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Senator Javits. Thank you very much, Mr. Comparet.
Mr. COMPARET. The Christian Nationalist Crusade is a political committee, organized as such.
Senator JAVITS. Thank you very much.
Senator JAVITS. Very well.
STATEMENT OF BERTRAND L. COMPARET, REPRESENTING CITIZENS' OONGRESSIONAL
COMMITTEE ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO SENATE STANDING RULE XXII Mr. Chairman and Honorable Senators, I am against all of the proposed amendments to standing rule XXII. This means nothing more than my own opinion, unless I state my reasons for this opposition. I assure you that you will find that they all have a bearing on the undesirability of the amendments. The proposed change can only be understood in the light of the existing situation. This shows that the amendments would destroy the Senate's greatest value to the American people its capacity to guard their ancient liberties.
I wonder how many people realize that the United States is now undergoing actual revolution ? Not violent revolution, overthrowing a government in a day or a week, but revolution by treachery and hypocrisy, leaving the outward shell of a government emptied of all its original principles and refilled with alien purposes masked under the old forms; destroying the American traditions and freedoms which made this Nation great; and by doing this by degrees, over a period of years, escaping recognition for what it is.
To be revolution, it need not be violent. What is revolution? It is only the substitution of a new order in place of the old, but accomplished by means other than the honest and lawful amendment of the Constitution. While this can be done by violence, it is also done more easily and more effectively by subversion from within than by violence from without. It is against this that the unfettered power of every Senator is most needed.
Socialists have been unable to gain power under their own name; but they have found that all they really need is to infiltrate and take over control of old and respected political parties. We need not speculate about their intentions or their methods: We have our first actual example of the successful use of this technique in England, when the Liberal Party was taken over by them. They organized a compact, well-controlled bloc of leftwing, Socialist-Communist votes ; then they offered the support of this bloc to the Liberal Party in return for its support of one of their principles. The nasty word "socialism" was carefully avoided : They called themselves the Labor Party, and carefully advanced socialistic principles, one at a time, under the names of "Economic planning” and “Welfare reforms." By their cooperation, the Liberal Party voting strength was increased, so liberals swallowed the bait-and were hooked. Thereafter they feared to lose the added voting strength of the Socialists; but at each election the price of Socialist support came higher-adoption of another Socialist principle; and they paid that price to keep the Socialist vote in line. The much larger Liberal Party was now the helpless prisoner of the minority Labor Party; the tail wagged the dog. By its success in promoting socialism under welfare disguise, the Labor Party was finally able to absorb and discard the Liberal Party. When they came into power, after World War II, they put these principles into more complete effect, with disastrous results to both the prosperity and the freedom of the British people. You know of their nationalization of several major industries--the ones which control all others and that these nationalized industries thereafter operated at a ruinous loss, paid for by the American taxpayer. But this was not the worst.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARIES
As always when Socialist planners take power, tyranny and compulsion became the normal and invariable means of enforcing the plans. British workmen found laws probibited them from changing jobs without Government consent; they could be ordered to work in those industries which Government felt most needed them and imprisoned for refusal to obey. British farmers found themselves assigned production quotas of specified crops, which they must meet under penalty of condemnation of their farms, which would thereafter be operated as a state farm under Government-appointed managers. True, the Labor Party was voted out of office before very man Britons were jailed for violation of these laws; but the power was there, and was being used. Now a similar group is using the same technique on us.
In the United States, the same strategy was successful—up to the point where our Constitution interposed a barrier to complete socialization. I need not review for you how a motley collection of Socialist-Communist phony liberals took over control of the respected Democratic Party, and made that once stanch champion of States rights and individual liberty, abandon all its historic principles and spawn many schemes for Government regulation of nearly every phase of life (each one complete with reports, taxes, and hordes of bureaucratic inspectors and coinmissions)—all this as the price of obtaining the Socialist-Communist vote. They have become the helpless prisoner of their minorities. Now the Republican Party has been captured by the same strategy of inducing it to bid for the same leftwing vote; until this has reached the point where the most truthful and objective criticism of the Republican administration made at the 1956 Democratic National Convention was that voiced by Congressman Rayburn, who pointed out that the Republicans had promised us a bold new approach to the Nation's problems, yet had changed almost nothing of Roosevelt's New Deal system.
The result is even more dangerous here than in England, for they have here deprived the great American majority of any party to represent them: we have no opposition party to offer the public a choice of opposing principles. In 1956, either Presidential candidate could have run on the other's platform, and no one would have known the difference for there was no difference save in the words used to make the same appeals to the same minorities. The majorities of both parties—an enormous majority between them—have no voice for the preservation of their old liberties. Under this clever control of both parties, the way is open to the Socialist revolution whichever party is nominally in power.
Part of this Socialist revolution is the class and race warfare they are so desperately fanning into flame. By propaganda on which someone is spending millions of dollars, a certain class, a certain race, is persuaded that it is oppressed and downtrodden. The wicked falsity of this propaganda would be apparent to anyone who took the time to think: there is not another nation in the world where the highest third of their population fares as well as the lowest third of ours. But who can find time to think, amid the constant din of newspaper, radio, and television propaganda pouring out the same ceaseless lie—that every American principle which has made us great, which has brought us more liberty, more prosperity, more education, more of the comforts of life than any other nation in history has even aspired to-these principles, they tell us, have produced only misery and oppression. Various admittedly minority groups are thus goaded into destroying one or another of the constitutional liberties which are the only safeguard of us all.
This is just one part of the socialist revolutionary plan. The next step is to jam through the legislative department multitudes of unwise laws to lead us, step by step, down the road to socialism—which is only the front door to communism. I need not remind Senators or Congressmen of the pressures brought upon them daily by organized minorities which seek to dictate to the great American majority. How many days or hours—has it been since you were last threatened with political reprisals if you did not vote for some law which you knew to be unwise and dangerous? Some of these minorities (who admittedly speak not as Americans, but as separate, antagonistic groups, distinet from and hostile to the American majority) wield terrible power through their control of money and their influence over newspapers and radio by means of their power to withdraw advertising from any newspaper or radio station which does not surrender to their censorship and slanting of news. Laws demanded by them are always to advance the separate interests of their own group at the expense of all the rest of us. Many legislators are put on the spot by such demands from special-interest pressure groups whom they fear to oppose, and disastrously unwise laws will be enacted unless those members who are not vulnerable to such pressure are left free to effectively expose and fight them.
For a long time, our governmental theory of checks and balances kept us from falling under a minority tyranny, the same as that in Russia. The lust for power is always strongest in those who are least worthy to have it; and power always gravitates into the hands of the most ruthless and unscrupulous. All power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In theory, we have prevented the accumulation of excessive power in any one branch of government by making each a watchdog over the others. The legislative department is prevented from usurping power by (1) the Executive's veto power, and (2) the judicial department's power to adjudge a statute unconstitutional. The executive department could be (but rarely is) held in check by (1) the legislative department's control of the public purse and (2) its power of impeachment, and (3) sometimes by the judicial power to rule an Executive order unconstitutional. But no effective control as yet been exercised over the Supreme Court's flagrant usurpation of power to make new laws under the guise of judicial decision. In theory, the check on this is the legislative department's power of impeachment; in practice there are not enough legislators who have the courage or integrity to use it; so it is a dead letter-really a danger, because it lulls us with a promise of protection which does not really exist.
Until recently, the socialist revoltion by subversion was held in check by our Constitution. But the Constitution does not enforce itself: We enjoy only such constitutional rights as the courts enforce. And there the revolutionists found the weak point in our national armor: Subvert the Supreme Court, and all other parts of the revolution follow almost automatically. Subversion of the Constitution is more easily accomplished, and more disastrously complete, when done by 9 men in black robes than by 90,000 men in black masks. Indeed, the Supreme Court is now too impatient to wait for subversion by legislation ; It wants to lead the way to the rosy new world of socialism. Citing as their principal authority a leftwing alien who has called our Constitution a plot against the common people, they have destroyed constitutional rights of the States which their more honorable predecessors have upheld for two generations and they do this on the specious ground that “we can't turn the clock back to 1896" to follow their own Court's previous decisions on the same point If this is good constitutional law, then what will you say when they next decide that they "can't turn the clock back to 1791" to uphold the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, right to jury trial, and the rest of the Bill of Rights? You cannot afford to be complacent about this, no matter what promises or threats you have received from minority groups. The chains you help forge for another you will soon feel on your own wrists. Already, all the evil blackmail of minority group pressure has forced through the House of Representatives a law embodying that historic instrument of tyranny, government by injunction, without right to jury trial. With this will surely come its inevitable result-all the infamous practices of the ancient court of the star chamber, which enforced its evil rule in the same manner. But be assured that the Supreme Court will uphold this, because it is a phase of the socialist revolution : They will not hesitate to turn the clock back to 1496 for that purpose.
You cannot look to the President to protect us from this danger. In the first place, even if he were not under the same pressures, his constitutional power is not sufficient for that purpose. And in the second place, the American tradition has always been against rule by the strong man, the man on horseback. When we reach the point where our salvation must come from that source, we will have already lost everything. The Senate must remain the defender of our liberties.
American liberties cannot be lost by retaining the same constitutional rights we have known from our beginning, the rights which made us great, enlightened, and free. The danger is in hasty, unwise change. When the real majority of the people themselves want a change, it can be done readily and effectively by amendment of the Constitution. But the socialist revolutionaries know that the people would never vote for their schemes: That is why they never propose honest constitutional amendment, but always the backdoor entry of their revolution by hypocrisy-giving lip service to the Constitution, while destroying the heart of it by interpretation which perverts every principle of it to serve their alien philosophy
The United States Senate is now the last remaining agency which can guard our liberties. Its historic purpose has nerer been the basty rubber-stamp adop tion of every unwise law by which minority pressure groups seek special advantages for themselves : It has always been the opposite to prevent the passage of
bad laws. I believe it was George Washington who used the famous illustration of the funetion of the Senate: That it was like pouring your too-hot tea from the cup into the saucer, to cool it off. No law should be passed until careful study has shown it to be not only wise but actually desired by the real majority. This cannot be done under gag-rule censorship. It requires the utmost freedom of debate. And it is just when minority group blackmail pressure is the strongest that it is most essential that the courageous Members should be left free to fight it.
All of the proposed amendments to standing rule XXII are bad. Resolution 21 would allow the gag rule to be applied by just 25 votes out of the 96 Senatorsand even less if some of those present failed to vote. Resolutions 17, 30, and 32 would impose gag rule by only 33 votes and even less if some present fail to vote. Resolutions 19 and 28 require a bare majority vote to apply gag rule. But when a law is so unfair that 49 percent of the Senators are opposed to it, that is just when gag rule is most dangerous. Such a law demands the most careful serutiny, the utmost freedom of debate. The forces and motives behind it, the advantages its supporters seek to gain by it, the effect it will have on those who oppose it, the clash of philosophies of government between the two groupsall these need to be explored fully. Its iniquities cannot be exposed in 1 hour's time by anyone.
The Senate already has the power, under rule XXII as it now stands, to protect itself against any abuse of the right of free speech on its floor. But if any of these proposed amendments are adopted, it will have lost the effective power to protect the Nation from the abuses of gag-rule censorship and the tyranny of pressure groups. The Senate is our last line of defense against the subversion of our liberties : This can be accomplished only by preventing passage of bad laws, not by looking to someone else to undo the damage you have done. If you let this defense fall, you will have proved unworthy of the trust placed in you by the American people. If you are ready to pull down the Temple of American Liberties, remember that Samson himself perished in the common downfall he created. If you destroy our liberties, how can you keep your own?
Senator Javits. W. L. Foster, United States Day Committee, Tulsa, Okla.
Mr. Foster, under the rules of the committee which we have had to adopt because of our problems with the length of hearings, we have, as the chairman said I think when you were here, expressed our desire to the witnesses to confine their oral statements to 10 minutes. But we are not overly strict on that.
I do notice your statement is quite long, so that we will leave it to you as to how you wish to present the matter. We will be glad to include anything you wish us to in the record as well as your oral statement.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARIES
STATEMENT OF W. L. FOSTER, UNITED STATES DAY COMMITTEE,
TULSA, OKLA. Mr. FOSTER. Mr. Chairman, I represent the United States Day Committee as national chairman. And I have no oral statement to make any further than to say that we are here in opposition to any limitation of debate in the Senate of the United States.
I have here with me our statement, which, as you say, is somewhat long. And I would like to read from that.
Senator Javits. Please go right ahead. Read as much as you feel you should
Mr. FOSTER. And we want to present that for the record and also the official resolution that was passed by the central committee of the United States Day Committee.
Senator JAVITs. You proceed in your own way.
Will you tell us first what the committee is and what its membership consists of, Mr. Foster?
Mr. FOSTER. United States Day Committee was organized in Tulsa in 1953 for the purpose of promoting Americanism. The local membership, of the central committee, is composed of some 30 to 35 members. It is growing. And the membership lists are constantly being revised upward. There are many local committees over the country the registration of which we do not have. We only have some general idea as to the following by the fact that many governors have proclaimed the day, and something over 200 mayors the last year proclaimed the day under the influence of local committees.
Senator Javits. You may proceed, Mr. Foster.
Mr. FOSTER. We say sound and salutary reasons of public policy prompt our unyielding opposition to any proposal for modification of the rules of the United States Senate for the further limitation of debate upon proposed legislation, thereby expediting the passage of more new laws.
Any proposed new law obviously involves a departure from laws, regulations, and practices theretofore in effect. For this reason, every new law is in a large measure an experiment. The circumstance that a law is new can be no assurance that it is wise, needed, or will prove helpful.
On the contrary, it may be stated as a general thesis that the oldest and simplest laws in the world—those tried and tested by long experience are the best. Moses, as the oracle of God, was able to summarize all the essential basic rules of human conduct in Ten Commandments. To the 10th, Jesus, the Divine lawgiver, added only one, and that but a summation of all the others.
Contrast the simplicity and comprehensiveness of this code of laws with the thousands upon thousands of pages of complex, confusing and often contradictory, senseless, and illogical product of modern legislative assemblies, not excluding, we admit with regret, the Congress of the United States.
To us it seems hardly debatable that the trend in modern times in the Nation's Congress is toward the passages of far too many, rather than too few, laws. The laws passed by the Congress too generally involve extension of Federal authority into fields either previously regulated thoroughly and at least reasonably well by laws of the States or reserved as rights and liberties to the people.
For such reasons, it is to us but reasonable and proper to place upon advocates of new legislation the very heavy burden of showing both the need for the change and convincing evidence that the proposed new way is better than the tried and established old way.
It is also submitted as a sound thesis that new legislation is too frequently sponsored by combinations of minorities of special interest group, promoted to serve private interests, to gain votes, or further personal objectives.
The more indefensible such legislation is, the more agitation there will be for speedy passage and restrictions upon analysis and debate.
Seldom in modern days does new legislation represent a general demand from a majority of the people, nor does new legislation originate with citizens who have considered the matter objectively or solely from the standpoint of the general public welfare.