In most civilized countries, governments are diligent to avoid returning to dark times in their history, and whenever possible, take action to prevent ever repeating events that caused distress to their citizens whether it was a small group or the entire nation. For the past three years, Republicans and their conservative base have shown their willingness to reconsider events in this country’s dark history that proved devastating on different levels. The so-called “tenthers” are so committed to states’ rights that they tacitly consider secession as a viable option to following federal law to demonstrate their opposition to President Obama, and other conservatives long to resurrect Bush’s cowboy diplomacy as the preferred method of foreign policy despite the cost in lives, credibility on the world stage, and staggering financial price. Over the past month, an ever-growing number of Republicans have signaled their willingness to revisit one of America’s darkest eras when innuendo, suspicion, and false accusations cost many Americans their freedom, livelihood, and reputation as good Americans.
There are Americans alive today who witnessed Joe McCarthy conduct witch-hunts to ferret out imaginary communists he claimed infiltrated every aspect of society, even going so far as to accuse President Dwight Eisenhower of sheltering communists in his administration. Although Michele Bachmann was criticized for writing letters to top intelligence and security officials warning that the Muslim Brotherhood may have infiltrated the top levels of U.S. government, she has received support from other Republicans who share her mind-numbing concern that the Islamist threat is real and deserves closer scrutiny by the intelligence community. Last week, the “Sharia-panic caucus” got some help from a former federal terrorism prosecutor, Andrew C. McCarthy, to defend Bachmann’s anti-Islamist crusade.
While speaking at a Center for Security Policy event in Washington, McCarthy accused the Obama administration of Islamist sympathies and said, “There is something terribly wrong if members of Congress were not asking questions about Islamist influence in our government, Islamophobia is a term that was manufactured by the Muslim Brotherhood precisely for the purpose of browbeating people into silence about the activities and threat posed by Islamic supremacism.” It was not McCarthy’s first foray into casting aspersion on Muslims. In 2009 he alleged that “terrorist sympathizers assumed positions throughout the Obama administration” and argued that the Muslim Brotherhood and the American left had teamed up to destroy America. McCarthy and Bachmann are on the right track, but it is not Muslims infiltrating the highest levels of government, it is the religious right including the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), evangelical Christians, and Mormons who are actively working to destroy America’s secular government to install a theocracy founded on the religious texts.
There is no part of federal, state, or local governments that have not been penetrated by conservative Christians yearning to control every man, woman, and child in America whether it is the educational system, the military, or Congress, and with the team of Romney-Ryan, the White House. In fact, Republicans spent the better part of the 112th Congress using scripture in their war on women, and one can hardly forget the panel of male clergy testifying before Congress on the sin of contraceptive use. In over 26 states, the personhood movement attempted to define a single-celled organism as a human worthy of all the protections in the 14th Amendment, and there is a movement to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman based on the Christian bible. In local school districts around the nation, Christians on school boards have pushed to teach creation as scientific fact, and in Texas, textbooks are required to include the fallacy that the “separation of church and state was established by activist judges and not by the Constitution or Bill of Rights.” One Texas textbook board member said, the “U.S. and its history as a Christian land governed by Christian principles is fact,” and that “no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses.” Remarkably, the same Christians have given Joe McCarthy a favorable reading in textbooks that students around the country will study.
Now that the Republican ticket is replete with two men with records of pursuing fundamentalists’ favorite agendas, a victory would further drive America toward a theocracy. Romney signed the National Organization for Marriage pledge promising to appoint Christians to all federal courts and establish a presidential commission to punish supporters of same-sex marriage, and he supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Ryan and Romney are anti-choice and Ryan co-sponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which says a zygote “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” The effect of such an amendment would outlaw abortion, contraception, and in vitro fertilization, and dictate when a woman gave birth or engaged in marital sex. The basis for these Dark Age proposals is the Christian bible and for some curious reason, there is no call for an investigation into “Christians infiltrating the highest levels of the government” with the sole intent of subverting the Constitution and destroying America.
Andrew McCarthy was correct when he said there is something terribly wrong if members of Congress were not asking questions about religion’s influence in our government, except it is not Islamists who need to be ferreted out, it is the Christians and that includes all denominations whether they are faux-Christians like Mormons or evangelical fundamentalist freaks like Michele Bachmann. Contrary to most conservative Christians’ beliefs, this country was never founded as a Christian nation and the Founders did not intend the Good Book and spirit of the savior to be guides for governing. And yet, since Ronald Reagan pandered to the religious right, they have inserted their agenda into every facet of government and legislative endeavor with approval by every administration, and it has gotten worse since George W. Bush introduced “faith-based initiatives.” Just last week, Missouri voters approved a law that allows students to dictate which school curriculum they participate in that takes education out of a school board’s purview and places it firmly in the hands of evangelicals.
There needs to be a comprehensive investigation into every level of government to flush out biblical influences that are contrary to the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on state-sponsored religion before Dominionists gain any more influence in Americans’ lives. Religious groups have become emboldened to flaunt their tax-exempt, non-profit status that prohibits campaigning from the pulpit, and there is no outcry for an investigation to revoke their 501c3 status that allows them to exist off of taxpayers’ largesse or the clergy to double dip and pay no income or property taxes communities desperately need. However, the real danger is with lawmakers who base discriminatory legislation on scripture contrary to the Constitution and, by the way, their oath of office to support and defend the country’s founding document; not the bible, book of Mormon, or any other religious text.
America is not in danger from Islamists or Sharia law, but it is an easier target than communism was in Joe McCarthy’s 1950 witch hunts because the only requirement for investigation is dark skin and a name that sounds un-American. It is too late to begin investigating Christians infiltrating the highest levels of government because they are already there in frightening numbers and it includes members of Congress, state legislatures, the intelligence community, military leadership, and local governments. America is one election away from becoming a theocracy, and when Willard Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate, the danger of a bible-based administration grew exponentially with potential personhood and marriage amendments, and a ban on contraception not far behind. It is tragic that the greatest threat to America is already in place and it occurred witFhout a whimper, or one investigation, and now that they are firmly entrenched in government they have set their sights on Muslims in what is shaping up to be a return to McCarthyism and a 21st century crusade and inquisition.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
8 Replies to “Republicans Signal Their Longing to Return to McCarthyism”
Even if they are similar, you should specify which McCarthy you are referring to. There was also a good McCarthy: Eugene, in 1968.
I am indeed able to remember Joe McCarthy, as he also investigated an organization I belonged to: the Girl Scouts of Amerca.
McCarthy was from Appleton, Wisc. which is also home to some other right-wing organizations
This is another example of how totalitarian movements operate to destroy the opposition in their quest for world domination. Make no mistake, this isn’t about Christian domination of the US, it’s about world domination to plunder resources, enslave populations considered inferior while using their sacred books to justify their crimes.
Don’t know how Ryan’s “we got our rights from the Creator and Natural law (natural something, not sure it was law), not from the Government,” slipped through the cracks in his first VP speech on the battleship. Was I the only one who heard it? I spit coffee all over myself, my keyboard and a cat when I heard him say it.
The Germans have neo-Nazis and we have Republican McCarthyists
The Hollywood Communists were what the dictator Stalin referred to as ‘useful idiots’ who believed all the bull about Russia as some idyllic workers paradise. We now know that the Soviet Union at the time was as appalling as Hitler’s Germany.
Okay, who’s fucking with me and who’s idea of a joke is this? I presume we’re not talking about Eugene McCarthy.Are we talking about Joseph McCarthy? Then we’re talking about McCarthyism. Let me tell you a bit about that. The only way this mediocre alcoholic could maintain his spotlight on the national stage was by whipping up some half-assed idea that there were Reds under all of our red-white-and-blue beds. So, he started coming up with “I have a list here with 237 names of American Communists” listed on it.
The trouble was, in a nutshell, and I am cutting lots of historical corners here, is that there were American Communists; but the party had been outlawed by the 1950s; we had just been through the Rosenberg Trials. the USSR had the Hydrogen bomb and Stalin was scary; very scary. And very paranoid; he was already cutting swathes through his own Politburo, Army, Univerisities and had zeroed in on his doctors, when his altar-ego, the Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy started doing likewise in the US. The fact that McCarthy’s victims didn’t get a bullet in the head was a small victory; lives were ruined, people were outcast. Two of my father’s professors at his college committed suicide over the witch hunts.
I’m not going to relate the whole Drew Pierson, David Shine, Alger Hiss, Roy Cohn mess. There were Senate hearings. They were televinsed Suffice it to say, McCarthy was brought down with one sentence. At a Senate hearing, his posturing and waving around of bits of paper was rebuked by a summation after he had smeared the reputation of a man named Fred Fisher, who belonged to the National Lawyers Guild. I don’t even remember what the man was supposed to have done. But the US Army’s chief legal representative, Joseph Welch admonished McCarthy, saying,
“Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
This was the beghinning of the end of McCarthy’s “career.” Shortly thereater, he died in obscurity, alone in an asylum, of the effects of alcoholism. Do you know how many names checked out on his list? Not a one.
The real irony? Joseph Stalin. He sat over there in Moscow and said “we need not try and make America weak. She is doing for us what we only dreamed we could do,” in response to this whole thing.
By fettering attitudes and opinions we weaken ourselves.
I know so much about this subject and this particular because I wrote an article on modern history and free speech and it’s rewards and perils while living in Detroit. I won an award on rhetorical writing for it.
Let’s try to agree on one thing – the religious right are NOT Christians. They are Dominionists who rely on Old Testament laws and turn Jesus into a “get out of jail free”: card. They follow nothing of the teachings, the philosophy, the beliefs of Christianity. And yes – given the Crusades, Inquisition, etc. they have their predicates, but this group seeks nothing less than world domination for the Second Coming – and that is a heretical view of the faith.
Kindly don’t give them credibility by treating them as if they were the equal of Albert Schweitzer, Dorothy Day, Roy Bourgeois, or REV. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and REV. William Sloane Coffin who were our glorious leaders in all things progressive, inclusive, and loving. Real Christians don’t hate. Real Christians revere all people, REAL CHRISTIANS DON’T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. Enough with tarring all of us with that disgusting brush.
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