lesson: Share true personal Freedom and political Liberty.
Sixth: Seeing a “useful idiot” committing a UID, pounce on it. Lesson: It’s up to you.
President George Washington said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
Louis D. Brandeis said, “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men (and women) of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Nobel Laureate Economist Dr. Milton Friedman, “Our problem is not ignorance. It’s what we know that’s not so.”
Note: The term “useful idiot” is not meant in any way to disparage, deprecate, defame, denigrate or demean the word “idiot.”