“If I Were President”
by JBS Founder Robert Welch, March 1968
This is a heavily edited excerpt of Mr. Welch’s 15-page speech he presented over the years and reprinted in the JBS Bulletin in March, 1968. We share it to demonstrate that the same issues we face today were not unlike those in 1968 and that there clearly is time to restore America to the greatness as envisioned by the founders.
In plain language, I have no desire, intention, or expectation of ever being President of anything except The John Birch Society and some of its affiliated organizations. The title and the whole hypothesis of this speech are chosen simply as a dramatic means of putting before you a program which we offer free, and heartily recommend, to any candidate who does want to become President of the United States.
I. FIRST THINGS FIRST
A. Tell the American people the facts of life. Our first official act, obviously, after taking the oath of office, would be the inaugural address. In this singular opportunity we would review very frankly the horrible mess in which our country now finds itself. We would stress the extremely serious dangers which now threaten us.
B. Put none but patriots in charge. Our next job would be the appointment of cabinet members and other administrative officials. In making these appointments we would not turn to the Communist press for its advice and consent.
C. Restore confidence in the dollar. With the earliest appointments made, and others on the way, we would go to work at once to reestablish our currency on a completely sound basis:
(1) Discontinue all foreign aid. Both under that name and under the various disguises in which the biggest expenditures have long been cloaked.
(2) Have the federal government sell to private industry all businesses of every kind that are now owned and operated by government agencies. The money received could be applied to make some reduction in the national debt. The businesses themselves, if continued in private hands, would begin to contribute to the government’s revenue by paying taxes.
(3) Appoint a top-grade, successful, self-made Conservative American businessman as Assistant Secretary of Defense for one job, and with that job as his only concern; namely, to find and eliminate sheer waste in our expenditures for military purposes. Of what we are spending on and for our armed forces, billions of dollars per year could be eliminated without anybody even knowing the difference—except for the greater efficiency which would result from the very measures taken to cut out the waste.
(4) Announce our intention of appointing a similar Assistant Secretary, of similar background and with identically the same purpose, for every department of the federal government with cabinet status.
(5) Issue a formal notice, to England, France, Soviet Russia, and all other nations where such notices would be applicable, that we expected their indebtedness to the United States to be paid. We would explain that longtime refunding on generous terms could be arranged. But we would make clear that the interest charges on these debts, and eventually periodic payments on the principal, would have to be made— in gold or in American dollars, which we intended to make visibly equivalent.
These five steps are all that would be necessary. You would immediately see the end of the present flight from the dollar and the beginning of a flight to the dollar, which would be the greatest money movement in all human history. And this alone would give not only the American people, but the whole world, a breath of fresh air and a hope for stability and peace and common sense once again.
II. AROUND THE WORLD
A. Break the grip of the atomic bomb nightmare. Speaking as President of the United States, we would proclaim a new kind of worldwide Monroe Doctrine with regard to the use of atomic weapons. This would state in plain language, that the military use of an atomic weapon, by anybody, anywhere, would be regarded by ourselves as an act of war against the United States. We would include in this proclamation the assurance that none of our own atomic bombs would be employed militarily, except solely in retaliation, as a means of guaranteeing that such bombs would not be used by anybody else.
B. Have our government stop helping the Communists. Let the United States government simply announce that it is discontinuing all help of every kind, material, diplomatic, political, or moral to Communist regimes.
C. Sever all diplomatic relations with all Communist regimes.
D. Wind up the wars. For without the aid and protection being given by Washington to our enemies, they could not keep any kind of sizable war going anywhere for three months. But because of the lives of Americans involved, we would early take more direct steps to end this tragic horror.
Specifically I would tell the new Secretary of Defense it was his job to see that adequate supplies of first class equipment, ammunition, and war material of every kind, were made available to our fighting forces, and kept available at all times.
E. And finally, Get US out! This means, of course, that we would get the United States out of the United Nations, and take the necessary steps to get the United Nations out of the United States.
III. WITHIN THE UNITED STATES
A. Inform the people. For thirty five years all the power of government has been used to make the people accept socialism and believe Communist propaganda. That program was never as extensive, as brazen, or as pervasive as it is today. And it is time for the other side to be heard, even through the voice of government.
B. Untie the Congressional Committees. We would repudiate and rescind the executive order, issued by President Eisenhower on May 17, 1954, and any similar or supporting Executive Orders which have been issued since. Most of the American people are still unaware that this unconstitutional and imperial edict by the ‘then President put an end to all investigation by Congressional committees of Communists in government. And during the dozen years since then their number has increased by leaps and bounds, as is clearly shown by the visible results of their influence.
C. Impeach justices legislating from the bench. There would be nothing new about this in American history. The precedent was set by President Thomas Jefferson, in his unceasing and successful effort to bring about the impeachment of Justice Samuel Chase of the Supreme Court.
D. Start a spring house cleaning. It would probably last into the summer and the fall. In the administrative departments we would begin, with the help of our appointees in top positions, a careful but steady weeding out of all officials whose loyalty to the United States was subject to serious question. In the most flagrant cases of actual treason, as revealed by Congressional committee investigations or the files of the FBI, we would not stop at removal, but would see that criminal prosecution was duly instituted. The trial even of obvious traitors should be carried out cautiously and meticulously according to law. But this whole mighty issue, of Communists in government, has to come to a showdown sooner or later; and the sooner it takes place, the safer for our side.
E. Support our local police forces. We would do everything properly in the power of the federal government, and anything which could be accomplished by the prestige and persuasion of the President, to return the preservation of law and order to the local police forces of this country. We would do all we could to keep those police forces independent, and to see that they were allowed to do their duties as guardians of life and property, instead of being made the helpless victims of brutality on the part of mobs, rioters, and protected criminals. And we would help to arouse such a public clamor against the coddling of criminals by the courts and various government agencies as to start the crime rate in this country dropping like a punctured balloon.
F. Put government on a diet. Before this was done we would need a diagnosis. The first job given each department head therefore, as one means of becoming thoroughly familiar with his own department, would be to prepare a written justification of its existence and its size.
G. But don’t kill the patient. In thus reducing the quantity of government, and with regard to what every agency does or is supposed to do, we would be guided by one basic principle: Is there a better way? And the emotion-packed question of so-called social security offers an excellent example of what we are talking about. For even though the whole system is based on falsehood and riddled with fraud, simply to wipe it off the books today would be unwise and unfair, as well as politically impossible.
H. Practice what we preach. We would rapidly take whatever steps were necessary to bring the powers of the presidency itself back within those bounds and functions clearly prescribed by the Constitution. This would include the elimination altogether of government by what are now called Executive Orders, and government by any other means of circumventing or short-circuiting the legislative and judicial processes.
I. Kill the income tax—and its brother. The graduated income tax, of course, always has been a cardinal part of the Communist program for the subversion and subjugation of any capitalistic nation. The income tax takes purchasing power out of the hands of the producers, and puts it into the hands of government. The excuse for the graduated income tax is that the government needs the money. This was carefully planted in the minds of the American people, in the very early years of the income tax, when the small percentage taken by government had no other visible purpose than to pay the government’s bills. Today, and at the present tax levels, the government not only does not need all of this money, but the bureaucrats have to work very hard to waste and spend enough to come out with the desired deficits.
J. And find everywhere the better way. We cannot deal here with the government’s hands in public health, in public education, or in public welfare. To show the horrible and evil mess that the federal government is now creating in any one of these fields would require a speech twice the length of this one. We cannot go into such matters as the government in agriculture, in the subsidization of manufacturing, in the gradual gathering under the government wing of so much of American research, and in a hundred other areas and activities where it has no business or right to be, and where it can only do drastic damage in the long run.
Never using a meat axe, therefore, to chop off government services, but always trying to find a better way for any positive and worthwhile service or security it is trying to provide, we would seek — by public consent—to return government to its sole proper function of protecting the lives and property of all its citizens from the criminal tendencies of the few and the ambitions of foreign tyrants. And our program would resolve itself into pursuit of a long familiar objective. We would try to bring an era of less government and more responsibility to a people now bitterly frustrated and confused by exactly the opposite philosophy.
IV. AND WHAT MATTERS MOST
Finally, in a very short section and without subheads, let’s cover briefly the most important of all the problems our Administration would tackle—if I were President!
By the example of our appointees and ourselves, by exhortation based on the experience of ages, by trying to make the younger generation understand the meaning of civilization and realize the long hard cost of the civilization we have inherited, we would undertake to turn this nation back to a belief in morality, in dignity, in self-reliance, in cleanliness, in good taste and good manners; and to a sound sense of values based on all that man has learned, or should have learned, from the past. We would try to make America understand the truth that no nation has ever been happy except during those eras when devotion to God, country, and family were taken for granted as virtues, to be praised and practiced to the fullest extent that human frailty would permit. Having finally routed, at whatever cost of labor or even of life, the forces of evil now arrayed against us in the most sinister and extensive conspiracy of all human history, we would try to set our country on the right course to live out its great destiny and—with God’s help— to lead the way to a better world.
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New SAT Announced by Architect of Common Core
by JBS President John F. McManus
The College Board has long provided the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). For aspiring college entrants, winning acceptance by the institution of one’s choice has depended to a large degree on how well he or she scored on the three-hour SAT. Preparatory instruction seminars designed to help students do well on the test became a fixture in many communities.
SAT has faced competition from a rival known as ACT (American College Test). Tutoring prior to taking its test has also flourished. Where SAT had always dominated the field, its grip on testing high schoolers has shrunk. In 2013, ACT counted 1.8 million takers while SAT slipped to second place with 1.7 million.
In 2012, Common Core Standards architect David Coleman left his federal post and accepted the presidency of College Board, the parent of SAT. He indicated he was leaving his work with the highly criticized and controversial Common Core program in order to improve the SAT which, he claimed, “had become disconnected from the work of our high schools.” Common Core has already demonstrated that its goals will substitute technical and procedural education for traditional and classical studies in the fields of literature, math, science, etc. In other words, the new Common Core program will revolutionize education.
Unfortunately, approximately 45 state education boards have signed on to the new Common Core Standards. That they were bribed to do so by federal education handouts is key to understanding their speedy and ill-advised acceptance. It would now seem that David Coleman’s newly announced plans to revise SAT will accommodate the work he has already done as a Common Core architect. Because various state education boards have already committed to Common Core, they will of necessity stay with or revert back to SAT. Rival ACT will obviously have to adapt to what students are being given by Common Core.
Lost in the discussions about SAT being reworked is the chilling news that educational quality in the United States continues to plummet. Now anywhere from 17th to 25th in national ratings, our country doesn’t need a revised SAT as much as it needs the federal government out of education. Try to find authorization for federal involvement in education in the Constitution. One doesn’t need a high score on either SAT or ACT to see it doesn’t exist, Which leads to the conclusion that tinkering with the tests given to aspiring college entrants isn’t what’s needed. Getting fedgov out of education and letting communities across the nation manage their own schools is far more important, if the plunge into mediocrity and worse is to be reversed.
Drug Kingpin Arrest Won’t Stop Drug Trade
by JBS President John F. McManus
Two weeks ago, authorities from Mexico and the U.S. arrested the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel during a pre-dawn raid in the Mexican city of Mazatlan. Joaquin Guzman Loera and four members of the well-known worldwide drug operation surrendered without a fight.
The Sinaloa cartel operated not only in Mexico and neighboring United States but had cooperative efforts with several European criminal elements including the Cosa Nostra in Sicily. While many hoped that the apprehension of Guzman would lead to a slowdown or termination of drug trafficking, a more realistic assessment expected little change. Sadly, we note that Sinaloa is not alone, only the largest international drug provider.
Samuel Logan has earned a reputation as one of the more astute analysts of worldwide criminal activity. An official of the investment firm Southern Pulse, he cautioned against expecting that the arrest of Guzman would have much of an effect on the drug trade. “The entire Mexican state could fall,” he commented, “and the drug trade will continue.” As reported by The New York Times, Logan compared the loss of a key member of the cartel with the effect a similar takedown of the leader of McDonald’s would cause. “If the C.E.O. of McDonald’s was arrested today,” he believes, “you could still buy a hamburger in Tokyo tomorrow.” That is the reality of the worldwide drug business. No one has risen to deny that.
According to some experts who study the problem, the drug trade will continue as long as there is a demand. And the demand will continue, even grow, as long as there is no alternative to the thrill-seeking initially provided by drugs and the life of dependency on pills, needles and rootlessness that follows.
Though they will try, law enforcement and medical experts won’t solve the drug problem. Neither will sociologists or the federal War on Drugs (another no-win war?). The need is for a strengthening of families and the associated religious and academic training that stable families always provide. Joaquin Guzman Loera may now be behind bars and that’s where he belongs. But we will soon learn the name of his successor in the very lucrative and very harmful drug business. And drug trafficking will continue to grow as the family structure, heavily under attack, continues to deteriorate.
Ukraine: U.S. Should Stay Out
by JBS President John F. McManus
As Ukrainians well know, being Russia’s neighbor can be frightening. One doesn’t have to go back too far in history to know that the 1930s saw Stalin’s forces led by Nikita Khrushchev create a famine in Ukraine that killed upwards of seven million. Food was either shipped out of the country or destroyed in one of the more barbarous crimes ever committed by man against man. It was even remarkably horrible for the Soviet Union’s monsters.
Against the desires of a vast majority of the Ukrainian people, their country existed for most of the 20th century as one of the dozen Soviet satellite nations totally controlled by the Kremlin. At the founding of the UN in 1945, Stalin even inveigled a General Assembly vote for the Ukrainian SSR, something that would have been akin to awarding a vote for Puerto Rico that would, of course, have been controlled by the United States.
The southeastern portion of Ukraine contains the Crimean peninsula jutting out into the Black Sea. It is, for history buffs, the home of Yalta, the resort community where Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met early in 1945. The three carved up Europe and the Far East precisely as Stalin wanted. Roosevelt aide Alger Hiss, a U.S. citizen who was a secret Soviet partisan, helped obtain for Stalin (his ultimate boss) everything the bloody-handed dictator wanted.
The two million living in Crimea today are more than 50 percent Russian-speaking. They would likely be happy to see their peninsula become part of Russia while the rest prefer to leave things as they have been for many years. But when the corrupt and ineffective Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was forced out of office only a few weeks ago, factions within the country saw their chances to prevail. So, too, did Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the former head of the Soviet Union’s dreaded KGB, see an opportunity to seize control. He sent more than 100,000 Russian soldiers to boost his chances.
U.S. media tell us of grave concern emanating from President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senators McCain and Graham (both of whom have long indicated their preference for using America’s military power almost anywhere), and others. Troops from Russia have moved in Crimea and a non-shooting face-off developed immediately between them and some outnumbered Ukrainian soldiers.
What should the United States do about this crisis on the other side of the world? How about nothing? How about merely expressing hopes that there be no shooting, that common sense will prevail, and that maybe the people who live there will end up deciding for themselves which country they belong to and who their leader will be.
The last thing needed is for the U.S. to flex its military muscles once again. American policing of the world has got to stop. Announcing such a new policy would be welcomed by the people of our country and by most of mankind. We believe it would also lead to a more peaceful world, not only in the Crimea but everywhere.
To learn more about the Ukraine’s inside players, visit this article from The New American.
To learn more about The John Birch Society, visit JBS.org.
First Agenda 21, Now Common Core: Another Manifesto Plank Pursued
by JBS President John F. McManus
“Agenda 21” arose from the enormous 1992 United Nations conference about the environment held in Rio de Janeiro. A thousand-page book, it outlines ways to take over local governments throughout the world, all done in the name of “sustainability.” But none who are being enticed into accepting funds and accompanying controls were told that they were accepting a United Nations program designed to move the world into the New World Order.
More recently, educationists within the United States have been busy inserting new educational standards for America’s schools. Called “Common Core,” these standards come with the usual federal funding that should be labeled bribery. Many local school departments have signed on and now see their goals being set by educational bureaucrats led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. He even admitted when speaking to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010 of his commitment to a “cradle-to-career education agenda … that starts with early childhood learning and extends all the way to college and careers.”
In the field of literature, Common Core will replace student exposure to the classics with reading technical documents. In mathematics, a Common Core instructor of other teachers has defended a student’s wrong answer to a simple multiplication question with, “It’s OK as long as he can explain the process” by which he arrived at the incorrect answer. Common Core expects to set the standards for all subjects. They will surely bring down the already abysmal performance of our nation’s educational system.
There’s much more to be said about Common Core, but let’s sum it up by asserting that the purpose isn’t to educate in the traditional sense. It is to create human drones for the looming New World Order. The goal is a world government run by a powerful few with the rest of mankind required to keep their place in menial work for the elite.
Where is all this coming from? We urge taking a look at “The Communist Manifesto” given to the world by Marx and Engels in 1848. After boldly proclaiming their intent to bring about “abolition of private property” (clearly the goal of Agenda 21), the Manifesto proceeds to attack a free people’s culture by aiming at the family, morality, independent countries, and more. The tenth of its famous Ten Planks calls for “Free education for all children in public schools.” The world “public,” of course, means government. Then this very same passage mentions the goal of combining “education with industrial production,” Which is precisely what we mean when we say that Common Core’s purpose is “to create human drones for the New World Order.”
Many Americans have become disturbed when made aware of Agenda 21 and Common Core. Resistance to both is building. But tearing down programs that have been built by the federal government that has power of virtually unlimited funding to bribe people into destroying their own freedom isn’t an easy task. Readers of this short piece who value freedom and all that goes with it are needed to swell the resistance and get America back on track once again.
JBS-affiliate FreedomProject Education has been leading the push to expose Common Core. Take a look at their video and testimony to legislators.
Leaving Afghanistan – Why Wait Until the End of the Year?
by JBS President John F. McManus
American troops went into Afghanistan in 2001 after the destruction of New York’s Twin Towers. Then, in 2003, U.S. forces reinvaded Iraq while the struggle in Afghanistan continued at a slower and more agonizing pace. The latest Afghanistan casualty figures note that, in more than 12 years, 4,410 have perished and close to 20,000 have been wounded. President Obama has decided to renege on his frequently uttered pledge to remove U.S. forces by the end of 2014. He is now seeking permission from Afghan leaders to keep 3,000 American military personnel in this faraway land.
There is probably nothing more self-defeating for a military force than announcing the date of an intention to withdraw. Won’t the enemy simply wait until you’re gone and then ramp up its activity? No military man would sanction such a plan. This one was decided upon by politicians.
Even so, casualties continue and the men and women assigned to this war-torn country increasingly wonder why they are there. Their mission’s goal has been changed so often – from capturing Bin Laden, to destroying opium production, to pacifying villages, to opposing the Taliban, to resisting counterinsurgency, and more – that their heads must be spinning. Recent publication by angry veterans of this war discusses the incredible Rules of Engagement under which they were forced to operate. No more could they expect air support when attacked. No more could they shoot when threatened. The rules seem almost designed to get them killed.
Frequently, U.S. casualties occur at the hands of the nation’s military and police who have been trained by U.S. personnel. After arming and trusting these locals, some turn their guns on those who taught them how to use the very weapons given them. Also, only a week ago, Taliban forces killed 21 Afghan soldiers, their newest favorite targets who are accused of unwillingness to submit to strict Islamic rule. Meanwhile President Karzai, a frequent and sharp critic of the U.S. effort, now finds himself looked upon by ordinary Afghan citizens as a friend of the murderous Taliban. After all, say Afghans of their country’s president, he maintains an apologetic tolerance of the Taliban and even refers to them as his “brothers.”
American forces should be brought home, the sooner the better. There’s no other way. Let the Afghans fight each other without the U.S. acting as a referee, or as a target. No more dead and no more wounded. It is not the job of the U.S. to police the world. The policing that has been done hasn’t solved anything, either in Iraq where sectarian violence is almost worse than ever, or in Afghanistan.
Learn more about the positions of The John Birch Society at its Issues Pages.