Joe McCarthy is a name so long gone into history that all that remains is that he was the bad kind of defender of our values against totalitarian tyranny. Yes, we are told, there were a few communist spies in the West but however bad Stalinism and communism might have been, what McCarthy did was much much worse. So if we were going to rate McCarthyism and Stalinism on the Political Richter Scale, Stalin would come in at around a 6 but Senator Joe would be a 9. A very handy scaling for the left since at various times when someone attempts to draw attention to what it does and where it aims to go, out comes the handy dandy McCarthyist tag. Sometimes it works better than other times, but since the conservative side of politics has adopted the left’s view of McCarthy, it is a very effective tactic. But it will only work if you think McCarthy was in the wrong.
McCarthyist tactics are, in fact, the preserve of the left. They are the experts in labelling others with some kind of tag that may or may not fit but does cause those they attack to retreat. A very interesting example of the effect such labelling can have was on display just the other day. Andrew Bolt put up a post which he titled, Called racist just once too often. To fight or to hide? and whose point may be found in the opening paras:
STRANGE, after all I’ve been through, but Monday on the ABC may have been finally too much for me.
You see, I was denounced on Q&A – on national television – as a racist. I watched in horror as Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton falsely accused me of subjecting one of her colleagues – “very fair-skinned, like my children” – to “foul abuse … simply racial abuse”.
Langton falsely claimed I was a “fool” who believed in “race theories” and had “argued that (her colleague) had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal”. I had so hurt this woman she “withdrew from public life” and had given up working with students (something seemingly contradicted by the CV on her website).
And when Attorney-General George Brandis hotly insisted I was not racist, the ABC audience laughed in derision. . . .
My wife now wants me to play safe and stop fighting this new racism, and this time I’m listening.
This time I was so bruised by Q&A that I didn’t go into work on Tuesday. I couldn’t stand any sympathy – which you get only when you’re meant to feel hurt.
Andrew Bolt is not a racist but the label does penetrate. Call him a racist and some of the mud will stick and it will undermine his willingness to take on the various issues he does. It will also tend to undermine his authority and ability to communicate. Andrew is unique in the country, not only for the clarity of his thought, but because of just how effective he is in bringing his message into the light. Shutting him up is a major aim of the left and calling him a racist is one of the ways this might be done.
Joe McCarthy was not a McCarthyist. Virtually every accusation he made has been established since his time. His interest was in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations and the government of the United States. Understanding the extent to which the White House was infiltrated with Soviet agents is still only in its infancy, with more revelations coming out year by year. That Senator McCarthy is bundled with the Democrats who ran the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) is part of the way in which the issues are confused, again only to the benefit of the Democrats and the left.
I have an article at Quadrant Online that follows my January-February article, America – the Big Dumb Ox. The movie reviewer at Quadrant, whether because he was offended by my article or just as a matter of chance, decided to write a column attacking McCarthy in the usual leftist way. Having a spare few hours on a Saturday afternoon, I wrote a reply which you can read here. But what was particularly interesting for me was that his defence of McCarthy actually exposed the extent to which McCarthy was taken down by the usual media suspects of the left. Today we would see it for what it is, and there is the internet to defend those who stand up for our values. But McCarthy was the first to be exposed to this full frontal media attack and it was devastating. I therefore encourage you to read my post, and then if you are interested in such matters, to go on and read M. Stanton Evans brilliant Blacklisted by History. You will then see the world in a very different way and you will understand more clearly how the left warps political debate.