The ACLU's Radical Roots

Examining the pedigree of groups helps us understand why they act the way they do today.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) purports to uphold First Amendment freedoms for all Americans, but its seminal doctrines and selective choice of cases reveal something else altogether.

The ACLU was founded in 1920 by leftwing activists, including socialists Norman Thomas and Crystal Eastman, lesbian social and peace activist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, then-radical jurist Felix Frankfurter and communist Roger Baldwin., founded by former leftist David Horowitz, often strips bare the liberal front groups and exposes their radical nature. Here are some excerpts from a March 6, 2017 article by Daniel Greenfield that shed some light on the ACLU’s lineage:

 “In 1934, Roger Nash Baldwin, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the ACLU, wrote an article for ‘Soviet Russia’, in which he quite clearly explained why he was fighting for civil liberties.


“‘I believe in non-violent methods of struggle as most effective in the long run for building up successful working class power. Where they cannot be followed or where they are not even permitted by the ruling class, obviously only violent tactics remain. I champion civil liberty as the best of the non-violent means of building the power on which worker's rule must be based. If I aid the reactionaries to get free speech now and then, if I go outside the class struggle to fight against censorship, it is only because those liberties help to create a more hospitable atmosphere for working class liberties. The class struggle is the central conflict of the world; all others are incidental. When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever.’

“To understand this paragraph is to know why the ACLU is a scam...

“The ACLU does not believe in civil liberties. It is not fighting for an America with freedom and civil liberties. Civil liberties are only a tactic that the ACLU uses to undermine and overthrow America, in order to replace it with a totalitarian state that they will maintain ‘by any means whatever’. When the ACLU, on rare occasions, defends conservatives, it only does so for the long game in order to maintain a political environment that favors the eventual takeover of America.”

It was because of the ACLU’s radicalism that Ronald Reagan’s architect of welfare reform, Bob Carleson, founded the American Civil Rights Union in 1998 as a counterforce.  Former Attorney General Edwin Meese continues to serve on the ACRU’s board of directors and policy board. 

Mr. Greenfield also turned up a tweet from the national office of the ACLU that he says shows the organization is “not just constitutionally illiterate. It's just plain illiterate ….”

“I for one believe we need to uphold not just the tenets, but the letter of the Constitution as it was originally intended,” Mr. Greenfield writes. “And we need to get rid of the parasite activist tenants, like the ACLU, camped out in our Constitution and fighting to protect the Sharia invaders out to destroy our Constitution.”

Mr. Greenfield, who has a blog, writes often about dangers posed by radical Islam.

Robert Knight is a Senior Fellow for the American Civil Rights Union. 


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