Just over a week ago, by happenstance, I selected a movie called “Ride the Thunder” to watch via streaming. Its description said that it was based on a book of the same title, describing actual events from the Vietnam conflict, and so my interest was piqued. After watching it, I emailed a bunch of friends and acquaintances, recommending that they see it (still do), and stated the following:
Particularly moving (and infuriating) for me was the clever interspersing of period TV interviews with Jane Fonda and John Kerry (e.g., David Frost show; Dick Cavett show). The scenes of the post-1975 Communist reeducation camps in (what was) South Vietnam brought to mind Larry Grathwohl’s description of what Bill Ayers and his Progressive colleagues had (and still have?) in mind for us: Larry Grathwohl on the Weather Underground.
That thought has haunted me since, for reasons I’ll explain. The media of that period constructed a “conventional wisdom,” a narrative that became generally accepted, that our troops in Vietnam were baby killers, and our cause there unjust. And that we were losing, would ultimately lose, and so were just wasting our young people in a futile cause. I was in junior high school and high school during this period, and remember it well. And, I confess, in those tender years of trusting naiveté, before we recognized the bias of the media, that I was largely accepting as true what Walter Cronkite was telling me.
John Kerry and his “Vietnam Veterans Against the War” (VVAW) cronies provided useful propaganda both for the U.S. media and Communist media. The “mainstream” portrayed him in heroic light, even as it increasingly portrayed Vietnam veterans as crazed killers of innocent civilians, returning home as dangerous head-cases. Kerry was complicit in such portrayals; he was one of the transmission mechanisms. It is pondering this that has come the haunting sense I’ve had since viewing “Ride the Thunder.”
John Kerry rode his VVAW coming out party right into Democrat Party politics. In true Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” fashion, he put on a tie and burrowed-into the system, pretending to be a mainstream politician. Of course the Democrat Party welcomed and then nurtured him. He rose to become a United States Senator. In 2004, he was that party’s Presidential nominee. And but for the Swift Boat veterans – and their sweet revenge? – Kerry might have made it. The damage to this country would have been incalculable, as later events confirm.
Four years later a rabidly anti-American radical – B. Hussein Obama – was successful in hoodwinking a sufficient number of the American electorate to become President. We had no equivalent to the Swift Boat veterans to blow the whistle during the campaign, in this case regarding Obama’s radical Leftist associations and background, and to explain what a “community organizer” really was. Those voices that did attempt to raise the alarm were met by willful indifference – a conspiracy of silence – by the Obama collaborating “mainstream media.”
Once in office Obama recycled Kerry, naming him Secretary of State. In that office, both collaborated to engineer what I believe will ultimately be proven to be one of the greatest, and perhaps most consequential acts of treason in this country’s history – the “Iran nuclear deal.”
Pondering Kerry’s history, and reflecting upon his television appearances shown in “Ride the Thunder”, the haunting realization occurred to me that the media – news and entertainment – is at work with a casting-call for future Progressive leaders who will advance the anti-American agenda – and that when we cede that media ground, we enable that recruitment and promotion. A patriotic counter-culture, had there been one during the early 1970’s, may have been successful in accurately portraying John Kerry, and flaming-out his career. Just imagine the harm that this country would have been spared? That is why we need to nurture and support the growing Conservative counter-culture of web sites (e.g., this site, Breitbart and others), streaming television (e.g., Mark Levin’s CRTV), movies such as “Ride the Thunder” and documentaries such as “The Enemies Within.” Our support today may well provide blessings over future decades, immense in scale and scope.
In that same email that I mentioned above, I also stated:
More so, the movie triggered a memory of a reference to “freedom man” from one of the audios in “Reagan In His Own Voice” (highly recommended) in which he spoke of the “boat people” — listening to “freedom man” some years ago my eyes dampened-up with pride about being an American, and gratitude for having been born here, which is why I recalled it. I just went back and found what I was thinking of — it was from his 1989 farewell address — it’s more powerful if you listen to it, but here’s the text of what came to mind:
“I’ve been thinking a bit at that window. I’ve been reflecting on what the past 8 years have meant and mean. And the image that comes to mind like a refrain is a nautical one—a small story about a big ship, and a refugee, and a sailor. It was back in the early eighties, at the height of the boat people. And the sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart, and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. And crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck, and stood up, and called out to him. He yelled, ‘Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.’ A small moment with a big meaning, a moment the sailor, who wrote it in a letter, couldn’t get out of his mind. And, when I saw it, neither could I. Because that’s what it was to be an American in the 1980’s. We stood, again, for freedom. I know we always have, but in the past few years the world again—and in a way, we ourselves—rediscovered it”. — President Ronald Reagan
People scaling the Berlin Wall. People on rafts from Castro’s Cuba. “Boat people” seeking escape from the Vietnam that people like John Kerry worked to bring to power. For such people, tens of millions across the globe, our American military did indeed represent “freedom man” – for they were, and still are, defending the land of freedom, the ultimate beacon of hope for the world. People therefore assume that we are safe, and would never live under a regime like the ones people die trying to escape — yet discount the fact that we have powerful and organized “enemies within” that have been, and still are zealously seeking to impose such a form of government upon us. Let us not let a Progressive media narrative sway us from that reality, nor ever again tempt us to elect (or appoint) their moles into high office.
Mr. Wigand is the author of Communiqués From the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, which is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Comments or questions for Mr. Wigand may be sent to: email@example.com— he will make every effort to personally respond to every email.