Ok. I’m a bit offended. Civitas didn’t mention me as part of the vast left wing conspiracy. I mean, I’ve beaten up on the legislature, the governor, Art Pope and, yes, even Civitas as well as anybody. How could I have not made the list? I’m mean, hell, even AARP is part of the cabal.

Maybe it’s that John Wynne guy who keeps posting here. He might be watering down their animosity toward PoliticsNC. Maybe it’s those fights I occasionally pick with Democrats. I don’t know, but now I’ve got a goal. Maybe I can make it next year.

In reality, I have a hard time taking conspiracy theories from either the right or left too seriously. While I’ve never played in conservative politics, I’ve been in enough intramural squabbles on the left to know just how tenuous the alliances are. For the most part, the organizations listed are self-interested groups with relatively narrow focuses. They are less interested in promoting a left-wing agenda than their own agenda. Any alliances with other groups have more to do with our two-party system and a relatively limited number of funders than any sort of broad conspiracy.

When I first saw the Civitas map, I thought the group was just trolling progressives who have been making the connection to Art Pope for decades. Over the years, we’ve seen various maps that show Pope’s connection to virtually every conservative organization in the state. Progressive organizations and pundits have used these connections to accuse Pope of trying to buy the state.

However, this map is different and really is not believable. Civitas has accused virtually every nonprofit charity and social welfare organization of being part of the left. The list of funders really kills it, though. The left wing conspiracy in North Carolina is funded, in part, by The Wal-mart Foundation, The Bank of America Foundation, BB&T Charitable Trust, The Allstate Foundation, SunTrust Foundation, Citi Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation, Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation, Food Lion Charitable Foundation, Inc., The Prudential Foundation and the The J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation. In addition, every major family foundation from Kellogg to John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is part of the equation.

Contrary to what the report says, there have always been groups that come together at campaign time to elect or defeat candidates. The groups and funders are usually evolving and changing. Art Pope is the exception because he’s been at it for so long. In the mid-1990s, Richard Mellon Scaife was the right-wing boogie man. About eight or ten years ago, George Soros was trying to buy the country and turn it into a left-wing utopia. Knowing who is funding what is valuable. Believing that funders are controlling and orchestrating the activities of the groups they support is fantasy.