Communists penetrated every aspect of American society in the twentieth century and continue doing so now, yet people refuse to recognize how much this penetration successfully subverted the nation and how people think.
Diana West wrote American Betrayal in 2013 and, among other things, she documented how the Soviet Union and communists infiltrated and subverted the U.S. government. Mrs. West details how communists even penetrated the highest levels of government. She makes a compelling case that their reach extended right up to the president, with evidence suggesting that FDR aide Harry Hopkins worked for them.
West’s book irritated some people. That was not surprising. However, what was surprising was that her book irritated people on the left and the right.
David Horowitz and his FrontPage Magazine led a despicable attack on West—not just against her book, but against her personally. The allegedly former communist and his allies (Ron Radosh key amongst them) savaged her analytical conclusions and claimed that she and her book damaged the conservative movement. They even issued distortions and outright lies. Visit The Security and Culture Intelligencer where I verify multiple instances of Radosh making misstatements about what West wrote in American Betrayal.
Mainstream conservatives initially balked at defending her, preferring not to challenge the prominent Horowitz and instead remain on the sidelines. (Journalist Robert Stacy McCain, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, and historian M. Stanton Evans were a few notable exceptions to this rule.) However, there were plenty of “little people”—those outside the ruling class—who didn’t shy away from the fight that Horowitz wanted to have.
Those of us willing to fight Horowitz and his followers engaged in a rather lengthy battle and we ultimately prevailed because we had truth on our side. (And once we proved our case and made siding against Horowitz safe, mainstream conservatives joined in the defense of West.)
The Horowitz-led attack was repulsive for multiple reasons. But chief among those reasons was that they had no basis for doing so. The evidence that communists penetrated and subverted America is overwhelming; essentially indisputable at this point.
In fact, the detractors don’t deny that Soviet and communist penetration happened. But they try to play down the significance of that penetration by saying that communists didn’t successfully subvert the United States. In other words, they acknowledge that communists damaged the nation through stealing secrets but they argue they didn’t succeed in influencing American policy or how Americans think and act. This is ridiculous.
Grove City College historian Paul Kengor wrote, “Onward to Chicago,” for the May edition of the American Spectator. His article demonstrates that communists did indeed succeed in subverting America. Kengor documents that communist positions and the positions of the Democratic Party are nearly indistinguishable at this point. Kengor notes that Communist Party USA (CPUSA) statements sound identical to what the Democratic Party says. He even excerpts a portion of official CPUSA propaganda which shows how the CPUSA and Democratic Party share a common enemy: right-wing Americans.
The extreme right, which now dominates the Republican Party, is seeking to roll back all the social and economic rights that working people fought for and won. They want to take the country back to a time before marriage equality, before voting rights, before women’s reproductive rights, before the right to a union. It seems at times that they want to take us back to the days of slavery.
Democracy itself is under attack from this far-right group and their servants in the Washington and statehouses around the country.
Kengor’s article on modern-day Democrats and communists is on target. The only thing I would add is that the Republican Party is hot on the Democrats’ heels in embracing communism. Republican leadership is entirely corrupted; only the base of the Republican Party is saving it from fully following the Democrats’ lead.
But regardless of how much evidence there is that communists have successfully subverted American mindset and policy (they have, after all, infiltrated private sector institutions as well as the government) both the mainstream right and left refuse to recognize this. They reflexively shout, “McCarthyism!” whenever someone dares to point out the success of communist influence in America. (Joe McCarthy, by the way, was right.) The truth is unacceptable to them. This is one of the reasons why Horowitz and his crowd had to attack West and American Betrayal.
And this is perhaps the greatest victory of the communists: they have so subverted the American mindset that we cannot realize that we have been subverted. We spew their ideology without being able to recognize that we are speaking and acting exactly as they want us to speak and act.
The truth about communist influence in America is unpleasant. But it is true. And if we ever are going to reverse the damage it has done to us we need to start by acknowledging that communists not only penetrated society, but they successfully subverted us as well.
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yire_shalom3000/2970151564/