I seem to be in a liberal book reading mode lately and am about half way through “The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism” by Haynes Johnson. The book has received some lefty accolades and it looks as if it’s intent is to tie the idea that “Terrorism” isn’t really a threat, just like the left found “Communism” to not be a threat, so attempts to stop terror are a lot like McCarthyism.
The book begins with a long discrediting of McCarthyism as if such a think would ever be needed to be done for the millionth time, it is already an “ism” after all. The book however does a boringly complete recounting of the minutia of the giant edifice of “accepted thought” or “what we all know” in this country as presented by the union left educational system and the left media. To be a Christian on the right in this country is to live with “institutional McCarthyism” every day of your life. McCarthy provided the left with a brief period of “going too far” in the early ‘50s and they still will never forget the “horror” of it, and will make sure we don’t either.
The simplest little example in a nutshell is on page 31 of the book: “He was not interested in ideas, except in appropriating the thoughts of opinions of others if they helped him exploit an issue like Communism. His law degree and native intelligence notwithstanding he was ill-educated, had no sense of history, and was incurious and carelessly ill-informed about the great public questions-again, like Communism-that he addressed with such assurance. He did not read books, with one fascinating exception: Hitler’s Mein Kampf”.
Let’s substitute “Facism”, “Like Hitler”, or “Nazi” for “Communist” and think of how the left regularly deals with the right. For this discussion we will forgo the fact that the Nazis were against ALL religion, and the party was the National SOCIALIST Party of Germany less like Republicans and more like another party we know about, but facts have never been very interesting to the left anyway. How often does the left try to demonize people with a conservative view with comparison to Hitler? Constantly. I especially enjoyed Al Gore talking about “Digital Brownshirts” during the 2004 campaign.
There is very little evidence that McCarthy had any Nazi leanings, and making a case that a lawyer read only one book would seem to require more evidence than Mr Johnson provides, but there it is, and in quite sophisticated form. McCarthy is “stupid” … although couched in terms of being “poorly educated” and “incurious”, and he is tied to that “ism” that is constantly used by the left in exactly the way that McCarthy used Communism, only far more powerfully since it is used by the MSM and the educational system, not just a Senator with hearings. Of course, it would be much easier if it was only a SINGLE “ism”.
Racism, sexism, homophobia, references to religion, criminalization of various forms of business behavior and environmentalism, the list could go on. The party of Jim Crow is the Democrats, and Bob Byrd is an actual ex-Clan member who ON CAMERA on Fox News Sunday referred to “White niggers”. However, an off-hand comment by a Republican that can be CONSTRUED to be “racist” is cause for a firestorm as was the case with Trent Lott, and now with Bill Bennett. (I hope to write a Blog on that later, but one point. In the best selling book “Freakonimics” by famous economist Steven Levitt, the abortion/crime link is discussed at length). Charges of “racism” as regularly leveled against the right and virtually never against the left. It is a far more natural human tendency, we ALL are good at “same/different”, to be “racist”, or “to prefer like”, which makes it very much easier to destroy someone for an “inappropriate comment”. It correct and important for humans to rise above our natural tendencies, we just need to realize that is what we are all doing.
The sections in the book on “McCarthy book burning” would make one laugh if they didn’t make you cry as our nation moves to expunge any horrible reference to God from any connection with school at the public square that we can. To a lefty, the charge of “Communist” is a completely foolish charge … and the idea that a book espousing some overthrow of the US or another would not be appropriate is a horror. Of course making a claim that a lawyer read only one book, it was Mein Kampf, and thus tie him to having Nazi sympathies is only reasonable. How does a lefty make a complaint like that, and not recall the current complaints about your “library card” being sought by investigators.
The litany of ills of that horrible “McCarthy era” … how people had to testify, how they could lose their jobs, how books were removed, is somehow less terrible to a conservative Christian in the 21st Century. The wrong statement about Gay Marriage can jeopardize jobs today. Even protesting Abortion in certain areas is heavily restricted. Mention of God in public education can cost your job, and books and documents that contain it are removed every day. If you are not a Democratic Politician, one female that “feels harassed” … whatever the reason, it is her “feeling” that counts, is good enough for loss of a job. All manner of business behavior is constantly criminalized … from record keeping, projections, who is told about business/profit information, and new items are added to the list all the time. “Selling a stock and making money”, an action that one would hope is at the core of the American economy, becomes “suspicious” as the anti-business fervor of the left and MSM ever rises.
Is some of this “paranoid”? Of course, but then why isn’t “McCarthyism” 50 years after the fact a discussion of “paranoia”? The giant danger of the leftness of the MSM and the US educational system remains that balance is completely lost and only one side of the story is even realized. Knowing that one is blind allows one to take action to compensate. Huge swaths of the American electorate are as blind to a conservative view as humans are to x-rays.