Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > Objections over Obama’s education speech unleashes a new version of McCarthyism

Objections over Obama’s education speech unleashes a new version of McCarthyism

LatinaLista — Wikipedia defines McCarthyism as:

Caption reads “Say, Whatever happened to Freedom-From-Fear?”

… the politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term specifically describes activities associated with the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents.
Originally coined to criticize the anti-communist pursuits of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, “McCarthyism” soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

The speech Obama plans to make to students next week should be cause for alarm — not because he is making it but because of the unprecedented uproar it has spawned.
Specifically, the GOP has allowed its party to be hijacked by what most people are calling the “wingnuts” of the party. In the process, the party is becoming less relevant to the people who believe in their basic ideology and are rightfully turned off by the psychotic paranoia exhibited by these extreme conservatives who have some type of media platform from which to spread their distorted views of reality.
The scary part is that there are so many people who are falling victim to these scare tactics that they risk crossing that line of reason where, once it’s crossed, it’s hard to leave it.
If ever there was a subversive group threatening the security of this country, it’s these “wingnuts.” That they are influencing parents to teach their children to diss the President of the United States is reprehensible.
Even at the height of George W. Bush’s unpopularity, there was no liberal faction preaching to the masses to “diss” President Bush. The fact that these people are doing this and causing such a disruption in the country deserves to be analyzed to see how unstable they are making this country through their actions.
If the GOP continues to sit on the sidelines and allow these wingnuts to dictate their policies and act in the name of the party, then they are as guilty of creating panic where none exists as these wingnuts are.
History tells us McCarthyism was one of the darkest chapters in this nation’s history. We owe it to ourselves and to our children that we don’t repeat it nor allow certain factions exploiting free speech to drag us all down a dark path.

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  • MH
    September 6, 2009 at 2:49 am

    The Republican agenda: Use fear in every way possible to distort the views and thoughts of the American people in order to gain sentiment and show value of the GOP(hahaha). This is rediculous come on America what kind of world do we live in when our own President can’t even address American children without some group screaming bloody murder. President Obama isn’t looking to sign up kids for the Afghanistan war, hes just addressing Americas children. Living life in constant fear has got to end in order for us to move forward, it fell apart during the Bush administration. This is not code orange, purple or green so relax President Obama has very good intentions, he will not use Americas children to try and pass something in congress or any healthcare plan that you disagree with. Next thing you know some of these radicals are going to claim the Obama Administration will use subliminal messages to brainwash America… Give it a break already

  • Candy
    September 6, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    This is hardly McCarthyism, but the dawn of a national epiphany only eight months into Obama’s rule. The reaction to his agenda is proof-positive that many Americans have quickly tired of Obama’s group of radical left-wing appointees. This man will surely be a lame duck by the end of 2010, when the newly elected Republican majority are sworn in. Obama is clearly not what he portrayed himself to be and the polls clearly show that the rest of the country has recognized it.

  • El Guapo
    September 7, 2009 at 8:48 am

    This is freaky. Never has such a decent man been so demonized.

  • Marisa Treviño
    September 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Candy, the same people who blindly followed and listened to McCarthy all those years ago probably believed the same as you did. With all that the Bush administration put this country through, I find it hard to believe that a rational person, and I’m assuming you’re rational, can’t see the reality of the Republican situation. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to see it. If so, that explains why your comments are so out there that to disagree with you is beyond your comprehension.

  • Candy
    September 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    It’s interesting that you should make the comparison, but it would appear that McCarthy’s claims had validity. As piecemeal articles, this has been know for a long time now, but left wing reporters conveniently ignore it as part of a pattern:
    September 3, 2009
    Obama’s Communists
    Alan Caruba
    “Tailgunner” Joe McCarthy, a 1950s U.S. Senator who lent his name to any effort to expose America’s enemies, was right. At the height of his fame, he said the U.S. government was shot through with communists, many of whom were participating in a vast espionage effort orchestrated by the Soviets.
    Though McCarthy was singularly unsuccessful in uncovering communists within the government during Eisenhower’s first term, the “Army-McCarthy” hearings, April 22nd to June 17, 1954, were televised for all to see and he became one of the best known anti-communists of his day. Were there Communists and spies for the Soviet Union? Yes, but we would not learn more until a young Senator from California, Richard M. Nixon identified Alger Hiss, a high-ranking State Department official as one.
    After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the records that became available to historians and other scholars confirmed McCarthy’s worst fears.
    During the 1930s and 1940s, communism appealed to many Americans. Some had soured on capitalism because of the Great Depression. Others saw communism at work in the Soviet Union and, believing the propaganda, concluded it was a viable alternative to capitalism. It would take a speech by Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Krushchev to draw back the curtain and reveal the horrors of living under Stalin.
    Then, as now, communists found a home in the American labor movement and among the liberal elites of the Democrat Party
    who saw in the New Deal the way to transform America into a socialist nation, as well as among America’s intellectuals on its college campuses. Not much has changed.
    One of the founders of the “Weathermen” group that conducted a number of bombings in the 1960s is now a “distinguished professor” at the University of Illinois – Chicago. Bill Ayers is also a longtime, close friend of Barack Obama.
    Sen. McCarthy was quite possibly the worst person of his era to lead the investigation of communist infiltration and Soviet espionage. He was bombast and a boozer. In August 1954, a Senate committee released a report censoring him for having abused his power as a committee chairman. He would remain in the Senate, but his days of glory were over. His drinking increased and in May 1957 he died from acute hepatitis.
    The sad irony of McCarthy’s story is that the government was, indeed, filled with communist sympathizers, known as “fellow travelers,” and with Soviet-run spies. The story can be found in “The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors” by Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel (}. “Venona” was the U.S. code word given to secret Soviet spy communications.
    Venona revealed the full extent of the spying that was occurring. Venona documented that Harry Hopkins, a close friend and advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt was also a spy. Both the FDR and Truman administrations were chockablock with communists. The Venona program of interception and analysis ran from February 1943 to 1980.
    In the post-war years, the U.S. created the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency to discover and monitor not just the Soviets, but many other enemies of the nation.
    A significant example is the way the Soviets were able to build their own atomic bomb long before their own scientists ever could thanks to their espionage program. There were many others who were known in spy craft as “agents of influence.” One of them was I.F. Stone who wrote a widely read newsletter that provided cover for the actual spies and their activities. Stone continues to be hailed in journalism circles as an outstanding investigative reporter.
    Among the Soviet spies were the Rosenbergs who were found guilty of passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets. The most famous spy of that era was Alger Hiss who at one point served as the director of the Office of Special Political Affairs in the State Department. He would go on to serve as the secretary general of the founding conference of the United Nations
    and later become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

  • Evelyn
    September 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    The problem for these people isn’t that Obama may be a commie.
    If that were true, it would have been a problem for all our presidents.
    Especially Bush 2 with all the fascist policies he enacted and figured he was the ultimate decider and had to answer to no one.
    There are many in this country who don’t trust Barack Obama simply because he’s different from them.
    He’s intelligent, analytical, articulate, worldly; he isn’t a mentally-challenged Barco-lounging lummox who robotically chants bumper-sticker slogans to rally the faithful to his cause while giving everyone else the finger. What’s more, he’s a guy who — despite the laughable elitist tag his critics have tried to pin on him — has fought the odds and busted his ass since the very beginning to make something of himself.
    He’s a black man who became president of the United States. In other words, he’s the best person to talk to America’s children — someone they’ll believe when he says, “You can become anything you want to in this country.”
    And it’s not that he should be able to do this without having those who refuse to accept him turning it into a topic for debate on cable news. It isn’t up for debate at all. The man’s president. He gets to do it. Deal with it.
    The description of President Obama above was written in an article I read.

  • BarneyMurrell
    September 9, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    To Candy:
    If many U.S. politicians, and others in position of importance, were communist spies then HOW COME THEY (communism) LOST the Cold War?

  • Candy
    September 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    “To Candy:
    If many U.S. politicians, and others in position of importance, were communist spies then HOW COME THEY (communism) LOST the Cold War?”
    Because, in spite of it all, the Russians were the victims of their own mismanagment. Their inept 5-year plans, failure of centralized control, poor economic policies, poor treatment of their citizens, lack of national initiative when it came to productivity, the unrelenting need to compete with massive U.S. spending on defense and U.S. technological advantages, all contributed to collapse. Also, the vast majority of Americans are obviously loyal to their country, limiting the damage of those guilty of perfidy.

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