From the Pen of David Horowitz: September 29, 2009


In life, McCarthy was part of the Right.  In death, he has been possessed by body snatchers on the Left.  The apprehensions aroused by charges of “McCarthyism” are based on the Left’s assertion that there is a powerful and destructive impulse lurking just under the surface of our political life: a native fascism easily ignited and ready to rage dangerously out of control. It is an assumption not often questioned, although the evidence suggests that the opposite is true.  Arthur Miller’s efforts in The Crucible to portray it as a peculiarly American atavism notwithstanding, the history of McCarthyism actually shows how alien the witch-hunt mentality is to the American spirit and how superficial its hold on the American psyche.  Appearing in the extraordinary circumstances of the postwar period, McCarthyism was brief in its moment and limited in its consequences.  And it was complete in the way it was purged from the body politic. The Wisconsin senator’s strut on the stage ended in a crushing repudiation by his colleagues in the Senate and an enduring obloquy in the rogues’ gallery of American history, a position close to that of Benedict Arnold and a handful of other villains.  His enemies survived to be rehabilitated as martyrs and heroes of an American political “ nightmare”, while he himself is the only figure from that haunted era to suffer irreparable damnation.

Destructive Generation by Peter Collier and David Horowitz

This quote was submitted by Dan W. who noted:

I have long regarded DH’s Chapter Six of “Destructive Generation” as one of the most illuminating discussions of McCarthyism I have seen, including how the history has been distorted by the modern Left…. I think this passage  (plus one additional paragraph) gets to the core of the issue. Like “racist” these days, the casual use of the term is used by the Left today as a way to, as David said, “invoke cloture on debates that it doesn’t want to have”

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