This is a superb article. I want to comment on just one point in it.
> No Left in America?
> The backbone of the progressive, socialist movement was broken, only to be revived briefly with the depression and stamped out again with "witch hunts" for so-called subversives in the 1950s led by Joe McCarthy.
Bill Mandel also refers to the "McCarthy Era." This is bad history, and it
hurts the struggle to create a left where there is none by interfering with
naming the enemy accurately. The so-called "McCarthy Era" began well
before he had anything to do with it and lasted longer. I have met younger
people who are actually under the impression that McCarthy was the
chair of HUAC. But if we wish to name a personal villain, the correct
name is Harry Truman. McCarthy was a jerk who was a mere blip,
loud publicity to the contrary, in the huge Red Hunt which was so central
to u.s. political and cultural life from 1945 to 1960. I was a sophomore
at Western Michigan College in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1948. At
one of the football games half-time entertainment, the band played
songs "fitting" to each of the four presidential candidates. For the
Wallace campaign they played "Red Sails in the Sunset." My memory
is vague on the next point, but I think it was the great liberal Hubert
Humphrey who cosponsored on of the basic legislative acts which
was central to the repression of the CPUSA.
The Democratic Party and its leadership, not Joe McCarthy, was
the primary architect of the Red Hunt. And as long as those who
aim at constituting a left in America are confused on this point --
as long as any would-be leftist can consider for a moment that
the Democratic Party is or can ever be a friend of the left --
there will be no left in America.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Jun 25 2000 - 22:36:43 CUT