Joe McCarthy Must Be Rolling in His Grave
February 17, 2017
By Arturo Castañares – Publisher/CEO
Senator Joseph McCarthy created a mass hysteria in the 1950s by launching a witch hunt for alleged communists in the U.S.
Hollywood actors and producers were accused of being communist sympathizers, and American loyalist were encouraged to name their friends who were secretly members of the growing ranks of the Communist Party of the United States.
Congressional hearing were held to investigate suspected communists. The ironically-named House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) brought in dozens of people to answer accusations of being communists. And most famously, ten Hollywood writers and directors were named on a blacklist for refusing to testify, before 151 others were listed as Fascist and railroaded out of jobs.
The anti-communist craze ran its course over a decade until, eventually, cooler heads prevailed. Supreme Court decisions and government reforms helped protect people from being fired for political affiliations.
In the end, McCarthy himself ended up being viewed as a crazy man bent on ruining careers for his self-aggrandizement.
How far we’ve come.
Talk that during the 1950s would have led to Congressional hearings for un-American activities is today coming, not from Hollywood liberals and intellectuals, but from the President of the United States and his closest advisors.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Donald Trump offered glowing praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strong leadership and decisive action in Syria where Russian bombings killed innocent women and children.
Trump also said Putin was a stronger leader than President Barack Obama, leading many Washington insiders to question Trump’s seemingly un-American rhetoric.
Then came news that hackers had breached the computers of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, leading to the release of embarrassing emails that eventually drove a wedge between Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters.
At the time when many suspected Russia was behind the hacking, Trump publicly encouraged Russia to continue hacking and release more emails. Trump doesn’t mind international meddling in our elections as long as it seemed to have been in his favor.
Now this week, intelligence officials confirmed that retired General Michael Flynn, Trump’s pick for National Security Advisor, had several contacts with Russia’s Ambassador to the US during the presidential transition. During those conversations, Flynn discussed sanctions against Russia put in place by Obama in his final weeks in office.
Flynn had denied having had such conversations, but CIA intercepts revealed he had lied to Trump, Mike Pence, and the nation.
And this wasn’t the first Trump advisor with Russian connections. His campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, had various ties with Russian politicians and sympathizers. During the campaign, several others staffers had continued interactions with Russian operatives.
Trump himself has had trouble explaining clearly what, if any, business ties he has with Russians. His story has changed from having no relationships to having excellent ones.
Last month, a former British spy released a dossier of intelligence reports claiming Russia has information on Trump they could use to blackmail him. The report was unconfirmed, but many intelligence experts suggest the former British spy is a credible source.
In the last few days, after General Flynn finally resigned in light of his inconsistent recollection of contacts with the Russians, the White House’s position on Flynn varied.
Some reported Trump continued to support Flynn, some said Trump fired him, and other said Flynn resigned.
But what didn’t happen was a clear articulation that playing footsies with the Russians is a problem to the Trump Administration.
Russia has invaded its neighbors, annexed land, and bolstered a bloody regime in Syria. Putin has poked and prodded US military ships and aircraft around the world. And Russia this week parked a spy ship off the East Coast to watch one of our largest submarine bases.
Yet, still, Trump refuses to hold Russia accountable.
In the 1950s, Trump and his close advisors would have been on a blacklist by now, hauled before Congressional committees, and asked tough questions.
Instead, we’re watching the American President play into Putin’s hand, seemingly pliable like a puppet.
Maybe it’s true Trump is being blackmailed, or he’s naive enough to think Putin really likes him. Either way, America is less safe.
Trump should stand strong against any country that tries to influence our elections, provoke our military, or hack our infrastructure. Even if they say nice things about Trump and stroke his ego.