- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 4, 2024

George Washington and America’s other Founding Fathers faced off against homegrown radical leftists after they booted out the British and adopted a new constitution, according to a new book by investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield.

“Domestic Enemies: The Founding Fathers’ Fight Against the Left” (Simon & Schuster 2024) examines how leftist ideology made its way into the U.S. long before the 1960s or even German political and economic socialist theorist Karl Marx.

“The Left is America’s oldest enemy,” Mr. Greenfield said in an interview with The Washington Times.

The book describes the political trials and tribulations of post-revolutionary America starting with President Washington’s first term and the subsequent power grabs and political turmoil that echo in today’s events.

“Domestic Enemies” tells of how early America’s political class confronted challenges including stolen elections, fake news, race riots, globalism and socialism.

In the interview, Mr. Greenfield said he began writing the book in 2020 when the Black Lives Matter riots sprang up across the country.

“People had the sense that we are at the end of history. Nothing like this had happened before. We could never cope with this,” he said. “A lot of my first chapter focuses on the fact that history was replaying itself.”

Mr. Greenfield calls it a “200-plus year war” against the left’s takeover of America which he said dates back to when the French Revolution went in a more violent and politically wayward direction than the earlier American Revolution.

“It’s something that you see in the correspondence of some of the Founding Fathers. As the French Revolution exposes what it is. It’s a radical movement. It’s a violent movement,” Mr. Greenfield said.

“[The Founding Fathers] see America as the alternative to the French Revolution. Increasingly, people in France have also come to see this great struggle between the American way of doing things, small government, personal independence, personal self-determination and the European radical way.”

The “radicals” coming out of Europe wanted to create a “perfect society” which led to years of uprisings in France where their leaders were routinely overthrown by violent coups and sent to the guillotine, he said.

“The Democratic societies, which were founded as arms of the French Revolution had a great deal of influence on the United States at the time where we actually were pretty close to a civil war very early on,” Mr. Greenfield told The Times.

The Democratic-Republican Party was eventually formed, but then shed “Republican” from its name.

Mr. Greenfield writes about how French emissary to the U.S., Edmond Genet attempted to pressure President Washington to reverse his position of neutrality to support the French Republic’s war with Great Britain.

According to Mr. Greenfield, during the summer of 1793, a mob in lower Manhattan was shouting, “Down with King Washington!” and singing the French national anthem. Others shouted “Vive Genet!”

Noah Webster, editor of the Federalist Party Newspaper, described it as a “whirling mob of fanatics” marching up the street where Genet had resided while lauding the French Revolution.

Mr. Greenfield writes, “Some dressed like the sans-culotte mobs ravaging Paris while others in the streets of Philadelphia had deployed mock guillotines.”

He continues, “John Adams would later write to [Thomas] Jefferson, ‘You certainly never felt the Terrorism, excited by Genet, in 1793. when ten thousand People in the Streets of Philadelphia, day after day, threatened to drag Washington out of his House and effect a Revolution in the Government.’”

The mobs were organized by the Democratic-Republican societies that supported the French Revolution and were angered with Washington for refusing to support France in its war.

“From the very beginning, you have agents of the French Revolution and you had their American supporters,” Mr. Greenfield told The Times. “They really want to bring this revolution to America.”

Washington denounced the Democratic-Republican societies in late 1794 and ultimately tamped down an armed uprising in Western Pennsylvania known as the “Whiskey Rebellion.”

Mr. Greenfield says he thinks the rest of the world is not prepared to face off against the left, but that America was built to resist it.

“That’s something we need to remember for the Fourth of July. Our Founding Fathers understood the spread [of the left]. They built the Constitution. They built our American system to resist it.”

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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