public schools, that is state-run schools, were “necessary for thernpreservation of democracy.” (Did George Washington attendrnpublic schools?) And so the attacks started. Farris wanted tornban books. Farris wanted to “destroy” public schools. (Farris,rnin fact, wanted to decentralize the state school system, movingrnpower from the state bureaucracy to locally elected schoolrnboards, which are now manned by appointment. Besides, howrncould public schools get much worse?) He wanted to usern”public” funds (the “public” is an abstraction to liberals) to financernprivate schools (Farris supports a school-voucher programrnfor Virginia). Farris was depicted as a religious fanatic (hernis against “choice for women”), a disciple of Pat Robertsonrn(who was himself portrayed in ads as a glowering Ayatollah)rnwho would become “their lieutenant,” who is an agent for thern”religious right,” who probably takes orders directly fromrnRobertson headquarters. Furthermore, Farris planned to “impose”rnhis views on others. The smear campaign was broadenedrnto include Allen and Gilmore, since both men had also beenrnendorsed by the hateful Pat Robertson and were thus seen asrnhaving fallen under the sway of “extremism,” but Farris remainedrnthe target of choice.rnFarris was kept at arm’s length by establishment Republicansrnlike the cowardly Senator John Warner (who has recently endorsedrnthe candidacy of Independent Marshall Coleman overrnhis fellow Republican Oliver North), who supported Allen andrnGilmore, and various Virginia “moderates,” who were stillrnstinging from their defeat at the State Republican Conventionrnin May 1993. Some Republicans campaigned openly forrnBeyer, the Democrat, and the national party organization wasrnconspicuously slow in delivering much-needed campaign fundsrnto both Allen and Farris. Pat Buchanan held a fund-raiser forrnFarris. William Bennett, to his credit, was among the few Establishmentrnfigures to campaign for him.rnBut the most conspicuous Farris supporters were ordinaryrnpeople, people who may never before have taken part in a politicalrncampaign or contributed to any candidate, people whornwere only lately galvanized by the all-out assault on the traditionalrnfamily now gaining steam under the Clinton regime, thernsame crowd of religious fundamentalists, homeschoolers, redrnnecks, traditionalist conservatives, and rural flotsam, black andrnwhite, who had taken the Republican State Convention byrnstorm. The Farris campaign was a true grassroots movement,rnmanned by the shock troops of a steadily growing groundswellrnof what may be the coming tidal wave of revolt. The peoplernwho manned the barricades for Mike Farris have their counterpartsrnelsewhere: in Colorado, where the public was mobilizedrnby a car salesman to stop the homosexual takeover; in thernhomeschooling movement everywhere; in the conservativernand fundamentalist congregations across the country who arernbuilding an alternative to corrupt and secularized churches; andrnin their own state of Virginia, where petition organizers werernable to place a proposition for elected school boards on the ballotrnin many localities. It is these people who have galled thernsensitive hindquarters of the Establishment Brahmins, Republicanrnand Democratic, most of all. After all, if the great unwashedrntake over the political “process,” where will the professionalrnmanipulators go?rnThe Farris campaign in Virginia was just the warm-up for thern”religious right.” Since then, similar grassroots campaignsrnhave yielded victories for insurgent conservatives in Texas,rnMinnesota, and Iowa. According to the usual suspects, thesernvictories in convention and platform battles amount to thernforcible invasion and seizure of sacred political turf by the infidelsrnof the “religious right,” people who have no business dabblingrnin politics, presumably a field of action open only tornanointed liberals and those “moderates” who play the role ofrnPancho to the left’s Cisco. During the Farris campaign, the RepublicanrnParty Panchos had been given fair warning by theirrnbetters in the liberal Establishment as to what kind of press thernGOP would get in the event of a hostile takeover by the unsavoryrnmutants of the “far right.” The nomination of OlliernNorth by the Virginia Republican Convention marked the beginningrnof a nationwide smear campaign against the Republicanrnintraparty insurgency.rn£ ^ 0 far, the campaignrnI against thernV ^ ^ Christian rightrninsurgency has appeared only tornStrengthen the resolve of the rebels, andrneven the party establishment has feltrncompelled to voice some protest over thernhysterical reaction of the country’srncultural and political elite to therninsurgents’ victories.rnThe Anti-Defamation League, following the lead of thernDemocratic agitprop peddlers in Virginia, decided to engage inrna bit of defamation of its own this summer, releasing a reportrnentitled “The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance andrnPluralism in America,” which characterized the objects of itsrncalumny as “prophets of rage” and accused them of harboringrnanti-Semitic sympathies, apparently because of their ferventrnChristianity, since real evidence of such inclination appearsrnslim indeed. (The Reverend Donald Wildmon was attackedrnfor “Jew-baiting” because he was bold enough to suggest thatrnHollywood films are commonly anti-Christian; this was apparently,rnin the eyes of the ADL, a coded reference to thernprominent role Jews play in the film industry and thereforernproof of anti-Semitism.)rnGovernor Ann Richards of Texas and California RepresentativernVic Fazio weighed in. Richards (a woman who I amrnashamed to say is the chief executive of my native state) repeatedrnthe by-now tired refrain of charges concerning fundamentalistrnChristians’ plots to “force [their] beliefs on others,”rnwhile Fazzio claimed that the GOP was being “forced to thernfringes by the aggressive political tactics of the religious right.”rnSidney Blumenthal, writing in the July 18 edition of the NewrnYorker, fired one more warning round at Republican “moderates,”rndirecting his wrath at the hapless Bob Dole, a late and reluctantrnconvert to the North cause in Virginia. “How far,” wonderedrnBlumenthal, “will their [religious right] crusade go” ifrnNOVEMBER 1994/31rnrnrn