The President is a Socialist.
Well, that’s what they keep saying anyways. And by “they”, I mean 67% of Republicans across the country, according to a March Harris poll.
They must be terrified. With the Gallup polls currently estimating Obama’s approval rating to be in the 50’s—especially after the passing of the Health Care Reform Bill— it’s only illogical for these neo-Archie Bunkers to assume that the Commies aren’t only in the Oval Office…they’re everywhere! Look out John Birch Society, here comes America…again.
But if this was actually happening in our country, what are they going to do about it, honestly? I suppose they could buy more miniature American flags (probably made in Communist China) and wave them really hard at those “godless” Socialists, or perhaps staple a few more Lipton tea bags on the bills of their baseball caps. That’ll show them Reds whose America this really is.
They have to keep in mind, however, that this isn’t our first Red Scare, and the unfortunate truth is that our country has an anything but perfect record at fighting Socialists, Communists, Trotskyites, or whatever you prefer to call them. So if the Republicans want to get serious about saving this country from Socialism—assuming they had the power to actually do so—let’s think about what would most likely happen. I promise they won’t like it.
When it comes to eradication, guns usually come first to mind. And why not? Firing a gun is as easy as moving a finger, and it allows whoever uses it successfully to shoot first, ask questions whenever they feel like it.
But we certainly can’t use the military, not against “The Communist Manifesto”, that’s just M.A.D. Every time we’ve used very tangible bullets against the intangible idea of socialism, we’ve fallen as efficiently as a row of dominoes. Take the Vietnam War for horrible instance, which amounted to being one of the worst, combined wastes of military muscle and young lives in our history. Our arsenal couldn’t prevent Communism from spreading in a space that’s about the size of New Mexico, so how could we be successful at fighting 50 Vietnam Wars at once?
Of course, we have previously tried to out socialism, without bullets and bombs, from within our borders before. The most memorable example is Sen. Joseph McCarthy (another Republican) and his witch hunts back in the early 50’s, during the height of the Cold War. All for the sake of exterminating the Communist from our shores, there were blacklists, loyalty oaths, and a complete disregard for due process. America practically suffered a nervous breakdown thanks to the Junior Senator from Wisconsin, but common sense became common again and McCarthy was eventually censured by Congress.
So, what has history taught us about America vs. the Red Menace? Well, we can’t fight socialism using weapons or by Senate Committee. But if that’s the case, what else can we do to stay uninfected? Is Democracy doomed? Absolutely not.
There is only one way to combat an idea, and it’s with an even better idea. And I believe, along with Edward R. Murrow, that a better idea than socialism has always been democracy. As Murrow concluded in his TV debate with Sen. McCarthy, “I believed 20 years ago and I believe today that mature Americans can engage in conversation and controversy, the clash of ideas, with Communists anywhere in the world without becoming contaminated or converted. I believe that our faith, our conviction, our determination are stronger than theirs, and that we can compete and successfully, not only in the area of bombs but in the area of ideas.”
So far, outside of a bunch of name-calling, the Third Red Scare has been relatively uneventful, thank God. If this thing really gets going though, all we have to do is flip through the pages of any high school U.S. history textbook to figure out the inevitable outcome.
Anyone who’s attempted to purge this country of so-called Socialists or Communists (i.e., the McCarthys and, coming soon, the Becks) has been remembered as paranoid villains with a genuine, unforgivable lack of respect for the Constitution. And ironically, it is typically those being threatened and persecuted for their supposed Socialist beliefs that take a stand and become the heroes of our story.