The Gay Liberal Progressive Communist Agenda to Destroy America
I grew up hearing about the “gay agenda,” the “liberal agenda,” and even the “Communist agenda.” It felt like powerful dark forces were conspiring to destroy America and everything that was good and righteous in the world. As I got older I developed the ability to take the word “agenda” less seriously, jesting about the “conservative agenda.”
Recently someone introduced me to a documentary that was hard for me to watch because it was so close to home. The film was highly concentrated, but the sentiments expressed in the film mirrored what I heard growing up. It was hard enough that I could not get myself to finish it. Perhaps I should have, just to be able to speak competently. I only made it 45 minutes.
The film was called Agenda: Grinding America Down. In the film a former Idaho Republican House member Curtis Bowers exposes the gay liberal progressive Communist agenda to destroy America. Throughout the film Bowers uses disparate grains of truth to make highly speculative, sweeping claims that are either easily disproven or are unprovable. Bowers assumes the worst intentions of anyone who disagrees with his conservative Christian family values.
I laugh about the film a little because the claims in it are not grounded in reality. Out of context, conspiracy theories are funny. But the reality is that not only do we live in an age in which conspiracy theories are taken seriously by a substantial percentage of the population and elected officials, but conspiracy theories have been the accepted truth of many of the adults in my life since I was a child. I did not grow up on the fringes of society. We thought of ourselves as a normal middle class family. The adults in my life rarely brought up conspiracy theories outside of their trusted circles, but they were repeated without restraint at home, at church and in my private Christian school. I am shocked by the power conspiracy theories have over the mainstream today, but I am equally disturbed by how familiar conspiracy theory thinking is. It is not new. What is new is how central it has become to public discourse. We have to understand conspiracy thinking so we can do something about its corrosive effects on a shared experience of truth, on our communities, on our country, on our world, and on the people in our lives that we love.
The core argument of Agenda is that Communists are evil and incredibly powerful, using culture war to undermine and destroy America. Communists are satanists and they want to corrupt our morality. Those on the left that are not satanists are merely “useful idiots,” a reference to a term reportedly made by Lenin.
Curtis Bowers, creator of Agenda, may actually believe everything in this documentary, but I do not need to make the case that, although I am a socialist, I am not a satanist and I have no desire to destroy America. Perhaps Bowers would argue I am merely a useful idiot. Marx and other key socialists were (and are) manifesting the will of Satan. This is not the kind of argument one can prove or disprove, so I will refrain from doing so.
I want to save America. I want to save our world. I got into politics because I want to understand the world, and do what I can to make it a better place. I sincerely believe that socialism is our only hope of saving our country and our world. To mention just one example, capitalism created the problem of climate change and has refused to do what is necessary over the last forty-five years to address it. Socialism proposes the Green New Deal in order to improve the lives of working class people, redistributing power from the billionaires to the people, while mitigating the worst effects of climate change. I would rather put my energy into making the case for socialism than responding to character attacks and conspiracy theories.
That being said, I recognize socialism caused a lot of harm in the 20th century, which must be owned by socialism. I want to be clear, I am in no way diminishing the failures and harms of 20th century Communism. Stalin and Mao were two of humanity’s greatest monsters. But there are different kinds of socialists and socialisms, just as there are different kinds of capitalists and capitalism. We do not hold capitalism accountable for its worst monsters.
Growing up the word “agenda” was used to imply our political and spiritual enemies were acting in bad faith. No matter how our they described their intentions, they were the enemy within. Nothing they said, no argument they made, could be taken at its word. Homosexuals were fighting to be treated like human beings so they could feel comfortable in their skin, welcomed and loved in their communities and families, but I was taught their true agenda was to destroy the family, the bedrock of our society. This fear-based, conspiracy thinking is what destroys our society.
I am sure some socialists have nefarious motives, just as there are bad faith capitalists, but socialists, on the whole, are not evil. We do not want to destroy America. You may not agree with our politics, and you may think our politics will destroy America, but please do not assume we are evil. Believing we are evil is divisive, untrue, and a part of the problem. We are socialists because we believe socialism is our only way out of the mess we are in.
Epilogue: Anti-Communist Conspiracy Theories Tie in with Anti-Semitism
As I was preparing this post I found a handful of anti-communism propaganda photos that tied communism with Jews, which supports my argument that a lot of criticism of socialism is vacant of content, relying mostly on fear and conspiracy theories of powerful evil forces hiding among us. My grandpa believed a small group of wealthy Jews known as the Illuminati controlled the world, and were trying to create a “new world order.” These ideas blend easily with conspiracy theories about Communism, especially since Marx, Trotsky, and other key Communists were Jewish. Former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan David Duke wrote a book connecting anti-semitic conspiracy theories and anti-Communist conspiracy theories. Here are some of the posters I found.