Chorus of Reform Voices in GOP Take On John Press and His “Dangerous Collective”
Our email bag was full from this weekend.
Readers from across the city and state have been commenting about our coverage of the so called Brooklyn Tea Party and its controversial overlord John Press, a Manhattanite who has allegedly expressed his views on White Nationalist websites.
We here at Atlas have been critical of Dr. Press and his organization in the past. Now, besides our fellow readers and members of the media, another voice can be added to the growing chorus that has been critical of this “dangerous collective.”
We were alerted to local Republican activist Roy Antoun‘s piece posted with the Interest of the State online community.
Here is an excerpt:
Dr. John Press is the Brooklyn Tea Party President…
[Dr. Press] wrote a book about a theory that he invented called, “culturalism.” According to Dr. Press, “Culturism holds that majority cultures have a right to protect, promote and guide themselves. All non-western cultures are culturist. We have a right to be culturist as well.”
Dr. Press also released this video:
There are many flaws in Dr. Press’s theory and judgment. The very first thing he mentions is what is supposed to be the core of the Tea Party: fiscal “conservativism.” I think what he meant to say was fiscal “conservatism.” He kind of added his own “v” in there somewhere. I find the “fiscal conservatism” of the Tea Party quite troubling. Fiscal conservatism within itself is a theory that should be practiced and theoretically upholds the values and policies of free market capitalism. Nevertheless, John Press proposes some valid points of fiscal responsibility (Notice how I interchanged fiscal “conservatism” with fiscal “responsibility.” That’s because government is inherently reckless and doing something to curtail government intervention in the economy is what I generally regard as a good thing).
1) First he says that government spending should be frozen. Yes, it really should. A reckless government tends to spend a lot of tax payer dollars on things that tax payers never use. And yes, a lot of government money taken from your wallet goes to “national defense” which, for some reason, means 800 military bases in countries like Italy, France, Germany, England, and Japan just to name a few. So, yes, I think it’s time to remove those bases because they are indeed costing the U.S. a lot of money.
2) Next he proposes to stop government hiring. Again, this is generally a good thing. Government hiring means two things: (A) Government requires more taxation to pay for government-instituted jobs and (B) Government hiring means a larger bureaucracy where nothing ever gets accomplished.
3) Lastly, he proposes to lower government spending by 5% every year. Why stop 5? Why not 10? 50%? The problem I have with many “conservatives” in this country and especially Brooklyn is that they talk a lot about stopping the growth of government when in practice all they can actually do is limit its growth. Cutting government spending by 5% is slow and archaic. Where did this number come from? Five percent is an arbitrary, low number if Americans want to see any substantial limit in government. Let’s start with the “defense” budget and lower some taxes…
The next main point Dr. Press asserts are what he calls, “culturalist” pledges. Let’s assess culturalism first. As Dr. Press mentioned, culturalism “holds that majority cultures have a right to protect, promote and guide themselves. All non-western cultures are culturist. We have a right to be culturist as well.” What is a majority culture? Does that mean might makes right? Does that mean 51% of a population is all it takes to establish what is or isn’t permissible in a culture? No. Especially when this “culturalist pledge” seeks to institutionalize itself governmentally. In all pragmatic, realistic purposes, yes, might inevitably makes right. Meaning, if I carry a bigger stick, I decide what the rules are. However, this is not the case in the American Republic.
American republicanism is founded upon the concept of limited government; however this limited government has a fundamental, vital function which is to protect the minority in law. What exactly is the government protecting? Rights. Where do rights come from? I have no idea.“Rights” are man-made ideas created at man’s convenience. And I specify “man” because men have, historically, judged what are and what aren’t permissible rights. In the United States, we have three basic rights: the right to life, liberty, and property (sometimes, the right to pursue happiness but that’s usually not the case). Where’s the right to a woman’s body? Or the right for women to take leave from work when pregnant? I’m not saying that these propositions should be institutionalized by law; however, what I am saying is that rights are generally a masculine invention. Some like to argue that “(G)(g)od(s)” gave man these natural rights; however, I’d like to ask how one exactly knows what rights God gave to us? I don’t remember a Mount Sinai event in history where God wrote down human and/ or natural rights on stone tables that explicitly stated what our rights truly are. Given this case, rights are still man-made creations designed for man’s convenience. For example, I’d like you to Google “Japanese internment camps 1945.” Just when American citizens needed their rights the most, the government took them away. Again, rights are at the mercy of man’s convenience. Why is it that some states in Europe declared the internet a human right and this is not the case in the U.S.? As you can tell, I’m a skeptic. The American Republic was supposed to be different, however. The American Republic was supposed to uphold the rights of the minority in hopes to create a better, more convenient society.
Given that rights are essentially fabricated, Dr. Press’s assertion is nothing more than a validation of my claim. Now he’s inventing a new right that “majority cultures” have to protect, promote, and guide themselves. Not only are majority cultures dangerous to the American Republic, but nowhere in the Constitution do I see this particular right. I believe in the notion of a sovereign state; however, I don’t believe that the domestic sovereignty of a state should come at the expense of the minority, given the laws that are supposed to govern the state (and by minority, I am not referring to ethnic minorities; rather, I’m alluding to numerical minorities in any given vote or action). That doesn’t quite give the minority voters the liberty (an American right!) to fend for themselves if we’re following Dr. Press’s logic.
Culturalism is a retardation of basic American values. It reverses the promotion of the individual and, instead, promotes group think. His theory relies on collectivism, a socialist style of thinking that undermines individual thought for the sake of what Dr. Press regards as a fabricated right. The language alone tells us that he is, in fact, a collectivist. He uses the word “themselves” quite carefully to illustrate this collectivist thinking. How can the Tea Party function through collectivism if the basic premise of the movement is to promote individual responsibility through smaller government? The Tea Party as proposed by Dr. Press is a paradox…
Not much more needs to be said about Dr. Press’s contradictory stances on domestic and international affairs. His very existence is evidence that “rights” in the United States are fabricated to man’s convenience. However, what makes Dr. Press’s argument dangerous to the republican fabric is that his fabricated “culturalist right” contradicts the few rights American agreed were basic and fundamental during the country’s founding.
Do not call yourself a Culturalist. Do not use the word Culturalism.
Be an American. An Individual. A Free Thinker.
That was just a portion of what was written. Mr. Antoun expresses an interesting perspective, and you should read the entirety of his piece here.
Antoun’s piece came out at a time when we received a surprising number of emails from upstate and local Tea Party activists and other readers saying that they are ashamed of what Dr. Press and his organization represent.
One writer said: “I’ve never seen anything that makes me more concerned about the Tea Party. This guy John Press is just plain scary.” Another email said,”This is why the GOP can’t win anything in Brooklyn. It’s people like John Kenneth Press who scare away decent people.”
We are all in agreement. Dr. Press must be monitored, confronted and openly challenged.
We here at Atlas will continue to do that.