The myth of “McCarthyism” is the greatest Orwellian fraud of our times. Liberals are fanatical liars, then as now. The portrayal of Sen. Joe McCarthy (R.-Wis.) as a wild-eyed demagogue destroying innocent lives is sheer liberal hobgoblinism. Liberals weren’t hiding under the bed during the McCarthy era. They were systematically undermining the nation’s ability to defend itself, while waging a bellicose campaign of lies to blacken McCarthy’s name.
Liberals denounced McCarthy because they were afraid of getting caught, so they fought back like animals to hide their own collaboration with a regime as evil as the Nazis. As Whittaker Chambers said: “([I]nnocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.”
At the time, half the country realized liberals were lying. But after a half century of liberal myth-making, even the disgorging of Soviet and American archives could not overcome their lies. In 1995, the U.S. government released its cache of Soviet cables that had been decoded during the Cold War in a top-secret undertaking known as the Venona Project. The cables proved the overwhelming truth of McCarthy’s charges. Naturally, therefore, the release of decrypted Soviet cables was barely mentioned by The New York Times. It might have detracted from stories of proud and unbowed victims of “McCarthyism.” They were not so innocent after all, it turns out.
Soviet spies in the government were not a figment of right-wing imaginations. McCarthy was not tilting at windmills . He was tilting at an authentic Communist conspiracy that had been laughed off by the Democratic Party. The Democrats had unpardonably connived with the greatest evil of the 20th Century. This could not be nullified. But liberals could at least hope to redeem the Democratic Party by dedicating themselves to rewriting history and blackening reputations. This is what liberals had done repeatedly throughout the Cold War. At every strategic moment this century, liberals would wage a campaign of horrendous lies and disinformation simply to dull the discovery the American people had made. They had gotten good at it.
There were, admittedly, a few rare and striking exceptions to the left’s overall obtuseness to Communist totalitarianism. John F. Kennedy’s pronouncements on communism could have been spoken by Joe McCarthy. For all his flaws, Truman unquestionably loved his country. He was a completely different breed from today’s Democrats. Through the years, there were various epiphanic moments creating yet more anti-Communist Democrats. The Stalin-Hitler pact, Alger Hiss’ prothonotary warbler, information about the purges and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago -all these had their effect.
But after World War II, the Democratic Party suffered a form of what France had succumbed to after World War I. The entire party had lost its nerve for sacrifice, heroism and bravery. Beginning in the ’50s, there was a real battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. By the late ’60s the battle was over. The anti-Communist Democrats had lost.
In 1972, George McGovern, darling of left-wing radicals, was the Democratic presidential candidate. Tom Hayden, leader of Students for a Democratic Society and an instigator of the Chicago riots, became a Democratic state senator in California. (In 1968, Staughton Lynd wrote of Tom Hayden: “On Monday, Wednesday and Friday he was a National Liberation Front guerrilla, and on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, he … was on the left wing of the Democratic Party.”) Black Panther Bobby Rush would go on to become a Democratic congressman. Todd Gitlin, a former president of SDS, would soon be a frequent op-ed columnist for The New York Times. By the time of the 1991 Gulf War, only 10 Senate Democrats voted with President Bush to use troops against Saddam Hussein. If the old Democratic Party was merely obtuse, the new Democratic Party was a beachhead of domestic anti-Americanism. This was the new Democratic Party.
Clinton was the left’s last best hope for proving they could too handle the presidency. Having tricked the American people into entrusting a Democrat with the White House (on a plurality vote), they had to defend him from any lie, any felony, any reprehensible, contemptible conduct he threw their way. When Clinton first showed his fat oleaginous mug to the nation, the Republicans screamed he was a draft-dodging, pot-smoking flim-flam artist. Had the Republicans turned out to be right again, it would have sounded the death knell for the Democratic Party.
So the Democrats lied. Through their infernal politics of personal destruction, liberals stayed in the game for a few more years.
Unless we fight for proper treatment of history and counter the nonsense images of McCarthy, no history can be safe from the liberal noise machine. Someday, school children will be taught that all of America cringed with terror at Ken Starr, whose evil designs on the nation were frustrated only through the sacrifice of brave liberals. People will have vivid images of the pounding boots of Starr’s subpoena-servers and the Gestapo-like wails of alarms as Ken Starr arrived to kick in the doors of innocent Americans and storm through their bedrooms. It will be the Reign of Terror under Ken Starr.
Bill Clinton will be revered in high school history books as the George Washington of his day who, along with patriots Larry Flynt and James Carville, “saved the Constitution.” He will be honored with a memorial larger than the Washington Monument (though probably with the same general design).
People will believe that. And liberals will continue unabashedly invoking a lie in order to shield their ongoing traitorous behavior.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter