Wednesday, 4 May 2011


I do not believe that history repeats itself, but that there are dynamics and trends that have similarities in different historical epochs. Are there such similarities between the early Cold War - 1950s McCarthyist era - and today, or is it mere hype by those concerned not just about the Tea Party, but America's steady road to authoritarianism under the guise of freedom and democracy. In November 2010, I wrote a semi-sarcastic piece, after an English journalist who is a fellow-WAISer accused me of criticizing McCarthy. Considering the opportunistic and hollow manner that the US media and the Obama administration has been marketing Bin Laden's death and terrorism, I thought of reintroducing the McCarthy essay. 

 Senator Joseph McCarthy was an expert at demonizing and stigmatizing political opponents without ever examining the substance of issues he was raising, the consequences of what he was doing, or the value of engaging in tactics solely intended to lift his political career as had Nixon before him. Of course, it was Senator Richard Nixon who started the Red Scare trend during the Truman administration amid the nascent Cold War that chose confrontation instead of co-existence with Moscow because it served strategic and economic interests and a domestic agenda of social conformity to engage in such conduct.

In 2010, America is facing lingering economic contraction, high unemployment and rising poverty levels, rising budgetary and balance of payments deficits, loss of US global prestige owing to the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and China is rapidly becoming the presumptive preeminent power on earth. Amid such historic developments, there is a right-wing emergence in the form of the Tea Party, behind which are varieties of people from very wealthy individuals to Christian fundamentalists that believe it is Springtime for McCarthyism. This is not only because the right wing is the neo-McCarthyist frenzy with extreme positions on social, economic and foreign policy issues, but because Democrats are swimming in the same waters and helping to drive the public toward a path not much different in substance on many issues.

Among the millions who believe in 'Springtime for McCarthyism' is Mr. Nigel Jones who in a recent posting argued that the American people 'nodded off' during the 2008 election when they elected Obama, and presumably they have awakened from a deep left-liberal sleep inspired by Mao and Stalin to see the light shinning above the brilliant minds of "Republican Tea Party" politicians. Putting aside stylistics and a handful of social issues, of course, the Obama team has shown that it is not much different than a mainstream conservative Democrat administration.

'McCarthyism' as a phenomenon that has made its grand revival under the banner of Tea Party and it has a bright future precisely because the Democrats are not that far apart from their Republican colleagues. Mr. Jones wrote: "Jon Kofas jeered at “McCarthyism”. Say what you will about the crude and drunken late Senator, subsequent research has revealed that in essence, Joseph McCarthy was right. The New Deal administration was honeycombed with Communists and Soviet agents. Alger Hiss, his wife and his brother, were Soviet spies. The Rosenbergs did pass the secrets of the Hydrogen bomb to Stalin. And McCarthy may have stalled a few Hollywood careers but he did not kill anybody. Communism and its helpers killed hundreds of millions."

I have already suggested that some of Mr. Jones ' postings would make good source for satire, especially Garrison Keillor's PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION show. Now that Mr. Jones is defending McCarthyism, I think that he has given Broadway producers some good ideas for a musical similar to THE PRODUCERS (1968) that Mel Brooks wrote and directed.

Instead of Hitler and Nazism as misunderstood, misinterpreted and maligned by liberal and leftist intellectuals and biased media controlled by liberals and leftists, SPRINGTIME FOR McCARTHYISM, written by none other than ghost-writer William Ayers, only so he can atone for sins already committed as leftist intellectual, would have Senator McCarthy as the theme with Sarah Palin and Glen Beck as the stars, with Rush Limbaugh playing a key role as 'information minister'.

Of course, Beck does not believe that McCarthy was 'enough of a McCarthyist', but he along with Palin and Limbaugh as the stars will be trying to convince the American people that Republicans who have just taken control the House of Representatives there is an urgent need to establish a new House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that would never dissolve until and unless the land is safe from all Un-Americans parading around as OBAMA-philes.

This (Tea Party-inspired) committee would be just like the one originally established in 1937 under the chairmanship of Martin Dies who received a telegram from the Ku Klux Klan congratulating him: "Every true American, and that includes every Klansman, is behind you and your committee in its effort to turn the country back to the honest, freedom-loving, God-fearing American to whom it belongs."   John Rankin and John S. Wood were members of HUAC who defended the Klan: "The threats and intimidations of the Klan are an old American custom, like illegal whisky-making." 

Led by soloists Palin-for-President and Beck-for-vice President singing it's SPRINGTIME for McCARTHYISM, the musical show would have a chorus of Tea Party Christian fundamentalists delivering THE WORD through song across America. The traveling show would be trying to convince misguided (OBAMA-phile) voters concentrated mostly in large cities in the northeast, upper Midwest and West coast that the land is threatened by a wave of Communists and other Un-American elements like Muslims on a crusade to destroy Christianity, liberal and leftist intellectuals, gays in and outside the military diluting the good image of American militarism, feminists like Hilary Clinton and 'her type' of ball-busting feminist politicians, illegal immigrants and many legal ones whose disloyalty to America is exposed by voting for Obama, and anyone who has ever voted for or contributed to a Democrat campaign. 

SPRINGTIME FOR McCARTHYISM chorus would warn 'real Americans' through song and dance that all sectors of public and private life since Obama took office are now under the control of disloyal citizens under suspicion who must be investigated by HUAC and exposed for daring to elect a black man with an Arab-sounding name and an African father; a man with college friends who read THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, but failed to study how the RED SCARE era actually saved America from Communists that had infiltrated the State Department, Pentagon, and even the White House under both presidents Truman and Eisenhower! 

All subversive books would be banned, starting with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 that criticizes a futuristic police-state society based on hedonistic values where critical thought based on book reading is outlawed, followed by Arthur Miller's THE CRUCIBLE, which tries to show that Puritanism is deeply ingrained in white Anglo-Saxon American culture and psyche, shaping attitudes and values that are destructive to a pluralistic society. Song titles in SPRINGTIME FOR McCARTHY would include: "we are real Americans and we want to save America from disloyal Americans; we tell the truth that comes to us directly from God through the mouths of  Rush Limbaugh,. Glen Beck and Sarah Palin; we ruin peoples' lives because we love America, we believe in righteousness, and we are rooting out evil to save America!" 

Clothed in the American flag and holding a shining gold-plated cross on the right hand and a picture of Joe McCarthy on the left, SPRINGTIME FOR McCARTHYISM cast members would deliver the gospel truth about the evils threatening the 'American way of life' as God intended it. To deliver their holy message inspired by the Holy Spirit as reflected in the brilliant mind of Senator McCarthy, the chorus would sing memorable quotes from Senator McCarthy himself, like the one that made him (in) famous. 
"I have here in my hand a list of two hundred and five [people] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department." 

Demanding that the new and improved Un-American Activities Committee investigate, castigate, and imprison all OBAMA-phile suspects without a trial, the SPRINGTIME FOR McCARTHYISM show would then investigate its own members until there is no one left to investigate, with Palin and Beck accusing each other of lacking sufficient McCarthyist loyalty and Rush Limbaugh as the judge deciding that neither Beck nor Palin have sufficient McCarthyist credentials. Just as Democrats and Republicans made senator Joe McCarthy possible in the 1950s, similarly the Democrats and Republicans of the early 21st century have revived neo-McCarthyism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The real tea party did not have neo-cons in attendance and the scrumptious food was cooked by local friends and family of the Paul's.

The rock foundation of concern was and remains Liberty Defined. E Pluribus Unum adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782.