In retrospect, it’s incredible to recall the depths to which McCarthyism descended and the damage it wrought. Reputations and careers were ruined, blacklists instituted, writers and artists threatened, film and stage productions closed down, university administrators and teachers intimidated, new loyalty oaths mandated. Boycotts were mounted against sponsors of radio and television programs deemed insufficiently Pro-American. Public libraries were pressured to remove books thought subversive. Knowing the ‘ wrong people’ or contributing to the ‘ wrong organizations’ could result in being hauled before congressional inquisitors and losing one’s job. A congressional act barred distinguished visitors, including Nobel Prize winners, from entering the U.S. if they were believed to hold views deemed as Un- American. People who took the Fifth Amendment, employing their right against self incrimination, were attacked as ‘ Fifth Amendment Communists’. Those people regarded as insufficiently religious as being ‘ Godless Communists’.
That ‘Age of Anxiety’ was so dangerous culturally that even newly elected president (1952) Dwight Eisenhower dared not to criticize McCarthy publically. Eisenhower loathed McCarthy and had to bite his tongue and go along to get along with the corporate army and mega millions of McCarthy supporters. That is how powerful the man and this crazy ‘ Commies under your bed’ mindset had become in the post WW2 era. Sadly, most of our citizens either forget or never cared to study as to who really won the war against Nazism and Germany: Duh, the Russians who sacrificed nearly 30 million of their people to stop Hitler’s juggernaut. Imagine for a minute if former VP Henry Wallace would have continued to be FDR’s choice as successor in 1944, and not Harry Truman. Wallace understood that Stalin and the Soviets could have coexisted with us once the Germans and Japanese were dispensed with. It was the same ultra right wing cabal of powerful super rich that created this crazy anti communist movement to further their own agenda, instead of looking to trade and cooperate with the Soviets. Once again, as with currently, the Military Industrial Empire needs to control and profit from war and terror of war.
This MAGA mentality has increased the draconian autocratic repressions we now see throughout our nation. Laws are being passed and enforced to take away a woman’s right to choose, a gay person’s right to exist peacefully and an individual’s right to choose what books to have available in a library, within reason of course. How about a school’s right to teach actual and factual history? Duh, like the what and how of American slavery? Duh, like the what and how of the Jewish Holocaust and what companies and individuals here at home profited from it? Instead, we have actions by our local governments that work hand in hand with this ultra right wing mindset:
Some 673 books have been removed from classrooms in Orange County, Fla., this year over concerns they could violate a new state law related to inappropriate content
What will come next, the public burning of books deemed ‘ Unsatisfactory’ like during Germany’s infamous Kristallnacht of November 9-10, 1938? Perhaps instead of Jewish citizens being brutalized in the streets we may have Democratic Party supporters and LBGTQ and Pro Abortion folks under the jackboot. Wake up neighbors!