Legacy lessons from “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Robert Vaughn.
“The curiosity is not that there were undoubtedly many Reds that made government their vocation, but that the entire Communist Party was not on the federal payroll.”
When did Red Scare witch-hunter Joseph McCarthy say that? Or perhaps it was that anti-Communist right-wing Republican Ronald Reagan? Wait, it was that McCarthyite snob William F. Buckley, right? Sorry folks, the author is actually a liberal Democrat, the actor Robert Vaughn, who just passed away at 83.
Vaughn earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Young Philadelphians (1959). Though part of a star-studded cast in The Magnificent Seven (1960), and Bullitt with Steve McQueen in 1968, Vaughn is best remembered for his television role as Napoleon Solo in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E,” the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.
Vaughn teamed with Russian-born agent Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) to battle T.H.R.U.S.H., the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement against the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity. Less well known is Vaughn’s work to expose an actual organization that was indeed out to subjugate humanity, the Communist Party.
Vaughn crusaded against the war in Vietnam and backed Sen. Robert F. Kennedy for president. After Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Kennedy in 1968 Vaughn bolted to England, returning five years later to continued his education at the University of Southern California. There he wrote the PhD thesis Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting.
Vaughn knew from experience that the Communist Party had been a major player in the Hollywood studios, and in the course of his research, Vaughn discovered the Reds’ clout in Washington DC. As the liberal Democrat saw it, the entire Communist Party could have been on the federal payroll.
The big players were Stalinist agents Alger Hiss of the State Department and Harry Dexter White in Treasury. Vaughn knew about them but at the time of his passing, the biggest player of all could be the outgoing President of the United States. The strongest case for that comes from the president himself, or rather from his “narrator” as the New York Times proclaimed David Axelrod.
In massive 2015 autohagiography Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, Axelrod tells of leaving journalism because he was more comfortable and proficient at “telling stories.”
In 1992, he meets his “dream client,” and the comfortable storyteller produces Dreams from My Father. The book emerges in 1995, only a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Communist empire. The narrator avoids these events entirely, and laments the lost hopes of Communists, upper case his.
Supposedly an authentic biography, Dreams from My Father is a roman à clef, with major characters identified by first name only. One of these is “Frank,” a character resembling Grady Wilson on “Sanford and Son” but in reality the Frank Marshall Davis, an African-American Stalinist who devoted his life to the defense of all-white Communist dictatorships.
Davis believed that Russians were the “n-----s of the globe,” therefore American anti-Communists were racists, Ku Kluckers, storm troopers etc. On the other hand, in Black on Red: My 44 Years Inside the Soviet Union, Robert Robinson described Soviet racism as “worse than anything I recalled in the United States during the 1920s and without question worse than in the United States after the decade of the 1950s.”
As Paul Kengor noted in The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: the Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor, Davis had an FBI file 600 pages long, and he was a security risk who would have been arrested in time of war. In Dreams from My Real Father, filmmaker Joel Gilbert made the case that Davis was the president’s biological father, which explains the references to him as “Pop” when the president, then known as Barry Soetoro, was a student at Occidental college.
None of the evasions about his background prevented Barry’s rise to U.S. Senator. The old-line establishment media saw to that with a massive trahison des clercs, as Julian Benda put it. The “birther” campaign was simply the narrator’s red herring to throw people off Frank’s scent. In 2008, the candidate calling himself Barack Obama became president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world.
Professor Kengor saw “remarkable similarities” between the president’s policies and the writings of Frank Marshall Davis. The president’s advisers included nobody with any connection to the Kenyan Barack H. Obama. The key White House players came from Davis’ old Stalinist network in Chicago, notably Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, a Red diaper baby who, like the president, never rebelled against the leftist politics of his parents.
Like those Olympic officials in 1972, the president put time back on the clock for Marxist superstition, and for Sado-Stalinist regimes like the Cuba of Fidel and Raul Castro. He aimed to transform the nation and his vehicle was Obamacare. In that scheme, the people don’t get to choose what they want. They can only choose from the plans the government wants them to have, the same plan totalitarians prefer to impose.
The president had been counting on his designated successor Hillary Clinton to complete the transformation of the USA into a kind of Soviet Americastan. On November 8, the people said no, and that has the old-line establishment media, what some foolishly call the “mainstream media,” wondering about the president’s legacy. Since he achieved virtually nothing of any lasting value, with the possible exception of the Bin Laden hit, this is not a complicated matter.
He should be remembered as the president who, contrary to all the others, was not exactly the person he said he was. The president is also the most prominent Red to make government his vocation, as Robert Vaughn put it. Meanwhile, Vaughn’s “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” was inspired by the James Bond films, and that raises another issue.
In those films, Bond and his allies defeat SPECTRE and other criminal organizations, but the villains always make a last stand. After his Fort Knox attack fails, for example, Auric Goldfinger disguises himself as a U.S. soldier.
The West triumphed over the “evil empire,” as Ronald Reagan accurately described the USSR. That triumph liberated millions but displeased a radical leftist politician from Chicago who, as his narrator explained in Dreams from My Father, saw the need for change in the White House where “Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds.”
The politician became president, and his policies bore remarkable similarity to something Frank Marshall Davis dreamed up, particularly his cancelation of missile defense for key U.S. allies in Europe in 2009.
This dreamer who cut a deal with Iran and sent planeloads of cash to that Islamic terrorist regime is still at the controls until January 20, 2017. The interim could prove quite exciting.