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H2O Man

(73,718 posts)
Sun Mar 1, 2015, 11:37 AM Mar 2015

Red Scare #9 [View all]

“Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
No one will be watching us
Why don’t we do it in the road?”
-- Paul McCartney

Most historians would not even mention Paul McCartney in a discussion of “McCarthyism,” for obvious reasons. Fewer still would begin such an attempt at conversations about America’s second great Red Scare with a quote from one of Sir Paul’s curious contributions to the double LP titled “The Beatles,” though commonly known as “the White Album.” But there is an actual good reason for my including here, perhaps beyond the simple fact that Side Two of the double LP is spinning on my turn-table as I type this. (We’ll see, won’t we?)

“McCarthyism” in the gutter sense describes the attitude of much of America circa 1950-56. It is known as the second “red scare” in America. There was an attempt -- rather successful, at that -- to scare people into refusing to listen to anyone who dared to ask questions; or to read literature that asked questions; or to be in any way DISLOYAL.

The insane Senator Joseph McCarthey (R-Hell) wanted everyone to take loyalty pledges of allegiance to his flag. Failure to do so resulted in a dynamic that involved excessive allegations of disloyalty; twisting of a person’s sincere dissent into evidence of betrayal; and vicious attacks upon the character of anyone who didn’t subscribe 100% to the party line.

This form of McCarthyism is a malignancy upon a democratic society. Note that I used the word “is” to describe it -- because this disease is never truly cured: it goes into remission, but always is present in the uglier regions of the human minds, seeking opportunity to re-assert itself in the most surprising of places.

The positive form of “McCarthyism” was found in America in 1967-68, when a diverse group of patriotic citizens at the grass roots level questioned the establishment’s definitions of reality. The combined force of this dissent created a synergy that resulted in Senator Eugene McCarthy challenging LBJ. What is funny is that history has revealed that the very same cogs in the Washington, DC machine that accused the people supporting this McCarthyism of being disloyal to the cause, actually were questioning -- but only among themselves -- if LBJ had totally lost his grip on reality, and was stark raving mad? Yet they remained “loyal,” though it is hard to see that as a strength today.

Now, there are many things about LBJ that deserve respect. I’ve heard it said that Martin Luther King, Jr., could not have accomplished all he did, with his protests in the streets, if LBJ hadn’t been in the White House. And that’s true. Yet, King had to challenge LBJ’s stance on Vietnam, to remain true to his principles. But this wasn’t simply a “purity test” for King: for the “war on poverty” and the Great Society were being destroyed by the war in Vietnam.

Fast-forward 48 years, and we see some of those same dynamics at play here on DU:GD. If you don’t vote this way, you ain’t loyal. A red state scare: do you want to be responsible for Ted Cruz in the White House? And on and on and on.

Sides three and four of the White Album are simply outstanding.

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Red Scare #9 [View all] H2O Man Mar 2015 OP
kick Warren Stupidity Mar 2015 #1
Thanks. H2O Man Mar 2015 #4
Go to church ...or the Devil will take over. L0oniX Mar 2015 #2
"Heaven for the climate, H2O Man Mar 2015 #8
What is this... nuance? Bucky Mar 2015 #3
No, I promise! H2O Man Mar 2015 #10
The Day Joe McCarthy came to DU. leveymg Mar 2015 #51
It's the "Love it or Leave It", "You're with us or against us", "Not as Bad" wing of the party. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #5
Iraq... Love it or leave it! world wide wally Mar 2015 #9
Outstanding answer. H2O Man Mar 2015 #12
Excellent comment.. You could add to your list of the 'blame game' tactic, 'blame the voters' sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #14
Can we get the pledge flavored with Vanilla? Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #34
I suppose so, but I am resistant to 'loyalty pledges' regardless of how they are flavored! Lol! sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #35
Flavored with Rum or Tequila might be a more effective inducement to oath taking. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #36
It would take a whole lot of that with a few stronger drugs to get me to take any 'loyalty oaths' sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #40
Even as a drunk & druggie I found them unpalatable and even more so now. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #43
Great quote from Jefferson. And that is why we have a country AND parties to even fight over, sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #55
But Lemon Pledge keeps your table shiney! hootinholler Mar 2015 #68
+ 1000. nt antigop Mar 2015 #15
and our "outrage" is "manufactured". nt antigop Mar 2015 #16
"vote for the candidate who can win and ignore their record" Martin Eden Mar 2015 #18
Thanks... onyourleft Mar 2015 #21
I don't think they are even pretending this time will be different, any more. djean111 Mar 2015 #26
+1 ! KoKo Mar 2015 #69
I've seen this here, and I don't like it either... ms liberty Mar 2015 #6
Thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #23
Alerting. Zorra Mar 2015 #7
Jury Results: H2O Man Mar 2015 #29
I'm fixing this. Few realize that Nixon was a staunch McCartneyist who almost beat Kennedy in 1960. Zorra Mar 2015 #39
The strange thing H2O Man Mar 2015 #44
Your OP's are exactly the length they need to be. Zorra Mar 2015 #56
Exactly. H2O Man Mar 2015 #57
Number NIne, Number Nine, Number Nine zeemike Mar 2015 #11
Right. H2O Man Mar 2015 #31
When I played it backwards, I thought I heard "Paul is a dead man" (perhaps an KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #45
The end of H2O Man Mar 2015 #52
why can't you write pretty KG Mar 2015 #13
I'll try my best: H2O Man Mar 2015 #32
Thank you... onyourleft Mar 2015 #17
And thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #38
Part of it I believe is driven by overconfidence. Rex Mar 2015 #19
And some of it is actually support for neo-liberal policies. sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #20
True and it appears there are a few here that do. Rex Mar 2015 #22
Yes, like Chained CPI eg. Or the support for the continuation of neocon wars. At least we are no sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #25
Well it is sad when all people want is for money to get out of politics and they get yelled at. Rex Mar 2015 #42
Interesting points. H2O Man Mar 2015 #41
I don't think it is the leaders as much as the policy wonks they hire Rex Mar 2015 #46
And then again, a real leader doesn't need policy wonks to tell them how to think. sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #54
Excellent OP, H20 Man Oilwellian Mar 2015 #24
Someone on another thread called Trotsky a 'red Fascist,' so clearly logo- KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #47
! H2O Man Mar 2015 #59
Right. H2O Man Mar 2015 #58
As always, sane and articulate and taking the long view. Thanks H2O Man. Hekate Mar 2015 #27
Thank you. H2O Man Mar 2015 #60
I skip a lot, trash others. Had my faith almost restored by the responses to FLyellowdog Hekate Mar 2015 #64
I am trying to learn to do that. But sometimes some things require a response, to correct the sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #70
"Your thinking, Sir, H2O Man Mar 2015 #71
excellent contrast using Johnson's 'Great' Society efforts vs. his Vietnam push bigtree Mar 2015 #28
Very good! H2O Man Mar 2015 #61
don't remember Truman and MLK associating bigtree Mar 2015 #62
Fair enough. H2O Man Mar 2015 #66
fascinating bigtree Mar 2015 #67
Excellent OP as always, H20 Man ... sabrina 1 Mar 2015 #30
Thank you. H2O Man Mar 2015 #72
Because happiness is a warm gun seveneyes Mar 2015 #33
Since "half of what I say is meaningless," think I'll just KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #48
A great song. H2O Man Mar 2015 #73
Excellent post malaise Mar 2015 #37
Thank you! H2O Man Mar 2015 #74
Joseph Heller spoofs the whole 'loyalty oath' segment in "Catch 22" when his KingCharlemagne Mar 2015 #49
"Give me Eat". Major ___de Coverly. Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2015 #50
Holy shit! H2O Man Mar 2015 #53
was written by McCartney in India after he saw two GeorgeGist Mar 2015 #63
k&r... spanone Mar 2015 #65
K&Ring bit late! MannyGoldstein Mar 2015 #75
I missed this one H2O Man.. 2banon Apr 2015 #76
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